Romans 8:1-7 Those Who are in Christ


I truly want you to be happy and to find satisfaction in life, but I must be honest: many of you are looking in all of the wrong places. I know too many people who go from one hobby to the next, one job to the next, one partner to the next. God has blessed us with all sorts of things in which we can find pleasure. There is nothing wrong with involving ourselves in fun and entertaining activities, but we know that they are not lasting. I would you to find your ultimate satisfaction in Christ Jesus. I want you to fully understand that Christ’s work of reconciliation is not only for the age to come, but to be enjoyed now. Eternal life begins now and will be enhanced in the age to come. I want you to live abundantly and free under the influence of the Holy Spirit and in the power of the resurrection of Christ.

I want you to be attracted to the Lord Jesus Christ, to love Him, treasure Him, spend time with Him, and trust Him. Many of you have believed on Him, but you are not living according to the Spirit. You are too close to the path of sinners. Romans 8 is about life, life now and life eternal. This chapter is special in the revelation of God. It declares what it means to be a Christian from “no condemnation” at the beginning of the chapter to “no separation” at the end. In talking about the Christian’s life and confidence, the Spirit is mentioned 19 times! Maybe you remember the passage in Ephesians one that we looked at a few weeks ago. The apostolic doctrine of the New Testament concerning life now and forever involves the Holy Spirit as its focal point. Ephesians 1:13-14 says, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

This section in the epistle to the Romans begins in chapter 6 verse 14 which says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Today’s sermon text is part of one flow of thought that runs through verse 13 and concerns the subject of “life.” We will talk about the Christian life in the here and now. We are looking forward to heaven, but how do we live in the meantime? We will also attempt to answer questions such as, how did we pass from law to grace, and what is the significance of doing so?

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Justification and Sanctification

In the first two verses of this chapter both justification and sanctification are declares. God has reversed the guilty verdict that we all were given. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Yet now, God declares us justified (not guilty) because we are “in Christ Jesus.” Of course, there are existing consequences for our sins now, but what the Scripture is teaching us that there are no eternal ramifications for our sins if we are in Christ. “Condemnation” refers to the state of lostness, separation from God. We are free from condemnation not because we are sinless, but because we have put our faith in Christ Jesus who was but laid His life down for us. You see, Christ took our place of condemnation and He bore the full burden of it that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The Holy Spirit has taken those accomplishments of Christ in our behalf and made us free. 2 Cor 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

We follow the law of the Spirit which is liberty, and in this liberty we are called to serve one another. Gal 5:13 says, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” We no longer operate under the law of sin and death, but under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ.

The Law’s Weakness

The Scripture says that the law was weak through the flesh. The law itself was not weak. It is not sinful, wrong, or weak in and of itself, but its weakness is the flesh (the influence of sin). It can name your sin, it can diagnose your problem, it can declare you guilty, but it cannot save you.

The law could/can name one’s sin and could pronounce judgment on it, but nothing else. If the law could not fix sin nor put it to death then all it was doing was adding up one’s transgressions and sins and trespasses and failures. Though the chief weakness of the law was and is the FLESH. The Law cannot be criticized for its weakness- only the participants.

God Did

It is the work of Christ, and Christ alone, that has set us free. We can live in this resurrection power because of what He has already done. Christ Jesus shared in the essential human nature- flesh and blood, bones and marrow. Jesus was in fact God as a physical human being, but only in the “likeness of sinful flesh.” “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us.” “(Our High Priest) was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” It was God who did something. “While we were still sinners Christ died for us.” It took a mighty act of God to save us. It took a mighty act of God to reverse the guilty verdict. “What the law could not do: GOD DID.” The Spirit can liberate us because of the situation that Christ has caused.

What was it that God intervened to do? Condemn sin. The just requirement of the law was fulfilled in God’s condemnation of sin. The “just requirement of the law” is surely perfect obedience and submission to God the Father. Christ has fulfilled the just requirement of the law and it is applied to us when we believe in Him, put our faith in Him, and when we treasure Him.

Conclusions and Applications

Verse 5 may serve as an appropriate conclusion. Let us set our minds on the things of the Spirit.

We do not strive to be justified or sanctified by the works of the flesh, but by the fruit of the Spirit. A vine does not produce grapes by any demand that is made. It produces fruit that comes out of its own life. When we participate in the divine nature and we are in Christ then fruit will be produced out of Christ’s own life not by any demand. Until we are in Christ Jesus and setting our minds on the things of the Spirit, we…are…dying. If all we do is read secular novels, watch tv, and talk to unbelievers, we “are never going to form the mind-set of the Spirit” (Moo, 257). We need to spend time with God. We need to talk to Him in prayer, enjoy His company as we encounter Him in His word, we need to ponder the things of Christ, be with His people, communicate with them about these things, sings songs and hymns, and many other things.

The question we are left with is this: Are you in Christ Jesus?

What the Bible Affirms About...The Future


There is no more wonderful doctrine than the doctrine of the future. We are filled with hope as we look forward to the day when Christ returns and we see His glory with our very own eyes. “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts. . . .”

End Times (John 5:28-29; 2 Tim 3:1-5; 2 Tim 4:1-4; 2 Pet 3:3-9)

For centuries, mankind has been fascinated with the doctrine of the end times. Even those who have no interest in committing to Christ have gotten caught up in this fascination. People have tried time and again to predict the end of time and have obviously been incorrect. What are we to think about the end times? What does the Bible affirm about the future? I am convinced that we should take the Bible literally where we can, but that we should use common sense and spiritual discernment in order to interpret passages concerning the last days. I am amazed at those who prepare all sorts of convoluted explanations. I suppose people believe them because they seem so complex. God wants us to understand His word. It is not far from any of us. The Scripture that God has revealed to us is not too mysterious. We can have understanding.

If you closely read the New Testament you soon learn that the Bible affirms that we have been living in the end times since Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension. The prophet Joel said that in the last days God would pour out His Spirit. Peter said on the day of Pentecost that the event Joel was talking about was taking place. The Spirit was descending, and He still comes to all of us who call on the name of the Lord for salvation. We have been living in the last days since the apostles established the church by the Gospel of Christ. Paul told the Corinthians that the end of the ages had come. Christ, who was sent by the Father at just the right time in history, inaugurated the last days. Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds. . . .

As I read the New Testament, I am convinced that the return of Christ will be the grand finale of the history of the earth as we know it. I do not believe the Bible teaches that there are phases to which God has subjected Himself. I believe that He could return at any time, even today. When Christ returns several events will occur together, “in one cluster of end-time events” (Strimple). Several events will take place simultaneously including the return of Christ, the resurrection of believers, the change of living believers, the resurrection of the faithless, judgment for all, life for some, condemnation for others, the end of this age, the new heaven and new earth, and the fulfillment of the establishment of the kingdom of God.

We believe that Jesus Christ will return in all of His glory with all of His holy angels with Him. He can return at any time according to the will of the Father. His return will be physical, visible, and undeniable. We believe that both believers and the faithless will be resurrected at His coming and Christ will sit as Judge over all of us. Those who have put their faith in Christ will enter into the presence of God, and those who have been faithless and remained rebellious will be condemned to the everlasting punishment of Hell. On that Day, Christ will judge every idle word we have ever spoken and the secrets of all. Only those who have trusted Christ will be saved from the wrath of God.

The New Heavens and the New Earth

(2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1). We have been promised in the Sermon on the Mount that those who are poor in spirit shall inherit the earth. And we have been taught to pray that God’s kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. There will apparently be many similarities between this earth and the new. Many things will continue, but there will be extreme changes made. There will be no more sin, sorrow, or death. Revelation 21 also tells us that there will no longer be any need for a temple, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city will have no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God will illuminate it. The Lamb will be its light.


How can I tie father’s day in on this subject? Fathers are responsible for raising their children in a godly manner. Men are responsible for their households. Fathers propel families into the future that God has planned for us.

What are we to do in the meantime?

1. Be prepared for either a quick return or a long delay (Prepare Yourself)

2. Take opportunities to tell others the Gospel of Christ (Prepare Others)

Let me end on this note:
God’s goodness and longsuffering toward us are intended to compel us to repentance.

What the Bible affirms about. . .Satan


Today we will discuss a subject that is not very popular in the Western world. In fact, many people in our society, even other believers, deny the existence of our subject today. We will consider what the Bible affirms about Satan and demons. The Bible is clear that demonic forces are at work in the world today, but that Christians should have no fear if they are truly “in Christ Jesus.” The Bible does not give major sections on the subject, but there is a substantial amount of teaching scattered throughout the New Testament.

Who is Satan, the Devil?

He is the head of the demons. Satan becomes his personal name in Scripture which literally means “adversary.” He also has several other names in the Bible: the devil (slanderer), Beelzebul, the ruler of this world, the prince of the power of the air, and the evil one. All of these names point to Satan’s rebellious nature. He was an angel of God, created good, but rebelled against Him. He wanted to assume the position of God and not keep his own position. Satan, along with the angels who rebelled with him, was cast down from heaven, and now they work evil continually in the world.

He was the originator of sin. In Genesis 3, Satan embodied the serpent and tempted Eve. In John 8:44 we are told that Satan was a murderer from the beginning and the father of lies. 1 John 3:8 says that the devil has sinned from the beginning. He was the originator of sin, and it has been his goal to continue it as he tempts people to sin.

What is the strategy of Satan and the demons?

Satan and his bunch are constantly opposing God and His people. They make it their mission to destroy His good works and devastate His reputation. He tempts mankind to sin against their Creator. His tactics include: lies (John 8:44), deception (Rev 12:9), murder (John 8:44), blinding minds (2 Cor 4:4), veiling the Gospel (Ibid.), and other kinds of destructive activities.

I think the remark that Jesus made about thieves in John 10:10 is a great description of Satan. He says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” In a very practical way it can be said, “They will also try to use temptation, doubt, guilt, fear, confusion, sickness, envy, pride, slander, or any other means possible to hinder a Christian’s witness and usefulness” (Grudem, 415).

Satan and the demons are limited

The power of demons is limited. Satan is not some kind of god as if he were on the same level of authority as God the Father. There is no reason to think that Satan or the demons can know the future, read our minds, or be ever present. Let us consider these things for just a moment. The Bible affirms that God alone knows the future; there is none like Him who declares the end from the beginning. The Bible affirms that God knows are hearts and that Christ knew what was in man, but we are never told that Satan can read our minds. What we must admit is that the demons are very observant of the things in this world. Another misconception is that Satan is everywhere. The Bible never affirms that Satan is omnipresent like God. Yet, we must admit that there are scores of demons who carry on their leaders work.

Job’s story makes clear that Satan can only do what God allows. We are people who believe that God is sovereign. There is nothing that is outside His jurisdiction. Even Satan can only do what God allows him to do, and I would argue that he is even forced to do things according to God’s will on several occasions. We should have no fear because our God is in control. We are His and are safe in His hands. He has not given us a spirit of bondage, fear, or timidity, but He has given us a Spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Satan and the demons will be crushed

Let us claim what James says in 4:7 right up front: “Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” By the accomplishments of Christ, the people of God (you and I) have authority over the demons.

Christ came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Ultimately, he will be cast into the Lake of Fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels, to be tormented forever (Matt 25:41; Rev 20:10).


What does all of this mean to us today?

1) We must take seriously that the Bible affirms the existence of Satan and demons

2) There is no reason to believe that there is any less demonic activity today than ever before

3) Sin can open the door to demonic activity in our lives

4) When we venture outside of God’s will, we venture into Satan’s territory

5) Philippians 4:6-7 teach that we should stay in prayer and the peace of God will guard us

6) Christians should be aware of demons and should consider their traps, but we should not fear them if we are “in Christ Jesus.” He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

7) We need to speak the word of God into lives, into our homes, and into our situations

What the Bible affirms about. . .Prayer


Without a doubt I can say that Christians are to be people of prayer.

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And when you pray

We should pray privately on a regular basis, and we should be a part of corporate, public prayer.  In the New Testament we are told that the Christians met together on a regular basis to pray, they were even “devoted” to it, and we are commanded to pray without ceasing.  The Lord Jesus proclaimed in the Sermon on the Mount that His followers were not to be like the hypocrites.  The word “hypocrite” comes from the word used for a Greek actor who would where a mask and parade around as various characters.  There are people who claim to be “religious” that are just putting on a show.  They love to pray in public, and the Lord says that they have their reward, that is to be seen by others which is no lasting reward.  They also like to use vain repetitions as if they are going to persuade God with many words or show some kind of religious stamina.

We know that Christians are to pray with other believers, but the average day-to-day life of the Christian is to involve regular alone time with God in prayer.  In Ecclesiastes 5:2 we are told to let our words be few.  We are not to be like the self-proclaimed righteous.  We are to approach God humbly as a servant before his master, but also confidently as a child before his father.

This passage is teaching on prayer, not a prayer itself.  Model Prayer is better than Lord’s Prayer.

Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name

We are a body of believers, and no one is on their own.  Even when we pray individually, we still pray in conjunction with the church.

Fathers will answer questions and petitions posed by their children that they would not accept from anyone else in the world.  God is our Father.  We have a nearness, but that nearness is balanced with “hallowed.”

The Father is in heaven.  It is important where God is when we pray.  If God is not sovereign and supreme above all then what good will it do to pray?

Your name- God has a name.  He revealed it as “Yahweh,” and then completed that revelation in the name “Jesus” which means “Yahweh Savior.”  We want His name to be famous.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

Adoration and submission come prior to confession and supplication.

How radical of a change would it be if God’s will was completely and thoroughly done in all the world?  The kingdom originates in heaven, but it is fulfilled in us.  Luke 17:21 says that the kingdom is within or among us.  People make up the kingdom of God.

Give us this day our daily bread

Notice the corporate nature of the prayer once again.

“Bread” means “needs.”  We are to pray that God would give us each day what we need, not worrying about the future or dwelling negatively on the past, but focusing on today.

Any notion that Christians are above and beyond others, assuming that we are promised wealth and prosperity, is done away with when we read this line.  We will face hardships, and we need God to daily provide what we need.  Our inheritance is not in this world, but the new.  Our struggles are not over in this age, but in the next.

In this society, men were paid daily.  They relied on God’s provision each day.  If the crops failed because of disaster or drought, then they had nothing to eat.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors

It appears that we should group verses 12-15 as instruction on forgiving.

This does not mean that we can earn forgiveness by forgiving others.  What it does reveal is that God will only forgive the sorrowful.  Remember the Beatitudes which began the Sermon on the Mount.  True penitence is a forgiving spirit.  I think our society proves that forgiveness is an abnormal human act.  No one wants to forgive or ask for forgiveness.  But we are not of this world, are we?  We are to be holy- unique and different.  We are to be people of forgiveness.

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil

“Temptation” could mean “corrective discipline.”

Christians are those who ask to be saved.  Things are not right in this world, primarily because God’s will is not done on earth as it is in heaven.  This is an outstanding entrance place for the Gospel because most people realize that there is just something not right.  We know exactly what the problem is and we have the answer!  Sin is the problem and the Gospel is Jesus Christ is the answer.  We need to tell others


I am convinced that prayer is two things: relying on God and communion with God.
We approach God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ knowing that He will hear our call.