Paul writing to the Romans in this letter makes one of the boldest, greatest statements ever made about the Gospel of Christ when he says in Rom. 1:16,17 “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, but the righteous man shall live by faith.” The latter an obvious quote taken from Habakkuk 2:4
Paul is boasting if you would, in the Gospel. A message that boldly declares that Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cross of Calvary, buried and raised from the dead, and thereby has delivered man from sin and death and gives newness of life.
When it came to crucifixions, no one was more practiced or more of an expert than the Romans. No, they didn’t invent it but they did continue to develop it and perfect it until it became the most horrible, excruciating and shameful form of death. Yet writing to this very mindset Paul boldly states He is not ashamed of the Gospel.
Why, because Paul not only understood the doctrinal and theological significance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He had come to realize it in his own life.
Paul speaks with boldness and authority as he declares the Gospel to be “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”
Paul declares in writing to the Corinthians “…we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are called both Jew and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1Cor.1:23,24)
It is this personal realization of the Gospel in his life that enabled Paul to declare “I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.” (2 Tim. 1:12)
It is my desire today that as we examine our text that each of us may more fully “realize” the Power of the Gospel in our own lives.
Turn with me and read from our text in Rom. 8:12-17
12. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh 13.for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die ; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God these are sons of God. 15. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba ! Father!" 16. The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17. and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
As we look at this text this morning I would like for us to take note of three things. The Spiritual Implications and the Practical Implications of our Salvation, as well as the Benefits Received.
The Spiritual Implications #1
Vs. 12 implies…. A Prior Obligation
· It implies we were obliged to live according to the desires of our flesh and the will of Satan
· That we were spiritually enslaved without freedom to choose
· Infact this is what the scripture does teach
o Rom 6:6 “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin”
o Eph 2:1-3 “ And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2. in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
§ Dead in sin
§ Walked according to the world
§ Walked according to the prince of the power of the air (Satan)
§ Walked according to the lust of the flesh
§ Were by nature “children of wrath”
The Practical Application #1
We were slaves to sin, self and Satan
· We sinned and could not help our selves
· We were sinful and rebellious by nature
· We were “totally depraved” – not that we were as sinful as we could be, rather every area of our lives has been impacted by the nature of sin, selfishness, and satan
o This means when we would try to control our lives and our actions we could never really do so. For we were the slaves to the will of another
o We were hopelessly lost in sin
· We could never free ourselves for our very nature was that of a sinner
o The Tale of the Scorpion and the Fox (an old Native American parable)
o A scorpion was walking along the bank of a river, wondering how to get to the other side. Sunddenly, he saw a fox. He asked the fox to take him on his back across the river. The fox said, “No. If I do that you will sting me and I’ll drown.” The scorpion assured him “If I do that we will both drown!” The fox thought about it and finally agreed. So the scorpion climbed up on his back and the fox began to swim. But halfway acrros the river, the scorpion stung him. The poison began to fill the veins of the fox. The fox turned to him and said, “Why did you do that? Now you will drown too!” To which the scorpion replied, “I couldn’t help it, it’s my nature”
Spiritual Implication #2
There is Freedom In Christ
Christ by his sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary and his resurrection has not only paid the penalty of our sin that we might be forgiven but he has also broken the power of sin over our lives.
This is what the Gospel teaches us that “If the Son therefore make you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36
· The teaching of the Epistles confirm it. Galations 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free ; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
· Illustrate with story of daily beaten in prison/ pardon written and received/ sat fearful in his cell even though the door was left wide open and told he was free to go.
Practical Application #2
We are now Free to choose
Spiritual Implication #3
Victory is through the power of the Holy Spirit
“Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit saith the Lord” Zech 4:6
“Walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the Flesh” Gal 5:16
Eph 3:16 “that he would grant you , according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man.
Practical Application #3
It’s not about trying harder but yielding more
1Cor. 10:13 Not temptation has overtaken you but such is common to man; and God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide a way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
1. Fear and Condemnation are gone
a. There is therefore now , no Condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus
2. We received the spirit of Adoption
a. We are no longer separated from God
b. We have been legally brought into the family of God and the relationship restored
c. Spirit of adoption – not just a legal truth but a personal reality that we experience
3. We have a Father/child relationship with God
a. He is the heavenly Father to us
b. The Chorus – “He Knows My Name”
4. We are now joint heirs with Christ
a. All that belongs to Christ received of the Father is also ours
b. We have an inheritance in Christ
i. It is incorruptible
ii. It is imperishable
iii. It is eternal
c. We shall share in His Glory
Oh that we may come to know the fullness of the power of the Gospel in our lives. The full effect of the work of the Cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, not just in doctrinal understanding but in our daily Christian walk.
Fo then we too will declare with great boldness with the Apostle Paul…
“I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God for salvation…”