Writings on Christianity


Here’s my sermon notes for Romans 8:5-11, preached at Cross of Christ Fellowship in Naperville. You can hear the audio here.

Romans 8:5-11 “A Glorious Transfer”
Imagine a poor woman, saddled with debt and difficulties, marries a prince. What happens? (I got the idea for this from Glen Scrivener and my wife also suggested the analogy!)
                    -Glorious transfer: new identity, new situation, new hope for the present and the future.

 MS: In the gospel we have experienced a glorious transfer that changes who we are and gives us a hope for the future.

Context Recap:
        -Romans 1-7 summary: The gospel. Explained (1-4), Unpacked and Clarified (5-8)
                    -Rom 8 is a further unpacking and reveling in of the great results of the gospel.
         *PANCAKES—layer upon layer of syrup and toppings
                                -We are given layers of reasons for us to be assured of what has happened in the gospel and find joy
                                -8:1: No Condemnation for Christians! No fear of condemnation now and forever.
                                -8:2-4: Freedom from power & penalty of sin because of the gospel! God did what the Law could not…
                                            -8:4b ended with description Christian “who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
-Rom 8:5-11 explains these two categories—those who walk according to the flesh and those who walk according to the Spirit—and informs us that Christians has been transferred from one category (“in the flesh”) to another (“in the Spirit.”).
*In the gospel we have experienced a glorious transfer that changes who we are and gives us a hope for the future.

1. Two Ways to Live (5-6)
There are two kinds of people: those who are in the flesh and those who are in the Spirit.
1. WAY OF THE FLESH (5) : “those who live according to the FLESH”
-This is the unconverted person, or anyone who is not a Christian.
                    -Approach to life is shaped and dictated by sinful desires, not holiness; self is king and not God.
 -CONNECTION TO THINKING:set their minds on the things of the flesh
        -Thoughts, hearts, desires are focused on things of this world and not on God.
                    -Outright sinful acts and ideas (drunkenness, sexual immorality, theft)
                     -Also, “respectable sins” Ignoring God and living for the things of this world.

                                            -Naperville manifestation of this: idols of career, comfort, success.

2. WAY OF THE SPIRIT  (5b): “those who live according to the Spirit
        -This is referring to Christians.
                    -Living according to the ways and ordering of God the Holy Spirit
                                -When you came to faith it was the Holy Spirit who regenerated you, gave you faith, sealed you, fills you.
CONNECTION TO THINKING: set their minds on the things of the Spirit
-MINDSET of holiness, God-centered, loving God and neighbor
                    -Reflecting Christ and his ways.
                                -Seeking to be centered on Jesus, delight in him, and follow him everywhere.

        -FLESH: “For to set the mind on the flesh is death
                    -DEATH=spiritual and eternal. Cut off from the life of God.
                                -Death experienced now in this life, but in full in hell.
        -SPIRIT: “but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
                    -LIFE AND PEACE. Spiritual life that begins now and goes into eternity. Peace with God and others.
                                -Regeneration and Reconciliation.
APP: There are only two ways of living—according to the flesh or according to the Spirit; death or life & peace.
        -There is no 3rd way.
                    -Everyone you will ever meet is either “in the flesh” or “in the Spirit,” on path of death or path of life.

2. A Further Explanation of the Hopelessness that is Life According to the Flesh (7-8)
Here, Paul tells us more about the path that is “living according to the flesh”
-ATTITUDE TO GOD: HOSTILE 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God,
         -Opposed to God; Not wanting Him; wishing he did not exist or matter.
-HOSTILITY DEMONSTRATED: for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
        -A refusal to submit to God
        -An inability to submit to God
-INABILITY TO PLEASE GOD Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
        -Unable to please God, because all of actions and motives are stained with sin: TOTAL DEPRAVITY!

*BOYS & GIRLS:  Are people basically good and able to please God or are we sinners in need of grace?

AP: -This leads to compassion to the unbeliever.
The situation is grim outside of Christ, and ought to have compassion.
-Helps us in temptation. There is no true life outside of Christ, only hostility to God.

Something amazing has happened when we came to faith in Christ, we have been transferred out of this realm of “in the flesh” and into the realm of “in the Spirit.”-A Word of Assurance to the Christian (9a): You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit,
        -Christians are not in that category of “the flesh” but are now in the Holy Spirit. GLORIOUS TRANSER!
                    -Does not mean perfect, but a real transfer from one kingdom to the other (Col 1:13-14)
                                -All those things that were true for those in the flesh (5-8) are not true for you!
-A Clarifying Word to the Hearer if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.”
        -“if in fact”… could be translated “since.”
Moo: context in this case strongly suggests that Paul is… assuming the reality of the Christian experience of his readers.”                        -Example: “You are entitled to a library card, if in fact you live in Naperville…”
 –Non-Christians lack the Spirit: Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
                    -Non-Christians are outside of God’s family and need to brought in through the gospel.
        -NOTE: Paul interchanges “Spirit” with “Spirit of Christ” because we experience the presence of Christ by the HS
SEE THIS: You have a new identity that is real and given to you by God: “in the Spirit”
        -Shapes your identity—God’s grace and love define you, not your sins.
                    ISN’T GOD AMAZING? You have been transferred by his love and grace, not because of your works.
QUESTION: Could I really be “in the Spirit” if I still sin today?
ANSWER: YES. Christians still sin. But a fundamental transfer has taken place.
        -Sanctification is this: you are a new creation, now live it out! 1 Cor 4:7
                    -Like new princess learning how to live it out.

*Boys & Girls:
Is a Christian’s FINAL destination after death with a body or without a body? ANS: with a Body!
                    -Apostles Creed: “I believe in the resurrection of the dead”
                                -Intermediate state: after death but before resurrection (heaven or hell, temporary)
                                             -History heading toward the RESURRECTION: all will be physically raised!
-A Hope for the FUTURE (10-11):
        -Our bodies still die “10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin,
                    -Speaking of the fact our bodies do still die.
        -The Holy Spirit gives us life “the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
                    -“Spirit is life”=Spirit gives life. Eternal life, but also the life mentioned in v 11.
                                -“because of righteousness”= Christ secured our righteousness, we’re justified in Him!
Resurrection unto eternal life: (11)Paul makes an “if then statement,”
IF: “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you
        -This is the case for Christians.
                    -The SAME Holy Spirit who filled Jesus, fills us!
THEN: “he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
        -God raised Jesus from the dead by the Holy Spirit
                    -God will also raise us up in physical bodies at the resurrection of the dead
                                -This will certainly take place! Phil 3:21
AP: As our bodies get old and decay, we can have hope of a future resurrection. We will one day be raised to new physical bodies and be on the new Earth with God and His people. We will be of those whom Jesus said “the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matt 13:43).

CONCLUSION: In the gospel we have experienced a glorious transfer that changes who we are and gives us a hope for the future!

Our situation is even better than a poor woman marrying a rich prince, we have been transferred into the kingdom of Christ and now are in the Spirit—we have been friends with God, given a new identity, and a sure hope for the future.

By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *