Introduction: Last week, Paul finally got around to being brutally
honest about life. His mind was a slave to God, but, he admitted,
his sinful nature a slave to sin.( Romans 7:25) I was glad to hear
that I was not the only one struggling with sin! Bet that made you
feel a lot better about your own struggle with sin. But, the bad
news for you and for me is that we still have this sin problem. We
don’t want to be slaves to sin. Paul describes our collective
situation as being “wretched.” ( Romans 7:24) What can we do? Do we
need to do anything? Let’s plunge into Paul’s continuing discussion
about sin and salvation and see what we can learn!

  1. No Condemnation!

    1. Read Romans 8:1-2. What is the absolute best news for us
      wretched, struggling sinners? (We are not condemned!)

      1. Does that mean that sin has vanished from my life?
        (No. It we obeyed the law, Paul would not use the
        phrase “no condemnation.” He would say you “merit
        eternal life.” Christians who desire to obey Jesus
        properly identify with Romans 7:24-25. We deserve
        death. But, despite our situation, we are not

        1. Is that all you want to be – free from
          condemnation? (I’ll gratefully take it. But, I
          want to be free from sin altogether. That is
          consistent with our minds being slaves “to
          God’s law.” Avoiding condemnation is the
          critical bottom line.)

      2. How did I come out from under condemnation? (It was
        through Jesus and something called “the law of the
        Spirit of Life.”)

        1. Notice that we have two laws here. What about
          the nature of a law helps us to understand what
          Paul is saying? (A “law” is a rule that is not
          supposed to be broken.)

        2. What is the law of sin and death? (We
          understand that rule. You violate the law and
          you will die.)

        3. What is the law of the Spirit of life? (Let’s
          read on.)

    2. Read Romans 8:3-4. How are the righteous requirements of
      the law met in our life? (This is the answer to the “law
      of the Spirit of life.” Jesus came “in the likeness of
      sinful man to be a sin offering.”)

      1. How is what Jesus did a law – a law more powerful
        than the Ten Commandments?

      2. What was the purpose of the sin offering in the Old
        Testament sanctuary system? (It was the means of
        taking away the sin of the person making the
        offering. This helps us understand the “law” aspect
        of this. Part of the legal system set up in the Old
        Testament was that a sin offering excused the sinner
        from death. The law of the Spirit of life is that
        Jesus died in our place. We can claim the benefit of
        this very generous law!)

      3. Notice that verse 3 says that Jesus “condemned sin
        in sinful man.” In what way does Jesus condemn sin
        in us? (The very fact that Jesus died because of our
        sin shows that sin is a very bad thing. We do not
        want its acid in our life.)

      4. Look at the very last phrase of verse 4: “us, who do
        not live according to the sinful nature but
        according to the Spirit.” Must we live according to
        the Spirit to take advantage of God’s “law of the
        Spirit of Life?”

        1. If your answer is “yes,” how can this be
          reconciled with Romans 7:25?

  2. Our Obligation

    1. Read Romans 8:5. How does this answer our concern about
      our obligation to “live according to the Spirit?” (What a
      clear answer: Paul tells us that the key to right living
      in the eyes of God is setting our minds on what the
      Spirit desires. This works out the conflict Paul
      describes in Romans 7:21-25. Our minds want to do good,
      but our sinful nature is not cooperating. Paul says that
      those Romans 7:25 Christians who desire to do God’s will
      find “there is now no condemnation for those who are in
      Christ Jesus!”)

    2. Read Romans 8:6-8. Is this just another kind of work that
      we must do to be saved – the work of the mind? (We have
      to make a choice. That is not a “work” in any traditional
      sense, but it determines the outcome of our life. If we
      choose to set our minds on what our sinful nature
      desires, we are hostile to God, and we are eternally

    3. Read Romans 8:9-11. What happens if we choose to set our
      minds on what the Spirit of God desires? (The Spirit of
      God will live in us. Our spirit comes alive and we will
      be raised from death just as Jesus was raised from

      1. Is sin gone from our life? ( Romans 8:10 says our
        “body is dead because of sin.” This suggests that
        the issue is not whether our lives are free from
        sin, but rather whether our lives are “controlled”
        by the Spirit or the sinful nature.)

    4. Read Romans 8:12-14. Last week we learned that the law
      has no more authority over us. Why? Because the penalty
      for sin is death and we already paid that penalty in
      Jesus. Is that the end of our concerns about the law and
      sin? What obligations do we have in our day to day
      living? (We have an obligation to put to death our wrong
      actions. The fact that we find that we are not sin free,
      does not mean that we should tolerate sin in our life.)

      1. How do we kill, stamp out, and otherwise obliterate
        sin in our life? (By the Holy Spirit.)

        1. Why does Romans 8:13 say “if by the Spirit you
          put to death [sin]?” Is the means of ending sin
          important? (Yes. It is not possible any other
          way. We have an ongoing obligation, by the
          power of the Holy Spirit, to put to death the
          misdeeds of the body.)

      2. If I have already died to the law, does that mean
        that I am forever saved? (Paul is writing to fellow
        Christians for he says “brothers.” These brothers
        are told ( Romans 8:13) “if you live according to the
        sinful nature, you will die.”)

    5. Read Romans 8:15. What fear is Paul talking about? (I
      think it is the fear of dying because of our sins.)

      1. What takes away that fear? If I know I can be lost
        by living according to my sinful nature, I should be
        apprehensive, right? (My earthly father loved me.
        He wanted me to succeed. He was behind me. He never
        tried to block my success, he only worked for my
        success. That is the attitude of God towards our
        salvation. Our God is our Father and He is pulling
        for our success.)

    6. Read Romans 8:16-17. How can we have assurance of
      salvation? (The Holy Spirit testifies to our spirit that
      we are children of God. We know when we seek to live a
      Spirit-led life. We know when a major life choice is not
      a Spirit-led choice. We know when the motive is self and
      not God’s kingdom.)

      1. Notice that we are called “heirs.” Why is that?
        (Heirs have a legal right to their inheritance. We
        started out talking about the “law of the Spirit of
        life.” We are not against the law. We are claiming
        the laws of the Spirit of life and of inheritance.)

    7. Friend, how about you? Have you made the choice to live
      a life led by the Holy Spirit? Or, are you leading a life
      led by your sinful human nature? It is that choice of law
      that makes the difference between eternal life or eternal
      death. Why not choose today a Spirit-led life?

  3. Next week: Redemption for Jew and Gentile.