Must we spend our whole lives frustrated by defeats to indwelling sin?
Theme: We are not destined for a life of struggle, but a life in the Spirit. Receive your position, believe in the power of the Spirit, and set your mind on the things of the Spirit.
- Romans 1:16–17 (ESV) — 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
- Romans 7:25 (ESV)—25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Spirit: He is referenced over and over again (20+) in Romans 8 (as opposed to “I” in Romans 7). He is the one whom Jesus uses to deliver us from the power of indwelling sin.
1 Receive Your Position: We are not condemned (8:1)
1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
The force of this is really strong — absolutely not one possibility of condemnation by God for everyone in Christ.
- No is placed first in the Greek sentence for emphasis.
- It means “none whatsoever.”
We might struggle, but God does not condemn us.
Condemnation: To have an unfavorable or adverse judgment made about you by God.
Believe it! Isaiah 54:17 (ESV)—17 no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment…
I have many reasons to be condemned, and Romans 1-3 listed many of them. But I am in Christ Jesus, and He was condemned for me (i.e. no double jeopardy).
Romans 8:34 (ESV)—34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
When does this absence of condemnation occur? Now.
- We understand this when it comes to the future — when we are practically with him.
- We understand this at conversion — when we have been washed and cleansed.
- We may not as easily understand this at present — when we still fail quite often.
2 Believe In The Spirit’s Power: We have a new law of the Spirit (8:2-4)
2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
In Christ we are set free from the old law by a new law, a new operating principle.
We have a new law of the Spirit, the law of the Spirit of life — We are set free by the Spirit. There is a life in the Spirit which allows us to live a life of freedom.
The cross set us free, but the Spirit continually applies the cross to our lives.
He is pulling you up! Working to perfect you!
The righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us: POWER to obey. This is part of his description of freedom!
- License: minimize the law’s demands.
- Legalist: end up in despair.
- God’s plan: living through his people, enabling them to live a righteous life!
Hebrews 8:10 (ESV) — 10 ...I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
3 Set Your Mind On The Spirit: We are called to set our minds on the Spirit (8:5-8)
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
5-6. Live according to the flesh / 8. Those who are in the flesh: Believers are not in the flesh (technically), but we can revert to fleshly ways.
7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
7-8. Flesh / Cannot / submit to God’s law / please God: The unregenerate cannot please God, but neither can any flesh operation! But people who are transferred into Christ, given the Spirit, can.
We can, and must, set our minds on the things of the Spirit. For this leads to life and peace (6) — subjective and objective peace.
Could it be that much of your frustration in life is an outflow of where you place your mind?
5-8. Set their minds (2x) / set the mind (2x) / the mind that is set:
“CAN” / “SET THE MIND” areas:
- Set their minds: Attitude, mindset, ponder, hold a view, thought.
- Loving / Respecting spouse (Ephesians 5)
- Honoring parents (Deuteronomy 5:16)
- Making disciples (Matthew 28:19)
4 Reminder: We are in the Spirit (8:9-11)
9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
9 You, however: He reminds us and further teaches us regarding this law of the Spirit (2-4).
- Note: to be in the flesh or in the Spirit in this paragraph is positional and total, not experiential and partial. In other words, Paul is describing unregenerate (in the flesh) and regenerate (the Spirit of God dwells in you).
We are in the Spirit.
- The Spirit of God dwells in you! (9)
- Christ is in you! (10)
- God will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you! (11)
Feed the Spirit!
- James 4:5 (NKJV) — 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?