1. In Romans 6 the apostle Paul explained why a Christian wants not to sin, even though Christ has paid the full penalty for all sin.
a. In so doing, he refuted the argument for "easy believism."
b. KEY VERSE: How shall we who d __ __ __ to sin live any longer in it? (6:2)
2. Also in chapter 6 Paul began to explain how a believer can avoid sinning. To most of us, his explanation seemed to suggest that life under g __ __ __ __ is a lot like life under the law -- we acquire the h __ __ __ character God desires for us only by sheer effort of our w __ __ __!
a. "r __ __ __ __ __ yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive to God in Christ" (v.11)
b. "do not let sin r __ __ __ __ in your mortal body" (v.12)
c. "do not p __ __ __ __ __ __ your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but p __ __ __ __ __ __ yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God" (v.13)
All this counting, letting, offering and not offering sounds like a lot of work! So much for "easy believism!"
3. In chapter 7 Paul explained how we "d __ __ __" to the L __ __ as well as to sin (v.1-6). This is a vital element in our sanctification. Since we are sinful, the Law brought us d __ __ __ __, not l __ __ __ (v.7-13). For this reason, the believer has to die to the Law through Christ.
4. Having died to sin and having died to the Law's penalty of death, the Christian fervently desires to please God by keeping His Law, but we are unable to do so because our sin nature persists in sinful f __ __ __ __ (v.14-25). Paul's anguished cry over the bondage of his will ( a condition common to all believers ) brought chapter 7 to a conclusion dark with reality:
"So then, with the m __ __ __ I myself serve the law of G __ __, but with the f __ __ __ __ the law of s __ __."
5. Chapter 7 makes it clear that we cannot by w __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ obey or keep the Law we delight in. Yet chapter 7 also sets forth the first hint of the God's solution for our dilemma.
ROMANS 7:4-6 [ NKJV ]
Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another -- to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
a. Conspicuous by His absence (for the most part) in Paul's theological study of the great Christian doctrines has been the H __ __ __ S __ __ __ __ __. He has been mentioned only five times in the first seven chapters of the epistle but will be the very focus of chapter 8, appearing twenty-one times -- a record for any New Testament chapter.
b. "Unforeseen and from the outside, like a ray of hope extending backward from the future to the present, the Holy Spirit has broken into the dreary domain of sin, law, and death with freedom from oppression, strength for the struggle, and hope for the future." - James R. Edwards: Romans (Vol. 6, New International Biblical Commentary)
B. TEXT: Romans 8:1-13
1. In glorious contrast 7:15-25, Romans 8 begins with a thundering proclamation which is, in fact, the complete g __ __ __ __ __ in a nutshell:
Therefore, there is now n __ c __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ for those who are in Christ Jesus.
a. It should be noted that all the best original manuscripts do not include the last 13 words of v.1 as it is commonly rendered in most modern translations.
b. Be sure to note the "Therefore...." which opens the chapter. As is always the case, this conjunction connects two separate teachings. Here Paul's concern is probably that, in the dismal light of his reminding them of their continuing sinfulness, his readers also remember their position in Christ.
c. The key Greek word in the original rendering of this opening sentence is, surprisingly, also the smallest Greek word in the sentence: eis, translated as "in." It is distinctly different the other Greek word translated as "in" -- en. The Greek word eis literally means "into," in the sense of a person having been moved from one place to another, brought "into" new surroundings or "into" a different set of circumstances. The promise of "no condemnation" is not possible for those who "admire" Christ, or appreciate His teaching, or believe in the "historical" Jesus; it is held out only for those who are "into" Christ -- having been brought into v __ __ __ __ u __ __ __ __ with Christ, b __ __ __ __ __ __ __ into Him by the H __ __ __ S __ __ __ __ __ by the grace of God.