Summary: The Spirit in Romans 8
The Mind of the Spirit: Romans 8 - Feb. 22, 2009
Good morning. Turn with me to the book of Romans, chapter 8. We have been going through this book written by the Apostle Paul to Christians living in Rome, the capital city of the Roman Empire. He writes them to share the “good news” of salvation - explaining what our salvation means for us. In chapters 1-3 he writes about condemnation -- all men, -- out and out sinners, kind moral people who try to do good, and even religious Jews -- all men are condemned by God, because a holy, holy, holy God cannot allow sin in His presence. Our sin condemns us all.
Paul goes on in chapters 4 & 5 to talk about our justification -- the legal declaration that we are “not guilty” of our sin. Even though we are spiritually bankrupt on our own, God has “credited” to our account all the righteousness of Jesus Christ. In chapter 4 Paul shows us that this justification, this bringing us into right standing with God, does not come about by trying to keep the OT laws. The law could never make us right with God, it only ever condemned us. The law was given to us to show us our sinfulness.
And then in chapter 5, Paul goes on to talk about sanctification - the discussion of how we become “set apart” from sin and set apart unto God. We talked about how God develops godly character in our lives. God allows us to struggle in life, because the struggles make us stronger. When we suffer, it helps us to endure -- to keep on holding on and not give up. The perseverance builds character in our life, which inspires us to keep on believing in God: to have HOPE!
We looked in chapter 6 & 7, and talked about our sanctification.
• Justification has to do with our standing - that we have been declared “not guilty” of our sins: the righteousness of Christ has been credited to our account.
• Sanctification has to do with our conduct - do we “live out” the truth of who we are in Christ?
Many times we look to the LAW to give us victory in our Christian lives. In our lives, not necessarily the 10 commandments, but we look to a system of outward performance. We try to gain victory in our lives over sin by trying to DO all the right things. We think that if we can just try harder we will gain the victory. But the sad truth is that all you DO on your own strength will NEVER give you victory over sin.
The key to spiritual victory is NOT in outward performance, but a reliance upon the Holy Spirit. We said victory was as easy as ABC -
Acknowledge Christ’s Accomplishment - KNOWING the truth, that victory over sin’s control has been accomplished through Jesus Christ.
Believe what Christ has done for you -- Not only to we need to KNOW the truth in our heads, but we also need to believe it in our hearts. We act with our minds and accept the truth; we act with our hearts and believe the truth; and we act with our wills:
Commit ourselves to following God - We make the decision that we will choose to follow God rather than sin.
That brings us to chapter 8. For many, this is one of the greatest chapters of the Bible. There is so much truth here that we could spend the next couple months in this one chapter. But today, as we think about sanctification, the process of living a life set apart to following God, we want to talk about the part the Holy Spirit of God plays in that process. And as we come to this chapter, let’s pause to pray -- one of the most important things we can do today -- that God Himself would speak to us through His holy words. PRAY.
Read 8:1-16 -- Paul starts out in this chapter in verses 1-2 talking about our position - who we are in Christ. We are free from the law. The law cannot condemn us (verse 1) it cannot claim us (verse 2) and it cannot control us (verse 4). As we saw last week, a key verse in gaining spiritual victory in our lives is found in John 8 - You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (32) - and then down in verse 36 - So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. In Christ we are positionally free from the power of sin in our lives.
So practically, how do we gain the victory over sin? It is not by working harder to try on our own strength to do a better job of living a godly life. Rather, the victory comes as we rely upon the Holy Spirit to do in us that which we can never do on our own strength.