My friends, we're embarking on our study of Romans 8 today, but first, please take a moment and pray over Lynn and her family. Her granddaughter Elise spiked a fever yesterday of a 103 and there are other challenges she is dealing with in her family. Let’s pray a mighty force and hedge of protection around her and her family, for health to reign in the Donovan home and for great wisdom and strength to flow through her and her family to handle these challenges.
With our prayers and in the mighty name of Jesus, we declare the Donovan home will overcome ALL these challenges by the Spirit of the Lord and with great victory and glory to God. In the mighty and powerful name of Jesus, amen!
Thank you, SUMites!
Now, onward with Empowered Living. Many of your comments to my introduction on Wednesday confirmed that we are following the Holy Spirit's leading here. I so love when He does that. And many of you have already shared insights you’ve gleaned from this chapter. Awesome! So let's continue to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and also continue to pray for revelations and insights to this powerful part of the Scriptures.
Holy Spirit, You are our Counselor and Friend. Your desire is to lead us into more wisdom and knowledge of Jesus so that we know Him better, know the Father better and walk in the freedom that Jesus so selflessly came to give us. We ask for divine revelations and understanding of God's Holy Word. Breath its truth upon us. In the name of Jesus, amen!
Let's begin with Romans 8:1-4, which work together to create the foundation of this powerful chapter. I will be using multiple translations for this but will indicate each one so you are clear which translation is which. My goal is not to confuse you but to bring even more clarity and understanding to God’s Word, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
NLT: 1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
NIV: 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
The Voice: 1 Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King,
Verse one of Romans 8 is probably one of the most quoted verses of the Bible and one of our most powerful truths against the enemy, whose mission is to condemn us and destroy our faith by tearing away our identity in Christ. Paul makes this statement after his conclusion in chapter seven where he makes the distinction of between his mind and his flesh, yet states that Jesus Christ is our answer to this dilemma. Romans 8:1 begins with “therefore” and “so now” signaling the explanation to come.
And I want to point out that there is a huge and powerful difference between the enemy's condemnation and the Holy Spirit's conviction. The first places judgement of who we are defined by our sin and without the answer of forgiveness. The latter brings light to a sinful act with the answer of forgiveness, which frees us to learn and grow more Christ-like. When we learn to recognize the difference and reject condemnation and live in grace, the enemy loses power over our minds. We begin to shed bondages and walk in freedom.
That is why verse two is so crucial to our complete understanding of verse one:
NLT: 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
NIV: 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
The Voice: 2 because when you live in the Anointed One, Jesus, a new law takes effect.
God implemented a new system or law to help us be who He created us to be—spiritual beings inhabited by the Spirit of God. We could not apply an incomplete system defined by the flesh to lives that would, in the new system, be led by the Spirit and made complete in Christ. It would be like asking the Holy Spirit to function without His power.
And that is essentially what happens when we live by the law of sin and death (legalism—a spirit of religion that teaches we must earn grace, which then implies we can lose it by our imperfect actions) than by the law of the Spirit (it’s all about Jesus, His life, death and resurrection to bring us grace, a gift that we receive. We do nothing to “save ourselves.”)
In legalism, we eliminate the presence and power of the Holy Spirit and no longer live empowered by grace. By definition grace and legalism are opposites but the enemy’s tactics to move us from grace to legalism are subtle. This is one way he makes us ineffective and even harmful to those around us.
My friends, I will finish verses three and four tomorrow, so please come back and see how Paul explains why there is no (and can't be) any condemnation for us who belong to Jesus. Thank you for taking this journey with me, SUMites. I love you all so dearly!