6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Today’s text reveals that there are only two ways to live life. Paul draws several contrasts between existence ruled by the flesh and the new life of the Spirit.

God’s Spirit~ Alive and Well! Romans 8:1-11NASB

The late baseball legend Gil Hodges told this story. Once, when he was managing the Washington Senators, he discovered four of his players had broken curfew the previous night. Immediately, he called a team meeting and said, "I know who you are but I do not wish to embarrass you. You know the rules; you will each be fined $100. I have placed a cigar box on my desk. I expect the four of you who broke curfew to put your money in the box by 3:00 p.m." At the end of the day, Hodges found $700 in his cigar box!

What Gil Hodges discovered is that a lot more people are struggling with guilt than he imagined. Guilt plagues everyone to some degree.

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But 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.

Today’s text reveals that there are only two ways to live life. Paul draws several contrasts between existence ruled by the flesh and the new life of the Spirit. To walk in the Spirit is to be "in step" with the Spirit. Life in the Spirit means to follow His lead and remain in His control. It is life governed by the Spirit of God. This life is distinguished by the mind being set or focused on serving Christ.

This individual’s desires are not selfishly controlled, but are controlled by the will of Christ who lives in Him.

If a person is not in step with the Spirit of God he or she will be controlled by the flesh. These people live an existence which is dominated by sinful human nature whose focus and center of attention is self, whose life is lived to satisfy selfish desires.

These two mind sets are intent on diametrically opposite directions.

Let’s break these verses down. Verse 1 declares, there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

A little boy and his father visited the country store. Upon leaving the store the owner of the store offered the little boy some free candy. "Get a handful of candy", the merchant said to the boy. The boy just stood there looking up at his father. The owner repeated himself, "Son, get a handful of candy; it’s free." Again the boy did not move, continuing to look up in the face of his father. Finally, the father reached into the candy jar and got a handful of candy and gave it to his son. As they walked back home, the father stopped and asked his son why he did not grab a handful of the free candy. The boy, with a big smile on his face, looked into the face of his father and said, "Because I know that your hand is bigger than mine."

Do you ‘know’ God’s hand is Mighty, and He saves to the uttermost?

The subject of Romans 5:12-21 is condemnation, for all who are in Adam; the theme of Romans 8 is no condemnation for all who are in Christ!

So the simple question should be asked~ “Are you in Adam, or in Christ?”

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