Romans Chapter 8

Part 2

KLMX Radio

June 2009

Bryan Kimsey

First Baptist Church

Des Moines, NM

[Introduction]

[Prayer]

We are looking at Romans Chapter 8 this week. As I noted yesterday, this is a critical chapter in Christian doctrine and it rewards a close and careful study. Yesterdayís passage was this:

Romans 8:1-10 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.

The main thing I wanted to point out in that passage was the contrast between the carnal mind and the spiritual mind, which is encapsulated in v. 6: "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. " This is the litmus test for a person- is your mind set on the things of the flesh or on the things of God? Itís a critical question, because, as Paul says in v. 10: "Öif Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." Expanding on this concept, Paul now goes on to say:

Romans 8:11-13 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. (12) Therefore, brethren, we are debtors- not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. (13) For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

This is the great promise and hope of Christianity. Itís not that our lives here will necessarily be better or that weíll be better people or any of those things. Rather, the hope of a Christian is that they are freed from the condemnation of sin and will enjoy the same resurrection that Christ did. As Paul says, "He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. "

Paul now switches gears a bit and examines the role of God as our Father.

Romans 8:14-15 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (15) For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."

This passage recalls at least two other New Testament passages. One, I used yesterday:

John 8:42-47 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. (43) Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. (44) You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (45) But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. (46) Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? (47) He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God."

According to Jesus, if a person is truly of God, then that person will hear Jesusís words and understand them. Thatís not just a line drawn in the sand, itís a line drawn on the rock. Jesus says plainly "He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God."

The second passage that comes to mind when I read Romans 8:14-15 is the one where John the Baptist is talking to the Pharisees and Sadducees who have come to watch him.

Matthew 3:7-10 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (8) Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, (9) and do not think to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. (10) And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Here, the Pharisees and Sadducees are claiming to sons of God through Abraham, as if spiritual sonship came through the flesh. John shoots down that claim, replacing it with the statement "For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones." Note that his statement is that "God is able to raise up childrenÖ" This puts the credit for raising children to Himself squarely with God. If we move to the gospel according to John, we find Jesusí famous statements to Nicodemus:

John 3:3-6 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (4) Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" (5) Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Let me repeat that: Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." The Pharisees and Sadducees coming to see John were only born of the flesh. So is every natural man born of a natural mother and natural father. They are born of the flesh and are of the flesh. A person must be born-again, that is, spiritually reborn, in order to be called a child of God. Letís re-read our passage for today:

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Note carefully what verse 15 says:

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."

What does the word "receive" mean? It means that you were given something, and the fact that you received it or were given it, means that you didnít previously have it. Also, when Paul says "you did not receive the spirit of bondage againÖ", that implies that you already had that spirit. So, rather than receiving the spirit of bondage again, those who are in Christ receive something different- they receive the spirit of adoption, the ability and the right to call God "Abba, father". The word "Abba" means "daddy". Itís the affectionate greeting that children use. Those who are in Christ receive that. Paul now moves to show the significance of that statement when he says:

Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (17) and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Here again, we see that a Christianís hope is in the resurrection. As Christ was resurrected to a glorified body, so do we hope for the same. Weíll see this theme return a little later in this chapter, right around verses 28-29. For now, though, the significance of being a child of God, born first in the flesh and then born again spiritually, is that we are heirs of God. Paul discusses this again in Galatians:

Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, (5) to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. (6) And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" (7) Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

In fact, most of the letter to the Galatians up that point concerns spiritual inheritance through Christ.

Before stopping for the day, letís review the passage:

Romans 8:13-17 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (15) For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." (16) The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (17) and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

I draw a real sense of confidence from this passage. It promises life to those who walk by the Spirit of God in Christ. It promises the sprit of adoption by which we may call God "daddy". It promises that the Spirit will give us confidence and assurance. And it promises a resurrection and glorification together with Christ. These promises are made to those who have been born again. As we end today, Iíll ask- where are you? Are you born again to a spiritual life in Jesus Christ, or are you still walking in the flesh? Ask God to reveal the light of Jesus Christ to your darkened soul. Walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh. Walk in confidence and assurance, not in fear.

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