AUG 23 PART 8 ROMANS 8 Life in the Spirit Contrasted with Life in the Flesh.
OPEN: In chapters 6 and 7 Paul He showed us that the law could only show us our Transgressions but could do Nothing to Redeem Us…He emphasized that because we have a union with Jesus Christ based upon Faith in what Christ did on the Cross that we should therefore walk in the newness of life…So, We have a Daily Choice to Make, We have been Freed from the Penalty of Sin. We Are Forgiven! We have Also been Freed from the Authority and Power of Sin. BUT…What We Haven’t Fully Lost is Our Desire to Sin…Sin still Attracts Us!
ME: I believe that this is one of the hardest things for many Christians to Embrace… That is that there is a War going on in each one of us and the only way we can please God is to Simply, Humble Ourselves, Confess our Sins when we Fail and Thank GOD for His GRACE.
YOU: I want YOU to Live in Victory and therefore we are going to Tackle Romans Chapter 8 that says Therefore, There is NO CONDEMNATION for those in Christ.
GOD: Lets look at the first 4 Verses: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
No Condemnation…God the Father does Not Condemn Jesus, Neither can the Father Condemn Those Who are IN Jesus. They are Not condemned, they Will Not be Condemned, and they Cannot be Condemned.
“Therefore” is important. It means that what he says comes from a logical argument.
- It’s as if Paul begins, “I Can Prove What I Say Here.” This is what he proves: if we are one with Jesus and He is our head, We Can’t Be Condemned.
- You Cannot Acquit the Head and Condemn the Hand.
- You Cannot Drown the foot as long as the head is out of water.
- When we are Joined to Christ, We hear the Verdict: “No Condemnation”
KEY: The Verdict is Not “Less Condemnation.” This is where some believe they are…They think their standing has improved in Jesus. But, It has Not Just Improved, it’s been Completely Transformed…Changed to a Status of NO Condemnation.
Consider the flip side: If you are Not in Jesus Christ, there IS Condemnation for You. Spurgeon said, “If you are not in Christ Jesus, and are walking after the flesh, you have NOT Escaped Condemnation.”
Romans 8 Clears Up Any Confusion from the Conflict of Romans 7 about Grace and the Law…Romans 8 begins with No Condemnation; it ends with NO Separation, and in between there is NO Defeat…For All who are in Jesus Christ!
VS 2-4: Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
The law can do many things. It can guide us, teach us, and tell us about God’s character. But the law Cannot Give Energy to Our Flesh; it can give us the standard, but it Can’t give Us the Power to Please God.
Poole’s Commentary says, “The law is weak to us, because we are weak to it: the sun cannot give light to blind eye, not from any impotency in itself, but merely from the incapacity of the subject it shines upon.”
KEY: The law is weak because it speaks to our flesh. It comes to fleshly men and speaks to them as fleshly men. But the work of the Spirit transforms us by the crucifixion of the old man and it imparts the new man…a principle higher than the flesh.
Hooke “A vine does not produce grapes by Act of Parliament; they are the fruit of the vine’s own life; so the conduct which conforms to the standard of the Kingdom is not produced by any demand, not even God’s, but is the fruit of that divine nature which God gives as the result of what he has done in and by Christ.” ()
What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son: The law could not defeat sin; it could only detect sin. Only Jesus can Defeat Sin, and He did just that through His Work on the Cross.
We could not say that Jesus came in sinful flesh, because He was sinless. We could not say that Jesus came in the likeness of flesh, because He really was human, not just like a human. But we can say that Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh because although He was human, He was not sinful in Himself.
- He condemned sin in the flesh: Sin was condemnedin the flesh of Jesus as He bore the condemnation we deserved. Since we are in Christ, the condemnation we deserve passes us over.
That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us: Paul does not say that we fulfill the righteous requirement of the law. He carefully says that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us. It isn’t fulfilled by us, but in us.
- Simply put, Jesus is our substitute. Jesus was Treated as a Sinner so We can be Treated as Righteous.
In us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit: The people who enjoy this are those who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Their life is marked by obedience to the Holy Spirit, not by obedience to the flesh.
God wants the Spirit to rule over our flesh. When we allow the flesh to reign over the Spirit, we find ourselves bound by the sinful patterns and desperation that marked Paul’s life in his “Romans 7” struggle. Our walk – the pattern of our life – must be according to the Spirit, not according to the flesh.
- Walking in the Spiritmeans that the course, the direction, the progress of one’s life is directed by the Holy Spirit. It is continued and progressive motion.
Spurgeon Points out: “Observe carefully that the flesh is there: he does not walk after it, but it is there. It is there, striving and warring, vexing and grieving, and it will be there till he is taken up into heaven. It is there as an alien and detested force, and not there so as to have dominion over him. He does not walk after it, nor practically obey it. He does not accept it as his guide, nor allow it to drive him into rebellion.”
Another Point Paul Makes is in Verses 5-9: Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. He goes on to say…6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: The flesh battles against God because it does not want to be crucified and surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ. It does not want to live out Galatians 5:24: those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. In this battle to tame the flesh, the law is powerless.
Paul didn’t say that the carnal mind was at enmity with God – he put it even stronger than that. The carnal mind is enmity against God.
Spurgeon said, “It is not black, but blackness; it is not at enmity, but enmity itself; it is not corrupt, but corruption; it is not rebellious, it is rebellion; it is not wicked, it is wickedness itself. The heart, though it be deceitful, is positively deceit; it is evil in the concrete, sin in the essence, it is the distillation, the quintessence of all things that are vile; it is not envious against God, it is envy; it is not At enmity, it is Actual Enmity.”
We may hope to put God “in debt” to us by good works, thinking God owes us. But it doesn’t work. In the Flesh We Cannot Please God, even if the flesh does religious things that are admired by men.
- You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you: The Holy Spirit Lives in Every Believer every Christian and the Holy Spirit is more powerful than the flesh.
And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do Not belong to Christ.:
- This means every believer has the Holy Spirit. It is a misnomer to divide Christians among the “Spirit-filled” and the “Non-Spirit-filled.”
- If a person is Not filled with the Holy Spirit, they are not a Christian at all.
However, many do miss out on living the Christian life in the Constant Fullness of the Spirit because they are NOT constantly being filled with the Holy Spirit as Paul commanded in Ephesians 5:18. They have no experience of what Jesus spoke about when He described rivers of living water flowing from the believer (John 7:37-39).
And if the Spirit of Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin: Because Jesus lives in us, the old man (body) is dead, but the Spirit lives and reigns, and will live out His salvation even through our mortal bodies through resurrection. Not only are we in Christ (Vs 1), but He also is in You, and because God Cannot Abide in a Sinful Home, the Body (Old Man) Had to Die When Jesus Came In.
Paul goes on to say…12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—But it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
Paul constantly reminds us that living after the flesh ends in death. We need the reminder because we are often deceived into thinking that the flesh offers us life.
When we put to death the deeds of the body (flesh submits to the Spirit), we must do it by the Spirit. Otherwise we will become like the Pharisees and spiritually proud.
Paul tells us that not only are we saved by the work of the Spirit, but we also must walk by the Spirit if we want to grow and pursue holiness in the Lord.
- We cannot be like some among the Galatians who thought they could beginin the Spirit but then find spiritual perfection through the flesh (Galatians 3:3).
VS 14-15 Living in the Spirit means living as a child of God 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Paul didn’t say, “As many as go to church, these are the sons of God.” He didn’t say, “As many as read their Bibles, these are the sons of God.” He didn’t say, “As many as are patriotic Americans, these are the sons of God.” He didn’t say, “As many as take communion, these are the sons of God.” In this text, the test for sonship is whether or not a person is led by the Spirit of God.
Paul ends this portion with a Great Promise…Being Co-Heirs with Christ we Will in this Life need to endure Sufferings…Whether because we live in a Fallen World or Go Through Persecution as many in the World are going through because of the Cause of Christ…HOWEVER…As His Children…Those Faithful to Suffer with Christ will ALSO SHARE IN HIS GLORY…ETERNITY! Lets Look at VS 18-23
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.
19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.
- Paul says that creation is eagerly awaiting the revealing of the sons of God.
- This is because the creation was subjected to futilityon account of man’s sin and will benefit from the ultimate redemption of men.
- KEY: The Groaning Will Conclude with a SHOUT OF PRAISE When we See Christ Face to Face!!!
VS 24-27 Encourages Us to be Patient…Paul says in VS 24, For in this hope we were saved. But Hope that is Seen is No Hope at All Who hopes for what they already have?
For this reason VS 28… And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
- Claiming this Verse Yields Peace, Comfort and Victory
Paul Concludes Chapter 8 with Tremendous Encouragement…
VS 31-34: What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
Think About this Statement: If God is For Us, Who Can Be Against us?
- If all we had were the first few chapters of the Book of Romans, some might believe that God was against
- Now that Paul has shown the lengths that God went to save man from His wrath and equip him for victory over sin and death, who can doubt that God is for us?
Consider this…Most all men say or think that God is for them – terrorists commit horrible crimes thinking that God is for them.
- Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit guards this statement with an “if,” so we may know that just because a man thinksGod is with him does not make it so.
- God is only for usif we are reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ.
Who can be against us? Likewise, despite the suffering Christians face, if God is for them, what does it matter if others are against them? YOU Plus God Makes An Unconquerable Majority.
Paul Closes with VS 35-39: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
How Do YOU Respond to these Final Verses?
- How do you Deal with These Verses in lieu of Your Trials and Problems?
- Do You Understand that in this Fallen World…Until You See Christ Face to Face…You Will Have Problems?
- Do You Acknowledge that God Loves You More than You Can Know and That He Uses All Things that Come into Your Ife for Good?
No Truth will Transform Your life More than God’s Gracious Love for You in Christ
- To the Extent that You Understand it, Feel it, and Live Daily with a Deep Sense of its Reality…Only Then Will YOU Live in Victory Over Temptation and Sin and be able Joyfully to Persevere Through Trials.
Outside of Christ, I am only a sinner, but in Christ, I am Saved. Outside of Christ, I am empty; in Christ, I am Full. Outside of Christ, I am weak; in Christ, I am Strong. Outside of Christ, I cannot; in Christ, I am More Than Able. Outside of Christ, I have been defeated; in Christ, I am already Victorious. How meaningful are the words, “in Christ.” -Watchman Nee
POINT: I Can Be and Do All Things Through Christ, Who Strengthens Me!