Sermons

Each week we hear the Word of God spoken and ministered to help us grow and become more like Jesus.

Rom 8:1-2 - There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh could not do.  

Freedom is such a glorious word and yet such an elusive reality.  Freedom has been sought after by so many people for so many generations, and in so many ways that we often forget how hard i new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code."  There is now a new state that has been purchased by the cross.  And the result of this divine act was to release us from being captives!   Those who are in Christ "have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Gal 2:20).  

a)  Lives in believers - 8:9 tells us a glorious truth that has been purt is to obtain.  Perhaps you will remember the story of William Wallace, whose story was depicted on Braveheart:

Wallace led the Scottish rebellion against Edward I and inflicted a famous defeat on the English army at Stirling Bridge. He is remembered as a patriot and national hero.

William Wallace was born in the 1270s in Elderslie in Renfrewshire into a gentry family. 

In 1296, Edward I of England had taken advantage of a succession crisis in Schased by the cross (7:4, 8:11).  The Spirit "dwells" in those who are His.  The word "dwell" means to "occupy a house" or to "reside".  The Holy Spirit does not come and go as the teeter totter of good and bad continues to go up and down.  The Holy Spirit lives in a believer and does not move.  He is a guarantee that one day we will receive the "unfading crown of life" and all will be perfect with Him (Eph 1:14, and 2 Cor 1:22).  Ex - houses in Mexicocotland and imposed himself as ruler with an English administration. Within months, Scottish unrest was widespread.

In May 1297, Wallace attacked the town of Lanark, killing the English sheriff and unrest quickly became full-blown rebellion. Men flocked to join Wallace and he began to drive the English out of Fife and Perthshire. In September 1297, Wallace defeated a much larger English force at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. This and subsequent military successes severely weakene - Luke 11:25 'When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order.'.  

b)  Leads believers - 8:14 - The Holy Spirit also leads all those who are His.  This is where the NLT shows the relationship as it is.   How does He lead?

NLT - 8:1-5

BELONG - 8:1

CONTROL - 8:3

DOMINATED VS CONTROLLED - 8:5

DICTATES VS POWER OF THE SPIRIT - 8:13

So, then, what is our current state?  We have not yet obtained the "glory thd the English hold on Scotland. Wallace then launched raids into England. In late 1297 or early 1298 he was knighted and appointed 'guardian of the kingdom' in the name of John Balliol, the deposed king of Scotland.

The shock of the defeat at Stirling rallied the English around Edward, who marched north with an army. Wallace's strategy was to avoid confrontation and gradually withdraw. He destroyed the countryside as he went, forcing Edward to march deeper and deeper into Scotlandat is to be revealed" (8:18 ' I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.'), so how does the believer live?  

The key is found in 8:13. But, in 8:5-6 and 8:13, we can begin to have a complex like the Galatians, "Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" (Gal 3:3).  Jesus died in order to fulfill righteousness on our behalf and save . In July 1298, the Scottish and English armies met near Falkirk, and the Scots were defeated. Wallace escaped . . . . 

Wallace then went abroad, notably to France, to seek support for the Scottish cause. He returned to Scotland in 1303. In his absence Robert Bruce had accepted a truce with Edward I and, in 1304, John Comyn came to terms with the English as well. Wallace was excluded from these terms and the English king offered a large sum of money to anyone who killed or caus from the domination of sin, so why would he now ask something of us that goes back to "try harder"?  

First, let's clarify that the state of a believer is that we are saved, there is no more condemnation, but there is still the tendency of a flesh nature to call out to us.  It is not gone, it is dead.  But, can't dead things cause phantom pains?   Such is the nature of sin in a believers life.  We now have the ABILITY to not sin, but that doesn't mean we NEVER sptured him. Wallace was seized in or near Glasgow in August 1305, and transported to London. He was charged and tried with treason, which he denied, saying he had never sworn allegiance to the English king. His execution was held on 23 August, where he was hung, drawn and quartered. - bbc.co.uk  

This is a moving and stirring account of a man who wouldn't give up freedom, but to what end?  Even if he had gained independence, it would only be so good as another war didn't chain.  Now, the battle is to put to death the "deeds" of the body.  

What does it mean to put to death the deeds of the body?

Ed Welch, in preparation for his book called A Banquet in the Grave (Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 2001), said:

. . . there is a mean streak to authentic self-control. . . Self-control is not for the timid. When we want to grow in it, not only do we nurture an exuberance for Jesus Christ, we also demand of ourselves a hatrenge it again.  Our fleeting attempts at freedom only last for a moment of time and can't do anything about the future.  Psalm 2 asks, "Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?"  It is God who has set His King in place and no one will change that.  He is the Master of all earthly masters, and the King of all earthly kings.  

It is this King that has the right to give life or take it away, and this King who can declare guilty or not guild for sin. . . . The only possible attitude toward out-of-control desire is a declaration of all-out war. . . . There is something about war that sharpens the senses . . . You hear a twig snap or the rustling of leaves and you are in attack mode. Someone coughs and you are ready to pull the trigger. Even after days of little to no sleep, war keeps us vigilant.

Rom 6:5, 6:9 - Glorious truth that we have just learned

  1. 6:11 - Consider yourselves dead to sin
  2. 6:12 - Let nty.  True freedom, then, is to be declared "not guilty" by the King of kings and no one else.  To be saved under this King, however, is to be saved in a particular way.  Rom 8:2 says that when Jesus saves someone, He SETS THEM FREE!  Freedom!!  To be saved is to be free!!  

    The book of John is written so that you may believe and have life in his name.  It is no surprise, then, that we continually arrive back at the need to be born again.ot sin reign

  3. 6:13 - Do not present your members 

Piper - "Sin is deeper than deeds."

Phil 3:9-13 'and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and [f]the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in o  Of course, there is no mould by which this is done the same way in each situation.  Having been at three births now, it is apparent to me that none of them are the same.  One child takes a short amount of time, with no complications, to be born into this world, while another takes many hours and numerous medical interventions.  One is "boring", while the other is extremely eventful and fraught with worry.  One has a simple and uneventful story and another entertains corder that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on [h]so that I may lay hold of that [i]for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. . . . '

  1. The reassurance
Setting our minds on the things of the Spirit is what believers do.  Putting to death the deeds of the body is what believers do.  Being led by the Spirit of God is what the sons of God do.  

FOR, or because. . . . you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, 'Abba!  Father!'".  

Mark 14:36 - Jesus cries out "Abba, Father" to God, asking Him to take this cup of sufferat mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead . . . 

Walking in the Spirit is the condition of those who are set free:

  1. The contrast 

Romans 8:1-17 begins on such a high note, but our misunderstanding can lead to discouragement in the next few verses.  'There is therefore no condemnation . . . . and then ing from Him.

We are able to cry out the name of God that Jesus uses!  This is amazing and consistent with Rom 8:17.  We call out the name of the Father that Jesus uses, "Daddy", and we will be fellow "heirs" with Christ.  How can this be?!  Only through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.  

Too often, we approach the Christian faith talking about the Spirit of Life, while living by the spirit of fear.  And even when we try to undue thatthe charge to set our minds on the Spirit and not the flesh.'  It is very apparent that the believer often visibly deflates at this point!  We say, "Hey, you're free, now live as if you're not free" in so much of our preaching and teaching.  But, if Rom 8:1-2, along with many other passages, say that we are free, then the battle is to believe we are set free AS GOD HAS SAID WE ARE FREE.  

What is really being done, in Rom 8 is that God has set up a contrast.  eive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba!  Father!’”.  

Mark 14:36 – Jesus cries out “Abba, Father” to God, asking Him to take this cup of suffering from Him.

We are able to cry out the name of God that Jesus uses!  This is amazing and consistent with Rom 8:17.  We call out the name of the Father that Jesus uses, “Daddy”, and we willieve we are set free AS GOD HAS SAID WE ARE FREE.  

What is really being done, in Rom 8 is that God has set up a contrast.  If we miss this, then we miss the good news and the freedom that comes with that good news.  God has not given a “spirit of fear”, so why should we be afraid when we look at the same passage that says this?

So, let’s look at what the word “therefore” is referring to in 8:1:

  1. 7:1 – ‘Do you nol be fellow “heirs” with Christ.  How can this be?!  Only through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.  

    Too often, we approach the Christian faith talking about the Spirit of Life, while living by the spirit of fear.  And even when we try to undue that tendency, we tend to try and muster up the belief that we don’t need to fear.  Either one is full of self effort.

    Rom 10:8-11 But what does it say? “The word is neart know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives?’

 
Law is binding on a person only as long as he lives.  The “law” that is being referred to here does not mean “the Law of Moses but is being used in reference to the Law of Moses.  The Law is symbolic of the authority which rules over people” (Hurley).  

It is f you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  As Scrom Romans that we see the law is written on people’s hearts and it alternately accuses them or defends them (Rom 2:15).  In other words, everyone has a sense of right and wrong, and their consciences will bother them if they do wrong, or make them feel better if they do right.  

But, why does Paul tell us that this law is only binding on those who live?  

  1. 7:5-6 –  “For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passiripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” – Jesus is LORD . . . . WILL be saved

    Watchman Nee - During the cold winter months the man was in the habit of drinking wine with his meals, and he was apt to do so to excess. After my departure, with the return of the cold weather, the wine appeared on the table again, and that day, as he had become accustomed to do, the husband bowed his head to return thanks for the meal but no words would ons, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”
     Now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us CAPTIVE.

To live in the flesh is not to be without the law, but to have the law stir up our natural desires.  An example of this is when we were toldcome. After one or two vain attempts he turned to his wife. 'What is wrong?' he asked. 'Why cannot we pray to-day? Fetch the Bible and see what it has to say about wine-drinking.' I had left a copy of the Scriptures with them, but though the wife could read she was ignorant of the Word, and she turned the pages in vain seeking for light on the subject. They did not know how to consult God's Book and it was impossible to consult God's messenger, for I was many miles to be serious in church (as kids), and then couldn’t stop laughing; or more seriously, when we are told not to lust after someone, and the mere thought makes us look.  

This sort of living in the flesh is described as CAPTIVITY, and the result of this captivity is death.  The “But” in 7:6 then specifically makes a contrast to the reality of “being released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the away and it might be months before they could see me. 'Just drink your wine', said his wife. 'We'll refer the matter to brother Nee at the first opportunity.' But still the man found he just could not return thanks to the Lord for that wine. 'Take it away!' he said at length; and when she had done so, together they asked a blessing on their meal.  When eventually the man was able to visit Shanghai he told me the story. Using an expression familiar in ChineSpirit and not in the old way of the written code.”  

And how does this death happen?  By 7:4, the “body of Christ”.  So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ,that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

Paul then continues this explanation in 7:7-25.

  1. Romans 8:5 – For those who live according to the flesh set se: 'Brother Nee', he said, 'Resident Boss* wouldn't let me have that drink! ' ' Very good, brother', I said. 'You always listen to Resident Boss!' Many of us know that Christ is our life. We believe that the Spirit of God is resident in us, but this fact has little effect upon our behaviour. The question is, do we know Him as a living Person, and do we know Him as Boss'?

    their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

This section continues to explain that there are two realities.  One reality that lives by the flesh and one that lives by the Spirit.  The words “flesh” is speaking of the “natural things”.  The Spirit is speaking of the Holy Spirit.  But, this is usually where we see the either/or nature of daily life and hope that God will keep us on the one side of this teeter-totter.  But, much too soon we begin to have a theology that looks at the good outweighing the bad, and the Gospel has been reduced to nothing more than the world’s idea of the Gospel.

8:6 – mind the flesh = death

          mind on the Spirit = life and peace

8:7 -mind on the flesh = hostile to God

And now, just like 7:1 and 7:4, 8:1 and 8:9 serve the same purpose.  “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.”  Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.”

  1. 8:7 – set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, IT CANNOT.  

And now we are starting to complete the picture.  Just like the pictures that we shade in, and the picture begins to take shape, I hope that you are beginning to see how this picture is becoming clearer.  The mind set on the flesh CANNOT submit to God’s law.  This is very bad news if this section is talking about a simple discipline.  Basically, then, it would be saying that you have to do this, but you CANNOT, which is most people’s idea regarding religion and why many can’t bring themselves to follow a religion like this.  

This thought is not new, however, because Paul says this in 7:18.  Paul has “the desire to to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.”  God has put the law into each person’s heart, and they all desire to do good because of the law that is written on their hearts.  As Shannon Hurley once questioned, “Do you think that someone who doesn’t know Christ wants to get a divorce?  That they show up at the altar and decide to get divorced?”  No!  But, the desire to do good ends in evil, because the “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (8:8).    

In other words, we want marriage (good thing), and then try to find a partner by compromising (evil).  Good desire, bad result.  We want a career (good thing), and so we cheat in college (evil).  Good desire, bad result.  We want money to spend on a vacation with our families (good thing), and so we lie about the true state of the car we are selling (evil).  Good desire, bad result.  And, it is these things that “bear fruit for death”, because the good desires were corrupted by the “sinful passions”.  

  1. The transformation 

So, the passage is a contrast between those who have died with Christ and those who have not.  Those who are of the flesh and cannot please God, and those who are not.  Those who are in captivity and those who are free.  Those are serve by the new way of the Spirit and those who serve the old way by the written code.  Those who are able to do what is right and those who are not able.  Those who have the Spirit of life and those who do not.  

This contrast now makes 8:1-2 make complete sense.  

“But, now . . . “, NOW, “we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.”  There is now a new state that has been purchased by the cross.  And the result of this divine act was to release us from being captives!   Those who are in Christ “have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20).  

a)  Lives in believers - 8:9 tells us a glorious truth that has been purchased by the cross (7:4, 8:11).  The Spirit “dwells” in those who are His.  The word “dwell” means to “occupy a house” or to “reside”.  The Holy Spirit does not come and go as the teeter totter of good and bad continues to go up and down.  The Holy Spirit lives in a believer and does not move.  He is a guarantee that one day we will receive the “unfading crown of life” and all will be perfect with Him (Eph 1:14, and 2 Cor 1:22).  Ex – houses in Mexico – Luke 11:25 ‘When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order.’.  

b)  Leads believers – 8:14 – The Holy Spirit also leads all those who are His.  This is where the NLT shows the relationship as it is.   How does He lead?

NLT – 8:1-5

BELONG – 8:1

CONTROL – 8:3

DOMINATED VS CONTROLLED – 8:5

DICTATES VS POWER OF THE SPIRIT – 8:13

So, then, what is our current state?  We have not yet obtained the “glory that is to be revealed” (8:18  I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.’), so how does the believer live?  

The key is found in 8:13. But, in 8:5-6 and 8:13, we can begin to have a complex like the Galatians, “Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal 3:3).  Jesus died in order to fulfill righteousness on our behalf and save us from the domination of sin, so why would he now ask something of us that goes back to “try harder”?  

First, let’s clarify that the state of a believer is that we are saved, there is no more condemnation, but there is still the tendency of a flesh nature to call out to us.  It is not gone, it is dead.  But, can’t dead things cause phantom pains?   Such is the nature of sin in a believers life.  We now have the ABILITY to not sin, but that doesn’t mean we NEVER sin.  Now, the battle is to put to death the “deeds” of the body.  

What does it mean to put to death the deeds of the body?

Ed Welch, in preparation for his book called A Banquet in the Grave (Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 2001), said:

. . . there is a mean streak to authentic self-control. . . Self-control is not for the timid. When we want to grow in it, not only do we nurture an exuberance for Jesus Christ, we also demand of ourselves a hatred for sin. . . . The only possible attitude toward out-of-control desire is a declaration of all-out war. . . . There is something about war that sharpens the senses . . . You hear a twig snap or the rustling of leaves and you are in attack mode. Someone coughs and you are ready to pull the trigger. Even after days of little to no sleep, war keeps us vigilant.

Rom 6:5, 6:9 – Glorious truth that we have just learned

  1. 6:11 – Consider yourselves dead to sin
  2. 6:12 – Let not sin reign
  3. 6:13 – Do not present your members 

Piper – “Sin is deeper than deeds.”

Phil 3:9-13 ’and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and [f]the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on [h]so that I may lay hold of that [i]for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. . . . ‘

  1. The reassurance

Setting our minds on the things of the Spirit is what believers do.  Putting to death the deeds of the body is what believers do.  Being led by the Spirit of God is what the sons of God do.  

FOR, or because. . . . you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba!  Father!’”.  

Mark 14:36 – Jesus cries out “Abba, Father” to God, asking Him to take this cup of suffering from Him.

We are able to cry out the name of God that Jesus uses!  This is amazing and consistent with Rom 8:17.  We call out the name of the Father that Jesus uses, “Daddy”, and we will be fellow “heirs” with Christ.  How can this be?!  Only through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.  

Too often, we approach the Christian faith talking about the Spirit of Life, while living by the spirit of fear.  And even when we try to undue that tendency, we tend to try and muster up the belief that we don’t need to fear.  Either one is full of self effort.

Rom 10:8-11 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” – Jesus is LORD . . . . WILL be saved

Watchman Nee - During the cold winter months the man was in the habit of drinking wine with his meals, and he was apt to do so to excess. After my departure, with the return of the cold weather, the wine appeared on the table again, and that day, as he had become accustomed to do, the husband bowed his head to return thanks for the meal but no words would come. After one or two vain attempts he turned to his wife. 'What is wrong?' he asked. 'Why cannot we pray to-day? Fetch the Bible and see what it has to say about wine-drinking.' I had left a copy of the Scriptures with them, but though the wife could read she was ignorant of the Word, and she turned the pages in vain seeking for light on the subject. They did not know how to consult God's Book and it was impossible to consult God's messenger, for I was many miles away and it might be months before they could see me. 'Just drink your wine', said his wife. 'We'll refer the matter to brother Nee at the first opportunity.' But still the man found he just could not return thanks to the Lord for that wine. 'Take it away!' he said at length; and when she had done so, together they asked a blessing on their meal.  When eventually the man was able to visit Shanghai he told me the story. Using an expression familiar in Chinese: 'Brother Nee', he said, 'Resident Boss* wouldn't let me have that drink! ' ' Very good, brother', I said. 'You always listen to Resident Boss!' Many of us know that Christ is our life. We believe that the Spirit of God is resident in us, but this fact has little effect upon our behaviour. The question is, do we know Him as a living Person, and do we know Him as Boss'?

 
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