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Summary: In this sermon we see that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because we have been delivered from the flesh.

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Scripture

The first verse of the greatest chapter in the Bible—Romans 8:1—says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Everything else that follows in the rest of Romans 8 tells us why there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

The first reason why there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus is because there is no condemnation from the law. That is what the Apostle Paul teaches in Romans 8:1-4.

The second reason why there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus is because we have been delivered from the flesh, or as some versions put it, we have been delivered from our sinful natures. That is what the Apostle Paul teaches in Romans 8:5-11.

Let us read Romans 8:5-11:

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. 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.

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. (Romans 8:5-11)

Introduction

In Romans 8:5-11 the Apostle Paul says that there are fundamental differences between those who are in Christ Jesus and those who are not in Christ Jesus, between those who are in the Spirit and those who are in the flesh, between those who are Christians and those who are not Christians.

The reason Paul tells us this is that if Christ has saved you, then he has necessarily changed you. In other words, if you have believed in Jesus Christ, you have not only been justified, but you are being sanctified as well.

Lesson

Today, I want you to see that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because we have been delivered from the flesh.

I propose to show you the difference by showing you:

1. The marks of a non-Christian (8:5-8), and

2. The marks of a Christian (8:9-11).

I. The Marks of a Non-Christian (8:5-8)

First, notice the marks of a non-Christian.

Now, before we examine the marks of a non-Christian, let me clarify what Paul means when he talks of “the flesh,” or, as some versions put it, “the sinful nature” (8:5).

John Stott puts it best when he says that “by flesh Paul means neither the soft muscular tissue which covers our bony skeleton, nor our bodily instincts and appetites, but rather the whole of our humanness viewed as corrupt and unredeemed, our fallen, ego-centric human nature, or more briefly, the sin-dominated self.”

Basically, when Paul refers to the flesh in this passage he is referring to a non-Christian.

So, what is that marks or characterizes a person who is not a Christian? Paul gives four marks of a non-Christian in this section.

First, a non-Christian is marked by his thinking. Paul says in verse 5a, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh.”

Non-Christians have their thoughts, interests, desires, and purposes focused on this life. They do not look at the things of this life from the standpoint of God’s glory or their neighbor’s good. They are self-centered, pursue their own agendas, and focus on things that ultimately will pass away.

In contrast, Paul says that Christians are “those who live according to the Spirit, and set their minds on the things of the Spirit” (8:5b).

One commentator said that one way to determine whether a person is a Christian or not is to examine what he sets his mind on when there are no distractions. When there is no TV, no work to be done, no responsibilities, and he is able to sit quietly by himself, what does his mind drift toward? Does it drift toward the things of the flesh or the things of the Spirit?

Second, a non-Christian is marked by his state. Paul says in verse 6a, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death.”

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