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Summary: If we are in Christ, we ARE in the Spirit. If we are not in Christ, we are in the flesh. So if we are in Christ, let’s become who we are, spiritual men and women and young people. And if we are not in Christ, let’s change that.

In the Spirit and Goin’ to Town

(Romans 8:5-17)

1. Back when my dad was in high school, in the early 40’s, the guys would typically wear suits to school.

2. My dad had it made: his dad was a tailor, and he had two older brothers (hand me downs AND new suits).

3. Back then, people would dress up whenever they would "go to town." A movie, a play, a meal out, even a trip to the department stores.

4. When people were in public, they were concerned about making a good impression.

5. Earlier than that, men would wear fine straw hats and suits --not just jackets, but matching suits -- to go to baseball games!

6. The expression, "Goin to town" meant putting your best foot forward.

7. In the Spiritual Realm, Christians above all people are postured to "Go to Town’ for God. We can shine in this world IF we are our TRUE selves.

Main Idea: If we are in Christ, we ARE in the Spirit. If we are not in Christ, we are in the flesh. So if we are in Christ, let’s become who we are, spiritual men and women and young people. And if we are not in Christ, let’s change that.

I. If We Are In Christ, We Are In the ___Spirit___(5-8)

A. The Contrast Between The Regenerate and the Lost

1. Lost people are predisposed __against__God. (5-8)

Described as:

„h According to the sinful nature (5)

„h Heading toward death (6)

„h Hostile toward God (7a)

„h Not submissive toward God (7b)

„h Cannot please God (8)

„h Remember, the crab apple tree is a crab apple tree, and pasting peaches on it will not change its nature; Paul here is talking about INEVITABLE fruit!

. We need to understand that the Bible paints a different picture than the American mind does: not neutral toward God, not objective

Understand this: "the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so." Lost people (even you yourself before you came to know Christ) are HOSTILE inwardly toward God

2. Believers are predisposed toward ____God_ (5-6)

„h Mind set on the things of the Spirit (5)

„h Life and peace (6) the result

3. Our status, "in the Spirit" is legally true, but our personal __spiritual__maturity determines the degree this is true

I Corinthians 3:1-3, "Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly--mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?"

B. The Reason True Christians Are Different from Others: The __Indwelling___ Holy Spirit (9-11)

1. All believers are, to some degree, controlled by the Spirit (9)

„h If the Spirit lives in you (9a)

„h If not, then you are not in Christ (9b)

2. This does NOT mean your body is immortal as it now is (10)

„h Regeneration redeems the SOUL/SPIRIT right NOW

„h But the Body is still under the curse, and, since the sinful nature is connected with our bodies, this is why we still struggle with sin

„h We are WAITING for the redemption of our bodies--see 8:23

If we are in Christ, we ARE in the Spirit. If we are not in Christ, we are in the flesh. So if we are in Christ, let’s become who we are, spiritual men and women and young people. And if we are not in Christ, let’s change that.

II. Let Us Therefore Become Who We __Are___(12-17)

A. It is our logical ____obligation____(12-14)

1. To the Spirit (12)

2. Because assurance comes from our walk (13)

2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall...

„h Our walk reveals the genuineness (or insincerity) of our conversion

„h On the one hand, many believers go too tough on themselves while many professing believers go too lightly!

3. Because only those led by the Spirit are sons of God (14)

Romans 8:14: "because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."

Greek: uios,not teknon

„h It means that we are in some way LIKE God (partakers of the Divine Nature)

„h It means God has a special love for us like a father to a son

„h It means that we have a special status (heirs)

B. It is our _____family_____ responsibility (15-16)

1. We are not slaves to fear, as though God will disown us

2. We are sons (legal and privileged and of age) through ADOPTION

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