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Romans 8:14 & Galatians 5:18 by Robert Dean

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Romans chart
Series:Hebrews (2005)
Duration:58 mins 41 secs

The Da Vinci Code opens. The reviews are apparently all bad which is nice. My favorite comment was that the movie is a faithful rendition of the book.  It is boring, poorly written and dull.  I thought that pretty much summed it up. We have some of these books on the Da Vinci Code by Josh McDowell and put out by Campus Crusade for Christ that are really well done. They have done a tremendous job of synthesizing down the pertinent information and making it easily understood. 

 

Romans 8

 

Romans 8 is where we are going to spend most of our time. Before we get there I want to remind you of the context. We don't want to lose sight of where we are and what we are doing. We are studying the book of Hebrews. In the course of our study of Hebrews we are doing some application that comes out of the verses that we are currently studying. 

 

NKJ Hebrews 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.

 

"He" is a believer who ought to be older, but he is acting young. The word here for babe is the Greek word nepios which indicates somebody who should be acting more mature but is acting like a baby. You might have used this term for a sibling who was perhaps a teenager and is acting like a 4 year old. That's the idea. It is not a positive term in the sense that he is a brephos or a spiritual infant but it is a term of insult. 

 

NKJ Hebrews 5:14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

 

This is a poor translation. I have said it should be translated "those who by consistent practice or consistent use of their senses."  This is the Greek word gumnazo meaning to be disciplined. It has the idea those who by consistent discipline in the application of the Word of God and consistent discipline in study and application and utilization of the Word of God are trained so that they can discern good and evil. Discern has to do with the ability to distinguish or evaluate. It is the development of spiritual critical thinking skills so that as we can think (and be exposed to whatever) about it in terms of doctrine. That is a level of application that goes beyond what most people think of as application. 

 

I get pretty frustrated sometimes when people say, "I wish it was more applicational."

 

In other words give me or give me 5 points on how to be happy in marriage or give me 10 points on how to manage my money.  They want stuff that is really "practical" as if being ale to discern good and evil and truth and error isn't fundamentally more important. You end up seeing the same people who sat in a church in a pew where the Word of God has been taught for 10 years and then they make stupid decisions because they never really understood what discernment was all about which is an outgrowth of application. We are using that as a way into a subject we have been looking at for awhile on divine guidance and the leading of the Spirit. There is a lot said by different Christians about what these things are. What could be more fundamental than making decisions and how to discern what pleases God in the decision making process? One of the things that people talk about is the leading of the Spirit.

 

I put a quote up last week and the week before on divine guidance and the leading of the Spirit from Dr. Ryrie's book Basic Theology and used that as a way to critique what he is saying. Is this really what the Bible means? Let's look at the context. Don't just buy into something because somebody has a good name or reputation or because you have been told that they are a great teacher and theologian or just because they tack on a bunch of Bible verses. Look those verses up and see if they say what they are purported to say. That is one reason why I have always made it a point to put these verses up on the overhead for you. I don't want to give you ten points on something and then give you the references. I want you to look at the references. 

 

How many times have you heard that in your life and you have gone home and looked at the verses and said, "Wait a minute. I am not sure how this verse connects to this point."

 

So that is why I do that – so you can see what the connections are in the Scripture and train you better in the Scripture. We are looking at the topic of the leading of the Spirit. We looked at several introductory things last time, but we need to be reminded of what they are. The fundamental question that we are asking is – is the leading of the Spirit that is talked about in Romans 8:14 and Galatians 5:18 the same thing as divine guidance? 

 

I hear this all the time.

 

"The Spirit led me to do this."

 

Or, "God led me to this job." 

 

Is that what this is talking about or is it talking about something completely different? To understand this we have to understand the context. 

 

Romans 1:17 sets up the main issue in the book of Romans. 

 

I just love doing broad sweeps like this because so often we end up doing microscopic dendrology. Do you know what dendrology is? I learned that when I went to Stephen F. Austin State University. It has the largest forestry department in the world. The first thing every freshman in forestry had to take was dendrology. I thanked God I never wanted to go into forestry. It is the study of trees. So often what we do is microscopic dendrology. We take all of our time analyzing the cell structure of the leaves on each tree and we never look at the forest. We can't see the forest through the trees. You know the old adage. So many people don't understand the basic structure of the Bible because all of their lives they looked at microscopic studies of Scripture. You have to do both. There is a balance. You have to do the detail exegesis but then you have to put it together in an overall structure of context. 

 

So the issue in Romans is an explanation of God's righteousness (His character) and how the righteousness of God is satisfied for salvation and how man can be righteous and what the results of that righteousness are. 

 

NKJ Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

 

So the gospel – believe on the Lord Jesus Christ – reveals what?  Righteousness. That is the core issue in the gospel. 

 

….from saving faith to spiritual life faith – two kinds of faith. 

 

The just are those who are justified by faith. 

 

Literals translation: The just by faith shall live. 

 

Most versions translate that "the just shall live by faith", but the by faith goes with the justification not with the living. This isn't a verse that is talking post salvation so much as those who are justified by faith, which is the first 5 chapters of Romans. 

 

Romans 6, 7, and 8 talk about that life. We will see that in just a minute.

 

So the foundations in 1-3 Jew and Gentile all violate God's righteousness. That's the message. 

 

NKJ Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 

That is what Paul is saying in the first 3 chapters. Chapter one gives an opening introduction and concludes with all Gentiles fall short.  In chapter 2 all Jews fall short. Chapter 3 therefore everybody falls short of God's standard. Jew and Gentile all violate God's righteousness. If you don't measure up to God's righteousness, how do you get it? God freely gives His righteousness through faith alone. That is chapter 4 and 5. Justification is connected in 5:1 to reconciliation. Because we are justified we have peace with God.  That is Romans 5:1. The first five chapters of Romans talk about the fact that we are lost and how we get saved. It is in Romans 6 that the text starts talking how the justified believer shall live. So chapters 6, 7 and 8 are the foundational chapters for understanding for what God says about the spiritual life. 

 

The first point is laid out in chapter 6. The justified believer should consider himself a slave of righteousness. But how does he do that?  Chapter 7. Chapter 7 is an attempt to do it by pulling yourself up by your own spiritual boot straps. It is operation personal morality. That is Paul as a believer. 

 

He says, "Man, I just struggle with the sin nature. I do the things I don't want to do and I do the things I don't want to do." 

 

I think every believer if they are serious about living the Christian life at some point or in the years of spiritual infancy feel like they have multiple personalities inside of them. There is one side that runs all the way to sin direction. The other side runs opposite.  They can't figure out how to keep things together. They do what they don't want to do and don't do what they know they should do and want to do. That is Paul's predicament as a believer in chapter 7. Through chapter 6 and chapter 7 there is one word that is left out and doesn't show up until chapter 8. That is the Holy Spirit because that is the key. So Paul builds this logical case. Chapter 6 says the justified believer should consider himself a slave of righteousness. How does he do that?  He tries to do that by keeping the law in chapter 7. But all it does is the more he tries to keep the law the more he realizes he is a sinner. He is totally frustrated. Then he comes to chapter 8 and explains that only the Holy Spirit can produce righteousness and life. That is the first 8 chapters of Romans. See how simple that is? Once you understand that and then you read the individual verses within that structure then it really opens things up to you and makes a lot more sense. We got about that far last time. 

 

The introduction of chapter 8 is crucial.

 

NKJ Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

 

Those who are in Christ Jesus include every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. "In Christ Jesus" in Pauline terminology standing for positional truth. Our position is Christ is different from our day-to-day experience. We are identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection at the instant we put our faith alone in Christ alone. As a result of that there is no condemnation. 

 

The word condemnation is an interesting word in how it is used in the context for Romans. It is the Greek word katakrima which is the intensified form of the word krima. Krima is normally translated judgment. Katakrima is an intensified form has to do with condemnation. This word is used a couple of times as we will see in a minute in Romans 5:16 and 5:18. It's a reference to what has taken place to a believer before he is justified. So it is a flash back.

 

NKJ Romans 5:16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.

 

It is a flash back to what he covered in Romans 1-3. 

 

Whose transgression? Adam's transgression.

 

The word judgment is the short word krima. Condemnation is the long word katakrima

 

So there is this contrast between judgment and the free gift.

 

NKJ Romans 5:17 For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

 

NKJ Romans 5:18 Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

 

So that is talking about what they are before they are saved. After they are saved you have Romans 8:1. 

 

NKJ Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

 

So we were in a state of no condemnation. Now we are in a state of no condemnation. It doesn't matter what you do, you are in a state of no condemnation because you are justified. That is your position in Christ. 

 

Here is a chart that I stole from Ron Merriman. Those of you who were here during the pastor's conference, Ron Merriman who has been president of Western Bible College up in Denver back in the 60's and has been a pastor for many years taught on the value and importance of knowing Greek and using Greek in the study of the Word. A lot of pastors somehow forget that. He used a number of different illustrations on different words from the book of Romans. I thought this was really helpful because it is a good visual display of where the emphases are in the book of Romans. For example in the first column we have the words krino and katakrima.  They are variations of the same word. Krino is the verb to judge, to condemn and katakrima is the noun from that verb, judgment.  What is interesting is that in these three sections of Romans in 1:19-3:20 the verb (krino) to judge is used 10 times. The noun krima is used three times for a total of 13 times that the concept of judgment and condemnation is used in those first three chapters of Romans. 

 

But then when you go to 3:21-5:21 krino is mentioned once. And in that section katakrima is used twice. That is the Romans 5:16, 18. That is a throwback and summary of what he said in 1:19-3:20.  Krima is used one time in Romans 5:16. So those are 3 references to judgment in 3:31-5:21. 

 

Then when you get to the section on the spiritual life on sanctification in 6:1-8:39 there is only one mention. That is katakrima in Romans 8:1. 

 

That is one of the things you use in Bible study methods. It is called the law of proportionality. If God says something ten times in one chapter and he doesn't mention in the next chapter, what is being emphasized? So it is a matter of proportion. You have 13 uses of the concept of judgment in the first three chapters and then it almost completely drops away after that. 

 

Then you come to the next verb in the chart. The middle horizontal line is pisteuo which is the verb to believe and pistis which is the noun for faith or trust. Pisteuo the verb is not used at all in the first three chapters. The noun is used one time. But when you get to the second section which is talking about how you are saved (justification by faith) notice the shift. Pisteuo is used 7 times and pistis are used 17 times for a total of 24 uses of the word faith in the section that is talking about how to become justified. 

 

I remember years ago before I went to seminary I would see stuff like this and almost bounce off the walls I would get so excited.  This is so interesting to see how the Bible is so well laid out and so organized structurally for emphasis. You just can't see this stuff so much in your English text. Then on pisteuo and pistis when you get into the sanctification section (the spiritual life section) where you are dealing with something different, the verb is only used one time and the noun is used two times. So you have one use in the section on sin and condemnation and 24 uses in the section that deals how you get justified and only three uses in the area of salvation. Where do you think the emphasis is? It is in the area of justification. 

 

Then you come to the third key verb in Romans. The verb is zao meaning to live and the noun is zoe meaning life. Zoe is the word that John loves to use and others love to use. Paul uses it some. It refers to eternal life, the quality of life. Not bios which is physical, biological life. It is eternal life is the word zoe. The verb zao is used two times in the first three chapters. Zoe is used one time for a total of three times. Life isn't mentioned at all in the middle section. Isn't that interesting? Life isn't mentioned at all in that middle section which is between 3:21 and 5:21.

 

Just as a little side note – hold your thought we are going to a little footnote. At the pastor's conference (I really haven't said much about this.) Dr. Niemela presented a paper where he was arguing for eternal life being at least implicit in understanding the gospel. I do not agree with him. There has developed a division in the Grace Evangelical Society which has done some tremendous work and is headed up by Bob Wilkin and Zane Hodges. Zane was my Greek professor at Dallas. I have known Bob for years since I was up in Dallas in a doctoral program 20 years ago. We have a great relationship but these guys have gone somewhere that I can't go and a lot of men can't go right now. That is that in the gospel you have to have this implicit understanding of eternal life or you are not saved. In other words you have to have an understanding of assurance of salvation (at least implicitly) or you really haven't understood the gospel. I don't think that is true. I think that if you believe that Christ died for your sins you are saved. I even think that if you invite Jesus into your heart you are saved. Because if what is going on inside your heart is that you are believing in Jesus alone for salvation and somebody comes along and says that you need to pray and say, "God, I want to invite Jesus into my heart", God is the one who looks on the heart and He knows that what you are doing internally is that you are trusting in Christ alone. You have been told some real sloppy verbiage to use. You have been told you have to pray a prayer to do that. If you notice when I give my invitation and prayer on Sundays I always say that the minute you trust in Christ God in His omniscience knows what you are trusting in. You don't have to pray a prayer. If you pray a prayer, then you have already trusted in Christ.  You are already saved.  Once you put your faith alone in Christ alone, the instant you are trusting Christ, you are saved. You don't have to tell God you did it. He is omniscient. He already knows. He knew when it was going to happen a billion years ago. You don't have to have this concept of eternal life.

 

But this has created a division. It has created a new organization of pastors. In fact I didn't understand all of this stuff until recently.  I didn't realize this was going on because I just don't keep up with them. 

 

Two or three years ago there was a group that met at the Pre-Trib Rapture Study group that meets every year in December. They organized a new group called the Free Grace Alliance. Dr. Radmacher (you have heard me speak of him) is the Chancellor of Western Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary is a part of that group. I am part of that group. This has become an issue now – is an implicit belief in eternal life a necessary part of the gospel? I don't think it is. I think this really demonstrates that right here.  When you get to 3:21-5:21 talking about justification by faith, the word life, the word zoe, isn't even mentioned. It is not mentioned until you get into sanctification. I remember I learned this from Ralph Hodges years ago that the concept of zoe is such a pregnant term. It is loaded with meaning. We often think of it as life that doesn't end. But that only has to do with the quantity of life. But the word has a depth to it. It is quality of life. 

 

Jesus said…

 

NKJ John 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

 

He came not to steal and destroy but to give life (zoe) and give it abundantly. The abundant life is talking about that rich quality of life that you get as you grow as a believer. It's really not necessarily inherent in understanding the gospel. What we see here when we look at the use of the words for life in Romans is that the verb and the noun are each used 12 times in the section on the spiritual life from 6:1 – 8:39 for a total of 24 times. Words for judgment and condemnation words are used 13 times in the first three chapters.  This is where Paul is getting us lost. Words for faith are used 24 times in the section on how you get that righteousness of God. Then words for life are used 24 times in the section on sanctification. See how that breaks out. You can see what Paul is talking about in each one of those sections. That is what we are talking about in Romans 6-8. When we get to our study of Romans 8 and we are talking about being led by the Spirit, from this word study what would you guess the leading of the Spirit is going to be related to?  Just take a little guess. Life, experiencing that fullness that abundant life that Christ has for us as opposed to the concept of divine guidance - God giving you impressions or liver quiver or whatever you want to call it to decide whether to buy this house or that house, to invest in Ford or Chevy or General Motors or Microsoft or Intel or Apple. Those aren't the decisions that the leading of the Spirit relate to. Just structurally you lay these things out and that really gives you a map of what Paul is saying. 

 

So we get into chapter 8 and I have some basic summaries. First of all, based on Romans 8:1 the believer is no longer under a judicial penalty from the Supreme Court of Heaven. That is what it means. 

 

NKJ Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

 

No matter what you do, even if you reject Christ or deny the gospel or even if you get into the worst sins you can possibly imagine, there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. The believer is no longer under a judicial penalty from the Supreme Court of Heaven because he now possesses justification – the righteousness that comes from God. We should understand this. It is not like God giving us His righteousness in the sense that He pulls something out of Himself and gives it to us. It is righteousness that is equivalent to God's righteousness. It is perfect righteousness. It is a standard that God is giving to us. It is a judicial standing of perfection. He is declaring us to be not guilty of anything. It is a judicial standing of perfect righteousness that is being imputed to us. 

 

The arena of application adheres to those in Christ that is anybody who has trusted Christ as Savior. This occurs at the instant at salvation. This is what baptism of the Holy Spirit means. It doesn't mean speaking in tongues. It doesn't mean some sort of experience. It doesn't mean that you are going to swoon or pass out or be slain in the Spirit. There are only two people in the Bible slain in the spirit – Ananias and Sapphira. You don't have any experience of this. You only learn about it after you are saved through a study of the Word. 

 

So verse 1 (Romans 8:1) reviews the point of 6:1-5 which emphasizes a couple of things - first of all the potential of walking in new life. Because you are identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection because you are crucified with him – that is what that means. 

 

NKJ Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 

That is not water baptism. That is not going out and being immersed in water. This is talking about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is identification. That is the ultimate significance of baptism. Baptism literally means to dip, plunge, or immerse. But the word for baptism was used to signify identification of something with something - frequently in an initiation into a new position. If you do a word substitution of identification you get the sense of what he is saying.

 

Therefore we have been buried with Him in identification into death.

 

We have been identified with His death so that His death is our death.  His death becomes the death of our sin nature. That is what he is going to say.

 

So the baptism into death is towards something. Toward what? Newness of life. There is that word, the noun zoe, newness of life.  The purpose for that identification with Christ is so that we can have in our experience—not position, but in terms of our experience—a new quality of life. So there is the potential because that only becomes real if we take in the Word of God and walk by the Spirit of God.

 

Second, we have emancipation from the tyranny of the sin nature, but not the presence of the sin nature. Before you are saved all you can do is sin. That is all you can do. You can't do anything else because that is all you have. You can do morality, but it comes out of the sin nature. 

 

NKJ Romans 6:7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.

 

That is identification with Christ's death. 

 

The word sin indicates the sin nature. We are freed from it. It's not gone. If it was gone there wouldn't have to be any commandments or prohibitions in the New Testament. It would just say that once you are saved you aren't going to sin anymore.  Some people think that, but they have such a weak view of sin. If you only think that there are three things that you can do to commit sin and you don't do those three things, then you never sin. But then if you get proud about it, you have a problem. It is always the mental attitude sins that sneak up on you. That is what Paul realized in Romans 7. Romans 8:2 goes on to explain this. So after we go back and pick up in verse 1 a summary or the chapters 5 and 6, we go on in verse 2. 

 

NKJ Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

 

That is a reminder of what I just read in Romans 6:7. We are free. The word law here, the law of the spiritual of life and death, should be understood as the principle or the application. 

 

So because of the Holy Spirit because He is the Spirit of life, we are free from the sin nature which only produces death. So who is he talking about here? He is talking to the Romans. 

 

Is that what he said? I just wanted to see if you were alert. Make sure that you aren't sleeping here. What does that mean? 

 

That means when he is speaking to his audience he says, "You have been set free." 

 

In other words he is viewing them as regenerate justified believers - not unregenerate. You can't read that in here. He views his audience as regenerate, born again, justified believers. They have been set free from the law of sin and death positionally. 

 

Now as we look at this we have to understand three key words – freedom, law and sin, and the word death. Law means principle.  We have seen that already. The law of the Spirit of life is in contrast to the law of death. They must be understood in opposition to one another. Since he is going to go on and apply the possibility of being dead to his readers, he has got to be talking about a different category of death. We have gone over this. There are 7 different kinds of death in the Bible – physical death, spiritual death, sexual death, carnal death, operational death, the second death and positional death. Positional death is Romans 6:4-5, but this is operational death. He is setting you free from operational death. This isn't just setting you free from spiritual death because it is the law of the spirit of life. It's talking about what? The potential of the abundant life as a result of being identified with Christ.  Romans 8:12-13 expand this. So we have to go down and look at the core context.

 

NKJ Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors -- not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.

 

NKJ Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

 

So there is this contrast between living according to the flesh and living by the Spirit. These are the two polar opposites. Either you are living according to the flesh or you are living by the Spirit. If you are living by the flesh, then you must die – operational death.  If you are living by the Spirit then you are putting to death the deeds of the body. Since this is addressed to "brethren" back in verse 12 and because they have been set free from the law of sin and death, they are truly believers. He says that there is an obligation that goes with that. That obligation is to live by the Holy Spirit. That's our responsibility as believers. If we fail in that then we will have nothing but wood, hay and straw and that will all burn up at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

 

So the law of the Spirit of life is contrasted with the law of sin and death. This goes back to what he says in Romans 6. Open your Bibles because I don't want to take these verses in their proper order. I want to hit the high points to draw out some principles.  Romans 6 is talking about the fact that we are positionally free from the dominion of the sin nature and what that means. 

 

NKJ Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

 

Now this would apply to a believer or an unbeliever, but he is speaking to them as believers because he has already said they were set free from sin. Now if you present yourselves or yield – that is where that concept comes from. 

 

You hear the old theologians like Chafer and Walvoord say, "The yieldedness part of being filled with the Spirit or staying filled with the Spirit." 

 

What yieldedness means is to present yourself to God. That is how it is translated in more modern translations. It is to stay in fellowship. It is a synonym to abiding in Christ. It is a synonym for staying submitted to the authority of God and not going into rebellion and getting out of fellowship and sinning. He says that you have this choice. You can either present yourself to the sin nature and be a slave to the sin nature which results in operational death or you can present yourself to God and that results in righteousness. What kind of righteousness? Is this talking about positional righteousness? Justification? No, you are already justified.  You have imputed righteousness. This is talking about experiential righteousness that builds capacity for spiritual maturity. It is the production in the believer's life of experiential righteousness or experiential sanctification. 

 

NKJ Romans 6:21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.

 

Before you were saved you were involved in all kinds of religious activity or pagan immorality or whatever it was. You thought you were getting something out of that one way or the other. Now you are ashamed of it. The outcome of those things is death. That is talking about the production value. That is not why they were spiritually dead. You are born spiritually dead because of Adam's original sin. That is what your condemnation is for. You sin because you are a sinner. You are not a sinner because you sin. I know that is tough to handle. You sin because you are a sinner. You are born condemned. When you come out of the womb you already have a sin nature and Adam's original sin is imputed to you. As you grow, you sin because you are constitutionally a sinner. You are not born neutral. You are not born perfect and then chose to sin. What Paul is talking about here is the outcome of those decisions that you did before you were saved is operational death. It is an experiential death. It is not talking about that original spiritual death condition.

 

NKJ Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

He is talking to believers. So often this verse is translated and applied as a salvation verse. It's not. Salvation and justification was covered where? In Romans 3:21 through the end of chapter 5. What happens in chapter 6? We are talking about the post salvation life. The payment for sin in your post salvation life is operational death. This isn't talking about spiritual death. It is operational death. 

 

Wait a minute. This sounds like it ought to be a salvation verse. But you see he is talking about life. Remember the chart? You don't have any mention of life until you get to chapter 6 - after you are justified. There has to be that distinction between what is required for justification and what is required for sanctification. They are distinct doctrines. 

 

Do you know who doesn't separate them?  Roman Catholicism. In Protestant theology, Luther discovered that justification is a one shot legal act that happens at the instant of salvation. In Roman Catholicism you get at little bit of grace each time you participate in the sacraments. If you build up enough then you get saved. Nobody knows how much is enough so nobody knows if they are really saved. So justification is a process. Justification in Roman Catholic theology is progressive. So is sanctification. They have made justification and sanctification equal. If you aren't sanctified then you are justified. Lordship salvation does the same thing. If you commit that sin or that sin or that sin or you denied Christ after you were saved then you didn't have the right kind of faith. It is a Protestant form of the same error that Rome had. That is why John McArthur in his book The Gospel According to Jesus when it came out in the first edition he translates (and if you don't read the footnotes -  that is why in books like that you have to read the footnotes and you have to know the technical issues.) Ephesians 2:8-9. He says that the word pistis which is the word for faith should be translated faithfulness. 

 

For by grace you have been saved through faithfulness.

 

Is that right? That's a process. He needs to go back to Rome because that is what Lordship salvation essentially is. It is the same error that the Roman Catholic Church has. Justification is distinct from sanctification. You are justified by faith alone in Christ alone. You become a new creature in Christ. But sanctification is separate. You are saved but you still live in sin then the wages is operational death. You don't experience that full abundant life that Christ has for you which is just as free (because it is all grace) as the never ending part of it - the life that you get when you trust Christ as Savior. 

 

Romans 6:16, 21, and 23 all emphasize the reality of operational death for the believer. Now we go back to Romans 8:6.

 

NKJ Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

 

This is the same principle. He is just reiterating it. If your mind is set on the flesh (that is the sin nature control), it is operational death. It is not loss of salvation, not that you weren't saved. It is operational death, dead works. As we get into the next chapter of Hebrews he is going to say things about not going back to dead works. It is the same concept, operational death. 

 

You have two options. You can walk by the Spirit or you can walk by the sin nature. If you walk by the sin nature, it produces operational death. If you walk by the Spirit you have your mind set on the Spirit, you have life and peace. 

 

We did Romans 8:1 and Romans 8:2 jumped ahead to these other verses to demonstrate the principle of operations death. Now we are back to verse 3.

 

NKJ Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,

 

The law was never designed to do two things. It was never designed to give you justification. The Mosaic Law was never designed to give you spiritual life. The Mosaic Law was the law code for the nation and it had to do with ritual operation that was part of the ritual observance of the tabernacle. 

 

You see the law could not save. But God did. 

 

It means that it appeared in human flesh – physical humanity. 

 

There is the second time that word is used in this section, katakrima.

 

NKJ Romans 8:4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

 

What was the requirement of the law? Righteousness. So it is fulfilled in us because of imputation of righteousness. He is going back in the first 4 verses of Romans 8 to review those concepts he has covered already. 

 

Now when you read that you have to watch the punctuation. There weren't any commas in the original. That relative clause that begins with the relative pronoun who, that defines the meaning of that first person plural pronoun "us". Who are the "us"? It is those who don't walk according to the flesh but walk according to the Spirit. The "us" isn't all believers. The "us" is those who walk according to the Spirit. So what we see throughout this section is two polar opposites that you have in Romans 8. You have the law of the Spirit of life versus the law of sin and death. 

 

NKJ Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

 

In verse 5 you have those who live according to the Spirit and the things of the Spirit. Here you have those who walk according to the flesh versus those who walk according to the Spirit. So you have these two opposites. The way you ought to read that is not the first option, "in us." That would read "that requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us." But it is us, defined as us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 

 

Ephesians 5:8 uses the same contrast.

 

NKJ Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

 

That is position. That is who you are. You are light in the Lord. You walk as children of light. That implies that you can walk as a child of darkness even though you are a child in the light. There are two different kinds of Christians. 

 

There are a lot of people who say, "That is wrong. That is elitism. That's terrible."

 

In fact - some of you may run across this - there is a Bible translation that has been out for a few years now called the New Electronic Translation – the NET Bible. 

 

When that came out I had several people say, "You have got to get this. This is really great. If you open it up and look on the pages, the bottom third to two-thirds of every page is all these translator's notes and technical information on Greek grammar and everything else. It is just fabulous." 

 

I knew who published it so I wrote the publisher and asked who translated it. They told me it was the entire Greek Department at Dallas Seminary. I knew who these guys are and what their theology was on the spiritual life. So I started looking at critical passages and went to I John 2:4. It talks about abiding in Christ. The footnote says that this does not refer to the elitist view that some people have that some Christians abide and some don't. All Christians abide in Christ. Then I started looking at a lot of other verses. 

 

I said, "This is terrible." 

 

You are going to get a lot of people who don't know the technical stuff and they will get this and look at those notes. It will have a terrible affect. It is consistent with the theology that is being taught by the New Testament Department at Dallas Seminary now at least as it regards to the spiritual life. That is because to a man they are into lordship salvation.

 

I John 1:6 makes the same kind of comment.

 

NKJ 1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

 

The "we" are believers. Believers can lie? Sure! If we claim to be walking with God but we walk in darkness, we are lying and not practicing truth. We are not putting into application of doctrine in the soul.

 

NKJ Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

 

That's the carnal believer. That's the contrast between carnality and spirituality. 

 

NKJ Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

 

That is operational death. 

 

What does spiritually minded mean here? Think in terms of the phrases we have seen already. Walking according to the Spirit, or living according to the Spirit, and now we have another phrase – being spiritually minded. All those are talking about the same thing.  They are synonyms. If you live according to the flesh, you walk according to the flesh. You are fleshly minded. All of those things mean the same thing. On the other side of the spectrum, you have walking by the Spirit, living by the Spirit and being spiritually minded. 

 

NKJ Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

 

Let's stop a minute. What is a carnal mind? The carnal mind is the mind that is dominated by the sin nature. That applies to two groups of people, doesn't it? Unbelievers are always carnally minded. They can't be anything else. It also applies to believers. The technical word is that this is a gnomic principle. That means it is a universal principle. The carnal mind whether it is a believer or unbeliever is at enmity against God. When you as a believer operate according to the flesh [sin nature] you are hostile to God. When you are out of fellowship you can't be subject to the law of God, There is impossibility there. It is a split side of that same statement made in Galatians 5:16. 

 

NKJ Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

 

If you are operating on the flesh, it is impossible to please God.

 

NKJ Romans 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

 

Wait a minute. We have just had a shift in terminology. If you are not careful, you will get lost. Walking according to the Spirit and walking by the Spirit is one thing. But when we get here to Romans 8:8, we make this shift. Then what happens is it is talking about the unbeliever. The unbeliever is in the flesh. That is talking about an unbeliever. If you walk according the flesh (according to the standard of the sin nature)—but it never talks about the believer being in the flesh anymore. We are not. We are in the Spirit. Here what Paul is doing is applying this to the unbeliever. The carnal minded believer is acting just like an unbeliever and is as unproductive as an unbeliever. 

 

NKJ Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

 

What he is arguing here is – look the unbeliever is carnally minded. He can't please God and you as a believer if you become carnally minded you can't please God. But, who are you? You are not in the flesh, but you are in the Spirit. See how in the flesh and in the Spirit are used differently? You as a believer are not in the flesh but you can walk according to the flesh. You can live by the flesh but you can't be in the flesh. In the flesh is the unbeliever. So here he is talking positionally. You are in the Spirit and not in the flesh if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. As a believer the instant you trust Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit dwells in you.  This is a key verse on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. It is the Spirit of Christ that gives you - the ability to walk by the Spirit. But if you are not saved, you can't do it. If you are saved you may not do it.

 

NKJ Romans 8:10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

 

If Christ is in you, you have imputed righteousness. Therefore the Spirit can be life for you. 

 

Set on the flesh equals death. According to the flesh and set on flesh are synonymous phrases. In contrast to that you have the phrases in the early part of the chapter, according to the Spirit and set on the Spirit. That equals life and peace. Set on the flesh is hostile to God. Then there is a shift from the phrase "according to" to the phrase "in the". In the flesh refers to unbelievers. They can't please God. 

 

So Romans 8:9, see that difference? So Romans 8:9 is not talking about the contrast between the carnal believer and the spiritual believer. It's talking about the unbeliever. The argument is saying that the carnal believer is living like an unbeliever. He is producing the same kind of dead works.

 

So then we come to Romans 8:11.

NKJ Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

 

He does because that is positional reality.

 

So the spiritual life comes as a result of the ministry of the Holy Spirit who is dwelling in us. When He is filling us operationally, that is what we call the filling of the Spirit. That happens when we are walking by the Spirit. That's after salvation and after justification. 

 

NKJ Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors -- not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh

 

In the flesh is the unbeliever. 

 

So we have this obligation not to live according to the sin nature.

 

NKJ Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

 

Notice the phrase again. It is not "in" but "according to." 

 

You will live the abundant life. 

 

That is the context of verse 14. 

 

NKJ Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

 

This is mature sons, huios. So led by the Spirit in verse 14 must be understood to fit within the whole flow of these phrases – the mind set on the Spirit, walking by the Spirit, living by the Spirit, being led by the Spirit. They are all taking about the very same thing.  That is what we will see in Galatians 5. It is covered by the phrase, walking by the Spirit. 

 

In this context being led by the Spirit is another way of describing life according to the Spirit in which the Christian is putting to death the deeds of the body. 

 

So the leading of the Spirit here is guidance into the revealed or moral will of God. Remember our categories? The moral will of God is God's revealed will - what we should do and what we shouldn't do.  So the leading of the Spirit here has to do with the leading in relation to putting to death the deeds of the flesh, applying the moral will of God to our lives or the revealed will of God to our lives.  The leading here is not guidance into making decisions. It is guidance into making decisions related to applying doctrine to our lives, doing that which is pleasing to God. 

 

The issue is that obedience to that will would be impossible apart from the Spirit of God. When we do it and apply the doctrine and we grow, that produces a mature son of God – a huios, not a teknon which is an immature child. It only comes by being led by the Spirit of God. He leads us through His Word. So once again it is that two-fold operation of the Word of God with the Spirit of God produces maturity in the child of God.

 

We will come back next time and look at Galatians 5 and the context there. We will see that it is talking about the same thing.  Galatians is the first epistle that Paul wrote. Romans is a more mature explanation of everything that is in Galatians. Galatians talks about justification in chapter 2 and ends up with the spiritual life in chapter 5. The same thing is in Romans.

Let's bow our heads in closing prayer.