Again, remember I have pulled much of the following from J. Vernon McGee and others. I love to read other’s comments on the Bible. I use them if I agree and I add my own. There is nothing special about what I do, it is just study. You could do it, too!
Theme: The new man: the new creation: the new body: new purpose.
This chapter brings us to the conclusion of sanctification. It presents 3 great subjects: sanctification, security and no separation from God.
Here it is powerful sanctification in contrast to the powerless sanctification we talked about last week.
I have been very inadequate in teaching this Roman’s series in a way that is worthy of it, but in this chapter it is even truer. This is such a glorious and wondrous book that all we can do is merely stand as Moses did a the burning bush with our feet unshod and head uncovered, not fully realizing or recognizing the glory and wonder of it all!
This is the high chapter of Romans, we start with no condemnation, we close with no separation and in between all things work together for the good to those that love God!
This is where we find that this ugly self of ours, this evil that goes with us, this sin is not bigger than our God, who is willing to help us and give us joy and peace.
In chapter 7 Paul ended by saying “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.” Now in chapter 8 we will see the modus operandi, the way!
Rom 1:1- 3:20 God the Father of creation. Rom 3:21 – 7:25 God the Son in salvation. Rom 8:1-39 God the Holy Spirit in sanctification.
This is where we learn how to live a live pleasing to God!
Vs 1-2: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.
No condemnation! In spite of all that bad feeling from chapter 7, in spite of all that evil that is always with us, in spite of our ugly self we see in the mirror of God’s word, we are not condemned! Our salvation is not lost!
Why? Because we are in Christ! And He is in us! And now we walk after the Spirit, not the flesh! We want the things God wants, and the Holy Spirit is leading us!
In verse 2 the word because is the cement that holds the chapter together, it is a word that requires real mental effort.
The law of the spirit is a principle of law, but also the authority which is exercised by the spirit.
And it is all done through Christ. Huge point! Not through you and not through me. Not because my will power is strong enough, not because I am good enough, not because I want to. But we will learn it is simply through Christ, whom I choose to have faith in, not to just save me, but to sanctify me!
The law of sin and death is the authority that sin had over our old nature, which ended with a complete separation from God.
Our new nature could not break free from the shackles of it, but then God in us, the Holy Spirit came in with all power, and it connects our new spirit with Christ!
Vs.3-4 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.
Here is the whole crux of the matter! If you get this, really down deep in your being, you get, I believe, one of the most vital teachings for Christians.
The law is incapable of producing any good thing in man.
The Holy Spirit is now able to do the impossible., it can produce a holy life in weak and sinful flesh.
Let me tell a story that J. Vernon Mcgee told: A woman was on the phone. And she forgot her roast while she was gossiping for hours! 🙂 Finally she went to get it out with the big fork she had laid out. The roast was overcooked. The fork just plunged it. It was not able to lift the roast up. So she gets a spatula. The spatula can pick up the roast.
The fork is the law. There is nothing wrong with the fork, if the flesh had not been messed up, it would have lifted the roast.
The fork was not weak the flesh was. The fork, the law, could not lift. The law cannot lift us to heaven. Being good will not do it because we are weak in the flesh.
Now the spatula can do it, it can lift us! The Holy Spirit is the Spatula.
The law was not God Himself. The Spirit is!!!!
Note that Christ had the same kind of flesh we do, but not weakened by sin!
Heb: 2:14, 16-17
This was God’s way of getting at the roots of sin in our bodies, minds and spirits.
Sin has been condemned in these bodies of ours. It has not been removed.
Today, the Holy Spirit is the deliverer from sin in the body.
A lot of people would like for Christ to come back right now and deliver us out of these sinful bodies. And that would be glorious!
However, it is even more wondrous that He enables you and me to live the Christian life right here in this world of sin.
One day I was watching, “Minute to Win It” and a girl was doing good and she said “the world is with me.”. I thought rut roh! And then she lost.
We will not lose the game of sanctification if we recognize where the power comes from. Not the world, not our own sinful selves… but from the Holy Spirit of God Almighty!
John 17:15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
Down here is where the victory is, Down here is where there is still hope for others!
The Holy Spirit furnishes the power, the decision is yours!