by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 1 Study # 2 January 1, 2017 Humble, Texas (Download Audio)
(059)Thesis: The foundation for our exemption from condemnation is revealed to be a new reality based upon the work of the Spirit of The Life in Christ Jesus.
Introduction: In our introductory study of Romans 8 we looked into Paul's turn from the contradictory life of wretchedness to what God has done for us "in Christ Jesus" by removing "condemnation". Condemnation is something that came through Adam and is reversed In Christ. Once translated out of Adam and into Christ, the believer escapes that inevitable consequence that rests upon all who remain in Adam.
This evening we are going to pursue Paul's thought as he moves into why condemnation is no longer a threat over us.
I. There Is A New Reality For Believers.
A. Where there once was only "condemnation", there is now "Life".
1. This "condemnation" is focused primarily in the direction of "The Death" as an "ultimate" consequence of "The Sin" (eternal death without mitigation by any vestiges of "Life").
2. But, this "condemnation" also, however, includes the incremental, bite by bite, of "death" in the details of experience, though it is often not clearly seen because of the overwhelming input of what is called "common grace" (many bits and pieces of vestiges of "Life" still extended to the whole world: it took 1650 years for "The Sin" to bring about the Flood).
3. Both of these aspects of "the condemnation" are in view, as is clear from how Paul moves into the reality of the New Law of Life.
B. Where there once was only "The Law of the Sin and the Death", there is now "The Law of The Spirit of The Life in Christ Jesus".
1. Paul uses the word "law", not as is typical in the New Testament, but in the sense of "a fact of life" (similar to "the law of gravity") that is to be counted on at all times just as we do with what we often call "natural law".
2. There are two such fundamental "laws" present in the world.
3. The greater of the two is "The Law of The Spirit of The Life in Christ Jesus".
a. Its greatness is declared by its most basic identity: it is the "Law" that brings Life from the dead by the Spirit of the Powerful Spirit of the Living God.
1) At the root of the Law of The Sin and The Death is a "spirit" that works its will in those who are "the sons of The Disbelief", and its experiential reality has already been named as "wretchedness".
2) At the root of the Law of the Life in Christ is another "Spirit" Who works His will in those who are the sons of the Faith, and its experiential reality is known as "the fellowship of His Spirit" (Philippians 2:1).
3) This new "Spirit" is none other than the Almighty God Who proved His power in both exorcisms (timely deliverances within the context of every day living) and resurrection from the dead as the ultimate deliverance from all things evil and destructive.
a) The "spirits" who were cast out by those living under the Life of the Spirit of God clearly recognized and obeyed the superior "Spirit".
b) The resurrection of Jesus from the dead, likewise, destroyed the myth of "The Death" as a "most potent" reality.
c) Thus, "the Law of the Spirit of The Life" is demonstrably more potent than that "Law of The Sin and The Death".
b. Its greatness is declared to be in its result: it has set believers free from the former reality.
1) In our text, Paul established "freedom" as the "ultimate" victory in the competition of the "Laws".
a) This "freedom" is mentioned by Paul's use of this verb in five texts in the New Testament, four of which are in Romans 6-8 (6:18, 22; 8:2, 21).
i. In the Romans 6 texts, the issue is "freedom" inordertobecome "servants" with the ultimate end of "Total Life" without hindrances.
ii. In the Romans 8 texts, the issue is "freedom" from condemnation/corruption as a future, but sure, coming reality.
b) In the only other use by Paul of this verb, he makes "freedom" the objective of Jesus' work (Galatians 5:1).
2) The only "fly" in this "ointment" is the well attested fact of both revelation and history that this "Law" is only effective for a small (relatively) number of the children of Adam.
a) For whatever reason(s), God has clearly revealed that His objective has never been "superior numbers", focusing rather upon a "remnant" mentality.
b) It is only a human device to attempt to argue "superiority" by reason of the "numbers" involved.
c) God, on the other hand, reckons "superiority" on the basis of sheer power; the only real foundation of effective action.
B. Believers are to count upon the actual, effective, superiority of "The Law of The Spirit of The Life in Christ Jesus".
1. The objective is seldom "overt" victory; it is always the "inner" defeat of the impulses of The Sin.
2. We are to determine "victory" not in terms of what we are able to accomplish but in terms of the "Spiritual" pursuit of whatever objectives we have in mind.