The law pointed to sin and then required death for the sinner. Can the law now stake a further claim against the one who has already satisfied that claim? Will the law ever again have a future claim where Jesus is concerned? Or did Jesus satisfy that claim once and for all. Of course he did! And you are joined to him; being joined to him meaning: fully identified with his satisfying the law’s claim. It only stands to reason that once a person is joined to the one who has satisfied the law’s requirement for sins, and is now standing only in the Savior’s perfect righteousness, that believer’s sinfulness can never be used as proof of that believer’s lack of righteousness. Paul moves us away from the realm of condition and he takes us straight into the realm of identity. The law can make no demand on the world of the lawlessness because Jesus met the law’s demands for the world of sinners for which he died. Today, the law can only serve the purpose of proving people’s need for a righteousness that no person is capable of gaining through performance. 


Paul had all the motivation that Paul needed to bring his body into subjection to whatever degree possible for Paul, not allowing it to reign supreme when it came to his actions. But, had Paul arrived when it came to the sacrifice of himself for the sake of those to whom he had been sent? Paul prayed that he might be made conformable unto Jesus’ death (Philippians 3:10). Jesus sacrificed himself for the sake of the Father’s enemies, for the sake of his enemies. Paul wanted to be made conformable to Jesus’ selflessness. But, Paul hadn’t arrived at Jesus’ selflessness as he states him in Philippines 3:12. You see, even with the proper motivation (and Paul had it, as do we), the flesh is incapable of removing self from our service. So, Paul wasn’t able to divorce self from his service when it came to what he did on behalf of others. Paul was certainly motivated to serve the Savior who died for him. But, Paul was being honest with himself and with us when it came to the capacity of his flesh to merit righteousness before God through performance. If God was going to declare ungodly people righteous, it would have to be freely by his grace. It could come no other way. People’s performance could not be allowed to enter the picture. God would have to use belief rather than behavior as the criterion whereby to join believers to his son.