Summary: Romans eight is the most systmatic explanation of the Gospel in the Bible.
Romans 8:1-8/Week 1
Open your Bible to Romans chapter eight. This is a simply stunning chapter in an amazing book. A year ago we worked through the first five chapters of Romans. This book is the most systematic explanation of the Gospel in the Bible.
If Romans is a spectacular mountain range of truth, then chapter eight is its highest peak. The theme is assurance. In Romans eight God pours out blessings and privileges for every believer in Jesus Christ. This is the inspirational highlight of Romans. The human writer, the Apostle Paul, seems to have been caught up in a profound experience of worship as he concludes the chapter with praise for the unfathomable love of God from which we can never be separated.
The chapter is about our identity in Christ and the power of the Spirit, freedom-giving truths that give us a supernatural life. I was surprised to learn that there are no imperatives, no commands in the chapter. Rather God is giving us truth about what he has done for us which certainly has implications for how we live. In these next five weeks I want you to know that victory and freedom are yours in the supernatural power of the Spirit. Romans is the book God used to convert Saint Augustine in the 400s and Martin Luther in the 1500s, sparking the Reformation. I wonder how God wants to use this book in our lives. In Romans chapter 8 Paul takes us to the ultimate climax of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We will learn how to live today in the Spirit’s power, assured that the glory to come far outshines the sufferings of this time. For five weeks we will dive deeply into the rich truth of how God works everything for good, how the Spirit gives us life and how nothing can separate us from Christ’s love. We are more than conquerors. Here’s 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 looking into the first eight verses where we learn about supernatural freedom. You can experience supernatural freedom by grasping two important truths: you are free from condemnation, in Christ, and you are free to live in the Spirit. You can begin to live a supernatural life when you know the freedom that is yours in the Spirit, through the Son.
The translation we will be using for this series is the New International Version, the NIV, updated for 2010. This version has just come out online and for e-readers. It will be in print in a couple of months. From what I’ve read so far, I’m impressed with this translation. I encourage you to check out NIV 2010.
As we prepare to read the biblical text, note that the first eight verses fall into two sections: verses one to four and verses five to eight, which is how we have organized your sermon outline. Let’s stand for the reading of God’s word:
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
The Supernatural Study Guide helpfully points out that connecting words are important. In your Bible study, notice words such as the first one in Romans eight. To what is “therefore” referring? Paul is drawing a conclusion from all that he has said so far in the book. This is the grand climax of his teaching on the Gospel. If you want a great worship experience read straight through the first eight chapters of Romans, about eight pages in my Bible. You will see how chapter eight is the dramatic climax of all God has done for us in Christ. The word “now” signifies that a new age has dawned on planet earth. Jesus rose from the dead and that has changed everything. Therefore, we are now free from condemnation in Christ!