Free in Christ Jesus

Romans 8:1–3

Principle for Bible Reading

Some phrases are used so often in the Bible that we need to stop and do the work of understanding what they really mean. Paul uses the phrase “in Christ Jesus” 47 times in his letters. Pastor John looks at several other passages to better understand these important words in Romans 8:1–2.

View the outline.


Introduction/Prayer (00:00–00:38)

“In Christ Jesus” (00:38–02:32)

  1. In Christ Jesus, there is now no condemnation (a legal verdict) (Romans 8:1).
  2. In Christ Jesus, there is power for transformation (Romans 8:2).

Application: How Do You Get into Christ? (02:32–08:52)

If these amazing things are true of people who are “in Christ Jesus,” how does someone experience that? How do we find ourselves in Christ?

  1. 1 Corinthians 1:30 — God does it. He unites us with Christ Jesus.
  2. Romans 6:3–5 — Baptism is a picture of being in Christ.
  3. Colossians 2:12, Galatians 2:20 — Faith is the most basic description of the experience of being united with Christ.
  4. Ephesians 2:8; Romans 6:17 — Faith is a gift from God.

Summary (08:52–10:18)

  1. It is God who unites us with Christ Jesus.
  2. God unites us to Christ by giving us the gift of faith.
  3. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (legal verdict).
  4. The Spirit empowers those in Christ Jesus to live differently (transformation).
  5. All of this is pictured in the act of baptism.

Study Questions

  1. From Romans 8:1–2, what does it mean to be in Christ Jesus? What benefits are there for those who are found in him? Can you see more than one?
  2. Look at 1 Corinthians 1:30, Colossians 2:12, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 2:8, and Romans 6:17. What else do you learn about the phrase, “in Christ Jesus”?
  3. Read Romans 6:3–5. What role does baptism play in our being found in Christ Jesus?
Piper: “How are we found in Christ Jesus? It is a gift of God. He does it.”

‘The Greatest Chapter’ Series

This lab is part of a series through Romans 8. Taking a verse or two at a time, John Piper unfolds the other-worldly realities in these thirty-nine verses, all along pointing out general, practical principles for understanding and applying the Bible’s meaning. Visit ‘The Greatest Chapter’ series page to see all the labs in this series.