Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

#19 Freedom in Christ

In our previous message we closed out Romans 7:14-25  contrasting the weakness and failure of our old flesh nature with the strength of our regenerated new nature controlled by the indwelling Holy Spirit; which truth we find in Romans 8.

Romans chapter 8 is perhaps the jewel of this Epistle to the Romans as we consider the freedoms we enjoy because of our position “IN CHRIST”.

FREEDOM FROM CONDEMNATION

 We enter the chapter with no condemnation  because we are in Christ Jesus.  Romans 8:1-4

We end the chapter with no separation  from Christ. Romans 8:35-39

In between we learn that  All things work together for good. Romans 8:28

A translation problem.

In my King James Version I read In Rom. 8:1  That there is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. (So far so good.) Then the translation continues “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”

STOP!  We have a problem here.  Which is it? Is the NO Condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, or is it to those who never walk under the control of the flesh, but always under the control of the Spirit? This translation of Romans 8:1 seems to teach that both are necessary if we are going to avoid God’s condemnation.  Certainly it is clearly necessary to be IN CHRIST to avoid condemnation;  but what about the necessity of  walking not after the flesh, but after the Spirit? Is that also necessary to avoid condemnation?   If so we have all blown it.  None of us are going to Heaven.

I checked and all my Conservative commentaries on this passage are in agreement: including Griffith Thomas, Vernon McGee and John MacArthur

Vernon McGee writes in his commentary on Romans 8:1 “Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”  does not  really belong in this verse. Apparently some scribe picked it up from vs 4 where it does belong. The literal rendering is  “Therefore now, not one condemnation” to them which are in Christ Jesus.”   Though the phrase about “not walking after the flesh, but after the Spirit”  does not belong in verse one, it is essential in verse 4.

Let’s reason this out for ourselves! 

Consider these three questions and the correct answer.

1, Can the Law save?  NO!  Of course not!

2  Does the way we walk save us? NO  Of course not!

3. Can the Law free us from condemnation? Absolutely not!  Why? Our flesh is weak.  The only truth that saves us and frees us from God’s condemnation is that we are IN CHRIST JESUS, through faith in Christ.

You see, in verse 1 we are looking at the truth of Justification.

In verse 4 we are considering the truth of Sanctification

We must not confuse the two doctrines!

True, they are related truths.  One who is justified is being sanctified and will  one day be glorified.

 Why is that phrase ” who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”  in vs 4?  That’s the way the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us as we walk not after or under the control of the flesh, but after or  under the control of the Spirit.  Yes, it belongs there in verse 4.

THE  CONCLUSION TO THIS DEBATE!

 

The basis of our freedom in Christ is not our walk, but our perfect, eternal standing in  Christ  through justification.

That standing in Christ results in a new walk, as Romans 8:4 teaches. So let this be settled now forever in  your mind and heart. Your perfect, sinless standing before God as one whose trust is in Christ, is that “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus!” Exclamation mark! Period!

Let’s move on now to the second great truth in Romans 8.

 

FREEDOM FROM THE POWER OF SIN 8:2-4

Consider Romans 8:3-4  Here’s the question.  What’s wrong with the Law? Go back to Romans  3:19-23  Our sinful flesh can’t keep it.

Picture a great Boeing 747 jet airliner sitting on the runway fully loaded with fuel,  passengers and luggage.  It has a gross weight  367 tons. It is humanly impossible to lift it off the ground.

But when the powerful jet engines work together with the law of aerodynamics, it becomes possible to do the impossible,  to lift that 367 tons over 6 miles high to a speed of  550 miles per hour.

This is a physical Illustration of a spiritual truth. “Greater is He that is within you than he that is in the world.” I John 4:4

Vainly attempting to keep God’s law perfectly can NEVER save us nor give us victory over sin.  But when the Holy Spirit  fills and controls a redeemed sinner, we who  are identified with Christ in his death and bodily resurrection, are given God’s power to live  a godly life.  Read this wonderful truth in  Galatians 2:20.  We can say with the Apostle Paul, ” I have been crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I,  but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”

FREEDOM TO FULFILL RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW.  8:4

For those Christian living under the control of the Holy Spirit, the Law is no longer seen as a cruel, heartless husband, as we saw in Romans 7:1-6.

The Law is no longer a schoolmaster. Galatians 3:24-25

We now see the Law as a delight, as David did  in Psalm 1,  40:7-10,   and in 119:16.  The moral Law of God is not disregarded simply because we live in this Age of Grace.  Rather Grace enables us to live it. Christ fulfilled it, we see in  Matthew 5:17-20. Since we are In Christ, He fulfills it in us.

 

FREEDOM FROM FEAR & BONDAGE  8:15-16

Fear and bondage describe the life of the unsaved.  Hebrews 2:14-15

To unsaved, death and fear of meeting God is a dreadful thought.

To saved it is a glorious thought.  Paul testified in Philippians 1:21 “For to

me to live is Christ; to die is gain.” 

We saved are God’s children who cry to our loving father,  “Abba Father!” or “Daddy, Daddy!”

 

BEING IN CHRIST JESUS ASSURES OUR BODILY RESURRECTION.   Romans8:11   I Cor.15:42-49  

How does that happen? Read  I Corinthians 15:50-58 which describes a glorious event every Christian awaits with great joy and anticipation.

CONCLUSION

The true test of salvation is not, do I believe facts about Jesus?

All genuine Christians do believe what the Bible says about Jesus.

 It is not,  Have I made a profession of faith or been baptized?

 BUT  Am I a new creation in Christ?  Rom.8:6

If I have made a genuine profession of faith in Christ, I am a new creation in Christ.

As a result, I am no longer in the first group whose end is death.

Rather, I am in the second  group whose end is  life and peace.

Do you have the Holy Spirit living in you? 

You do if you are saved.  Romans 8:9

You are also normally led by Him.  Romans 8:14

Does the Holy Spirit bear witness with your spirit that you are a child of God?   What is your relationship with God? Romans 8:15-16

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September 28, 2011 - Posted by | Romans

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