I remember being taught Romans 8 in a Church Service many years ago when I was still a child, I thought that you might also be interested to explore this chapter, that is why for the next few weeks we are going to explore Romans 8 in a three-part series; this is part 1 of the series.
- Do you have your bible ready?
- Do you have a pen and paper for making notes?
- Is your heart and mind receptive to what we are about to study
Okay good, let us begin part 1 of our study exploring (Romans 8: 1-17)
Romans 8:1-2: Tells us we are free and why?
When we read in (Exodus 20) where God gave the ten commandments to Moses and the Israelites, the people ‘trembled and stood at a distance’ (Verse 18): they were afraid. Before the ten commandments, there was no mirror to reflect the people’s imperfections, there was a lack of understanding of how to honour God with reverence and a lack of understanding of who they were meant to be. The law (The 10 commandments) was such a mirror, it highlighted the peoples’ imperfections as liars, thieves, adulterers and so on and so on. It brought about condemnation, that’s why instead of turning to God in awe they fled from the mountain.
– An expression of very strong disapproval
– The sentencing of one to a punishment
Now knowing what God’s standard of good and bad was ( and not of the one which they created for themselves), the Israelites were [we were] now liable to be punished for their [our] actions should they diverge from the law. The laws highlighted the difficulty of mans’ ability to be ‘good’, no man could stand before God without a fault, therefore, no man was without condemnation. We through the laws learned of why we need to seek God and why we needed salvation so that we no longer hold onto condemnation and instead make the imperfect perfect.
Romans 8: 3-4: Tells us how our freedom was obtained and the result of our freedom (Walking in Spirit)
The law could not make us stand perfect before God, and knowing this God had already planned for a way to make us perfect, by sending His only begotten Son who could abide by all the laws and confidently stand before God with no condemnation. His son, Christ, would instead trade our transgressions for his perfection. In this way, it is his perfection that separates us from our imperfections and allows us to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.
The result of Adam’s fall from grace meant that Man was not simply influenced by sin but completely overpowered by it. Sin placed man under the dominion of Satan and not of God and no man could cure (until Jesus)
15 things the Law could not do
- Justify us
- Free us from Sin and Death
- Free us from condemnation
- Redeem us
- Give us an inheritance
- Bring Righteousness
- Impart the Holy Spirit
- Impart Faith
- Impart Grace
- Make Perfect
- Control sin in man
- Keep man from sin
- Enable man to obey
Romans 8:5-7: differentiate between the mindset of the flesh and the Spirit
When we are allowing our flesh to dictate, then we might as well be walking through a bakery shop when on a diet, our ability to withstand temptation is not going to happen; give up! We struggle to control our thoughts, our bodies and we find ourselves doing things that we don’t want to do. Has there been a moment when you have done something bad to a friend out of spite or jealousy e.g. scratch a friends new car or pretend you’re busy just to avoid helping them? You knew better but could not stop yourself?
The flesh can not submit to God not because it doesn’t want to but because it can’t. It knows what it is doing is wrong but finds itself heading towards the path of spiritual death and further isolation from God. BUT!, the mindset of those who walk in the Spirit, by this we mean those who walk in communication with God the Father in heaven, think not of feeding themselves with bakery goods but with manna from heaven.
A Spirit mindset does not operate in the realm of ‘where will I find my next meal’ but rather ‘thank you God for this manna that you have provided for me to feast on’. That is why the mind that operates in the heavenly realms not only ‘has life’ but is at peace.
Romans 8: 8-9: Receiving the Holy Spirit means we belong to God
‘God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth’ (John 4:24). Last week we looked at the importance of the words we speak because it is the Holy Spirit who carries those words and ‘takes them up to the presence of God’ (Revelations 8:4). Those who have accepted Christ as their Lord and saviour have accepted the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in their lives (1 Corinthians 2:12), this means their worship and their prayers ascends to the presence of God. However, those who operate in the flesh do not have this same Spirit that carries their speech to heaven, and one who is not operating under this authority cannot claim to know God, as such, cannot claim to belong to him if they have no communication line with him.
Through social media we can communicate with people who otherwise we would not know of their existence, and through this communication can we claim to be part of their friendship group. However, without the internet such a relationship could not be formed, the Holy Spirit is like the internet that allows us to search the activities of heaven here on Earth, allowing us to belong to a ‘heavenly-internet’ group aka to God.
Romans 8:10-13: The resurrecting power of the Holy Spirit.
We all know the story that Christ died and after three days rose from the grave, but, it was through the Holy Spirit that Christ could come out of hell and present himself as a living body. Now, if we accept the Holy Spirit in our lives can’t our mortal bodies be resurrected too? Answer: Yes.
As was spoken in the pdf for the WOTW#3, those who accepted Christ, accepted to die with Christ and be resurrected with an eternal body and not a dying one that we had inherited from Adam. So when we surrendered our old bodies we surrendered our sins which lead to death and accepted the mindset of the Spirit which brings life.
Romans 8: 14-17: Operating in the Spirit means we have been adopted by the Spirit
(Romans 8:9) ‘But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him‘
As such we can also understand that ‘whoever has the Spirit of Christ belongs to Him‘. What I like about the next verses is that they go a bit further into explaining how we ‘belong’ to Him. Prior, I used the allegory of the internet to explain how we are connected to God but even this is limited imagery. We don’t just belong to God as we belong to a social group, we belong to Him because we have been called his children. The lines that connect us are blood, more specifically Christ’s blood.
Unlike conventional adoptions which are a result of multiple paperwork’s and documentation, this adoption is an adoption of the family genes, meaning we don’t just finish with the Bible telling us we are family, but, that we are being fashioned and formed to look and sound like our Father so that no one can say that we do not belong to his family.
‘And if children, also heirs of God, and co-heirs with Christ’ (Romans 8:17)
If we are God’s children, then we have the rights to inherit all that God has and formed. To end today’s blog in preparation for next week, I want us to think about what it is that we inherit from God as co-heirs.
Check out Part II of the Blog
Check out Part III of the Blog