Summary: Our victory over sin and death is won as we progressively surrender to the Holy Spirit.
LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
Text: Rom. 8.1-11
1. Illustration: In water-safety courses a cardinal rule is never to swim out to a drowning man and try to help him as long as he’s thrashing around. To do so is basically to commit suicide. As long as a drowning man thinks he can help himself, he’s dangerous to anyone who tries to help him. The reason why is because his tendency is to grab the one trying to help him and the result is, he ends up taking them both under the water in the process. The correct way to rescue someone who’s drowning is to stay far enough away to where he can’t grab you. And then you wait. And when he finally gives up and quits thrashing around, you make your move. At that point the drowning man won’t work against you. Instead he’ll let you help him. The same principle applies in our relationship with the Holy Spirit. Until we give up, we aren’t really in a position to be helped. Have you given up ownership of your life to the Holy Spirit who wants to live within you? Because until then you can’t experience His power.
2. Over the past several chapters Paul has talked about how the law cannot save and how sin and death used the law against us.
3. In the last chapter he talked about the struggle we all have with sin, but that we have victory in Jesus!
4. In our text today, he elaborates on that victory and the role that all the members of the Trinity play in it. He talks about…
a. Condemnation Elimination
b. Benefits of Life in the Spirit
c. Resurrection Emancipation
5. Would you stand with me out of respect for the Word of God as we read Rom. 8.1-11.
Proposition: Our victory over sin and death is won as we progressively surrender to the Holy Spirit.
Transition: First, Paul tells us about…
I. Condemnation Elimination (1-4).
A. No Condemnation
1. Paul begins by returning to the condemnation that receive because of sin, by saying, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
a. When he talks about "now" he is referring to the change in eras, from the era of the old covenant to the era of the new covenant in Jesus.
b. This means that the era of the old way in no longer a reality.
c. The term condemnation means…
d. Condemnation: to judge someone as definitely guilty and thus subject to punishment (Louw and Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Symantic Domains, 556).
e. So, this means that the condemnation because of sin has been taken away from those who are in Christ Jesus, and have been united with him in his death and resurrection.
f. For those who are in a relationship with Christ his atoning sacrifice has led to God's judicial forgiveness.
g. So, the legal condemnation of the sinner has been removed by God because of the justification (Just as if I never sinned) of the sinner by Christ.
2. The reason for this is the liberation from sin and death that Christ has achieved, and the Spirit has produced. This is what Paul tells us in v. 2, where he says, "For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death."
a. Through his sacrificial death the condemnation of the follower of Christ has been taken away.
b. The contrast between the law of the Spirit of life and the law of sin and death.
c. Here Paul is introducing the hero of this chapter, the Holy Spirit.
d. In the Holy Spirit we not only have a new way but also a new value in the law.
e. Sin and death have used the law to produce evil, but the Spirit uses the law to produce life.
f. Believers are not free from the law but free from the way it is used by sin and death.
g. We need to remember that Jesus did not come to do away with the law, but to fulfill it.
h. Matthew 5:17(ESV)
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
i. The power of sin and death are broken by the Holy Spirit.
j. The Spirit of life refers to the Spirit who gives life, showing the liberation from condemnation is a liberation to true life now and in the future.
k. Again, this is all made possible by Jesus. We receive this freedom when we are "in Christ."
l. Paul then makes the message more personal when he changes to the second person "you." He wants us to be sure that "you" receive the truth of being set free from sin and death.