Romans 8:4 Meaning


A proper Romans 8:4 meaning needs to take the verse in the context of the 3 preceding verses (Romans 8:1-4):

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8:1-4


The centre of your person is your spirit [1 Thessalonians 5:23]

When you believed the Gospel of Christ [1 Corinthians 15:3-4], the Holy Spirit baptised your spirit into Christ [1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:26-27]

Therefore, your spirit was made in union with Christ at conversion [1 Corinthians 6:17] and you are now in Christ


Paul says that because of being dead to sin [Romans 6] and being dead to the Law [Romans 7], there is no guilty judgement (condemnation) for those people who are in Christ

Paul then explains in verses 3 and 4 that the reason why there is no guilty judgement for those who are in Christ, is because of what God did through Christ on the cross:


Paul declares that the reason why there is no guilty judgement for those that are in Christ, is simply because they have received the actual righteousness of Christ [2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 1:30]

The actual righteousness of Christ is Christ’s full keeping of the Law

Therefore, those people who are in Christ, have Christ’s full keeping of the Law on their accounts and therefore stand before God as righteous instead of guilty

Verse 3 describes the full context in which this imputed righteousness is given, which explains the full implication of receiving this righteousness and how it makes a person permanently righteous before God:


There are 3 parts to this verse, each of which give details of the imputed righteousness declared in verse 4:

  1. God sent Christ “in the likeness of sinful flesh“. Christ had flesh like sinful flesh, but it was not sinful. Therefore, Christ was able to fully keep the Law of God [Romans 8:4]
  2. Christ came “for sin“. Christ paid the penalty of death for sin, so all sin could be forgiven [Romans 3:25]
  3. Christ “condemned sin in the flesh“. When Christ died on the cross, God executed His judgement of death upon your flesh (condemned sin in the flesh) in the following way:
    • When you believed the Gospel of Christ, you were baptised into Christ
    • You died with Christ and were raised with Christ [Colossians 2:12]
    • When you died with Christ, you died to the sin in your flesh [Romans 6:2-3]
    • Therefore, you died to your sinful flesh [Colossians 2:11]
    • Effectively, your sinful flesh was killed to you
    • Consequeny, your sinful flesh was cut off from you. This is spiritual circumcision [Colossians 2:11-12] and what Paul meant when he said that God “condemned sin in the flesh

Parts 1 and 2 mean that those in Christ were made to be completely righteous before God, since their sin was forgiven/paid for and they received Christ’s full keeping of the Law

Part 3 means that those in Christ remain permanently righteous before God. Here is the explanation:

  • Since those in Christ died to their sinful flesh, any acts of sin done in their sinful flesh are not accredited to their account by God [Romans 7:17, 20]
  • Therefore, God does not find them guilty of anything [Romans 8:1]
  • When a person believes the Gospel of Christ, God gave them Christ’s righteousness [Romans 8:3-4]
  • Since their sinful flesh was killed to them [Romans 6:6, 8:3], this righteousness was effectively sealed [Romans 4:11]

Therefore, those in Christ remain permanently righteous before God [Romans 8:4] because God has given them Christ’s righteousness and that righteousness is sealed [Romans 8:3-4].


Romans 8:4 meaning: Every Christian has received the righteousness of Christ through baptism into Christ & that righteousness is sealed.

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