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EIGHT on EIGHT
8 Practical Applications from Romans Chapter 8
Couples In Christ, Sunrise Community Church � Spring 2010

Introduction

Many have said that Romans is the greatest letter ever written.  I am amazed at the depth and power of this book of the Bible!  Chapter 8 especially is packed with tremendous truth and practical application.  We would do well to memorize this chapter verse by verse; feel free to join me in doing this!  As a frame of reference I�ve identified eight applications for my life.  I�d like to share them with you one at a time, week by week as we transition into summer 2010.

App. 8.1 - FREEDOM!
Romans 8:1-8
Eight on Eight, May 2, 2010

Imagine yourself being completely free, with no sense of guilt, with nothing nagging at you, with a love for life and for living for God.  When obstacles come you are able to trust God to see you through.  Your focus is upward, and you are blessed.  What is the secret to this?  Let�s discover God�s provision for this freedom in these first eight verses.

1

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

2

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

3

For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

4

so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

5

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

6

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,

7

because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,

8

and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

1.        Freedom � Why?

Sometimes we�re not conscience of our slavery and don�t think we need to be freed.  We suppress our guilt and choose a positive attitude, believing we�re doing O.K.  But then in a quiet, pensive moment we may admit to ourselves that something isn�t right.  In Romans 7:15-25 Paul said that no matter how hard he tried he could not measure up to God�s standards.  I realize that my willpower can�t change me; only God can.  Paul thanked God that, because of Jesus Christ, he was freed from this dilemma.  Let�s compare verse 25 with subsequent verses in Romans:

�I with my mind am serving the law of God�

Rom. 12:2, �be transformed by the renewing of your mind�

�with my flesh the law of sin�

Rom. 8:13, �by the Spirit you are to death the deeds of the body�

Knowing God�s word is not enough. (See Mat. 4:6 where Satan quoted Ps. 91:11-12 to Jesus, and also James 2:19 where �the demons also believe, and shudder�.) We must allow Him complete control, freeing us from what we�re naturally inclined to do.  This is the role of His Spirit living in us, to �put to death the deeds of the body (mind)� (8:13). 

Look at today�s passage: �no condemnation� (v. 1) �set you free� (v. 2), �God did� (v. 3), �walk�according to the Spirit� (v. 4), and �set their minds on�.the things of the Spirit� (v. 5).  We need this freedom, this power at work in us.

Puzzle: What do the initials LJPP KGF GS stand for?  (Hint: see Galatians 5:22-23.)  Can you have them without the Spirit of God living in you?

2.        Freedom � From What?

What happens if you rely only on your own wisdom, willpower, and resources?   We need freedom from:

and #9688;          Ourselves!  �Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil....who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.�  (Isa. 5:21 - NIV)  God must protect us from ourselves sometimes!  We do not know how to please Him apart from His Spirit representing us.  We must �obey the voice of His word� as the angels do (Ps. 103:20).  Rom. 8:8 says, �and those who are in the flesh cannot please God�.

and #9688;          Junk!  Gal. 5:19-21 lists this junk, ��immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry�.strife, jealousy, anger, disputes��

and #9688;          Satan.  Jesus told His disciples, �I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy� (Luke 10:19).  Without God�s Spirit in us we are defenseless.  We must be on guard against the �snare of the devil� (1 Tim. 3:7, Luke 5:10).  Satan will try to deceive mature believers (Mat. 24:24), but God�s power within us is greater (1 Jn. 4:4).

3.        Freedom � For What?

I may have shared my personal mission statement with you before.  It is Deut. 10:12-13,

12  Now, Israel (Dan), what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13  and to keep the LORD'S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?�  

                To fear the Lord your God.  �The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.� (Prov. 1:7)

                To walk in all His ways.  �Teach me the way in which I should walk.� (Ps. 143:8)

                And love Him.   �Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.� (Mark 12:30)

                To serve Him.  �We�are one body in Christ and individually members one of another.� (Rom. 12:5)

                To keep the Lord�s commandments.  Start by knowing them, then practicing them, then teaching them (Ezra 7:10).

We must be people who �do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit� (Rom. 8:4).

4.        Freedom � Qualities

What is this freedom?

and #9688;          Without condemnation (8:1). Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.�  Notice that to be free I must stay IN Christ Jesus.  God sees Christ, not me. (See Col. 1:22).

and #9688;          New, different law (8:2).  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.�  The old law failed, �weak as it was through the flesh� (8:3).  Fortunately when we are in Christ we are �new and different�, and the �old has passed away� (2 Cor. 5:17). 

5.        Freedom � How?

Here�s how it happens for each of us:

and #9688;          God does it!   ��.sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh.� (8:3)

and #9688;          God�s Spirit takes controlso that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.� (8:4)

and #9688;          I set my mindFor those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,� (8:5-6)

Caution: Shifting my focus to circumstances or things causes me to separate from God. �Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.� (8:7-8)

Discussion Questions

1.        When does the human will reach its limit (in its ability to change us or free us) and a �higher power� become necessary? In other words, why can�t you just �will to make it so�?  Isn�t determination and perseverance all you really need?

2.        As important as God�s word is, why is it, by itself, not enough to set a person free?  (See Rom. 10:17 regarding faith.)

3.        Which of the �LJPP KGF GS� (a believer�s VIN) does God�s Spirit love to stir up in you?

4.        Discuss the phrase, the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace� (Rom. 8:6).

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Next Week: LIFE in the SPIRIT � Romans 8:9-11

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