The Spirit of Life
INTRODUCTION: A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON THE BOOK OF ROMANS... Romans is a book with a wonderful display of God's grace and the righteousness that comes by grace through faith. Grace: something we receive from God, but we do not deserve it.Romans teaches us that we all have that universal problem called sin, and we all have to face its consequence, the wrath of God. There is real guilt on every person because of sin, and there is real condemnation over every person because Almighty God, Judge and Maker of the universe is just and holy. The book of Romans overviews the need for, method of, and results of salvation. Romans is also a book about righteousness. It tells us God is righteous, God demands righteousness, and that God also provides that righteousness. The first seven chapters of the Book of Romans have focused on the power of sin in our lives, and they have set the stage for chapter 8 by discussing Paul’s ideas about sin.Paul contrasts life in the flesh with life in the Spirit, and focuses on setting our minds on the things of the Spirit. Paul works with the idea that God’s Spirit raised Jesus’ dead body and that same Spirit lives in each and every one of us. The Holy Spirit gives life to our bodies and personalities. We are like God because we are made out of the same stuff and substance as God. God’s Spirit sets off our spirits inside of us. In the last few verses, Paul made reference to the hope of liberation made possible by God through Jesus Christ.
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
In chapter 8, Paul amplifies on the freedom from sin found in Christ. Chapter eight shows just how this victory is experienced even though the basic struggle between flesh and spirit goes on, we can have victory in Christ. Chapter 8 of the book of Romans begins with "no condemnation" and ends with "no separation."
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.***THRU CHRIST WE ARE DEAD TO SIN, THEREFORE LAW DOES NOT APPLY TO US...1. WE DO NOT STAND BEFORE GOD CONDEMNED! .
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Very simply stated, the person who is in Christ is safe and secure from condemnation now and forever. He will not be judged as a sinner; he will not face condemnation. He is beyond condemnation; he shall never be condemned for sin; he shall never be separated from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord ). In the simplest of terms, to be in Christ means that a person's faith in Christ places him in Christ. Positionally, the person is placed in all that Christ is. Christ lived and died and arose, so to be in Christ means that a person lives, dies, and arises in Christ. Baptism is a symbol of our death, burial and resurrection in Christ. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Being in Christ, we walk according to the Spirit, not according to the flesh ... I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Walking by the Spirit is what we do when the desires produced by the Spirit are stronger than the desires produced by the flesh. This means that "walking by the Spirit" is not something we do in order to get the Spirit's help, but rather, just as the phrase implies, it is something we do by the enablement of the Spirit.Walking according to the flesh, we seek to fulfill the desires of the flesh, that of our pride and will. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.The Spirit and flesh are opposing lifestyles, like oil and water, they do not mix. The verse does not say “no mistakes” or “no failures,” or even “no sins.” Christians do fail and make mistakes, and they do sin. Abraham lied about his wife; David committed adultery; Peter tried to kill a man with his sword. To be sure, they suffered consequences because of their sins, but they did not suffer condemnation.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
The Spirit gives life. What is meant by this law?the law of the Spirit of life." Very simply, life is in Jesus Christ and in Him alone. Whatever life is—energy, being, spirit, love, joy, peace—it is all in Jesus Christ and nowhere else. Within Christ, within His very being is the Spirit of life, the very energy and being of life. The Spirit of life for which we long and ache is available in Christ Jesus. "In him was life; and the life was the light of men" (). "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (). "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" ().We are condemned by the law, in that it shows us our sins. The Law no longer has any jurisdiction over you: you are dead to the Law () 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to Godand free from the Law ().The Law could not make us Holy, nor produce a life of holiness, because of the weakness and unreliability of the flesh. The Law did and still does tell us that we are not doing right, or that we sin. It gives us the knowledge of sin. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.Sometimes we do not want to hear it, but the Law lets us know what is against God. The things that do not bring glory to God.The Law condemns, but it can do nothing about sin itself. The law could not take sin away from us, it could not put sin to death in a persons life. Being In Christ The Law cannot condemn you (v. 3). Why? Because Christ has already suffered that condemnation for you on the cross. The Law could not save; it can only condemn. But God sent His Son to save us and do what the Law could not do. Jesus did not come as an angel; He came as a man. He did not come “in sinful flesh,” for that would have made Him a sinner. He came in the likeness of sinful flesh, as a man. He bore our sins in His body on the cross. The believer lives a righteous life, not in the power of the Law, but in the power of the Holy Spirit. But the indwelling Holy Spirit enables you to walk in obedience to God’s will. The righteousness that God demands in His Law is fulfilled in you through the Spirit’s power.
11. THE MIND SET OF THE FLESH IS DEATH...V5-8
6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
This is one of the most important passages in all of Scripture, for it discusses the human mind: "As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he" (). Where a man keeps his mind and what he thinks about determine who he is and what he does. If a man keeps his mind and thoughts in the gutter, he becomes part of the filth in the gutter. If he keeps his mind upon the good, he becomes good.Do we have the fleshly[carnal] mindset, or the Spiritual mindset? The carnal mind is the mind of man's flesh or body, an unsaved person. The phrase "to be carnally minded", ) means the mind of the flesh. It is the mind with which man is born, the fleshly mind which he inherits from his parents. The carnal mind also means something else, something that must be heeded. It means the mind that is given over to the flesh; that focuses upon the flesh and its worldly urges and desires; that gives its attention and pursuits over to the flesh; that savors tasting and partaking of the flesh; that is controlled by one's sinful nature. The fate of the carnal mind is death. By death is meant spiritual death, being separated and cut off from God eternally. It means the soul is dead now, while the man lives on this earth; and it means that the soul remains dead (separated and cut off from God) even when the man enters the next world. A carnal mind does not necessarily mean that a man's thoughts are upon the base, immoral, and vicious. A carnal mind means any mind that does not find its basis in God, any mind that is not focused upon God first. A carnal mind may focus upon a moral, upright, and cultured life and still ignore, neglect, and exempt God. A carnal mind may also focus upon religion and still exempt God. A carnal mind is a mind that finds its basis in this world, that focuses its thoughts upon the physical and material instead of God. A carnal mind is an enemy of God. Unsaved People Can Not Please God. Sometimes saved people do not please God, but it is their choosing.
Paul speaks directly to the Christians to whom he is writing. He assures them that if they are saved[the Holy Spirit dwelling in them], they are not in the flesh, but are in the Spirit. The reason is simple—the Spirit of God dwells in them. This does not mean we are immune from temptation and sin. Paul has just admitted his own struggle with temptation and his failure to do the right thing and to avoid the wrong thing.(). The words "spiritually minded" mean to be possessed by the Spirit or to be controlled and dominated by the Spirit. It means that the man who walks after the Spirit minds "the things of the Spirit" day by day. The Holy Spirit keeps us focused on the things of God.We should ask the Holy Spirit to help us be conformed more and more to the image of Christ and keeping every thought obedient to Christ. The spiritual mind is also full of peace. The man who is spiritually minded is at peace with God: he has peace with God because he knows beyond question that his sins are forgiven and that he is now acceptable to God. He also dwells in the peace of God: he has the peace of God because he experiences the day by day care and guidance of God in his life. He actually walks through life in the peace of God, knowing that God is looking after him and working all things out for his good.
Saint John Chrysostom, (born ad 347, Antioch, Syria—died September 14, 407, Comana, Helenopontus; early Church Father, biblical interpreter, and archbishop of Constantinople; the zeal and clarity of his preaching, which appealed especially to the common people, earned him the Greek surname meaning “golden-mouthed.” His tenure as archbishop was stormy, and he died in exile. His relics were brought back to Constantinople in about 438, and he was later declared doctor (teacher) of the church.John Chrysostom, in one of his many writings, said enthusiastically: When one has the Spirit within, what can be lacking? With the Spirit one belongs to Christ, one possesses Him, one vies[enter into competition] for honour with the angels. With the Spirit, the flesh is crucified, one tastes the delight of an immortal life, one has a pledge of future resurrection and advances rapidly on the path of virtue. So our focus should not be on battling sin, not on keeping the laws of God in front of us all time. Our focus should be on being close to Jesus Christ, on the cup of our life being full of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus Christ we have received all we need to live for God. In Him we are the temple of the Holy Spirit who will lead us ever further on the path of living for our Lord. In him we have received the power to love God and to love each other, and to not let anything drive us apart for God and from his other children. Through Christ and the Holy Spirit, we can truly be better persons. (NKJV) 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. 1. freedom from condemnation (A) gone is the guilt of our sin (B) delivered from the punishment for sin (C) redeemed from the bondage to sin there is the freedom — the ability — to serve God, to worship Him and for this service and worship to be acceptable 2. so for those who will come — who have come — to Christ as the One who has paid the awful price for their sins a. and who will accept — have accepted — through faith the gift of eternal life that has been freely offeredb. there is great cause of rejoicing this morning in the new Life in Christ in which our worship and this service are not merely accepted by God, but indeed deemed pleasing to Him THE LAW CAN NOT SAVE US, WE CAN NOT SAVE OURSELVES, ONLY THRU CHRIST CAN WE BE FREE FROM SIN AND DEATH. ONLY THRU CHRIST DO WE HAVE HOPE!!