Summary: This sermon will reveal to us what the law could not do and what Jesus has done to fulfill the law.
LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
My brothers and sisters, as long as many of us have been associated with the church, I’m inclined to believe that many of us know a lot about it. We know at the nine o’clock hour. There is Sunday School. At ten forty-five praise and devotions starts and at the eleven o’clock hour Sunday morning worship begins. On Tuesday we have prayer and praise at six and Bible study at seven. We are familiar with the schedule for each choir rehearsal and when discipleship classes are in session. We even know other things like, who sits where, what choir is going to sing on which Sunday, and we just about know who will be in attendance and who will not. I tell you that we know many things about church. But when it comes to knowing whom really makes the churches go, many can only take a guess. We feel that if certain people sings, certain people pray, certain people preach and certain musicians play, then we can have a great time in church. But, what we should really know is that it is not the people who sings, pray, preach or play, that make the difference in the worship experience, it is the Holy Spirit that can enlighten and deliver us while we lift up our hearts in worship.
I found an interesting story in a book of Bible Illustrations, which brought to life a truth that we the church should follow. It said, An old man once said, that it took him forty years to learn three simple things. The first was that he could not do anything to save himself; the second was that God did not expect him to; and the third was, that Jesus Christ had done it all for us. When it comes to a Spirit filled life and the grace of God, you should always keep this little saying in your hearts and minds:
God never said you could.
Jesus did it all; because the Father said He would!
As we looked last week at the first verse of this amazing eighth chapter of Romans. I neglected to share with you what happened at the end of the seventh chapter concerning Paul’s war in the flesh. Verse fifteen of chapter seven starts off by Paul speaking of his struggles with sin. In fact he said, he didn’t really understand himself, for he wanted to do what was right, but he wouldn’t do it. Instead, he would do what was wrong. Then he said in verses sixteen and seventeen and if you would allow me to paraphrase, he said, if he knew that he was doing wrong, then the law was good or effective. He also wanted us to know that he was not the one doing wrong; it was the sin that was living in him. Paul then went on to say how there is nothing good in his flesh, and that he would do good but he does not, because of evil. In other word he was letting us know that when he desired to do good, evil was present with him. But he ended the chapter by thanking God because the answer for his sin problem was in Christ Jesus, our Lord. And in his mind he really wanted to obey God’s law, but because of his sinful nature, he was a slave to sin. This champion knew this about himself and he is actually letting us know about his dependency on the Holy Spirit. That is why he could start off the eighth chapter with, there is, therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus. Paul figured out that the salvation that he had was not because of himself, but because of the Son dying and the Holy Spirit keeping him. So as we look at this text for the week, I pray that we will get the understanding just like Paul, that without the Holy Spirit controlling our flesh, we will find nothing good in it.
First of all, if we are to have a life in the Spirit . . .
1. THERE SHOULD BE EVIDENCE THAT THE SPIRIT HAS SET US FREE (v.2)
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
One of many negative things that is said about the Church is, that its actions are everything but Christian. Now I would be the first to tell you that many of these indictments are not true, especially when the church refuses to be used by the ungodly. But on the other side of that coin, we find some truth in their indictments. It has been my experience and many of yours too that some of the meanest people are found in the church, and some of them have a tongue, an unclean tongue that they will display from time to time.