REVIEW: Paul’s and Our Conflict
The indwelling sin we all have is a tyrant whose dictates we hate and loathe like Paul. Like Paul, we struggle in vain by our own strength.
7:14-23 So the problem boils down to his and our inability to win the war against sin. We want to do what is right, but find ourselves doing what we know is wrong.
7:24 So we all cry out in agony how wretched we are. We need to be rescued from our sins which are leading us directly to death. Who will rescue us?
7:25 There is only one who will rescue us – Jesus the Christ. Why does it take time to complete the rescue to rid the body of sin? Because we knew very little of the mountain of corruption that was indwelling. However, Jesus and the Holy Spirit knew and that didn’t let that stop them for He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus, Philippians 1:6.
8:1-2 There is no reason for any of us who are in Christ to go around as if we had never been pardoned, never been released from the prison-house of sin. All the punishment we deserved has been removed. Removed! This happens through the Spirit of Life which takes us back to verse 5:5 where God pours out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. We have been set free!
8:3-4 In the likeness of sinful flesh … in the flesh with no sin. Because Christ has paid the price for our sin we have cause for Great Celebration when we accept the Gift of Grace that has been granted to us. And here we have the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy of a new covenant from 31:33 I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. Also in Ezekiel 11:19 putting a new spirit in us and Ezekiel 36:27 I will put my Spirit in you.
8:5-8 Compare what we have read here to what we find in Galatians 5:19-23 the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.
8:9 It is the Spirit alone, the Holy Spirit, who brings us into a living relationship with Christ – there can be no such relationship with the Spirit. We are fooling ourselves if we think otherwise.
8:10 Our spirits are alive although our bodies will die (wages of sin). Our spirit is alive because it has been quickened by the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Christ and it is life. Because we are believers, Christ resurrected lives in us. Our bodies remain subject to death due to the consequence of sin. On the other hand, the Spirit which lives in us, the living and life giving Spirit of Christ imparts to us eternal life which is the result of justification because of our faith. If Christ is in you is the same as saying if the Spirit of God really dwells in you.
8:11 Ever notice someone who is dying – older or younger – but has an abiding faith in Jesus sometimes positively glows? As our bodies breakdown, we somehow come closer to God because of our faith. Our body breaking down and the pain and difficulty that goes with that are often suffering that brings us closer to Christ.
8:12-13 We are to treat our former sinful practices as dead in relation to our new lives … in a sense we have crucified our old lives in the flesh with its passions and desires with our new lives and the fruit of the spirit.
8:14 Why? Because being led by the Spirit of God we become sons of God!
8:15 If we do not have a spirit of fear what do we have. The Spirit of God which we receive is described in 2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, of self-discipline. Very appropriate for those who can cry out to the creator “Abba, Father”!
8:16 Simply calling God Father is as sure a token of the indwelling Spirit as calling Jesus our Lord.
8:17 Again as in verse 11, our suffering, young or old, brings us closer to Christ as we realize while our bodies may waste away, our spirit grows ever closer to God … in this way we share in His glory.
Same Question as last week: As sons and daughters of God why are we pretending or why are we not serious about putting the words of God into practice? Ezekiel 33:30-32