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 Romans Chapter 8 – Part One

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PostSubject: Romans Chapter 8 – Part One   Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:41 pm

Romans 8:1

Power for sanctification

The question naturally arises, Must a believer spend his whole life on earth frustrated by ongoing defeats to indwelling sin? (Rom_7:21-25) Is there no power provided to achieve victory? The answer to the first question is no and to the second, yes. In Rom_8:1-39, Paul described the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God who is the source of divine power for sanctification and the secret for spiritual victory in daily living. But first Paul reminded his readers that therefore — since deliverance is “through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom_7:25) — no condemnation (katakrima, “punishment”) awaits those who are in Christ Jesus, as a result of their faith and identification with Him (cf. Rom_6:13; Joh_5:24). So many Christians want to stop with the statement (There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.) This statement is true only, if the last part of this statement is kept. Salvation is a daily walk. There is no condemnation in righteousness. If we walk in righteousness, not after the flesh but after the Spirit of God there is no condemnation. To preach that Christians are above condemnation when they are living like the world is in error. If you are walking in the Spirit of God, there is nothing to condemn you for.
The word condemnation is used only three times in the New Testament and only in the book of Romans. “Condemnation” refers to a verdict of guilty and the penalty that verdict demands. No sin a true believer commits whether past, present or future can be held against him, since the penalty was paid by Christ and righteousness was imputed to the believer.
They are justified, declared righteous, and therefore stand in His grace (Rom_5:2) and not under His wrath (Rom_1:18), and possess eternal life (Rom_5:17-18, Rom_5:21). Christ is the sphere of safety for all who are identified with Him by faith. In the better Greek manuscripts, Rom_8:1 ends here. The words “who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit” were probably transcribed from Rom_8:4.

Romans 8:2

The word because (gar, “for”), connects through (lit., “in”) Christ Jesus in this verse with the identical phrase “in Christ Jesus” in Rom_8:1. (In the Gr. word order of the sentence in Rom_8:2, “in Christ Jesus” follows the law of the Spirit of life.) If Rom_7:7-25 is Paul’s testimony of his struggle as a believer with indwelling sin, then “the Spirit of life” is the Holy Spirit of God, not the spirit of the new nature each believer receives. The Holy Spirit is the Member of the Godhead who regenerates every believing individual (Tit_3:5) and bestows new life (Joh_3:5-Cool, the resurrection life of Christ (Rom_6:4, Rom_6:8, Rom_6:11). Rom_8:2 has the second mention of the Holy Spirit since Rom_5:5, but He is mentioned 18 more times through Rom_8:27. This law (“principle”; cf. Rom_7:23) set me free (the Gr. aorist tense suggests a once-for-all act of freedom at salvation) from the law of sin and death. The word “For” introduces the reason there is no condemnation for the believer; the Spirit has replaced the law (meaning the Old Testament law). Although it is good, holy and righteous, because of the weakness of the flesh, no one could possibly keep it.
The old law which was God’s commandments, showed men how they should live, but that law because of the weakness of the flesh could only produce sin and death as it could not save.
This is shown with Romans 3:23 which tells us all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; and again in Romans 6:23 which clearly states that the wages of sin is death.
The new, simple law of grace produces life; the law of faith or the message of the gospel.
That principle is called the principle “of sin and death” because sin, as Paul said repeatedly, produces death (Rom_5:15, Rom_5:17, Rom_5:21; Rom_6:16, Rom_6:21, Rom_6:23; Rom_7:10-11, Rom_7:13; Rom_8:6, Rom_8:10, Rom_8:13). As the principle of sin it contrasts with the Spirit; as the principle that brings death it also contrasts with the Spirit who gives life. For the pronoun translated me some Greek manuscripts read “us” and others “you” (sing.). The difference is incidental; the truth stated applies to every believer.

Romans 8:3-4

Having stated the fact of freedom, Paul then explained how it is achieved. He declared again the impossibility of attaining freedom over sin through the (Mosaic) Law. It was powerless to free from sin. Not that the Law was weak in itself (as many translations suggest), for it was good (Rom_7:12). But because of sinful human nature, the Law could not deliver from sin. The words “sinful nature” translate sarx (lit., “flesh”), which can mean either human sinful corruption or human weakness (cf. Rom_7:5, Rom_7:18, Rom_7:25; Rom_8:4-5, Rom_8:8-9, Rom_8:12-13).
God accomplished deliverance over sin, however, by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man (lit., “likeness of flesh of sin”). Jesus was sent not in sinful flesh but in the likeness of it. His human nature was protected and preserved from the indwelling principle of sin that has plagued all other human beings since Adam (cf. Luk_1:35). He was also sent, literally “concerning or for sin” (peri harmartias, not as the NIV has it, to be a sin offering). In other words He came to do something about sin. What He did was to condemn it; by His death on the cross, He condemned sin (katekrinen, “passed a judicial sentence on it”; cf. katakrima, “punishment,” Rom_8:1) so that those in Christ are not condemned. “What the law could not do” was it could not deliver sinners from its penalty. Because of the sinful corruption of unregenerate men, the law was powerless to produce righteousness.
In Christ’s incarnation when He became fully man, He took only the outward appearance of sinful flesh, but yet He was completely without sin.
God’s condemnation against sin was fully poured out on the sinless flesh of Christ.
The goal of this was so that the righteous requirements of the Law — a life of holiness (Lev_11:44-45; Lev_19:2; Lev_20:7) — could be fully met as believers do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. We see from this Scripture above, that it is possible to walk in the Spirit of God and not fulfill the desires of the flesh. This is a state of being for all true Christians who have turned over their free will to the perfect will of God. We, like Jesus, must come to a place that we can say not my will be done, but thine oh Lord.
“The righteousness of the law” is referring to the thoughts, words, and deeds which the moral law of God demands. It finds its basis in the character of God and is presented in outline form in the Ten Commandments; its most condensed form is in Jesus’ commands to love God and to love One’s neighbor as one’s self.
Although the believer is no longer in bondage to the moral law’s condemnation and penalty as we studied last in chapter 7:6, the law still reflects the moral character of God and His will for His creatures.
A believer’s walk refers to their life style and the habits of living and thinking that characterize a person’s life. Then since ever true Christian is indwelt by the Spirit, every Christian will manifest the fruit He (referring to God) produces in his life.
The provision of deliverance from the power of sin is through the death of Jesus Christ, but experiencing it in one’s daily conduct comes through the controlling power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:5-8

In these verses Paul answered the implied question, What does it mean to live according to the sinful nature and according to the Spirit? He explained that the former means having their minds set on (phronousin, pres. tense, “keep on being mindful of or aspiring for”) what that nature desires. An unbeliever cares only for his sinful interests and has no regard for God. The exact opposite is true of those who live according to the Spirit. They aspire for or have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. We cannot be flesh man and spirit man both. One spirit will rule. In other words we cannot keep one foot in the world and one foot in heaven.
When it speaks of “the flesh”, this is referring to unbelievers. Here this is speaking of a basic orientation of the mind. A mindset that includes one’s affections, mental processes, and will.
Paul’s point here is that unbelievers’ basic disposition is to satisfy the cravings of their unredeemed flesh.
When scripture speaks of “they that are after the Spirit” is simply speaking of believers.
The sinful nature and the indwelling Spirit are in conflict (Gal_5:17).
But what difference does it make whether a person is mindful of the flesh or of the Spirit? Again Paul explained. The mind (phronēma, “mind-set, aspirations”; cf. Rom_8:6-7) of sinful man (tēs sarkos, “of the flesh”) is death, that is, it is equivalent to death, or it leads to death in all its forms (physical and spiritual). On the other hand the mind (phronēma, “mind-set, aspirations”) controlled by the Spirit (lit., “of the Spirit”) is life (eternal resurrection life) and peace immediately (Rom_5:1) and ultimately. Carnally means “of flesh”. This is a simple spiritual equation: The person with the mind set on the flesh is spiritually dead.
But to be spiritually minded is describing every Christian. The person with his mind set on the things of the Spirit is very much spiritually alive and at peace with God.
Galatians 6:8 "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
This is just one more way to say that our flesh desires to sin and our spirit desires to please God.
In Rom_8:7-8 Paul focused only on the sinful mind (phronēma tēs sarkos, “mind-set, aspirations of the sin nature”; cf. Rom_8:6) to explain why he said (Rom_8:6) that it ends up in death: (1) It is hostile to God (cf. Rom_5:10); (2) it does not submit (pres. tense, “is not submitting”) to God’s Law; and (3) it cannot do so. This very statement is why mind control is so bad. The mind, not given over to the Lord Jesus Christ, truly can have power, but it is from the wrong source. Mind power tells us that we have the power within ourselves to bring miracles about. It really is saying we don’t need God, we can do it ourselves.
The unbeliever’s problem is much deeper than acts of disobedience, which are merely outward manifestations of inner fleshly compulsions. His basic inclinations and orientation toward gratifying himself, however outwardly religious or moral he may appear, are directly hostile to God.
Even the good deeds unbelievers perform are not truly a fulfillment of God’s law, because they are produced by the flesh, for selfish reasons, and from a heart that is in rebellion.
The result is that those controlled by the sinful nature cannot (pres. tense, “are not able to”) please God. The unsaved lead lives that are totally void of spiritual life and ability. A believer, then, who gives in to his sin nature is acting like the unsaved (cf. 1Co_3:3). The flesh desires things of this earth, but the spirit is stayed upon God's will in our lives. Read 1st Corinthians chapter 15, beginning with verse 35 to really understand about the spirit man who lives when the flesh dies.
The flesh and its desires must die so that the spirit man can live.

Romans 8:9-11

After speaking objectively about the two types of persons, Paul now addressed his readers directly. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit (lit., “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit”), if (eiper, “if, as is the fact”; cf. Rom_8:17) the Spirit of God lives (pres. tense, “is dwelling”) in you (cf. Rom_8:11). The indwelling Holy Spirit gives a believer a totally different life (2Co_5:17). The opposite, however, is also true: If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ (lit., “this one is not of Him”). “Dwell” refers to being in one’s own home. The Spirit of God makes His home in every person who trusts in Jesus Christ.
When there is no evidence of His presence by the fruit He produces though us, a person has no legitimate claim to Christ as Savior and Lord.
Galatians chapter 2 verse 20 says it all. Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
This Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of the risen Christ (The Holy Spirit of God). He is our teacher and our guide.
Since only the Holy Spirit gives spiritual life, a person cannot be related to Christ apart from the Spirit.
The interchange of the titles “Spirit of God” and “Spirit of Christ” argues for the deity of Jesus Christ. This statement also makes it clear that the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is the identifying mark of a believer in Jesus Christ (cf. 1Jn_3:24; 1Jn_4:13). Another significant fact is that Rom_8:10 equates the indwelling presence of Christ (Christ is in you) with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (Rom_8:9, Rom_8:11). This adds further support to the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. Rom_8:10, like Rom_8:9 and Rom_8:11, is a conditional statement in which in Greek the condition is assumed to be true; if can be understood as “since” or “because.” As a result of Christ’s indwelling presence, your body is dead (or, “subject to death”; cf. Rom_7:24) because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. This body referred to is actually “our old man” Our old self died with Christ, and the life we now enjoy is a new divinely given life that is the life of Christ Himself.
We have been removed from the unregenerate self’s presence and control, so we should not follow the remaining memories of its old sinful ways as if we were still under its evil influence.
It is best to translate the word “spirit” as the person’s spirit, not the Holy Spirit. Paul is saying that if God’s Spirit indwells you as we discussed in verse 9, the human spirit is alive and can manifest true righteousness.
Because of God’s imputed righteousness, a believer is alive spiritually. The eternal, spiritual life of God is implanted by the indwelling Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ here and now, even though a believer’s body is mortal.
Then Paul wrote about an even better promise (Rom_8:11). Since God raised Jesus from the dead (lit., “out from dead ones”; cf. Rom_4:24; Rom_6:4), God promises believers in whom His Spirit… is living (cf. Rom_8:9) that He will also give life to their mortal bodies through His Spirit. As a believer the same Spirit dwells in you. God’s Holy Spirit raised Christ from the dead and it is the same Spirit who will quicken the believers and shall also resurrect us too.
In other words, God promises spiritual resurrection life now (Rom_6:4, Rom_6:8, Rom_6:11) for each believer’s mortal body and physical resurrection in the future for that mortal body (Rom_6:5; 1Co_6:14; 1Co_15:42, 1Co_15:53; 2Co_4:14).

Romans 8:12-14

Paul drew a conclusion and made an application from his previous discussion. Therefore… we have an obligation. Each believer’s responsibility is a positive one — to live each day in the control and power of the Holy Spirit. But first Paul expressed this truth negatively — not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. Our old flesh died with Christ and the life we now enjoy is a new divinely given life that is the life of Christ Himself. We have been removed from the unregenerate self’s presence and control, so we should not follow the remaining memories of its old sinful ways as if we were still under its evil influence.
Therefore, we are debtors, not to the flesh which is our old selves, but to the Spirit of Christ as we saw in verse 9.
You see we do not owe our bodies anything. The flesh is our enemy. If we obey the lust of the flesh, we are living in sin. We must overcome the flesh and put it in subjection to the spirit.
Each Christian is to refuse to follow the inclinations and desires of his sin nature. He is to deny the efforts of that nature to impose its lifestyle on him (cf. Tit_2:12). The reason is that a sinful manner of life results in death. This does not suggest that a believer who sins will face eternal death in hell; instead, it means he will not enjoy his spiritual life. He will seem like an unsaved person (1Co_3:1-4) and will be unable to enjoy the indwelling presence of the Spirit. You will die is literally, “you are about to die,” or “you are at the point of dying.”
On the other hand, if by the Spirit you put to death (pres. tense, “are putting to death”) the misdeeds of the body, you will live. Here again, we see the warfare that goes on within each of us. Our spirit wants to do the things of God and our flesh lusts for the things of the flesh and world. If we choose to let the Spirit of God rule our life, and in so doing (kill the flesh) we shall live for all of eternity in heaven with Jesus. If we choose to follow the ways of the world, it brings eternal damnation and total separation from God.
Paul instruction is what to do in the struggle with sin in this verse, then destroys several false views of how believers are mode holy:
1. That in a crisis moment we are immediately made perfect
2. That we must “let God” take over while we remain idle
3. That some turning point decision will propel us to a higher level of holiness.
Instead Paul tells us that the Spirit provides us with the energy and power to continually and gradually be killing our sins, a process never completed in this life.
The means the Spirit uses to accomplish this process is our faithful obedience to the simple commands of Scripture.
A few Greek manuscripts have “flesh” instead of “body.” But the body is the vehicle by which one’s sin-nature expresses itself (cf. Rom_6:6, Rom_6:13). Only by the Holy Spirit’s power can a believer put to death the sins of his former life (cf. Eph_4:22-31; Col_3:5-9). This is what Paul referred to when he said “count yourselves dead to sin” (Rom_6:11).
Paul then continued his explanation. Those who are led (pres. tense, “are being led”) by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Scripture does not teach us that we are led through subjective, mental impressions or promptings to provide direction in making life’s decisions. Instead God’s Spirit objectively leads His children sometimes through the orchestration of circumstances by:
1. Illumination, divinely clarifying Scripture to make it understandable to our sinful, finite minds.
2. Sanctification, divinely enabling us to obey Scripture.
When a person experiences the Spirit’s leading in those ways, he gains assurance that God has adopted him into His family.
That Spirit within us makes us God's children.
Galatians 3:26 "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."
Many Bible students see no difference between the word translated “sons” in Rom_8:14 and the word translated “children” in Rom_8:16. However, in Rom_8:16 the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence attests the believer’s birth relationship to God (tekna, “children,” is lit., “born ones”). But in Rom_8:14 the Holy Spirit’s control and direction attests the believer’s privileges in God’s family as a “son” (huios means a child mature enough to take on adult family privileges and responsibilities). A son in God’s family is led by God’s Spirit.
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