These verses teach clearly that it is impossible for a person who has not been born again to overcome the power of sin. God knew that there was no hope of improving man’s sinful nature and so did not try to do so. Verse 3 tells us that Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh (note – not in sinful flesh – He had no sin of His own), and by Christ dying in that way, God condemned sinful flesh for ever.Therefore, holy living cannot be achieved without new birth. The sinful nature is condemned to death, and when a person is in Christ by faith they are counted dead together with Christ, and now living together with Him since He rose from the dead. Now that person is no longer under the control of sin, but of the Spirit, according to Whom they now walk (live). A person thus dead to sin and alive to God by the Holy Spirit can never be under condemnation!
Most unsaved people would deny this fact – which simply proves that it is true, for they are unwilling to be subject to what God says about them. God says that we are wilful sinners who love to do wrong, and when a person tries to establish their own righteousness they prove that they are in fact unrighteous, for God wants us to accept our sinfulness and receive righteousness as a gift from Him, by faith. The proud, fleshly mind will always resist this and will try to do something to earn God’s pleasure! This is sin!
It is vitally important to understand the truth of this verse – being a Christian does not simply mean following a certain set of rules or teachings – it means to be living in Christ, and Christ living in you! This is a miracle performed by the Holy Spirit at the moment of conversion – when a person puts their trust entirely upon Christ – confessing their utter sinfulness and hopelessness, and committing every hope for righteousness upon Christ who died on account of their sins. At that moment the person is born again and the Holy Spirit begins to dwell in that person, making them a new creation in Christ.
The Scripture teaches three wonderful aspects to salvation. Already we have seen in Romans that the believer is saved from the Penalty and Punishment of sin – this happens at the moment of conversion, and now there is no condemnation. In this chapter we also see that day by day a believer is being saved (kept) from the Power of sin – they have the ability by the Holy Spirit to live holy lives, in victory over sin. By when we are taken home to heaven our salvation will then be complete, and we will be finally saved completely from the Presence of sin – it will no longer have any influence at all, for we will have received sinless, glorifies bodies, and we will be in the presence of Christ, where there is no sin.
It is God’s purpose that His children should have real confidence in His love – there is no reason for doubting salvation if a person has truly been born again. Part of the work of the Holy Spirit within a child of God is to produce well-placed confidence in God’s love and Christ’s work. Assurance of salvation is not based upon whether we are progressing well in holiness, but upon the inner witness of the Holy Spirit Who confirms our trust in Christ. Of course, a person who professes Christ, but who continues in sinful desires and living shows that there the Holy Spirit is not in them – they are not saved.
Those who do not understand the importance and significance of the new birth and the work of the Holy Spirit, fail to understand how great God’s plan for His children is. They labour in their own strength to produce their own righteousness, not realising that God’s plan is to glorify Himself by doing for wretched sinners what they could never do for themselves – not only giving power over sin, but to glorigy them together with Christ.This is the great, Gospel message – the message of God’s righteousness upon all those who trust in Christ because of His redeeming work, and of His plan to bless them beyond their imagination in the ages to come.
10. Paul’s letter to the romans ch 8v 1-17
Paul’s Letter to the Romans<br />The Holy Spirit as the Power for Holy Living – Part 1: The Holy Spirit makes us Sons of God (Chap. 8:1-16)<br />
Your Questions?<br />Any Questions from last topic or from preparation for today?<br />
Review<br />The Gospel Introduced (Romans 1:1 – 1:15)<br />The Gospel Defined (Romans 1:16-17)<br />The Good News of God-Righteousness to all who believe on Christ<br />The Universal Need for Righteousness (Romans 1:18 – 3:20)<br />The Basis and Terms of the Gospel (Romans 3:21-31)<br />RIGHTEOUSNESS, JUSTIFICATION, REDEMPTION, PROPITIATION, GRACE, FAITH<br />
Review (continued)<br />The Agreement of the Gospel with the Old Testament (Romans 4)<br />The Practical Benefits of the Gospel (Romans 5:1-11)<br />The Victory of Christ’s Work over Adam’s Sin (Romans 5:12-21)<br />The Gospel’s Way to Holy Living (Romans 6)<br />The Place of the Law in the Believer's Life (Chap. 7)<br />
The Holy Spirit as the Power for Holy Living – He makes us Sons of God<br />Read Romans 8:1-4<br />According to v3 & 4, what did God accomplish through the death of Christ which the Law failed to accomplish?<br />God made it possible for us to fulfil what the Law required!<br />How did He accomplish this?<br />In Christ’s death, God condemned completely sin in the flesh – the sinful nature of man – putting it to death. Now a believer walks according to the Spirit, not the old nature.<br />According to v2, what is the effect of life in Christ?<br />The power of sin and death is broken – we are free to live for God!<br />What is the importance to you of Paul’s statement, “No condemnation” in v1?<br />
The difference between saved and unsaved<br />Read Romans 8:5-8<br />In verses 5-6, what is the difference between an unsaved person and a saved one?<br />The unsaved person lives according to the sinful nature, and regards the things of the flesh. They are dead!<br />The saved person lives according to the Holy Spirit and values the things of the Spirit. They have life, and peace in the Spirit!<br />In verses 7-8, why is it impossible for an unsaved person to please God?<br />They have a carnal, fleshly mind which is not able to be subject to God – their mind is hatred against God.<br />
What is a real Christian?<br />Read Romans 8:9<br />What does this verse say about what it really means to be a Christian?<br />A real Christian is no longer in the flesh – but in Christ!<br />A real Christian has the Holy Spirit dwelling inside<br />If this is not so, a person is not a real Christian!<br />Do you think it could be possible for a person to become a Christian by good living, keeping the commandments or other religious practices?<br />A person is not a Christian without the Holy Spirit dwelling in them – no matter what they say, or do. <br />What do you think about the idea that a person could be a Christian but not yet have received the Holy Spirit?<br />This verse shows that such an idea is completely false – if you do not have the Holy Spirit you do not belong to Christ!<br />
The Power in a Christian life<br />Read Romans 8:10-11<br />What is the source of life in a person who is truly saved?<br />As sin produces death in those who are unsaved, the Holy Spirit produces life in those who are saved and in-dwelt by Him.<br />What assurance does the Christian have concerning the future, because the Holy Spirit dwells in them?<br />As the Holy Spirit raised up Jesus from among the dead, the believer not only has power over sin in this life, but also has the assurabce of physical resurrection – when they will finally be redeemed from the presence of sin for ever!<br />
No longer a debtor to sin<br />Read Romans 8:12-16<br />Why is the believer no longer under an obligation to sin?<br />We are now God’s children, and led by His Spirit.<br />What does the Holy Spirit produce in a believer?<br />A real sense of freedom and peace (v15)<br />An instinctive awareness of our Father’s love and care (v15)<br />The assurance that we are God’s children (v16)<br />
Joint-Heirs with Christ<br />Read Romans 8:17<br />What can we learn about God and His purposes for us?<br />God is abundantly gracious – He has not only forgiven our sins, but He has made us equal heirs with Christ<br />God purpose is not only that we should live for Christ now, but that we should be glorified together with Christ at His coming.<br />What should our attitude be to suffering?<br />We must remember that it is a privilege to suffer with Christ, and that as God’s children we will also be glorified together with Him.<br />
For next time:<br />The Holy Spirit as the Power for Holy Living (Part 2) – Romans 8:18-39<br />Try to read the passage two or three times before our next meeting<br />Think about what the passage says about <br />God’s purposes for Creation<br />God’s purposes for His Children<br />The Holy Spirit<br />Suffering as a Christian<br />Think carefully about your position before God<br />Read pages 65-69 in Alive and Free<br />Write down any QUESTIONS YOU WOULD LIKE TO ASK<br />
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