let us pray
our heavenly father we thank you that we
can come here on this beautiful
fall morning
the beginning of fall at least and
breathe in crisp air
and father there is so much in life that
we take for granted
father we pray that you would make us a
people
of thankfulness that you would fill our
hearts with gratitude and joy
for all the goodness that you give us
in spite of ourselves at times
father we pray that you will fill our
minds with your word this morning
and let our worship and study of your
word
be pleasing in your sight in jesus
name all god’s people said amen
please be seated
[Music]
we’ve been studying romans in our reign
of grace series
for about 15 16 weeks now
and we
last week we were looking at that
such an important passage in the book of
romans
romans 7 especially the last
part of romans 7 where it deals with
what i called the war
in our members the war
and our members and all up to this point
paul has been laying out for us
the effects of sin in the world
and the need for the gospel
of jesus christ to redeem us
and heal us as we look at the world
around us today it feels chaotic
it does to me does it feel chaotic to
you
it feels very chaotic and
um and it feels broken
it feels angry it feels full of rage to
me
and i don’t think that’s anything new
it’s not
anything new it’s
something that’s always been there since
the fall
but sometimes it rears its ugly head
it’s you know it gets stirred up
and it comes to the four
and then we have to face this ugliness
of existence in a fallen
world and we like to call it
as i’m talking when i say we not
necessarily the christians of the church
but as a human race we like to call it
a lot of different things and we like to
blame it on a lot of different things
and most of the time what we’re doing is
pointing our fingers at each other and
say well it’s their fault it’s their
fault
especially in election year you know the
reason why the united states is
got problems is you know each party
is pointing at the other one and says
well it’s it’s it’s the fault of people
like that
and the power
of sin is
sitting beneath it and i think when we
really point
all the the you know when we blame each
other
instead of taking responsibility as a
race i think i think satan chuckles a
little bit
i think he loves that because
any time we just make it somebody else’s
fault and we don’t make it
all the human race’s fault then it be
really just
it diminishes what satan has done it
diminishes
the power of sin and what it’s done in
the world and what the
what the gospel is doing is it’s giving
an
answer to all of that it’s an answer to
everything
and the tough thing for uh for us as
christians is we don’t
necessarily if the world doesn’t look
like the answer
has come it has
and that is the sinless god man
hanging on a tree
and that’s what paul’s been talking
about for seven chapters and he gets up
to romans 7
and he says now we’ve got this war
because you know what
sin the power of sin is still
in the world but and he says
these words in romans 7 25 he says
but thanks be to god through
jesus christ our lord that i now serve
god’s law with my mind
though my flesh still serves the law
of sin
he he he just raises his arms and prays
and says
thanks be to god let me boil that down a
bit
what he’s saying there he says even
though
i still feel the weight of sin
pulling me down even though i do things
i don’t want to do thanks
be to god that’s not who i
am any more
and that’s what’s so important
i’ve i’ve i’ve thought at different
times
about uh people who have a big struggle
like
maybe being uh paralyzed
and their life is characterized from a
bondage of not being able to move
and yet they have the hope that they
won’t be paralyzed in the kingdom
or maybe somebody is looking forward to
something that changes their life
that’s coming along but in the meantime
you still
feel drug down by it
but who you are is no longer
that person and what paul brings in here
in chapter eight
is the role of the spirit of god because
god
doesn’t just fix the problem from a
cosmic point of view
he fixes the pro he begins to fix the
problem now
by giving us the spirit in our lives and
and he says so
after romans 7 25 where he says thanks
be to god through jesus christ our lord
that i now
serve god’s law with my mind though with
my flesh
serve the law of sin he says these words
he says there
is therefore now
no condemnation
no condemnation for those who are in
christ jesus
for the law of the spirit of life in
uh the law of the spirit of life has set
you free
in christ jesus from the law
of sin and death
that’s a very big therefore he says no
condemnation
what is meant by that what is meant by
condemnation
well it’s actually it’s a pronouncement
of judgment
a pronouncement of guilt
and sentencing you see what paul
what’s going on in the background is
paul’s picture of god as the cosmic
judge
who’s going to who to whom every human
being
is going to answer someday
every human being is going to stand
before god and jesus christ
and what he’s saying here is that those
who are in christ jesus
have no condemnation there’s no judgment
there’s no eternal death sentence he
says because
the law of the spirit of life has set us
free from the law and sin
of sin and death for god has done what
the law
weakened by the flesh could not do by
sending his
own son in the likeness of sinful flesh
and for sin
and so there is no judgment passed on us
in christ and you see these are
very important words here where he says
he condemned
sin in the flesh you see it’s the great
exchange
again the whole gospel
is a great exchange of the sinless man
for sinful human beings the righteous
man
for the unrighteous the righteous man
gives his life so the
unrighteous can be righteous he who knew
no sin became sin
so that we who are in sin might know
eternal life and this is the powerful
thing right here he says by sending his
own son
in the likeness of sinful flesh for what
reason for
sin for all the problems are in the
world
everything every bit of that chaos
and anger and uh fear
and frustration that’s going on in the
world right now
that’s been seething under the surface
and then it explodes into wars or
social unrest and things like that from
time to time
jesus came to deal with that
but he deals with it at the personal
level
you see he doesn’t just paint with a
broad brush
he’s concerned with my sin he’s con
concerned with todd murphy’s sin because
you see
if he can’t save an individual he can’t
save anyone
but if he can save an individual he can
save everybody
and that’s how personal the gospel is
for you that’s how personal it is
jesus didn’t just die for everyone he
died for you
personally and look what it says there
in verse 3 and he condemned sin
in the flesh what does that mean you see
he’s just said there’s no condemnation
what paul is saying is that jesus by his
death for sin condemned
condemnation how’s that for irony
how’s that for poetic justice
jesus’s own life
condemned condemnation
and he says in order that the righteous
requirement of the law
might be fulfilled in us who walk not
according to the flesh
but according to the spirit
what is the law of sin and death that he
talks about here
well it is the principle of sin dwelling
in us it’s that power he was talking
about in the previous chapter
where when i want to do the right thing
i still
go and do the wrong thing
when i say you know what i feel very bad
about how i treated my spouse about that
i’m not gonna do it again
and then two days later something
happens and we do it to our spouse again
that’s the power that he’s talking about
that
that that principle of the flesh the law
of sin and death
and you see how many sins does it take
to send a human to hell
what was that one
so what if i could take care of my
problem
just for a minute i could get it all
together and i could clean my slate
but i still have the law of sin and
death dwelling in me
what happens we sin again
a couple days later a couple hours later
me a couple minutes later
amen that’s the way we do
and that’s why paul can say thanks be to
god
right that’s a big big thanks
why because that that that that
principle the law of sin and death
that’s still in your members
and is still clawing at you
like a wild animal or a demon
has no control over your destiny
has no control of your identity and you
have the promise
to be free and so what he talks about
here
is what is the role of the spirit in our
lives now
you see he starts to give us the why he
gave us the what
up until now he’s getting into the why
and what do we do with that
this is the pivot point in romans we
start moving
away from just to who we are
to how we are to be in the rest of the
book right
and romans 8 is very important because
it’s the spirit
what role does the spirit play but it’s
very important for us to understand the
spirit as christians because we get
really really mixed up about it
sometimes
and so we can first ask what does the
spirit
not do what does the spirit
not do well he does not
obey for us okay
the spirit does not the holy spirit does
not obey for us
he does not take over our body and
possess us
like an evil spirit and say i’m going to
make you
do the right thing all the time right
now
because you think about it what god is
calling us into is a relationship with
him and what kind of relationship do we
have to someone who just
controls us is that the kind of
relationship we want with each other
is that the kind of relationship we want
with god
part of the reason that we’re in this
mess is because god honored us enough
to put that fruit in the garden and say
choose whom you’ll serve choose
whether you will love me or not and he’s
brought us jesus so we can
choose to have a relationship with him
the spirit does not wipe out
our sinful inclination while we still
live in this world and he doesn’t even
pressure us
to do the right thing
how many of you when pressured to do the
right thing
by someone else usually did
what the person who was pressuring you
wanted to do
that’s not my tendency you put pressure
on me i want to go the other way right
that’s how we are right you know you you
tell me
todd don’t do that well i want to do
that
that’s what paul talks about here that’s
part of the sinful nature
we like to do we like we hate being told
what to do
and the spirit doesn’t make us do it
but the spirit is there and so what does
the spirit do
think of the spirit like a wise advisor
and coach
who will give you as much help as you
need
even extra strength to overcome the
obstacles when you need it
but he only does so when you truly
seek it and ask for it
because because god’s a gentleman
you see god always leaves the room for
true repentance
even in the lives of christians it gives
us the choice
to reject him today or embrace
him today and so he calls us to wait
on the spirit in the spirit we need to
wait on god
if we want him to wait on us
amen and so he has
already made all things possible in
jesus christ but if we don’t avail
ourselves of those things
and jesus has already condemned
sin in the flesh that’s what paul said
you see you remember those little words
that he said as he was dying on the
cross
just before he died just before he
said father into your hands i commend my
spirit he said something else he said
it is finished
that’s the gospel truth right there it
is finished what
is finished sin is finished
it’s coming to an end
all sin and death is coming to an end
and so we have it all in jesus christ
it’s all ours for the taking
but you know what god wants us to come
to him
god wants us to come sit at his feet
and listen to him
recently i saw a video of a gymnastics
coach
helping a young girl gymnast do her
back handsprings and i was like
that’s like the spirit spirit’s not
doing it for us
but you go to the coach and the coach
teaches you and trains you and even
supports you he was supporting her back
as she did her back handsprings
it was beautiful it was precious and i
was like that’s how the spirit works in
our lives
we have to come to the spirit we have to
come to god and say god
i’m here
sometimes we have to just come and
listen
a lot of times we as christians think
prayer is all about words
it’s not a lot of prayer is just
listening
listening god’s whispering to us all the
time
and giving us direction
because we feel that little conviction
in our heart
you see god’s will is that he would have
a righteous and holy people that reflect
his grace and so the spirit is a part of
that the death
and resurrection make us righteous and
the indwelling spirit
helps us to live righteous
and so look at what john says here in
his gospel he says
but when the helper comes whom i
send to you from the father the spirit
of truth who proceeds from the father he
will bear witness about me
and then a little ways down in the next
chapter he says this and he will come
and he will convict the world concerning
sin
and righteousness and judgment
did you notice it doesn’t say he comes
and beats up the world
didn’t say he comes and coerces the
world
he says he’s going to come convict the
world
of sin and righteousness and judgment
and what that means is when the spirit
comes whether the christian
or non-christian what he’s still doing
is saying
the ball is in your court are you going
to listen to the will of god and repent
and do the
will of god that’s what the spirit’s
doing
and i truly believe that our lives
are reflected they reflect god and the
gospel to the degree that we are
listening
to the degree that we are listening
to him and that is why
the christian life is a battle for
the mind what we set our mind on
defines us and that is where the spirit
is working in your mind and heart
that still small voice that’s gnawing
away at you
about something you said sharply to your
spouse or employee or
whatever it may be that’s convicting you
to come clean on that
and ask forgiveness
you see paul says here in romans 8 5 he
says for those who live according to the
flesh
set their minds on the things of the
flesh but those who live
according to the spirit set their minds
of the things of the spirit
for the set the mind on the flesh is
death but to set the mind
on the spirit is life and peace there’s
our directions right there
todd how do you live how do we live
the christian life paul says it right
there
to set the mind on the spirit is the
life
is life and peace why because you’re
setting your mind
on the spirit who convicts the world of
sin
and righteousness and judgment and i’m
telling you right now
if you don’t want to come clean with
your sin then don’t do this
because if you set your mind on the
things of the spirit what are you going
to hear about
sin and righteousness and judgment
because that’s what god’s bringing into
the world and he’s called you
he’s called us because he loves us
because he wants us to be part
of the cosmic change the gospel is
making
he wants us to be part of the in
the entire recreation
of the world god loved you so much
not only enough to save you but to make
you
part of the greatest transformation
that the world that the universe will
ever see
you are a noble people god made
every human being noble
the question on judgment day is did you
submit to the life of the spirit
to fulfill that noble calling
that he gave us that he gave you
we spend so much of our lives thinking
about what do i want to do with my life
and god’s call us to one thing
that’s obedience to his will that’s what
we’re here for
and so we have these two opposing
principles
the law of sin and death and the law of
the spirit
of life in christ jesus and he says
there in verse seven for the mind
that is set on the flesh is hostile
to god that’s where he started in romans
1.
those who didn’t want to keep god in
their knowledge
he says for it does not submit to god’s
law
indeed it cannot he says those who are
in the flesh
cannot please god but
romans 8 9 is back to the good news
but you however are not in the flesh
but in the spirit if in fact the spirit
of god dwells in you
and anyone who does not have the spirit
of christ
does not belong to him but if christ is
in you
although the body is dead because of sin
the spirit is life
because of righteousness
that’s our noble calling and it
goes on if the spirit of him who raised
jesus
from the dead dwells in you he who
raised
jesus christ from the dead will also
give life to your mortal bodies
through his spirit who dwells in you
see that’s the radical change that is
the radical changes that
god has brought us the spirit
a new dispensation of hope
and even in the weakness of our flesh
we today get to live in the power of the
spirit
if we listen amen

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