Introduction: Let’s review Paul’s teaching for a minute. In Romans 5
Paul tells us that we are given eternal life as a result of the life,
death and resurrection of Jesus. Next, in Romans 6, Paul explains
that this gift of grace does not mean that we should go on sinning.
Just because we died to the law, we are not given a license to sin.
Next, in Romans 7, Paul teaches that although we should choose to
avoid sin, he struggles with his sinful nature and we should expect
to have to do the same. Finally, we come to our study for this week.
Even though our struggle with sin is real, Paul tells us that if we
are in Jesus, there is “no condemnation.” Let’s jump into our study
of this terrific assurance!

  1. No Condemnation

    1. Read Romans 8:1-2. From what have we been set free? (The
      “law of sin and death.”)

      1. What do you think that means? (To be sure we
        understand the context, read Romans 7:21-25. We are
        no longer subject to the rule that if we sin (and we
        all have) we will die eternally.)

    2. Read Romans 8:3. Why did Jesus do this for us? (We could
      not do it. The Ten Commandments were “powerless” because
      of our sinful nature. We simply could not keep the law and
      earn salvation.)

      1. Notice that this verse ends, “and so He condemned sin
        in sinful man.” What does it mean that Jesus
        condemned sin through His actions on our behalf? (The
        problem never was the law. The problem is our sinful
        nature. Jesus does not want us mired in sin. He
        condemns the sin in our lives. But, He gives us the
        way out of eternal death.)

    3. Read Romans 8:4. How are the requirements of the law met
      in our life? (Through Jesus. What we could never do, He
      did for us.)

      1. The last part of this verse is troubling. It seems to
        condition grace on not living according to the sinful
        nature. How can we not live according to the sinful
        nature when Paul has consistently told us that it is
        our inherent sinful nature, and not the law, that is
        the problem? (This gets back to our choice. Our
        sinful nature is always present. But God calls on us
        to choose to live by His Spirit, and not our sinful
        nature. We receive grace when we choose God’s grace
        and God’s Spirit.)

  2. Setting Our Minds

    1. Read Romans 8:5. Recall that in Romans 7:14-16 Paul tells
      us that he does what he does not want to do. What he wants
      to do he does not do. Do you think that Paul, when he
      writes these things, has his mind set on the right thing?
      (Yes. If Paul did not have his mind set on doing what
      Jesus wanted him to do, he would never write things like
      “I didn’t do what I wanted to do, I did what I did not
      want to do.” Instead, Paul would write that he did
      exactly what he wanted, and what his sinful nature wanted
      him to do.)

      1. Many times in the past I’ve written about
        “righteousness by attitude.” When Paul writes in
        Romans 8:5 about setting the mind, isn’t he writing
        about our attitude?

      2. How much control do you have over your attitude?
        (This gets back to the work of the Holy Spirit. You
        can choose. You must choose. But, what you are
        choosing is to live by the Holy Spirit, and not your
        sinful nature. Even those who choose to live by the
        Holy Spirit find that their actions do not always
        match up with their desires. Read again Romans 7:21-25 to fully understand our situation.)

    2. Read Romans 8:6. We all have a sinful nature. What does
      Paul mean when he writes “the mind of sinful man is
      death?” (This refers again to the choice of attitudes.
      Will we choose to follow our sinful nature and be governed
      by it, or will we choose to follow the Holy Spirit and be
      governed by Him?)

    3. Read Romans 8:7. What is at stake here? (Pleasing God.
      Bringing glory to God.)

    4. Read Romans 8:8. What do you think it means to be
      “controlled by the sinful nature?” When we learned in
      Romans 7 that Paul did things he did not want to do,
      doesn’t that show that he was “controlled” by his sinful
      nature? (Engaging in sinful acts that are contrary to our
      desire to please God does not mean that we are controlled
      by our sinful nature. Other translations use the term “in
      the realm of the flesh.” The idea is that our attitude is
      to choose our sinful nature.)

  3. Holy Spirit

    1. Read Romans 8:9. Does this help to answer the previous
      question about what it means to be “controlled” by our
      sinful nature? (Yes! This is really good news. If you want
      the Holy Spirit to live in you, and have evidence that the
      Holy Spirit lives in you, then you are not “controlled” by
      your sinful nature.)

      1. How important is it to have the Holy Spirit living in
        you? (Paul tells us that if we do not have the Holy
        Spirit, we do not belong to Jesus. This is a very
        serious issue, and a very great comfort. It is
        serious because we have not chosen grace if the Holy
        Spirit is absent from our life. On the other hand, if
        we have invited the Holy Spirit, and we see Him
        working in our life, then we don’t have to be in
        doubt about who controls us.)

    2. Read Romans 8:10-11. Does this sound like a person who is
      free from sin? (The verse says that our body is “dead
      because of sin.” But, the Holy Spirit gives us life. Just
      as the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead, those who
      have accepted Jesus as their substitute will also be
      raised to eternal life!)

  4. How Should We Live?

    1. Read Romans 8:12-13. From what does our obligation arise?
      (Think about this. Jesus died for our sins. He gave us the
      greatest gift; victory over sin. We are obligated to fight
      the sin that keeps afflicting us. We have victory, why
      would we want to wallow in sin?)

      1. Are we alone in this fight? (By no means. The same
        Holy Spirit that gives us eternal life will put to
        death the sins in our life.)

    2. Read Romans 8:14. Have you previously considered the
      importance of the Holy Spirit living in you? (We are the
      children of God if we have the Holy Spirit in our life!)

    3. Read Romans 8:15. What kind of fear are we talking about
      here? (Have you noticed that when your life was controlled
      by your sinful nature that you worried about the results
      of your sinful decisions? You lacked peace? Living a life
      led by the Holy Spirit gives us peace and joy.)

      1. Is there more to this than simply avoiding the
        problems created by sin? (If the Holy Spirit can give
        you eternal life, if the Holy Spirit can aid you in
        avoiding sin, as a child of God consider the power
        available to you! Consider God’s attitude towards
        you. How can you fear?)

    4. Read Romans 8:16. What is your spirit? Some teach that the
      “spirit” of humans is simply the breath of God. (See
      Genesis 2:7.) Does the “breath” teaching make sense in the
      context of Romans 8:16? (The Holy Spirit communicates with
      the thinking part of our body that He is present in our

      1. Have you experienced this? That your mind knows that
        the Holy Spirit is working in you?

    5. Read Romans 8:17. In the next several verses, Paul
      discusses the idea of suffering in more detail. The
      suffering seems to arise because of our conflict with sin.
      Would the conflict with sin in our own lives (the doing
      what we do not want to do) be a cause for suffering?
      (Consider that Jesus resisted sin in His life. We are
      called on to undertake that battle.)

    6. Friend, the good news is that you are saved by grace alone
      if you choose to live a life led by the Holy Spirit. It is
      also good news that the Holy Spirit will help you to live
      a life that brings blessings to you and glory to God. Why
      not reaffirm right now that you choose God?

  5. Next week: Children of the Promise.