Over the past few weeks we have been studying in Romans 5-8 with a focus on grace. Because of Grace…
*We can have full assurance of our salvation.
*We can be alive to God and dead to sin.
*We no longer live under the dominion of sin.
*We have been rescued from the war with sin in our lives.
Romans 8 is a high point not only of the book of Romans but of the Bible.
John Stott wrote, “Romans 8 is without a doubt one of the best-known, best-loved chapters of the Bible.” Clifton J. Allen wrote “Romans 8 is one of the most majestic and inspiring of all the peaks of divine revelation.”
As a result of the work of Grace in our lives, we no longer live under condemnation. We have experienced the Grace Escape, and that is the best news for sinners like us. Romans 8 begins with an unbelievable promise! Because of grace we no longer live under condemnation. Within the good news of the first part of this chapter we have…
1. God’s Unbelievable Promise (Romans 8:1-4)
Romans 8:1-4 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…
How believable is it that we live with no condemnation? Our conscience condemns us. The judgment of other believers condemns us. The judgment of the world condemns us.
The promise of God here is freedom from bondage of sin. Free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. ).
Free from the sin of the flesh because of Jesus (Romans 8:3For 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,
Free to live according to the Spirit (Romans 8:4 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.).
“In spite of the fact that the Christian is in a continuing struggle with the law of sin and in his members, there is no verdict of condemnation against him. There is no charge, no indictment, no judgment, no penalty – because he is ‘in Christ Jesus.'” (Allen)
“It is difficult to believe this good news, but it is not impossible to believe it. To believe it is to reorient one’s life toward a power greater than oneself.” (Greenhaw)
The Grace Escape from condemnation is not in our own power or goodness or strength, but in reliance on the power of Jesus Christ. The Grace of God changes the bad news of damnation into ‘no condemnation’ for those who follow Christ.
AMP: No guilty verdict, no punishment.
This is why the Gospel is “Good News”.
2. God’s Unbeatable Force: The Holy Spirit (Romans 8:5-9)
When we follow the path of the Spirit we have an unquestionable victory. The operative word in this section is “Spirit”. It appears eleven times.
“It is what Jesus’ followers receive when they are baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrected through the waters of baptism. The Spirit dwells in those baptized in Jesus’ name and keeps their minds on the things of God and life, rather than the ways of death.” (Pogue)
“When people come to faith in Christ, they are immediately indwell by the Holy spirit. …This is the basis of the believer’s assurance.” (Osborne)
The Spirit-Led Life:
Set Your Mind on Spiritual Things.
Roman 8:5 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.
“…Concentrate their attention on, and specialize in, whatever is dear to the Spirit.” (Hendriksen via Osborne)
Stott: It is a question of what preoccupies us, the ambitions which drive us, the concerns which engross us, how we spend our time and energies, what we concentrate on and give ourselves up to.
Find Life and Peace when Governed by the Spirit
Romans 8:6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
Peace with God, neighbors, within.
AMP: the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever.
CEB: the attitude that comes from the Spirit leads to life and peace.
Enabled to Submit to God
Romans 8:7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
Are you hostile or submissive to God? Hostility: “…a fierce, active enmity toward all that God is and stands for. The entire mindset is directed against the things of God…” (Osborne)
Do we reject God’s will or embrace it?
Enabled to please God
Romans 8:8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
Outside of Christ we cannot please God. After all that God has done for us through His grace, are we centered on pleasing him?
You are able because Spirit enables you
Romans 8:9 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.
“…Victory is only assured when the Spirit of Christ is in us and we yield to his presence.” (Osborne)
God has given an unbelievable promise: No Condemnation.
God Empowered us w/ an unbeatable force: The Holy Spirit
This addresses our ultimate question: our eternity. We recognize our bodies are wearing down. Because of Christ we have the promise of life after this life ends.
Romans 8:10-11 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] 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[e] his Spirit who lives in you.
“Because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
There is “no condemnation” – not because we are perfect, or that we never struggle with sin –but because we live the Spirit-Led life: controlled by God’s spirit.
Clifton J. Allen in Moser, The Gist of Romans
Blair Alison Pogue, Feasting on the Word, Year A, Vol. 3, p 235.
David Greenhaw, Feasting on the Word, Year A, Vol. 3, p 232.
Grant Osborne, Romans: The IVP New Testament Commentary Series, p. 192-202.
John Stott, Romans: God’s Good News for the World, p. 227.
Ask any alcoholic about the power of death, and if he or she can speak truth, the words will be about the living death they know. Ask any parent of a child who is dying from a devastating disease, and you will hear of the power of death to break a heart even before the child’s body gives up. However, events per is not enough when compared to the power of ‘the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead’. – David Greenhaw, Feasting on the Word, Year A, Vol. 3, p 232.
We are powerless over sin, which will inevitably lead us to death; but in the Spirit we have the possibility of life. Sin is still a daily possibility; God has not eliminated it from this world once and for all – not yet. However, a life of righteousness is also a possibility now, because of the Spirit’s power. As long as our minds are “on the flesh,” sin will drive us; but if our minds are set on the Spirit – our will and our lives are in God – then life is not only possibility, but a promise. – Karen Chakoian, Feasting on the Word, Year A, Vol. 3, p 235.
“…Resurrection includes transformation, the raising and changing of our body into a new and glorious vehicle of our personality, and its liberation from all frailty, disease, pain, decay and death.” – Grant Osborne