Life in the Spirit

WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE POOR QUALITY OF THIS AUDIO.

Every Christian is in a battle with sin. Romans says, “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” Despite what you may think, this IS a battle that can be won! Find out how in this message as we continue our series in Romans 8.

 

Romans: The Glory of the Gospel Part 18

Life in the Spirit – Romans 8:1-11

Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – February 4th, 2018

 

Intro:

  • In Romans chapter 7, we learned about the two paths that are set before us: the first being under the law, walking in increasing sin, and producing bad fruit leading to death; the second being under grace, walking in obedience, and becoming more like Christ (bearing good fruit leading to life).
  • Last week in the second half of Romans 7, Paul explained that Christians, while they are walking in the path of Grace, still have an internal struggle with their fallen nature. The Law of God awakens the sin within us causing an internal conflict as we fight an inward war with our sin nature. We are now to identify ourselves with the new nature and with the power of God. We will overcome the sin nature and walk in step with the Spirit as we look forward to the day we are completely delivered from our battle through Christ Jesus.
  • Today, as we turn the page to Romans chapter 8, we will discover the promises of God and learn what we must do to overcome the sin nature and walk according to the Spirit. This chapter is the pinnacle chapter of the book, as the first 7 chapters build to it and the last 8 chapters flow from it. This chapter starts with “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” and ends with “no separation from the love of God.” It is a glorious chapter indeed!

 

No condemnation in Christ Jesus

 

Rom 8:1-4 ESV

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

 

  • There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus – this is the greatest news ever! This was the reason Jesus came to the earth:

 

John 3:16-18 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 

 

  • Jesus came to save the world, not to condemn it. This was His mission.
  • We must note that the world is condemned and heading down the path of sin. The result is condemnation and eternal death. There is, however, a way out through Jesus, and He is the ONLY way out. No one else did what he did, nor could anyone else do so.  Jesus is more than a great teacher and a moral example – He is the savior of the world!
  • If we are in Him, there is therefore now no condemnation (we will not be condemned at the final judgment because we are in Him).
  • For the law of the spirit of life has set you free (from the law we were born into – the law of sin and death).
  • Again, Paul draws from his point that the law does not give us the power to do good, but only defines what good, right and righteous. God had to do for us what we are uncapable of doing (because of our sin nature) to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law and then became the atoning lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29) (Which points back to the Old Testament.)
  • The righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us (because we are in him), who now walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. This is the effect (the result) in our lives because we are in Jesus. (cause and effect relationship)
  • Trans – let’s talk about how we are to walk according to the Spirit.

 

Walk according to the Spirit

 

Rom 8:5-8 ESV

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 set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

 

  • In these 4 verses, Paul mentions “set your mind(s)” 5 times. This is super important. If you want to live according to the flesh, set your mind on the things of the flesh. But if you want to live according to the spirit, set your mind on the things of the Spirit.
  • “Set our mind” means to put into your mind, re-mind yourself (put back into your mind), focus on and live this way of thinking. This is how you can overcome sin and win the battle within by the power of the Spirit to free your life from sin. This is also how you can empower your life according to the Spirit, produce good fruit and good, God-honoring results with your life.
  • Many things go through our minds, but we must be extremely intentional about what we keep in our mind or “re-minding” ourselves with. I am going to give you some Biblical teachings and examples, and then I am going to give you some personal examples of how I do this.
  • Biblical teaching and examples:
    • In the garden of Eden, humanity fell into sin when we did not set our mind on the words of God and trust Him by obedience to them (Gen 3).
    • Later in Genesis, God set a rainbow in the clouds to remind Himself of the covenant He made with every living creature on the earth, that He would not destroy us again with water (Gen. 9:16).
    • When God heard the groaning of the descendants of Abraham while they were slaves in Egypt, He remembered the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and then delivered by His power through Moses (Ex. 2:24-25).
    • God instructed His people to observe the Passover year after year after year as a sign and a reminder of what the Lord did for them (Ex. 13:3-10).
    • God also instructed there be other days and weeks set aside for remembering what the Lord has done: Purim (Est 9:28) Booths (Liv 23:41-43) Yum Kippur The Day of Atonement (Liv 23:26-32) and others.
    • God told the Israelites to take 12 stones and set them up as a memorial to remind the people what the Lord had done for them and to teach new generations (Jos. 4:6-9).
    • God instructed His people to put tassels on the corners of their cloths to remind them of the commandments of the Lord and to follow them (Num 15:39-41).
    • God instructed His people to teach his word and pass the faith to the next generation by the following ways: talking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise. Also, by binding them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deut 6:4-9).
    • In the New Testament we are told to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom (Col 3:16-17), and to address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart (Eph 5:19-20).
    • Paul, in multiple places, teaches us to remember the gospel and the words of Christ. He instructs pastors and ministers that their primary task is to remind and teach people in the faith (Phil 2:5, 2 Peter 3:1, 1 Cor 4:17, 1 Cor 15:1, 2 Tim 2:14, Titus 3:1). This is a primary reason to come to church: to be reminded of God’s word.
    • Paul tells us to not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of our minds, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:2).
    • He tells us to think (and keep on thinking) about whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil 4:8).
    • Jesus tells the church in Sardis, “Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent.” (Rev 3:3)
    • The main reason we are given to observe communion (The Lord’s Supper) on a regular basis until Jesus comes is to remember Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19).
    • If we “set our minds” on the things of the Spirit and walk according to His ways, there are blessings: “things may go well with us and our descendants” (Deut 5:29-30); we will be “kept in perfect peace” (Isa 26:3); we will have “hope” in hardship and difficulty (Lam 3:21-23); we find encouragement, perspective and strength by remembering the words of the Lord (Ps 63:6-8, Ps 77:11-15, Ps 105:5, Ps 111:5, Isa 46:8-10, Mal 4:4); and every place where God causes His name to be remembered He will come to you and bless you (Ex 20:24-25).
    • Every time the people of God did not remember the Lord their God and forgot His words, they fell away, their lives fell apart and they caused great heartache and loss to themselves and others. It caused them pain, bondage, suffering and grief (Judg 8:33, Isa 17:10, Isa 51:13, Jer. 13:25-27, Eze 23:35, Hos. 4:6).
  • Personal examples of how this works out in my life:
    • I read through the Bible every year (I have done so at least 25 times: I do this for spiritual health and to remind myself of the words of God).
    • I study the word and pray on a daily basis.
    • I read and listen to good books about biblical things and people of faith.
    • I listen to preachers and attend conferences to build my faith and renew my mind.
    • I listen to Christian music to build my faith and put in my mind and heart the things of God.
    • I watch good movies and programs that helps me to grow in my faith.
    • I am careful about what I watch and only re-watch things that I want to think about.
    • I have symbols and pictures around my home to remind me of things that I want to remember, focus on and work towards things I want to become.
    • I participate in the life of the church to build each other up, for encouragement, strengthening, sharing of gifts, accountability and service.
    • We did these things also with our children and brought them up in the faith by intentionality and example.
    • All of these things help me to “set my mind on the things of the Spirit” so I can walk “according to the Spirit.” If our minds wander, then our walk wanders and we find ourselves in a heap of hurt and heartache.
    • What you put into your mind is what you get out of it. What you put into your life is what you get out of it.
    • 8: 6-8, To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace . . . for those who are in the flesh cannot please God. If you want life and peace do these things – if you want death, conflict, confusion and unrest, then follow your flesh.
    • Lord help me to forget the things I should not remember and remember the things I should not forget. Lord impower me to set my mind on the things of the Spirit to walk according to your perfect will.

 

Life through the Spirit

 

Rom 8:9-11 ESV

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

 

  • If we do not have the Spirit of Christ living in us and producing fruit through is, we do not belong to Him. This is another proof that we are in Him (see 1 John 1:6-7).
  • Although our body is dead because of sin, our Spirit is life because of righteousness given to us through Christ.
  • If Christ is in us, then the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to our mortal bodies as well. This is a cause and effect relationship: if we do our part (by believing in His Son, receiving His Spirit, walking in accordance to the Spirit and producing good fruit) and we can trust God to always do His part.

 

Conclusion

  • Remember that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Do not condemn yourself or believe the lie that you are condemned or that people can condemn you.
  • Intentionally choose to “set you mind” and re-mind yourself of things of the Spirit so you can overcome the sin nature and walk in accordance with the Spirit.
  • Find peace in knowing the Spirit of Christ is in you and that He will keep His promise to raise your body from the dead and give you eternal life.
  • If you are not believing in Christ, or if you have fallen away, today can be the day to make that decision to recommitment to Him.

 

Questions for the week ahead:

  1. What did you learn for the first time today?
  2. What were you reminded of today?
  3. What are you going to do in response to what you heard today?