Summary: Today we are diving into verses nine to seventeen, a section in which we will discover huge themes: life, adoption, and inheritance – amazing realities.
Last week we experienced a great moving of God’s Spirit in the services. Several have told me in tears how they felt set free in a supernatural way that they cannot explain. Many were baptized. Dads baptized sons in emotionally moving moments that brought us to tears. I’ll not forget Pastor Jaime Gonzalez, with his voice cracking, saying, “This is my son.” At least two people trusted in Christ for the first time last week; one was baptized that very day. Two people were watching on-line, drove to the church and were baptized. God is alive and working in supernatural ways.
We are in the second week of our new series: Supernatural, a study of Romans chapter eight. At Christ Fellowship, a series such as this involves more than services. We follow a simple discipleship pattern that grows us to be better followers of Jesus. In the last three weeks I’ve introduced you to the Big X, four simple practices of Christ followers that you can sketch on a napkin. This weekly discipleship rhythm will cause you to grow spiritually. Each week study the Word as you engage God on the biblical text we will teach that week; then come to worship gatherings where you hear the Word in a sermon; then connect in a group where you discuss that same biblical text; and finally go live the Word to impact others. It’s a very simple, powerful, weekly discipleship rhythm that will change your life: study the Word, hear the Word, discuss the Word and live the Word.
Open your Bible to Romans chapter eight. This is a simply stunning chapter in an amazing book. This is the inspirational highlight of Romans. In these next few weeks, I want you to know the big point of the chapter: You can live a supernatural life by the Spirit because of God’s amazing gifts in Christ. This series could be a pivotal moment in your life and in the life of our church. Let’s pause to pray for God’s Spirit to transform us by His powerful Word.
Today we are diving into verses nine to seventeen, a section in which we will discover huge themes: life, adoption, and inheritance – amazing realities. I ask you to stand for the reading of God’s Word. I am reading from the NIV (1020) translation:
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation — but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
In our first verse we again encounter the word “flesh” that we discussed last week. Consult your Study Guide for a good explanation of that word, which your translation may render “sinful nature.” Flesh is not our body or a part of who we are. Rather flesh describes humans in their sinful worldliness apart from Christ. A person is either in the realm of the flesh or in the realm of the Spirit. Every Christian is in the Spirit. No Christian is in the flesh, even though we can act in fleshly ways. This is wonderful truth that gives believers great assurance.
If you are in Christ, then the Spirit of life is in you
This is statement of fact. The “if” is not conditional and could be expressed in English with “since.” We use similar language when we say to our spouse, “If you went to the store, you should have picked up milk.” There is no doubt about whether you went to the store. So this “if” is not a condition, but a statement of fact. If you are in Christ, then you have the Spirit living in you. Conversely, if you do not have the Spirit, then you do not belong to Christ.