There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

Paul has just gotten done leading his readers through a very tricky maze that comes out at Christ rescuing us from our sinful selves and saving us from the law of sin being enslaving us to the law of God. That is the proof (as I can explain it) of the “therefore”.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Verses 2 – 4)

It seems, beloved reader, that sin can come to us two ways; first, as Paul explained it in the previous chapter, we do what we ought not & don’t do what we should. Namely, sinning and not resisting sin. But it seems, according to Paul, that sin creeps in because we are “bodies”, fleshy bodies that crave things we should have nothing to do with. Paul divides the body from the mind, telling the body to behave and telling the mind to think on lofty noble things. And that is not the contemporary understanding of body and mind.

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law–indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” (Verses 5 – 9)

It seems to me to be a sad thing, to divide the body and the spirit/mind. The body, dedicated to carrying out the will and purposes of the Divine can be a wondrous thing. The intricacies of the human body are miraculous. And the intertwined relationship between body and spirit has given rise to works of art and beauty that most assuredly point to something greater and beyond us. We are created in the image of the Divine. And it is only when we come face to face with the Divine that we will fully understand that.

“But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.” (Verses 10 – 11)

I cannot agree with Paul that the body drags us down the path to sin. Our minds and intellect direct our bodies; so we if are drawn to commit sins both bodily – that is both thought and action – we need to have a firm talk with our intellect. But if we praise the Lord and bring glory to the Divine, that is also due to a body and spirit that sets it purposes and actions according to the Divine. Just as we are seamless in transitioning from the world to the world to come, the body/mind/spirit connection is seamless also; and all parts should be held accountable to the example that Christ set down. Shalom & Selah!