ROMANS 8:5-17 THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
“Changed from the inside out!”
In Romans 8:1-4 Paul summarises the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and declares:
“There is now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus”
Because of Christ’s offering of himself as a sin offering on our behalf, it is finished.
Our brokenness is dealt with.
There is no penalty against us.
We have nothing more to answer to before God.
Our past is dealt with … our shame is removed … all blame is gone!
Last week, in particular, we looked at the difference between condemnation & conviction.
The devil condemns and accuses … God convicts.
Condemnation kills, steals & destroys … conviction builds up.
In our next portion of Romans 8 today, we will look at how this building up process actually happens in us.
1. WHO IS PAUL TALKING TO? Vs. 5-9
Paul deals with 2 kinds of person:
a. Vs. 5 “Those who live according to the sinful nature”
Vs. 6 “The mind controlled by the sinful nature”
The person who has not chosen God’s answer through the cross … the non-Christian.
Vs. 7 Sinful mind is hostile to God, does not submit to God’s law, cannot please God.
b. Vs. 5 “those who live in accordance with the Spirit”
Vs. 6 “the mind controlled by the Spirit”
Those who have received Christ. The Christian.
Those who have the Holy Spirit living within.
Paul summarises this in Vs. 9 “You, however, are not controlled by the sinful nature, but are in the Spirit, IF INDEED THE SPIRIT OF GOD LIVES IN YOU.”
This is important for us to understand.
He is not talking about two kinds of Christian … the “haves and the have nots” … the weak & the strong … the spiritual & the unspiritual!
He is talking about two kinds of human … the unsaved & the saved. The Christian & the Non-Christian.
If you are saved YOU HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT LIVING WITHIN!
2. HOW DOES THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT WORK WITHIN US? Vs. 10-11
Vs. 11 The Spirit works in us from the INSIDE OUT … spirit to body!
How does He do it?
Ezekiel 36:26-27 New heart, new spirit, remove our heart of stone, replace with a heart of flesh.
Soften us on the inside.
A work of God to heal us in the inner person FIRST!
Gently, beautifully begins to work inside us.
Our hearts soften to God & to others.
Isaiah 30:21 As a result we become sensitive to His voice so that He can begin to speak to us & guide us.
John 16:12-15 Guides us, opens up our eyes to see what God sees, reveals things to us little by little.
The Holy Spirit’s INSIDE OUT transformation is gradual & gentle.
Our initial change is not a result of our own effort, or us obeying various rules.
It is the result of an inner “voice” that we learn to follow.
A voice guided by the Word of God, relationships with God’s family, prayer etc. (That is why the Bible & Church are impt)
The Holy Spirit:
• Illuminates the Word of God as we read it & study it. (examples)
• Puts God’s thoughts within us … speaks directly to us … guides us & instructs us (examples)
• Explains God’s word & His ways to us … helps us to make sense of things around us … speaks to us about us (examples)
3. A NEW OBLIGATION Vs. 12-13
“Therefore” … because of this …
Vs. 12 We no longer owe the flesh anything. We owe our old life nothing.
We don’t have to do the old stuff anymore.
We don’t have to make the old bad choices anymore.
We don’t have to live the way we did before.
Vs. 13 We have an obligation to make good choices.
“if by the Spirit you PUT TO DEATH the old, you will live”
We have an obligation to co-operate with the Spirit’s voice within.
We put to death the old by ignoring it … refusing to give it air in our lives … refusing to feed it … starving it out! How?
By choosing God’s ways ahead of our own.
Feeding the truth. Choosing to live according to what the word of God says.
Choosing to say “yes” to the voice of the Spirit within.
“Putting to death” is a slow process … a process of ignoring the old & choosing the new.
• Unforgiveness → Forgiveness
• Hatred → Love
• Fear → Trust
• Poverty → Generosity
4. A NEW POSITION Vs. 14-17
As we are led by the Spirit, we are the children of God.
The more we allow the Spirit to lead us, the more we act like His children.
As children we have:
• A new place … Not slaves … children. Not guests but part of the family!
• A new relationship … “Abba” = “Daddy”. Close to God as our loving Father. The more we respond the closer we feel.
• A new inheritance … Vs. 17 “heirs”. All that is God’s becomes ours, BUT like sons we must grow in maturity in order to handle it. We get given what we can handle!
• A mutual sharing … suffering & glory! (Next time!) What happened to Jesus will happen to us!
As Christians we have a helper on the inside.
The Holy Spirit indwells us at salvation.
He works in us from the inside out.
Our role is to co-operate with Him. Listen & do!
As we do we enjoy the benefits of the family more & more!