God Sent His Own Son

Romans 8:3

Principle for Bible Reading

Romans 8:3 holds some of the most precious truths of Christianity. Paul explains how God remove our guilt and end our condemnation. Pastor John slows down to dig into the nitty-gritty details of our good news.

View the outline.


Introduction/Prayer (00:00–00:45)

Observations (00:45–04:48)

  1. Incarnation — Jesus was sent to take on flesh (cf. Galatians 4:4; Philippians 2:4–7; Colossians 1:19; 2:9).
  2. In these verses, Jesus is God (God’s own Son) and he is without sin (in the “likeness” of sin). These two things qualify him to be condemned in our place.
  3. Substitution — Whose sin was condemned at the cross? Not Jesus’. It was our sin. Jesus died in our place.

What About the Law? (04:48–08:21)

It says God did what the law could not do. Why could the law not condemn sin?

  1. The law is very effective at condemning sin.
  2. The law always and only gets a verdict of guilty.
  3. But God can condemn sin in the Son. Only God can get a not guilty verdict.
  4. Jesus was not God’s plan B. The law was meant to lead to Christ.
  5. In love, God rescued us from God.

Study Questions

  1. From Romans 8:3, how did God remove our condemnation? How could that be enough to pay for all our sin?
  2. In Romans 8:3, what could the law not do? Why could it not do that? What does it mean that the law was “weakened by the flesh”?
  3. What is the significance of the word “likeness” in Romans 8:3? What is Paul trying to communicate about Jesus?
Piper: “At the cross, God rescues us from God.”

‘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.