8:3what the law . . . could not do. Paul does not criticize the moral law, but notes once more that because of humanity’s sinfulness it cannot bring salvation.
his own Son. The words are reminiscent of the binding of Isaac in Gen. 22:2, and point to the tremendous cost of our redemption (v. 32).
in the likeness of sinful flesh. The word “likeness” means similarity to a prototype; “sinful flesh” is human nature, which through the Fall came to be corrupted and controlled by sin. Christ’s humanity was like ours in that He could be tempted, and lived His life as a part of a fallen world full of frailty and exposed to vast pressures. But He did not sin, and there was no moral and spiritual corruption in Him. Had Jesus been corrupted by sin in any way, He could not have fulfilled the Old Testament pattern, which required a sin offering to be “without blemish” (Lev. 4:3).
condemned sin in the flesh. Paul seems to mean that in the crucifixion of the incarnate Son of God sin was judged and condemned, so that now all its claims to have us condemned have become invalid. There is no condemnation remaining for those who are in Christ. See “Christian Liberty” at Gal. 5:1.
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