Hope of Holiness Part 2
We’re spending three weeks on the Romans 1-8 Text
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God;it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
Today, we focus on verses 2 through 4
2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
We are introduced to a couplet – two “laws”
> “The law of sin and death.” The Law of Moses. The Jewish Law. The Ten Commandments. The 613 rules, regulations and practices in the Old Testament – The Rule Book.
> “The law of the Spirit who gives life.” A gift of freedom THROUGH CHRIS JESUS
But, why does Paul make this distinction? Isn’t it obvious?
Do you know this “gospel of the rule followers” is alive and well today.
> Doing is what leads to SAVING
> You don’t need Jesus, you just need morals
> Do what’s right and Heaven is yours.
As you listen, think about the times when you judge yourself, and believe God determines your merit by your works.
What does it look like when you think you can or should earn your way into God’s acceptance?
Reading Romans 7 and 8 together paints a picture of the two “laws” at work.
In Romans 7 “the law” and its synonyms are mentioned 31 times and the Spirit only once. But in Romans 8 The Spirit is referred to 19 times by name.
(verse 3 & 4) 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin (katakrinō He sentenced sin to death) in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
> The state of sin and death is not because of the law. It is because of US.
> People wouldn’t obey. From what felt like our very first moments on earth in that garden. And once that was evident, the Law couldn’t save us.
“The law is the light that reveals how dirty the room is, not the broom that sweeps it clean. ”
But: What we couldn’t do. JESUS DID.
That is the HOPE OF HOLINESS
But why? Ever thought about why it was like this?
> Why Adam and Eve only had to obey one rule and they were offered paradise? Yet they couldn’t even obey that simple command?
> Why through hundreds and hundreds of pages of the Old Testament we read about people promising great things. And then turning their backs on God?
> Why our lives have proven over and over again that we don’t have it in us?
Perhaps one reason is so that we will never forget Him.
That we will always remember, moment by moment, the breadth and depth of what Jesus did for us.
So we would ALWAYS remember Him.
Do you remember?
Read Romans 7 and 8 back to back in one sitting, thinking about “the law of sin and death” as over against “the law of the Spirit who gives life.”
7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
Romans 1-8 The Message Paraphrase
The Solution Is Life on God’s Terms
8 1-2 With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. 3-4 God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that. The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us. 5-8 Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.