The Freedom we REALLY Need (Romans 8:2-4 Sermon Outline)

This past week I was privileged to preach on Romans 8:2-4 at Cross of Christ Fellowship in Naperville. Here’s my outline (you can listen to it here).

Romans 8:2-4 “The Freedom We REALLY Need”

INTRO:  Braveheart illustration: William Wallace shouting FREEDOM
      -Our society also values freedom (voting, speech, religion, choice, travel, pursue our dreams, follow our heart)
                              -Children what kind of freedoms do you like?
                              -Suburban Freedom: Free from crime; inconvenience; obligations; follow our hearts
                  -The Bible speak about another kind of freedom offered to us: freedom from power & penalty of sin.
*Only the gospel can give us the freedom we really need: freedom from the power and penalty of sin.*

Bible Reorients us to see our true needs: We need to be made right with Him again.
      -Holiness of God; Sinfulness of Man; Grace of God: Christ died for sinners; Salvation by faith in Christ.
                  This is our GREATNESS need: to be made right again with God.

CONTEXT: Romans 8 is an unfolding of the new reality that the gospel has created. It is very hopeful and gives us assurance for the future.
Last week: Rom 8:1. “No Condemnation”—affects our past/present/future.

Over of Today’s passage: Romans 8:2-4 flows out of 8:1. Here we are given another reason to see why there is no condemnation for us. It is because in the gospel, we have experienced the grace of being freed from the power and penalty of sin. This strengthens our hope and assurance: we TRULY have no condemnation before God.

                                  FOLLOW THE ARGUMENT
Stage 1: Being set free (2)
      2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
-This verse is building on 8:1 “for”
      -Here we have an additional reason to be persuaded that there is no condemnation for those in Christ.
                  -The reason is this: we have been set free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death!
-“LAW”=Sometimes refers to God’s Law, but this verse it means “principle” or “power”
      -TWO LAWS contrasted in 8:2:
1. “Law of the Spirit of Life”
      -Spirit=Holy Spirit; “of life” the Spirit who gives us life. Spiritual life in Christ.
                  -The Holy Spirit is the one who opens our ears to the gospel, regenerates us, gives us faith.
 2. “Law of sin and death”
      -The ruling force and power of sin and spiritual and eternal death.
                  -Rom 6:23 “wages of sin is death”
                               -We come into the world with this principle ruling us.
-Being Set FREE IN CHRIST JESUS: set you free in Christ Jesus      -When we came to faith in Christ, it was the Holy Spirit giving us faith and spiritual life, and setting us free the old way of living: sin, death, condemnation.

ILLUSTRATION OF FREEDOM FROM ONEROUS CREDIT CARD DEBT
      -With it there is interest, there is anxiety, there is burden.
                  -When it is paid off what do we get? We get FREEDOM from the debt and things that go with it!
-The Christian experiences a kind of freedom in the gospel. Freedom from the power and penalty of sin.
                                                      Only the gospel can give us the freedom we really need!

Stage 2: The Possibility and Reality of Freedom Explained (3-4)
      -CREDIT CARD ILLUSTRATION: How do we know this freedom is real?
                  -If I said I’ll pay your debt, how do we know we can trust it?
                              -ANSWER: God has taken the initiative to set us free and his salvation accomplished what we need

1. The INABILITY OF THE LAW: (3a)
      -In the Greek it starts with “the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.
                  -The Law here refers to the Mosaic Law (Jews though could secure their salvation)
                              -Law COULD NOT DO it= could not free us from the power and penalty of sin (condemnation)
                                          -Why? Because it was not meant to, and because our sin: weakened by the flesh
-Keeping the Law of God, being a moral or religious person, doing things will not deliver us from the power and penalty of sin. We deliverance in another way.
      -The situation is too difficult to fix on our own. We need another to step in and rescue us, and God has done that.
QUESTION: Do you recognize this? Because of sin, our situation is GRIM. There is no hope of us fixing ourselves by being a good person. We need a savior who is capable of helping us.

2. God TOOK THE INITIATIVE! (3b) 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.
                  -God took initiative and action to bring freedom: He did what the Law could not accomplish
                              -To be rescued from the power and penalty of sin we God Himself to act.
QUESTION: What does the fact that God took the initiative to save us tell us about Him?
      ANSWER: We learn of His love and grace and mercy
! His love and grace toward sinners is amazing!
                  God acted for us that we might be free: He saw our wretched state and has done something about it.
                              Only the gospel can give us the freedom we really need!

3. Here’s how God DID IT: (3c-4)
A.
God did it by sending HIS OWN SON: By sending his own Son…
      -God sent His only begotten Son to save us. (John 3:16).
                  -Only the God-Man could deal with the sin that exists between God and Man.

B.
God’s Son came as a human: By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh
     
-Jesus was TRULY human.
                  -Jesus did not have fallen nature, and He never sinned.
                              -Jesus paid for human sin!

C.
God’s Son came for a purpose: By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin
      -Jesus came “for sin” which can also be translated “as a sin offering”
                  -Jesus came to deal with our sin.
                              -Rom 3:25 “propitiation”
APPLICATION: Beware of Christian speakers and ministries that don’t talk about sin.

D.
God brought about condemnation for sin through the substitute: he condemned sin in the flesh,
     
-At the cross Jesus was condemned for sin: took our guilt. “Penal Substitutionary Atonement”
                              -God didn’t get rid of Law’s righteous requirement, but in mercy and grace condemned Christ.

E. The result is the law fulfilled: in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us,
      -Jesus took our penalty and He lived a perfect life in our place.
                  -“righteous requirement of the law might fulfilled in us”=this happens through Jesus!
                              -Now there is no place for condemnation, because Law is fulfilled!      
 
F.
“Us” Defined: who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
     
-Two kinds of people: “those who walk according to the flesh and those who walk according the Spirit”
                  -Non-Christians and Christians. This will be explained more in coming passage.

QUESTION: What is the application of all this to our lives as Christians?
      ANSWER: It strengthens our assurance. We TRULY have no condemnation.
                  APP: When you feel fearful about your salvation, look again at what God.
                                          Only the gospel can give us the freedom we really need!

APPLICATION TO UNBELIEVER:
Come to Jesus. Only he can you give you the freedom you really need: freedom from the power and penalty of sin.  
                  “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36)

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