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Romans Chapter 8:1-17

Memory verses for this week: Mat 18:4  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.. 

Introduction:     Last week, in  the chapter 7, we found that the Lord wants every marriage to be a sacred institution that typifies the great love Christ has for the church.   We are to put the old man to death and to be married to Christ everyday that we might glorify God with our lives. 


I.  No Condemnation to those “in Christ”

 In the book of Romans, the Holy Spirit has been mentioned only one time thus far, that being in Romans 5:5.  However, here in Chapter 8 we find 19 references to the third man of the Godhead mentioned from verse 1 through 17.   This chapter opens with “no condemnation” and concludes with “no separation.”  Our heavenly Father is a loving God who does not give up on His children. 

Rom 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. 

The word “Now” implies that at one time we were under condemnation.   All unbelievers are clearly under condemnation and only a heart beat away from separation from God forever. 

John 3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

Who are those who are not condemned now?  It is those who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Personal Savior and repented of their sins.  The only way to get into Jesus Christ is through the new birth.   “Ye must be born again” was what Christ told Nicodemus, the Jewish leader who came to Jesus by night. 

John 3:1  There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

John 3:2  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

John 3:3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

John 3:5  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.

John 3:6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 

The “no condemnation” speaks of how God gives the believer eternal life.  God does not do things part of the way, but all the way.   We have no instance of a blind man coming to Christ and going away with sight in one eye, or the sick coming to the Lord and going away almost healed.   When God does things, he does them totally and completely, and without the assistance of man.  Many would like to tie the following of the law or commandments as requirements for salvation, but it is wholly of the unmerited Grace of God.  Thank the Lord that Jesus will keep all of those who come to him for salvation. 

2 Tim 1:12  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

2 Tim 1:13  Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 

Some of the more recent bible translations change verse 12 to say that “I am able to keep”, but it is Jesus who keeps us secure. 

John 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 

We that know Christ as Savior walk after the spirit, not after the flesh.


Rom 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.


To be “In Christ” guarantees us at least four things.

1)     No condemnation.. the person who has accepted Christ as Savior will never be questioned concerning their salvation.

2)     To be “in Christ” guarantees no separation.

3)     To be “in Christ” guarantees us eternal life.

4)     To be “in Christ” guarantees ultimate glory.

By the Holy Spirit coming into our lives, we are made free from the law of sin and death.  As we read last week, Jesus sets us free, and when He sets us free, we are free indeed.  Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which comes into us at the moment of salvation, there would be no freedom from the law of sin and death. 

Rom 8:3  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: 

Notice in verse 3 how there are four things the law could not do. 

1)     It could not deliver us from condemnation and ruin.   Gal 3:21  Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 

Gal 3:11  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

2)     It could not lead unbelievers to obey it.

3)     It could not lead them to repent for breaking the law.

4)     It could make no atonement for sin. 

Because the law could not do these things, it was weak through the flesh.  We see by this teaching that God was able to do things through the Jesus Christ that could not be done by the law.   Effectively, the law was used to teach us our position before God and direct us to come to Christ for salvation. 

Gal 3:22  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Gal 3:23  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Gal 3:24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Gal 3:25  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.


Rom 3:19  Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Rom 3:20  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.


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

Verse 4 shows how that the law required a certain righteousness, but it could not give that righteousness.  The only way the sinner can obtain righteousness is through Jesus Christ.   I enjoyed the comments J. Vernon McGee made on this verse.

“It was impossible for the Law to produce righteousness in man.  This is not the fault of the Law.  The fault lay in man and the sin in his flesh.  The Law was totally incapable of producing any good thing in man.  Paul could say “For I that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing. (Rom 7:18).   And friend, that is Scripture, and that is accurate.  Man is totally depraved.  That doesn’t mean only the man across the street or down in the next block from you, nor does it mean only some person who is living in sin; it means you and it means me.  The Holy Spirit is now able to do the impossible.  The Holy Spirit can produce a holy life in the weak and sinful flesh.  What the law could not do, the Holy Spirit is able to do.  Therefore, you and I are to live the Christian life on this new principle.  We are not to try to lift ourselves up by our own bootstraps.  We’ll never make it that way.  God is able to do this new impossible thing by sending His very own Son. “


Rom 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.

Rom 8:6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Rom 8:7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

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


The mind of the flesh, the condition in which man is by nature, is described as the following.


1)     It is death according to verse 6.  Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

2)     Verse 7 teaches that it is enmity against God.

3)     The mind of the flesh is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be.

4)     And Verse 8 says that they in the flesh can not please God.  We must come to God by the spirit.


This is the condition of the lost man or woman.. all of those who have not found Christ as their Personal Savior.  In Christ and the mind of the Spirit, we have life and peace.  A believer who walks after the flesh does not please God.  To be carnal is to turn back to the ways of the world and not follow the leading the Holy Spirit.   We know the unbeliever can not please God, but we that know Christ should walk in the Spirit and let Him guide us to the glory of the Father. 

II.                  The Body and the Spirit 

Rom 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. 

The teaching in verse 9 is quite clear.  If we do not have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we are none of His.  The Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer, and comes and takes up residence the moment we turn to Jesus for salvation. 

1 Cor 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

1 Cor 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 

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

Rom 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.


If Christ has taken up residence in us, our bodies have effectively became dead because of sin, but the Spirit makes us alive because of His righteousness.  The Lord promised to quicken the mortal bodies of all who have the Spirit dwelling in them. 

Rom 8:12  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

Rom 8:13  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. 

When the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in us, we are no longer debtors to the flesh, but we are debtors to God.  When we crucify the deeds of the body, the Spirit gives us life.  J.I. Packer in his study of Romans said “We have an obligation not to the sinful nature but, as the implication is, to the Spirit.  Out of the two controlling principles—the sinful nature (the flesh according to the Greek) and the Spirit—our obligation is not to the former, but rather to the latter.  To live according to it is enforced a repetition of the sentiment of verse 6: For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit… Therefore the necessity of holiness is absolute.”


III.                The Believer is a Son and an Heir 

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

Rom 8:15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.


In the book of John, we find that the Sons of God are led by the Spirit. 

John 16:13  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.


For us to be led by the Spirit, we must surrender our entire will over to God.   In Verse 15, it says we are delivered from bondage.   People cry out for freedom today and want to live free.  But until we have the bondage of sin removed from us, none of us will ever be truly free.   Christ gives freedom that the world will never know. 

Rom 8:16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Rom 8:17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 

You may have been told that there is no way for certain that you can know that you are saved until you die.  I think there are two scriptures that prove that theory wrong, and one of them is verse 16.  It says that His spirit, the Holy Ghost, bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.  When you get saved, there is a great lifting of weight off of your shoulders as the sin is removed, and great joy that comes into our hearts when the Holy Spirit takes up residence.  That Spirit is there to reassure us that we are truly saved.  And the other verse that I use when witnessing to others to help them prove that their salvation is real is over in I John.


1 John 5:10  He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

1 John 5:11  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

1 John 5:12  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

1 John 5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.


Note verse 13 is present tense… that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life.  There is no doubting or confusion if you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  If you have the Son of God in your heart, you are eternally secure.  If not, then we are lost like those mentioned in verse 10.   Verse 17 of our text teaches that when we know Jesus as Lord and Savior, we become joint-heirs with Christ.  We now have access to the Father, not because of what we have done, but because of what Christ has done for us.   Oh to comprehend the love that God has for us.  When we get down to the depth of His love to us, we will willingly suffer for the cause of Christ.  I hope that if I was called upon to die for my faith that I would willingly lay down my life.  I’ve suffered little for my love of God, but many in foreign fields today die because of their stand for Jesus Christ.   Let us draw close to God and be willing if so called upon to suffer to the honor and glory of Jesus Christ.   …. and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.



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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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