1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Older manuscripts end with “to those who are in Christ Jesus.” The majority of manuscripts and a few older manuscripts include the latter half of this verse. Some think these words were transposed from verse four.
The “who” here are those “in Christ”—those who have an eternal and present acceptance with God and liberty to live their lives unto God.
do not walk [behave] according to the flesh,
The Christian is free to walk with God because he is no longer under condemnation. He walks according to the different norm of the Spirit-given life. This is no mechanical, legalistic walk but a walk in newness of life. By being placed “in Christ” a definite change takes place, a change of norms and standards.
but according to the Spirit.
Those who are in Christ possess the right to walk in the new Spirit-given life. We cannot live the Christian life without the forensic work of the Son of God that placed us in union with Him, in His status before God. The Spirit enables us to be what we are. He is the active force for newness of life.
Those “in Christ” will manifest their position and status with Christ by walking according to the Spirit. It is inevitable that those who come into union with Christ will live differently.
It is inevitable that those who are united in Christ will live out that life.
There is no condemnation for the Christian, because the sacrifice of Christ’s death for our sin has already been provided, offered, and accepted by God when a person trusts that provision. It is inescapable that Christians will live in newness of life because of the indwelling Holy Spirit.