ROMANS - CHAPTER 8 - THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE (2023)
‘THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE”
Tuesday Morning Bible Study
August 15, 2023, the Year of Our Lord
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
Romans Eight is the blessed mountain top of Romans. In Christ we have a new nature. We are a new man/woman. We are living by the Spirit of Life. The soul is not now our life-spring. We are no longer living in it or drawing from it. We use it. We come to live our life in the Spirit and by the Spirit. We still use our soul faculties just as we do our physical, but now we are servants of the Spirit and we have yielded our members (body and soul, i.e. mind will and emotions) to be led by the Holy Spirit. When we yield to this Grace, then we are vessels ready for the Master’s use.
As we have made the journey through Romans; by faith, we have accepted our forgiveness; been declared righteous; delivered from sin’s power; delivered from the law; sanctified by the Word; justified by faith and consecrated. We are dead to sin and dead to the Law.
Now we come to the pathway of regeneration, adoption, the knowing that we shall be saved from the presence of sin; the Holy Spirit outpoured; the Holy Spirit indwelling; and glorification as Sons of God. (Whom He justified, he also glorified).
“Regeneration” a word used by Jesus in Mathew 19:28: Jesus said to them, Verily I say unto you, that you which have followed me in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, you shall also sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Regeneration – Strong’s G3824: “New birth, reproduction, renewal, recreation A radical change of mind for the better. Denotes the restoration of a thing to its pristine state. Renovation of the earth after the deluge, Renewal of the world to take place after its destruction by fire as the Stoics taught. The signal and glorious change of all things (in heaven and earth) for the better, that restoration of the primal and perfect condition of things which existed before the fall. Regeneration was expected by the Jews at the advent of the Messiah. Christians expect in connection with the visible return of Jesus from heaven.”
God’s purpose in creation and redemption is to make Christ the First-Born Son among many sons. Christ with the Holy Spirit ushering in the Kingdom of God and the One New Man.
The Holy Spirit is for all. Col. 3:11: In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
The administration of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Jesus’ glory of righteousness. Christ has been crucified; therefore, we have been forgiven. Christ has been glorified; therefore, we will be glorified; endued with power from on and high; and we can walk, move, and live in the Glory of God on earth as it is in Heaven.
God’s gifts are freely given. Anyone upon whom the Holy Spirit falls will unfailingly know it. The outward evidence may be many and varied but the Spirit is One, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
There is the Seven-fold Spirit of God in Isaiah 11: 1-5: The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord.
He is also the Holy Spirit of Truth (John 16: 12-15); The Spirit of Holiness (Romans 1:3-7); Holy Spirit of Comfort (Jn. 14:26); The Spirit of Promise (Eph. 1: 2-14); The Spirit of Power (2 Tim. 1:7); The Spirit of Grace (Heb. 10: 26-30); The Spirit of Glory (1 Peter 4: 12-19); The Spirit of Adoption (Romans 8:15); The Spirit of Wisdom; etc. This list is inconclusive.
Romans 8: 1-2: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
These first four verses conclude what Paul was saying in Chapter Seven. When a toddler first learns to walk, he falls less and less as his walk is strengthened. God is not interested in the number of times His children fall, but in the number of good steps we take. After a while the believer is walking more than he is falling. There is no condemnation for the falling while we are growing in Christ. However, for the “Fathers” and/or Mothers who are empowered to teach and operate in the ascension gifts, there is more accountability.
The ascensions gifts are the gift of Christ to the Church:
Eph. 4:7-11: Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ…he gave some, apostles, some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers.
The first chapter of Romans began with the entire world condemned before God. For a Christian to be condemned for sin, Jesus would also have to be condemned. As we grow up in Christ, we are going to stumble and fall. This is not to say that sin is harmless. If we don’t confess it, it can break our fellowship with God. However, it cannot break out son-ship. Sin can also rob us of our joy, hinder our growth, reduce our blessings and rewards---but it cannot take us out of Christ. Nothing can do that except we choose to take ourselves out.
We have been transferred by adoption from the Adam family to the family of God (regeneration). Anyone seeking to take us out of Christ would have to overpower him first (Mt. 12:29). We are as safe as the strength of Jesus. As in the natural realm, there are higher and lower laws in the Spiritual realm. When we switched families, the lower law of death in Adam is over-ruled by the higher law of life in Christ Jesus.
There are no degrees of our union with Christ, we are either in Him or out
Ro. 8: 3-4: For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Jesus fulfilled the righteousness of the law. In Him, the righteousness of the law by faith is also fulfilled in us, who do not walk in the flesh, but after the Spirit.
1 Jo. 2:29: If you know that he is righteous, you know that every one that does righteousness is born of him. (Through being born again, we receive the gift of righteousness.)
Man could not keep the law, therefore, the Law made man cry out to God for mercy, and God in turn provided a Savior. God’s answer to human depravity is a new nature, a holy nature, Christ’s own nature. When I was saved, I received Christ’s nature.
(The word says that Zachariah and Elizabeth were both righteous before God walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the LORD blameless. Their son, John the Baptist, grew up in a home of righteous parents. Religious leaders were his converts, and they, along with the masses, humbly were immersed---If there is one righteous, the LORD will save a family.)
God sent Jesus into the world that everything required by the law might be fulfilled in us. Our souls have been washed in the Blood of the Lamb. Our external walk should reflect this internal holiness. We will do this by surrendering to the Holy Spirit more and more each day.
Lev. 11:44: For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.
Christ was the first man to have a human nature and a divine nature. Until then, mankind only had a human nature. That didn’t work out too well for Adam, even though he was born without sin, he was given a living human soul.
The Lord …breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.
Ro. 8:5: For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
The Bible speaks of three kinds of men:
1. Natural man (1 Co. 2:14): – He receives not the things of God for they are foolishness to him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
2. Carnal man – (1 Co. 3:3): - Immature Christians: “For you are yet carnal for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
3. Spiritual – A Christian who worships the Lord in Spirit and in truth bringing all glory to Jesus. Our nature is recognized by the fruit produced in our life. We choose the degree of our surrender. Both carnal and spiritual Christians have the faith to be saved. The difference is in our surrender.
ro. 8: 6-7: For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be.
As there is no peace for the man outside Christ, neither is there any peace for the carnal Christian who lives in the realm of their carnal soul. Each time we yield to the old nature, we breathe again the deadly atmosphere of the flesh. When our carnal nature dominates us, we slip back into that condition which is hostile to God.
This is known as backsliding. A backslider grumbles at misfortune; resents losses resulting in bitterness; justifies sin; blames others for their problems; loses faith in the face of spiritual battles; scoffs at the supernatural; has no interest in reaching lost souls; has no interest in Bible Study or Corporate Prayer; and sneers at God’s call on their life.
Ro. 8:9: But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so then the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ; he is none of his.
NOTE: The triune Spirit of God is here declared:
(1) SPIRIT: “Pneuma” = Holy Spirit.
(2) SPIRIT OF GOD: “Theos” = One True God
(3) SPIRIT OF CHRIST: “Christos” = Jesus Christ/Messiah
In 1 Corinthians 12: 4-6, God informs us He has three categories of spiritual gifts, each from a specific member of the Triune Godhead.
1 Cor. 12:4: There are diversities of gifts, by the same Spirit (Holy Ghost “pneuma”).
12:5: There are diversities of administrations, but the same LORD (Jesus “kyrios”).
12:6: There are diversities of operations but is the same God which works all in all (“Theos”).
The diversities of operations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of Jesus Christ are of the same Godhead, which works all in all. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit all.
In verse 4, Paul spoke of walking in the spirit as we surrender to the new nature. Here he speaks of our living in the spirit. Our walk is concerned with what we do the other with who we are. Our souls are translated, not our bodies. Our five senses (soul) are still in the flesh, but can be quickened by the Spirit to hear, feel, smell, see and taste the Spiritual.
In this verse, Paul says emphatically that if we do not have Christ, we do not have His Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings the benefits of the cross to us. It is He who applies the Blood of Christ to our souls. Without that no one can be saved. We receive the gifts of the Spirit after salvation, baptism in water, and receiving the Holy Spirit by faith.
Ro. 8:10-11: If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
The Lord has made our hearts His dwelling place!!! We are His habitation. We should have reverence that our Lord lives in us!!! We were bought with a price. He has divine ownership of us and all that we have.
The righteousness of Christ imputed to us secures the carnal soul from death. The Holy Spirit preserves it, elevates it and we become partakers of a supernatural gift of light, life, and love not possible to the carnal soul. This is the Joy, Peace, and Righteousness of the Kingdom of God.
We are now experiencing the habitation of the Lord in glory. Since Jesus has promised that we will appear with Him, we will need glorified bodies for the occasion. The presence of the Holy Spirit in us is a pledge that these bodies, now serving as His temple, will be changed to conform to His glorious body. If the same Spirit who raised Jesus’ body from the dead lives within us, that same Holy Spirit will raise us up to rule and reign with Him in Heavenly places.
The Spirit of God within is God the Father (Theos), Son (Christo), and Holy Ghost (Pneuma). Oh, the greatness of God’s gift!!! Oh, the vastness of the resources within us!!! The Spirit who dwells within me is no mere influence, but a living Person. I am only an earthen vessel, but in this earthen vessel, I carry a treasure of unspeakable worth, even the Lord of Glory.
We surrender “all” without reservation. Of course, I speak for myself, and usually when the Lord requires more grace and mercy from me, I must spend some time dying again. The “all” is our-selves, our possessions, our business, our families, and our time. All we are and have become are his to be held entirely at His disposal. We are His guests, His tenants, and His stewards. All direction of our lives and all control are committed to the Spirit. If we do not give him absolute authority, He is present, but the power and Glory of the Spirit is quenched.
When the Spirit of God (Theos) is given full Liberty, then He reproduces the life of Christ in us and in a corporate Body of believers. This is the operations of the Spirit.
God is daily waiting for a settlement of all our controversies (issues) with Him. I can trust the Holy Spirit to do in me that which I cannot do myself. Exod. 14:13: Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you.
The Holy Spirit will bring us forth triumphant and victorious. The Cross procured our salvation. The Spirit produces salvation in us (operations of the Godhead). Christ raised from the dead and ascension into Heaven is the basis of our salvation. Christ in our hearts by the Spirit is our power. “
I live, and yet no longer I live, but Christ lives in me”. We should not think that we have a “changed life” but an “exchanged life.” Christ being formed in me is “reproduction” as well as “regeneration.” When the seed of His life (Christo) is deposited into each of us by the Holy Spirit (Pneuma), then we, too, reproduce the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven and through His Kingdom produce regeneration.
God gave unto us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that has the Son has the life, and he that has not the Son of God has not the life.
“I can do all things in Him that strengthens me.” As Jesus is free from limitations, so am I as I live in Him.
In Romans Seven, we learned that our intentions were good, but our actions contradicted it. The highest point the will can reach is that of willingness.
Ro. 8:12-13: Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. But if you live after the flesh, you shall die; but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.
The regeneration of the Kingdom of God has us under a new management, a new owner, and a new government. When a believer sets his heart to resist an impulse stirring in his old nature, the Spirit is ready to back him in power. However, that kind of power must be triggered by Faith. Having the Holy Spirit does not automatically cause holiness. The power is there, but we must resist the devil.
The instant we are tempted by Satan, we must “will” not to sin. We must trust the Holy Spirit to help us overcome the desire behind that particular sin. This is Spiritual warfare. Here again we can apply the “reckoning” technique. We reckon ourselves dead to sin. We picture and believe ourselves victorious.
8: 14-15: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. for you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
It is the Holy Spirit of Adoption which produces son-ship. The Spirit of Son-ship guarantees we will reach adulthood. When a Jewish youth turned 21, he was taken to the marketplaces where his father proudly displayed him as being “of age.” The Spirit of Son-ship is not here referring to Christian growth, but to our status as Sons.
The receiving of the Spirit of Adoption leads us into a place to enjoy our privileges. We are trusted with the Kingdom of God. The throne of grace is our home. It is where our father lives. The Israelites dared not speak his name. They still only write his name as, G-d. We are led to call him Papa and to freely approach Him as God.
ro. 8:16-17: The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together.
As we come to the last half of this chapter, Paul leads us into the revelation of glorification. We will never become divine.
A man operates at two levels: conscious and unconscious. Even when we are distracted and not listening to the Holy Spirit on the conscious level, then He speaks to us in dreams and visions of the night.
The Holy Spirit gives us the witness of the Spirit which is our imprimatur. Through the imprimatur of Faith in believing what the Spirit is saying, we then witness the supernatural manifestation of miracles in the natural realm.
“Even our human mind has come into nature from super-nature. We have our taproot in an eternal self existed, rational being whom we call God” (C.S. Lewis).
This was a two-part sermon on Romans. With the grace of God, we may attempt to cover all of Chapter 8 at the Tuesday Bible Study. Paul continues to lead us into the Glory to be revealed in us.
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor Eastgate Ministries Church, 10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX www.eastgteministries.com Scripture from K.J.V.
I entered into the labors of F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary, Leslie C. Allen; C.S. Lovett’sLights on Romans; Sanday and Headlam; Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible; Matthew Henry’s Commentary; Bible Study Notes prepared by Carolyn Sissom on Romans in 1987; 2010 and 2018;2023