Romans 8:1-11

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

Text: Romans 8:1-11

THE ABILITY OF THE SPIRIT

INTRODUCTION:

In Romans 1:16-17 we have noted the theme of Romans. It is the gospel of Christ which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. The one who is made righteous by faith in Christ's finished work on the Cross at Calvary is the one who will have eternal life.

In Romans 1:18-3:20 we have seen that man's unrighteousness through sin demanded the provision of a divine righteousness.

In Romans 3:21-5:21 we have seen that this righteousness from God is provided in Christ through faith.

In Romans 6 Paul deals with the union of the believer with Christ. In chapter 7 he deals with the conflict of the two natures, and in chapter 8 he deals with spiritual victory through the Holy Spirit.

We see in Romans 7:14-25 the inability of the flesh to have victory over sin. Victory comes only by the power of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I. THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN GIVE VICTORY OVER THE OLD NATURE THROUGH CHRIST - 8:1-4

In Romans 8:1-4 we see that there are two natures a believer has and that the Holy Spirit can give victory over the old nature through Christ. The flesh is not able to win any victory over sin, but the Holy Spirit can win them all.

A. The fact that the Holy Spirit can give victory over the old sin nature - 8:1

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

There is has been supplied by the translators. They might instead have supplied is or exists after condemnation so that the verse would read, Therefore, now no condemnation (is or exists) to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Therefore refers back to Romans 7:24-25

Romans 7:24-25 - (24) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Now = at the present time

No condemnation - Condemnation is the punishment following sentence. It is the opposite of justification which implies the absence of condemnation.

To them which are in Christ Jesus = Saved people

Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Who walk not is who do not live, who do not conduct their lives, who are not walking, or who are not conducting their lives

After the flesh is after (i.e. in accordance with, in relation to) the old sin nature, or on a physical plane, i.e. (only) on a physical plane.

But introduces a statement in strong contrast to who walk not after the flesh.

After the Spirit is in accordance with (or in relation to) God the Holy Spirit. This refers to the same group described by who walk not after the flesh. All those in Christ walk, live, or conduct their lives after the Spirit rather than after the flesh.

Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit does not limit or restrict the meaning of the group referred to as them which are in Christ Jesus as if it applied only to those who are victorious in their Christian lives.

B. The reason the Holy Spirit can give victory over sin - 8:2-3

Romans 8:2-3 - (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath 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 sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.

1. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death - v. 2

The law of the Spirit of life is the principle of the Spirit Who gives life

In Christ may indicate the realm in which the Holy Spirit gives life, i.e. in Christ; or it may indicate the means by which the Holy Spirit gives life, i.e. by means of Christ.

Hath made me free is has set me free or has freed me.

From the law of sin and death is from the principle which is sin followed by death.

A conclusion follows from this: Two principles are contrasted, everyone lives in conformity with one or the other, but not with both.

a. People are either in Christ and, therefore, indwelt by the Holy Spirit Who gives life.

b. Or they are outside of Christ and still subject to sin and its consequences, i.e. eternal death.

2. God did what the law could not do - v. 3a

Romans 8:3 a - For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh. . . .

What the law could not do is the inability of the Law or the powerlessness of the Law

In that it was weak through the flesh = because it was operating through the old sin nature

3. God condemned sin in the flesh, by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin - 3b

Romans 8:3 b - . . . God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.

God is God the Father.

Sending his own Son is by sending His own Son

In the likeness of sinful flesh - God sent Christ in flesh, i.e. as a human being, but His flesh was not characterized by sin as our flesh is. Hence, it was in the likeness of sinful flesh. He was just as physical, just as human as we are, but He did not have any sin nature or sin.

And for sin = and concerning sin or and in behalf of sin and suggests to take away sin or to atone for sin.

Condemned sin is pronounced judgment upon sin.

In the flesh is in His (i.e. in Christ's) flesh

C. The purpose for which the Holy Spirit gives victory over sin - 8:4

Romans 8:4 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

That = in order that or for the purpose that

The righteousness of the law = the regulation of the law, the requirement of the law, or the commandment of the law. As such it sums up the entire law in order to show us what God expects.

Might be fulfilled in us = What God expects can now be fulfilled. In other words, our relationship to Christ enables us to obey God and live a godly life.

(Us) who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit, i.e. to all saved people not just to spiritually elite believers

II. THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT - 8:5-11

A. There are two kinds of people - 8:5

Romans 8:5 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.

Whereas verse 4 contrasts those who live after the flesh with those who live after the Spirit, verse 5 contrasts the mind set of those who are after the flesh with the mind set of those who are after the Spirit.

1. They that are after the flesh are unsaved.

They that are is the ones who are.

After the flesh = according to flesh, in accordance with flesh, in conformity with flesh, or corresponding to flesh. They are unsaved.

2. They that are after the Spirit are saved.

B. There are two tendencies - 8:5

Romans 8:5 (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.

1. They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh.

Do mind the things of the flesh = are setting their minds on the things of the flesh or are intent on the things of the flesh. They are continuously or constantly thinking about things characterized by the flesh, i.e. the old sin nature. One sets his mind on things he is intent on doing.

2. They that are after the Spirit (do mind) the things of the Spirit

Do mind the things of the Spirit = are setting their minds on the things of the Spirit or are intent on the things of the Spirit. They are continuously or constantly thinking about things characterized by the Holy Spirit, i.e. the new sinless nature. One sets his mind on things he is intent on doing.

3. What are you constantly thinking about? What are you always intent on doing?

Things characteristic of the Holy Spirit, or things characteristic of the old sin nature?

What you are constantly thinking about or what you are always intent on doing says something about the genuineness of your salvation.

C. There are two mind sets - 8:6

Romans 8:6-8 - (6) For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

1. To be carnally minded is death - v. 6

It is the mind set produced by (or controlled by) the flesh, i.e. the old sin nature.

To be carnally minded is literally the mind of the flesh.

It is a clear reference to those that mind the things of the flesh from verse 5.

The mind of the flesh means the way of thinking of the flesh, the mind set of the flesh, the aim of the flesh, the aspiration of the flesh, or the striving of the flesh.

Of the flesh means produced (or controlled) by the flesh. The mind set produced by (or controlled by) the flesh is death. It leads to both physical and spiritual death.

2. To be spiritually minded is life and peace - v. 6

It is the mind set produced by (or controlled by) the Spirit.

It will result in the fruit of the Spirit being produced in our lives. It will result in a full and blessed life within the will of God.

The mind set produced by (or controlled by) the old sin nature and the mind set produced by (or controlled by) the Holy Spirit will be in constant conflict with each other.

Galatians 5:16-17 - 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

D. There are two spheres - 8:7-11

Romans 8:7-11 - (7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (9) 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. (10) And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (11) 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.

1. In the flesh - vv. 7-8

Romans 8:7-8 - (7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

a. The carnal mind (i.e. the mind set produced by the flesh {i.e. the old sin nature}) is enmity (i.e. ill will, animosity, or hatred) against God - v. 7

Therefore, the mind set of the flesh is hostile toward God.

The problem lies with the mind set (or way of thinking) produced by the flesh rather than with God because, although the holiness of God does not permit God to compromise, He has provided for the salvation of all mankind by sending Christ to die upon the cross.

b. The carnal mind (i.e. the mind set produced by the old sin nature) is not subject to the law of God - v. 7

For indicates that this is the reason the carnal mind is enmity against God.

It (i.e. the carnal mind) is not subject to the law of God means does not subject (or subordinate) itself to the law of God. The law of God is likely the Mosaic Law.

c. The carnal mind (i.e. the mind set produced by the old sin nature cannot be (i.e. is not able to be) subject to the law of God - v. 7

This adds to the reason the carnal mind is enmity against (or hostile against) God.

Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

d. They that are in the flesh cannot please God - v. 8

So then represents the translation of a Greek word which is used for emphasis, and it is to be understood in the sense of indeed.

They that are in the flesh does not refer to those who are still alive physically as is indicated by the first half of verse 9, But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. In verse 9 the ones who are said to be not in the flesh are those to whom the epistle is addressed, and they are very much alive. They that are in the flesh refers instead to those who have not yet been saved, and it is contrasted with (they that are) in the Spirit.

Cannot means are not able, and its tense indicates continuous action. It is an ongoing situation which will not change as long as they are in the flesh. By contrast the tense of please indicates that they are not able even to begin to please God. They might be able to please themselves; but the only One Who really counts is God; and they are always unable even to begin to please Him.

2. In the Spirit

Romans 8:9 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.

Paul does not want the believers to whom he is writing to begin to question their own ability to please God. They are not in the flesh. They have been saved.

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to they that are in the flesh cannot please God in verse 8.

Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you is a conditional statement, which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true. For those who have been genuinely saved it is true. For those who have not yet been genuinely saved, it is not true.

The condition is if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you; and the conclusion is, Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. Ordinarily, the conclusion follows the condition; but when the writer is emphasizing the conclusion, the order is reversed. Here, Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit is being emphasized.

Ye is emphatic.

Ye are not in the flesh is you are not in flesh, i.e. you are not in the old sin nature.

But is emphatic and is used in the sense of rather or instead.

(You are) in the Spirit is in Spirit and has reference to the Holy Spirit. This is made clear by the phrase the Spirit of God in the next clause. It is also clear because the context repeatedly refers to the Holy Spirit. Believers are no longer in the flesh; rather, they are in the Holy Spirit.

If so be in English might suggest a possibility which may or may not be true. The word in the Greek text, however, is more positive and is understood in the sense of if indeed, if after all, or since. Believers are not in the flesh; the Spirit of God dwells in them.

The Spirit of God dwell in you refers to the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit in every believer. This indwelling is permanent and begins at the instant of salvation.

Now continues Paul's thought.

If any man have not the Spirit of Christ is assuming that someone does not have the Spirit of Christ.

The Spirit of Christ is another reference to the Holy Spirit.

If someone does not have the Holy Spirit, then he is none of his, i.e. he doesn't belong to Christ. He is unsaved.

There is no such thing as a believer in this age, i.e. since the day of Pentecost, who does not possess the Holy Spirit.

Neither is there any such thing as one who is an unbeliever who possesses the Holy Spirit. Either one possesses the Holy Spirit, or he does not. If he does possess the Holy Spirit, he belongs to Christ; but if he does not possess the Holy Spirit, he does not belong to Christ.

Romans 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

If Christ be in you is because (i.e. since or inasmuch as) Christ is in you.

Christ . . . in you indicates that not only the Holy Spirit but also Christ Himself indwells believers.

The conclusion of this condition is the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

The body is another reference to the flesh, i.e. to the old sin nature.

The body is said to be dead, and this is because of sin. It is in the body that the old sin nature dominates.

A statement in mild contrast to the body is dead because of sin is introduced by but.

By contrast the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Although some have viewed this reference to spirit as the Holy Spirit, it seems better to understand it as the individual's own spirit as contrasted with the individual's own body. He has spiritual life. The fact that Spirit is capitalized is not significant.

Life indicates that the spirit is alive, and it is alive because of righteousness which God gives to every believer.

Romans 8:11 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.

But continues the narrative but takes it in a slightly different direction in the sense of now.

If the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you is assuming that the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you. It is true of all believers, but it is not true of any unbelievers.

The Spirit . . . that dwell(s) in you is the Holy Spirit.

The one described as him that raised up Jesus from the dead and as he that raised up Christ from the dead is God the Father.

God the Father shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Shall also quicken means shall also make alive or shall also give life to.

Your mortal bodies are your bodies that are subject to death.

By is through and indicates intermediate agency. God the Father is the Direct Agent. He is the One Who will give life to your mortal bodies, but He will do it through His Holy Spirit.

The tense of that dwelleth in you indicates continuous action. It means that is living (or dwelling) in you. The Holy Spirit is not coming and going. He lives in the bodies of believers all the time.

CONCLUSION:

Thus, there are two kinds of people. There are those who have been saved. They mind the things of the Spirit. Then there are those who have not been saved. They mind the things of the flesh.

Which kind are you?

If you have not received Christ as your Savior, won't you do so today?