Zion Baptist Church
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Baptist Missionary Association of America
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The Book of Romans
 
God’s Provision for the Christian Life
Romans 8:1-13
 
Introduction:
     How can a child of God live for God when surrounded by a world of sin?   Paul seems to ask this question in Romans 7:24, O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  In other words, Paul being sensitive to his own weakness in the flesh asks, “Who is going to enable me to live for God?”  Paul answers this important question by introducing the believer to the work of the Holy Spirit and confirms that for the believer to please God he must live in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Ephesians 5:16-18, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.  In this life, the Holy Spirit is God’s provision that empowers the believer to live an obedient life for God.
     If the believer is empowered by the Holy Spirit, why is the Christian life such a struggle?  The text seems to inform the believer that the struggles in life are in fact blessings.  In fact, struggles can be a conformation of the believer’s salvation.  John 3:5-6, Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Sometimes God uses the struggles of life to get the believer’s attention in order that the believer might learn a lesson in obedience.
 
I.        Empowered by the Holy Spirit, V 1-4 
  1. V 1, There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  In spite of all of the failures Paul experienced in chapter 7, he never lost his salvation.  Other men who failed God included Abraham who lied about his wife; David committed adultery, and Jesus rebuked Peter for cutting off a soldier’s ear.  These men suffered the consequences of their sin but they never suffered condemnation because of their union in Christ.   They were empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit to walk the Christian life.   
  2. V 2, For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  The law of sin and death is the authority that sin has over the unbeliever.  The liberated believer is no longer under the authority of the law of sin and death.  However, because of his union in Christ, he is under a higher authority than his own strength; he is under the authority of the Spirit of life.
  3. Vs. 3-4, For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. The law cannot condemn the believer because Christ has already suffered our condemnation of the cross.  The law cannot save; it can only condemn. God sent His Son to save us and do what the law could not do.  Jesus came as a man but He did not come in sinful flesh for that would have made Him a sinner. Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh, as a man.  He bore our sins in His body on the cross. God will not condemn the believer because he is “in Christ.”  Christ paid the penalty for the believer’s sin.
  4. The law does not have the power to produce holiness; it can only reveal and condemn sin.  However, the indwelling Holy Spirit enables the believer to walk in obedience to God’s will.  The Spirit-led believer, as he yields to the Lord, experiences the work of the Holy Spirit in his life.  Philippians 2:13, For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
 
II.       Empowered for Obedience, V 5-13
  1. V 5, For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  If an individual claims to be saved and habitually lives and obeys the things of the flesh, and the Holy Spirit does not rebuke him he may not be saved.  God does not have a program to change the flesh but He brings in something new. John 3: 6-8, That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.  The believer is no longer striving for mastery over sin in his body under his own strength but the Holy Spirit assist the believer in his battle to bring the old nature under control. 
  2. V 6, For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  To be carnally minded refers to the believer who is separated from fellowship with God.  When the believer sins he is to come to God confessing his sin so that he can be restored to fellowship with God. 1 John 1:8-9, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  The word life speaks of living the Christian live to the fullest and best.  Peace means the experience of tranquility and well being regarding the present and future. The difference between a child of God and an unsaved individual is that the unsaved individual is convicted by social morals and environment while the child of God has the added impact of the Holy Spirit.  The unsaved individual only fails society and family while the believer has the added impact of failing God.
  3. Vs 7-8, Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  Being carnally minded means that the unsaved mind is an enemy of God.  The mind of the flesh is hostile to God and can never submit itself to the law of God.  Being in the flesh (unsaved) is different from walking with God according to the flesh.  The unsaved individual is unable to submit to God’s law because he lacks the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 
  4. Vs. 9-11, But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Believers can no longer live according to the flesh under the control of their sinful nature.  Instead, with the Spirit living in them and empowering them, the believer can live in a way that is pleasing to God.
  5. Vs. 12-13, Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  The believer has an obligation to live for Christ!  “Ye shall die” refers to the believer having no fellowship with God because of unconfessed sin.  By walking according to the leadership of the Spirit the believer can put to death sinful deeds and live for God.
 
Conclusion:
     How can a child of God live for God when surrounded by a world of sin?  Paul answers this important question by introducing the believer to the work of the Holy Spirit and confirms that for the believer to please God he must live in the power of the Holy Spirit.  In this life, the Holy Spirit is God’s provision that empowers the believer to live an obedient life for God.
     If the believer is empowered by the Holy Spirit, why is the Christian life such a struggle?  The text seems to inform the believer that the struggles in the life are in fact blessings.  Sometimes God uses the struggles of life to get the believer’s attention in order that the believer might learn a lesson in obedience. The indwelling Holy Spirit enables the believer to walk in obedience to God’s will.  The Spirit-led believer, as he yields to the Lord, experiences the work of the Holy Spirit in his life.  The difference between a child of God and an unsaved individual is that the unsaved individual is convicted by social morals and environment while the child of God has the added impact of the Holy Spirit.  The unsaved individual only fails society and family while the believer has the added impact of failing God.  God’s Provision for the Christian Life is the indwelling Holy Spirit!
 
 
 
 
Created and Researched by Pastor Dennis Baker
Zion Baptist Church
3485 New Baumgartner Rd. - St. Louis, MO 63129 - Phone: 314-846-1867