June 26, 2011

Romans #19

Romans 8:1-17

We saw in 7:12, that though the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good, Paul, as any sinner will, found only death in it.

Paul has spent his letter up to this point showing that they law can never bring life, joy nor peace. The law was never meant to produce justification nor sanctification. Rather, its purpose to the unsaved is to bring conviction, irritate the conscience and to produce enough conflict to bring the sinner to the hopeless end of himself, and to Christ.

The law certainly is not sin; rather, it reveals sin both to the unsaved and the saved.

Without Christ, the sinner hates the law, for it reveals sin, and the just reward of sin.

With Christ, the child of God love the law, for it reveals how we can please our Redeemer and God

Psalms 119:97 MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. (Ps 119:163, 165)

This is a hard saying, but regardless of verbal professions, those who do not love the law of the Lord are none of his, for the Spirit brings with himself that love.

Now the theme of Paul's letter changes.

Defeat of the law
Triumph of the gospel

For seven chapters, Paul has emphasized what the law cannot do. He has torn down any hope in the law to produce justification, sanctification or peace of mind. He even used his own personal experience to make his point.

His message to here has been one of defeat for those whose hope is in the law. He now changes his message to one of triumph. But the triumph is not in the law, but in the gospel of grace.

He will show that the gospel can and will do what the law could never do. Only the gospel, through the indwelling Spirit, can produce justification, sanctification and peace of mind.

Chapter 8 is one of the most interesting and precious sections of Scripture. There are several well-known passages here, particularly vv. 28, 29.

Chapter 8 presents 6 things the gospel will do:

1. Vv. 1-13 The gospel does what the law could not do. It gives life and peace with God and self, and it delivers from condemnation.

2. Vv. 14-17. The gospel produces a spirit of adoption. It produces all the blessings of the confidence we have in addressing God as our Father. The law could only produce terror at the prospect of standing before the Thrice Holy God.

3. Vv. 18-25. The gospel sustains us in suffering while we are still captive in this body of sin. Though we are still captive to the trials and difficulties in this body, the gospel gives hope of future deliverance. It promises a complete and final redemption of the body from all the evils of this life.

4. Vv. 26, 27. The gospel provides the Holy Spirit who to sustains us in our trials and infirmities.

5. Vv. 28-30. The gospel gives the assurance that all things shall work together for good, since all things are connected with the purpose of God. All events that can occur to a Christian come as part of the plan of Him who called the Christian to Himself.

6. Vv. 31ff. The gospel gives comfort in the fact that everything that can affect the happiness of man is on the side of the Christian, and will co-operate in his favour.

1. Vv. 1-13 The gospel does what the law could not do. It gives life and peace with God and self, and it delivers from condemnation.

V. 1 is the shout of triumph, the triumph of salvation by grace.

V. 1, Therefore now... It has been despair and gloom up to 7:25. Now he sounds the note of triumph.

No condemnation... He has shown that all sinners deserve condemnation, in spite of any struggle to obey the law. Here God offers pardon, peace and justification to those in Christ Jesus.

walk... Here he also shows the power of the individual, through the gospel, to use the members of his body for righteousness, rather than unrighteousness. 6:13, 19, 7:5, 7:23.

V. 2. There is a new principle of law in the believer. The law of sin and death that once ruled our members, has been broken by the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. We are now without excuse.

We are pardoned, and are now free from the old law of sin and death that Paul explained in 7:7-24. Through the aid of the Holy Spirit, we are able to live the new life in Christ.

V. 3. What the law could not do...Paul spent the first part of his letter showing that the law, or the commandment, could not control the law of sin and death that ruled our members before conversion. Only the work of the Son of God, who was make in our likeness, could break the control of the law of sin and death.

1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

V. 4.
Isaiah 13:11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

Scripture is clear: All men are expected to fulfill the righteousness of the law. That is, every man is expected to obey the command of God, from Adam on, regardless of where in the world they are found.

As Paul has mentioned several times, there are two laws: the law of the flesh, which controls the unsaved, and the law of the Spirit which is to control the saved.

We saw in 1 John 3:8, that the purpose of the death of Christ was to enable his people to live a righteous life, after the Spirit.

V. 5. The call to every person, saved and unsaved, is to righteousness, or right with God. However, Paul proved that no matter how one may obey the commandments, the law cannot make him righteous nor holy. It is impossible for the law to change the heart. That was never its purpose.

Paul has shown that the unsaved are under the power of the law of sin, so man follows his fallen desires, as he minds the things of the flesh–that is, the things that appeal to the fallen nature.

The fallen nature may even produce a desire to do the things that he believes pleases the Lord, yet those things are works of the flesh, and are sin and death.

Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. 13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

Proverbs 21:4 An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.

Christ alone makes our actions acceptable to the Father.

After the spirit, or those who are regenerate. The Spirit gives him both the desire and the power to obey the new law of righteousness that he now loves:

Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

V. 6, gives the end of each.

Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 ¶ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The Lord himself makes it clear—the mind that wants to follow the desires of the fallen man–the world, flesh and the devil–is on the broad path to destruction, regardless of what the mouth professes.

The mind that desires the follow afer righteousness as defined by God's word, is on the narrow way to life and peace.

Proverbs 3:17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
Galatians 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

V. 7, enmity vs enemy.

Enmity meas to be an adversary, or resist. A deep-rooted hatred that will not, nor can it change. Satan is at enmity against God.

V. 6, the carnal mind must be changed to a spiritual mind, which cannot be done through the law, but only through the gospel:

Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

enemy means a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something. Enemy may be reconciled, but enmity cannot be reconciled. Jacob and Esau were enemies, but were reconciled later in life.

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Neither can be... This refers back to Romans 3:10, which quotes.

Psalms 14:2 The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that would understand, and seek God. 3 All are gone out of the way: they are all corrupt: there is none that doeth good, no not one.

The natural man is at enmity against God, and that enmity can only be removed by the gospel.

V. 8, Cannot please God... For the past 7 chapters, Paul has explained this problem of the natural man being unable to please God. But man's problem does not remove his responsibility, for there is a change of heart through the Holy Spirit.

V. 9, the Holy Spirit through the gospel delivers us from the power of the fallen flesh.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Notice if any man have not the Spirit... If no freedom from the power of the fallen flesh, no salvation.

The Spirit of Christ gives a love for his righteousness as revealed in his law.

V. 10. Romans 3:10, the wages of sin is death — that is, physical death. The seeds of death is in our physical body, and we will die.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

But Spirit produces life.

V. 11, shall quicken... Though the body will die, we will live forever by the same power that raised Christ from the dead; that is, the Holy Spirit which now lives in us.

V. 12, the unsaved are debtors to live after the flesh. That is, they are in debt to sin. But that debt has been paid in Christ. We saw in v. 2 that the captivity to the law of sin and death has been broken by Christ.

Vv. 13 and 14 go together, or v. 14 explains v. 13.

To here June 26, 2011