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Life in the Spirit (Romans 8:1-17)

Romans 8:1–17 - 1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. What does today’s passage say? In today's passage, Paul joyfully announces that for those united to Christ, there is no condemnation hanging over us - Jesus' sacrifice broke sin's chains allowing us to walk in new life by the power of the Spirit who now resides within (vv. 1-4). But we have a choice - will we be guided by fleshly cravings which lead only to spiritual deadness, or the Spirit who breathes peace and righteousness into our beings? They are opposed to each other. Trying to please our natural desires cannot coexist with pursuing the Spirit's ways (vv. 5-11). So we must actively battle temptations and ungodly thoughts, putting them to death through the Spirit. As we walk this out, we will reap blessing and freedom from sin's grip. We've been adopted into God's family after all! So we must let our identity as His cherished children direct our paths, confident that despite present sufferings, an eternal inheritance awaits (vv. 12-17). How can I apply Romans 8:1-17 to my life? The life of freedom and peace that God desires for us to walk in is only possible through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Though as believers we are no longer condemned, we still battle the pull of sin and our fleshly desires every day. The Spirit dwelling within gives us strength and discernment to resist temptation and instead bear righteous fruit. As adopted heirs of God, we must let our identity in Christ empower us to pursue His purposes rather than the world’s. This passage reminds us of the vital necessity of relying on the Spirit to navigate life’s journey. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

  1. Walk in the Spirit to Experience Freedom From Sin's Grasp (vv. 1-4): As believers in Jesus, God declares us righteous, removing any condemnation that hung over us. With clean slates, we now have the responsibility to resist sin's pull by walking in step with the Holy Spirit. This requires us to increasingly tune our minds to the Spirit's voice, study Scripture to renew our thinking, pray for strength to overcome temptation, and make choices that honor God. Our goal must be to take hold of the new life given to us, seen through loving others, speaking truth, working diligently, and using words that build up. In doing so, the power of sin diminishes as the Spirit bears fruit within. We experience victory over destructive habits that once seemed impossible to defeat. God graciously gives us His strength through the indwelling Spirit so we can live free (Galatians 5:22-25, Ephesians 4:22-24, Philippians 4:13).

Food for Thought: What habit or attitude shows I am not fully walking in step with the Spirit? What practical step will I take today to walk more closely with the Spirit?

  1. Recognize the Spirit's Indwelling Presence to Enjoy His Life and Peace (vv. 9-11): The moment we place our faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit takes up residence within us. This vital truth should shape how we view ourselves and approach each day. With the Spirit inside us, we have supernatural power, divine wisdom, inner transformation, and the very life of Christ in us! As we continually connect with the Spirit's presence through prayer, Scripture reading, worship, praise, and trust, we will bear His fruit more fully. We can experience His power to resist temptation, walk in holiness, serve others, and be bold witnesses. His wisdom helps us handle life's decisions and discern right from wrong. We experience authentic transformation as we are changed into Christ's image with ever-increasing glory by the Spirit. And we enjoy intimate fellowship with God, able to call Him "Abba Father" as cherished, adopted children. It is the Spirit within that fills our hearts with joy unspeakable, peace that passes understanding, patience in affliction and kindness toward all (John 14:16-17, Romans 8:15-16, Galatians 4:6-7).

Food for Thought: What reminders do I need to set to remember the Spirit dwells in me? How can I nurture my relationship with Him daily?

  1. Put to Death the Deeds of the Body By the Spirit's Power (vv. 12-13): Living God's way requires actively battling sinful desires that wage war against our souls. With the Spirit's help, we can gain victory. This means regularly examining our thoughts and behavior in the light of Scripture - confessing and repenting when we fall short. We must prayerfully cultivate Christlike virtues to replace old vices - swapping out lies for truth, anger for patience, selfishness for service, pride for humility. The Spirit stands ready to transform us as we yield control to Him. Of course we will stumble at times on the path, but He will lift us up, cleanse us of unrighteousness, and strengthen us to walk again in righteousness. Our part is to continuously submit our whole selves to the Spirit's leading through study, accountability, worship and obedience. His part is to empower us increasingly to put sin to death and reflect God's glorious image (Ephesians 4:22-24, Galatians 5:16-17, Colossians 3:5-10).

Food for Thought: What sinful attitude or behavior do I need the Spirit’s help to overcome? What spiritual discipline or act of service will help me walk in greater holiness?

  1. Allow the Spirit to Lead You as an Adopted Child of God (vv. 14-17): God graciously welcomes us into His family when we trust in Christ, giving us full rights and privileges as beloved children. This new identity should shape everything about how we live. As dearly loved heirs with Christ, we must allow the Spirit to lead us down paths of righteousness, peace and service - not chase after worldly success, prestige or wealth. If we ask, the Spirit will guide our daily decisions, big and small, filling our hearts with wisdom and discernment to walk in holiness and truth. He will convict us when we start to stray, prod us back up when we fall, empower us to use our gifts for Kingdom purposes. We can confidently embrace any hardship He permits, knowing it will produce character, hope and an eternal inheritance. Let us live out our adopted family identity moment-by-moment as faithful sons and daughters led by the Spirit (Galatians 5:18, Romans 8:15-17, 1 John 3:1-3).

Food for Thought:  What area of my life do I need to surrender more fully to the Spirit’s leading today as a child of God?   How can remembering my identity in Christ help me follow Him more wholeheartedly? Walking in the freedom and abundance of life that Jesus promises requires intentionally nurturing our relationship with the Holy Spirit day by day. We must continually yield control of our thoughts, behaviors, decisions and desires over to His leading through prayer, Scripture engagement, and community accountability. As we rely on the Spirit’s wisdom and power to transform us, He produces increasing fruit of righteousness in our lives. We can experience victory over habitual sins as we allow Him to reveal root issues, then shape our character to reflect Christ. Being filled with the Spirit should be a moment-by-moment reality that informs everything we do. May we passionately pursue getting in step with Him, fully embracing our new identities in Christ as beloved children called to godly purpose. Prayer Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You would remind me daily of the gift of the Holy Spirit residing within me as a guarantee of my salvation. Empower me to walk in step with Him so that I might bear fruit pleasing to You. Expose any areas of sin or unrighteousness that I need to put to death by the Spirit’s help. Lead me each moment in Your paths of righteousness, wisdom and truth as Your beloved child. Use any hardships You allow to mold my character into the image of Christ. Help me run this race with endurance and diligence by the Spirit’s enabling until my final day when I will see my Savior face to face in all His glory. I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Romans 8:14 – “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”With His Blessings, Pastor Corby

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