Introduction: Have you ever seen a beautiful creation? Maybe it is a
car. Maybe a work of art made of glass. Maybe it is jewelry. Maybe
it is a flower. If it is really beautiful, you look at it from every
direction to appreciate every aspect of it. It just feels good to
take in all of the beauty! I feel that way about our series of
studies about the Holy Spirit. We have looked at the gifts of the
Holy Spirit. We have looked at the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Last
week we studied how the Holy Spirit leads in our life – with an
emphasis on His physical direction. This week our study moves to how
the Holy Spirit leads us spiritually. Let’s dive into the Bible for
a closer inspection!

  1. First Truth: No Condemnation

    1. Read Romans 8:1-2. If you have repented of your sins and
      accepted Jesus as your Savior, what is your status before
      God? (You are saved. You are not condemned.)

      1. Why, according to Romans 8:2, is this true? (The law
        of the Spirit of Life set us free from death.)

      2. What is the “Law of the Spirit of Life?”

    2. Let’s read on to help us understand the “Law of the Spirit
      of Life.” Read Romans 8: 3-4. Based on these additional
      verses, what do you understand to be the “Law of the
      Spirit of Life?” (The New Bible Commentary explains: “This
      deliverance has been accomplished by the triune God: the
      Father sending the Son as a sin offering for us, on the
      basis of which the Spirit liberates us from the power of
      sin and death and secures complete fulfilment of the law
      on our behalf.” The Law of the Spirit of Life is that the
      Holy Spirit is able to free us from the power of sin.)

    3. How, exactly, do you see the Holy Spirit freeing us from
      the power of sin and death? (If you look at Romans 8:1-4
      you see that Paul begins this explanation with Jesus.
      From this we can conclude that the very first work (“first
      truth”)of the Holy Spirit is to convict us that Jesus is
      God who took on human form and died and was raised on our

      1. How does this first truth free us from death? (Jesus
        kept the law on our behalf. He suffered the penalty
        for our failure to keep the law. See 2 Corinthians

      2. If this is true, what would you look for first in
        determining if a teaching comes from the Holy Spirit
        or another spirit? (Whether it makes Jesus the focus
        of our salvation. If a teaching deviates from the
        idea that Jesus was fully God and fully man, then it
        does not come from the Holy Spirit. If a teaching
        suggests that we can earn salvation, then it does not
        come from the Holy Spirit.)

  2. Second Truth: Live According to the Spirit

    1. Once we are firm on the first truth, that Jesus alone is
      the source of our salvation, what do you think is the next
      goal of the Holy Spirit for us? Or, does it end with the
      conviction of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf?

    2. When Romans 8:4 talks about us living according to the
      Spirit and not living according to “the sinful nature,”
      what does it mean? (Read Romans 8:5-7. It means that the
      Holy Spirit has a role in teaching us about how to live.
      His first work is to bring us to Christ and His second
      work is to transform our lives.)

      1. Is this just a fancy way of taking us back to the old
        situation: that we need to keep the Ten Commandments
        to live? (The Ten Commandments are not some idiot
        ideas that God now regrets. Instead, the idiot idea
        has been that we do not need God. We are so smart, so
        educated, so refined, so cultured, so determined that
        we can read and understand the ideals of God and put
        them into place in our life. We are far too dumb,
        weak, confused, unrefined and uncultured for that. It
        is only by the power of God (the Holy Spirit) that we
        can live a life pleasing to Him.)

        1. What does this say about human logic? (If you
          read these lessons regularly, you know that much
          of my approach is just logic. We read the Bible
          to see what it is that God has said. Then we
          ask, “What, logically, does that mean?” But,
          friend, logic is no substitute for the leading
          of the Holy Spirit. Logic is simply the power of
          the human. The Holy Spirit opens to us the mind
          of God!)

        2. In the end, must we ( Romans 8:7) “submit to
          God’s law?” (The whole flow of Romans 8:5-7 is
          that we live in conformity with God’s law
          because this is the way the Holy Spirit acts in
          our lives if our mind is set on the Holy

        3. Romans 8:6 promises us that the mind led by the
          Spirit is at peace and is enjoying life. Why
          would we not want to live that way? (We would
          not want to live that way if we cannot. Romans
          8:5-7 also describes a group of people whose
          minds are dominated by sinful impulses. This
          group cannot submit to God’s law in their
          present mind set. It is just impossible for

          1. What hope is there for humans whose minds
            are controlled by their sinful nature?
            (Read Romans 8:9-11. They can choose to
            repent, accept Jesus and live a Spirit-led

    3. Read Romans 8:12-14. If we end up having to live in accord
      with the Ten Commandments, what has changed from the time
      before Jesus died on our behalf? (We are not obeying the
      Ten Commandments because they save us. Instead, because of
      the leading of the Holy Spirit in our life we want to
      please God and we are led and strengthened in our desire
      to live a life pleasing to Him.)

  3. The Spirit-Led Battle

    1. If you are like me, you are reading these texts and
      thinking, “I have evil impulses all the time. If people
      who want to do evil ‘cannot please God’ ( Romans 8:8), then
      I’m toast. I went through the steps of repenting and
      believing in Jesus and I still have evil impulses.” Would
      you hate to have an actual measurement of your thoughts to
      see if evil thoughts dominate over good thoughts?

    2. Let’s go back in Romans and read something that may
      encourage you. Read Romans 7:14-24. Does this sound like
      Paul was writing about you?

    3. Read Revelation 3:17. What church is being described?
      (Laodicea – the church of the end time. Thus, Paul says
      that his evil impulses make him feel wretched, and
      Revelation tells us that the members of the church in the
      last days are wretched. So, if some of this strikes a
      responsive cord in our mind, we should not be surprised.)

      1. What would you say is the difference between the
        attitude of the Laodiceans and Paul? (Paul knew he
        had a problem that made him feel wretched. The
        Laodiceans did not.)

    4. Read Romans 7:25. What hope do we have? (The righteous
      life of Jesus. The sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf.)

      1. Look at the last line of Romans 7:25. Is this a
        conflict that continues with Christians who have the
        Holy Spirit living in them? (I think so. The Bible
        Knowledge Commentary says, “While awaiting freedom
        from the presence of sin [meaning when we are taken
        to heaven], believers still face conflicts between
        their regenerated minds (or new natures or
        capacities) and their sin natures or capacities.”)

    5. How do we handle this conflict? (Read Romans 8:12-14
      again. We cannot “handle” the conflict. What we can do and
      what we must do is make the decision to live a Spirit-led
      life. Our evil nature will be present. We are going to
      want to do evil. But, “by the Spirit [we are able to] put
      to death the misdeeds of the body.”)

    6. Read Romans 8:15-17. Do we suffer in this struggle to
      choose what is right? (I think that is what Paul means.
      Look again at Romans 8:6. When we choose to be led by the
      Holy Spirit, we are given peace. But, we still find this
      struggle going on between our sinful and our Spirit-led

    7. Friend, you have two goals. First, will you stop trying to
      obey the law on your own? Second, will you, by God’s
      grace, stop obeying your sinful nature? Will you today
      repent, accept Jesus as your Savior and ask the Holy
      Spirit to lead in your thoughts and actions?

  4. Next week: The Restorer.