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Expound: Romans 8:1-27 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
June 16, 2022 6:00 am

Expound: Romans 8:1-27 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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June 16, 2022 6:00 am

The apostle Paul had painted a dismal picture of humanity in the first several chapters in his letter to the Romans. Join Skip as he looks at the amazing declaration Paul made in Romans 8.

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One of the reasons we love this chapter is how it begins and how it ends and everything in between just adds to it. It begins with no condemnation.

It ends with no separation. We have no condemnation before God. We can't be separated from the love of God.

Up until chapter 8 of the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul painted a dark picture of humanity. But today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip shares about the stunning declaration Paul made about the new life you can have in Jesus. Right now, we want to tell you about a resource that will help you grow stronger in your faith. Trials, temptation, and the tongue. Those are the mega themes of three booklets from Lenya Heitzig that we're making available this month at connectwithskip.com.

Here's Lenya with more on this bundle. In Don't Tempt Me, I hand you the keys to unlock the thoughts, circumstances, and fears that can cause you to give in to temptation. And in Speak No Evil, I encourage you to avoid setting fires with your words and instead use them to bring showers of blessing. Lenya Heitzig's booklets, Don't Tempt Me, Speak No Evil and Happy Trials, provides help, hope, and encouragement in dealing with life's challenges. This bundle of three booklets are yours for a gift of $20 or more to help keep this Bible teaching ministry on the air. Get yours when you give today by calling 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer.

That's connectwithskip.com slash offer. Now, we're in Romans chapter eight as we join Skip Heitzig for today's teaching. On January 1st, 1863, the President of the United States, then Abraham Lincoln, signed an edict proclaiming that the slaves in the confederate states were free. What he signed was called the Emancipation Proclamation. Two thousand years ago, God signed our Emancipation Proclamation on a cross just outside of the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem when his son went to die for our sins. We who were slaves of sin, anyone who would be born a slave of sin and would desire freedom, emancipation, could have it.

From that moment onward, the edict was signed by blood. Romans chapter eight, I said, was a chapter that I have been waiting to get to because it is one of the greatest chapters in all of holy writ, in all of scripture. It is what one guy called—remember I talked to this weekend about old dead guys? So here's another quote of an old dead guy, Griffith Thomas, a name not many know, but he was really responsible, he and a couple other guys, for Dallas Theological Seminary.

He ran around with the likes of D.L. Moody and wrote on theology, etc. He said, Romans chapter eight is the chapter of chapters for the believer. I suppose if scripture were a golden ring, that the book of Romans would be the diamond on that golden ring, and Romans chapter eight would be the sparkle on the diamond of that golden ring. It's a chapter that if you spend any time at all reading through the book of Romans, you have come to dearly love. You have come to dearly love, you have come to love. By God's grace, I'm going to attempt to go through just this one chapter tonight.

You've heard me make promises like that before, and I've been unable to fulfill them, but we're going to give it a try. One of the reasons we love this chapter is how it begins and how it ends, and everything in between just adds to it. It begins with no condemnation.

It ends with no separation. We have no condemnation before God. We can't be separated from the love of God. No condemnation, that's one bookend.

No separation, that's the other bookend. So verse one, there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. And then verse 38. Don't worry, I'm going to go back and read the other verses. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height nor depth nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. No condemnation, no separation. Though the chapter begins, there is therefore now no condemnation. That therefore takes us back a few verses. And the thought really begins around verse 22, but I'm just going to have you look at verse 24 just to give you a contrast because chapter seven was a pretty miserable chapter.

It really is. It's just like, man, he's painting a dark picture of himself, of humanity. So he says in verse 24, O wretched man that I am.

What a statement. Who will deliver me from this body of death? It's as if Paul is carrying around a dead, rotting carcass strapped to his back. What he refers to as the body of death, his old nature, the nature he was born with, the nature that is separated from God, the nature that every believer still has that fights his new nature. O wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death? That sort of sums up, that's sort of the pinnacle remark of chapter seven. Chapter is filled with desperation. It's filled with defeat.

And no sooner does he ask that question, then he answers the question. Who will deliver me from this body of death? Verse 25 is the answer to that question. I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

That's the answer. I'm a wretched man. Who will deliver me? Jesus Christ our Lord will deliver you. He's the one. And then there is therefore now no condemnation.

Now just a little bit of a review. Go back a few verses in chapter seven and look at verse 15. If you remember last week I mentioned that Paul the apostle uses about 47 personal pronouns in chapter seven. I, me, mine.

He's very, very self-focused. Verse 15. I'll emphasize that. For what I am doing I do not understand. For what I will to do that I do not practice. But what I hate I do.

If then I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me me. For I know that in me that is in my flesh nothing good dwells. For to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

For the good that I will to do I do not do. And so it goes. This guy has an eye disease. Eye, eye, eye, eye. He has an overdose of vitamin I.

Very, very self-focused. As we mentioned last time, Paul is being very honest about the struggle that he himself had with the old nature that we all have. So chapter seven, especially with that pinnacle verse of verse 24, becomes one of the most depressing sections of scripture that exists, especially in the book of Romans. Chapter seven is all about the chains of bondage, the slavery that we have to the past. But in chapter eight you hear those chains falling down.

They break. And right out of the gate he begins, there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. The literal way to write verse one would be, there is therefore now not one condemnation. It's not great English, but it's great theology. There's not one ounce of condemnation that can be leveled against the child of God whose slate has been wiped clean through Jesus Christ our Lord, our great emancipator.

No condemnation. Now what you should do is after Jesus, where there is a comma in my Bible and probably yours if you have my translation, the New King James, where it has a comma, you should put a period, not a comma. Because the verse really ends there. The second part of the verse, some of us don't believe belongs there, I included.

I think the way it read in the original that Paul penned, the original letter to the Romans is this, there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, period. Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, well then why is that second part there who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, right? You're wondering, why is it there? Are you wondering that?

Good, you should be wondering that. And I'm glad you asked because the answer for you is found in verse four, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. It's the same little phrase. So what we believe happened is that it was originally written there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, period. And then Paul kept writing and he got to verse four and he wrote legitimately that in verse four, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. But in ancient times they didn't have Microsoft Word. They couldn't highlight a verse and copy it and paste it.

So they had to write or copy every manuscript by hand. And it would seem the way it is thought it is believed is that a scribe took the end of verse four and wrote in the margin on the side like a footnote, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, in the margin of verse one to show the reader that there is a relationship between those who are not condemned in verse one verse one and those who walk according to the Spirit in verse four, that he's describing the same person. So he wrote that in the margin. And then later on, since there still wasn't Microsoft Word and you couldn't highlight, copy, and paste, but you had to write everything by hand, that another scribe in seeing the note in the margins thought, oh, somebody left it out when it should be in verse one, so included it in verse one. Now you're wondering, well, how do you know that?

You could have just made that up. We know that because we have, collectively, humanity has found older manuscripts. And the older manuscripts, none of them have that second part in verse one. All of them say, there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, period. And it's important that you make the distinction, because if you keep that little phrase in, you're going to be looking inward. And you're going to be wondering, well, there's no condemnation if I'm walking in the Spirit. But four hours ago, I didn't walk in the Spirit, I didn't walk in the Spirit.

When I gave that guy who cut in front of me that sign, I shouldn't have, I know I shouldn't have, but I did it. So maybe there's no condemnation for me because of what happened four hours ago. You know how it is, we're up and down. So you're going to be looking inward. But if you omit that phrase, you're not going to be looking inward, you're going to be looking upward. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, period.

Are you in Christ? No condemnation. So that's why it's important to make note of that. Probably that was added by a scribe later on because older manuscripts don't include that according to those who walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Now, I know I'm still in verse one, but bear with me. Notice what it doesn't say. It doesn't say, there is therefore now no failure for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Well, that's not true, because four hours ago you failed when that guy pulled out in front of you. It doesn't say there's no mistakes for those who are in Christ Jesus, nor does it say there is therefore now no consequence for those who are in Christ Jesus, because you could do something, you could sin in a certain area and bear a temporal consequence for it. It says there's therefore now no condemnation. That is judgment.

It's a very strong word for judgment. There is no strong divine judgment for those who are in Christ Jesus. Yes, the believer will one day stand before the judgment seat of Christ, the reward seat, the bema seat of Christ, and receive a reward for things done in the body, Paul said. Yes, there are consequences for unbelievers who will be judged and condemned before God because they didn't let Jesus take their sin. But for those of us who are in Christ Jesus, judgment's over, man.

Judgment's past, past tense. In John chapter 5, Jesus said these words, most assuredly I say to you, he who hears my words and believes in him who sent me. Let me ask you a question. Have you heard the words of Jesus? Yes. Do you believe in Jesus and the one that Jesus was sent by?

Yes. Okay, so this is now for you. He who hears my words and believes in him who sent me has everlasting life, has it, not will have it, has it right now, present tense, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Judgment's over. There's a horrible phrase I sometimes hear believers use. Something bad will happen. Something unfortunate will happen. Life takes a turn, and they'll say, God's punishing me.

I've got this sickness. God must be punishing me, or this happened to me. It's because God's punishing me. God's not punishing you. God punished Christ for you so that you never have to be punished or condemned.

That's past tense. There is therefore now not one condemnation, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Well, we made it through one verse. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh and or on account of sin. He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, not by us, in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. Remember all those personal pronouns in the previous chapter?

I, me, my. Forty-seven of them. Forty-seven of them. They're absent in this section. And in their place is a reference to the Spirit, capital S, Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit up until now is mentioned twice in the entire book of Romans. In this section the Holy Spirit is mentioned or referred to 20 times. So you're starting now to see the contrast.

Here's me struggling, working hard, I, I, me, me, my, my. Now there's no condemnation. Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit. Now we have a new capacity because of the Holy Spirit. And now we understand what Jesus meant when he said to his disciples, who were all bent out of shape that Jesus would be leaving them, no, you can't leave us.

You just said you were going to leave us. And he goes, it is to your advantage that I go away. For if I do not go, I can't send the Holy Spirit. But if I go, I will send the Holy Spirit to you. And Jesus went on to describe the glorious work of the Holy Spirit, bringing things to remembrance, empowering us for service. So it's to our advantage.

Now Paul is tapping into that advantage. As he says, law of the Spirit, capital S. And verse four, not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, capital S, that is the Holy Spirit. Now I have to unravel something for you because it can be a little bit mystifying. In verses two, three, and four, Paul uses the term law, notice it in your Bibles, but he uses it in two different ways, but he means two different things by it. So when we think of law, we think of something that is a dictate, a regulation, a regulatory principle, a legal regulatory principle, like you can't go over the speed limit, there's a law. You can't do this, there's a law. Or we think of it in terms of the law of Moses, right?

You shall do this, you shall not do this. All of the stipulations written in legal parlance. But there's another way in which the word law is used, and that is it means principle or driving force, or that which motivates or controls. So in verse two, he says the law of the Spirit, that's not the law of Moses, that's not a legal mandate, a legal requirement, he's speaking here about the driving principle.

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death, the driving principle of sin and death. So we speak of the law of gravity. It doesn't mean that the United States Constitution wrote gravity into law, and therefore gravity exists because it's one of the laws in our country. Not that kind of law, it's a principle.

Or we speak of Coulomb's law of electrostatic or electromagnetic force. Or we speak of the law of self-preservation. We mean something different by that, right? So there is an impulse in us naturally, a principle that drives us to do wrong, but now, now by the Holy Spirit, there's an impulse, a principle that drives us to do right. That's the idea of the law. But it's used a second way, and that is in verse three. He's speaking now of the law of Moses. What we know is the Old Testament law. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.

On account of sin, He condemned sin in the flesh that the righteous requirements of the law, that is the law of Moses, might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. So God gave a law, but the law couldn't fix me. But the law couldn't fix me. Like He said in the previous chapter, the problem wasn't with the law. The problem was with me, and somebody said, amen, right?

Problem is with you, Skip, and she's right, it is. So the law is spiritual, but Paul said, I am carnal. I'm fleshly.

I'm not as spiritual. So the law was unable to fix me. The law could point out I had a problem. The law like Amir could point out I'm dirty, but the law cannot cleanse what I see.

Can't fix me. That concludes Skip Heitzig's message from the series Expound Romans. Now, we want to tell you about an opportunity you have to take your knowledge of God's Word to a deeper level. Going to church is a great way to learn about God, but what if you want to learn more?

Go deeper. Calvary College offers classes in biblical studies, courses like Worldview Apologetics. Learn how to defend your faith on your schedule. Take evening classes on campus or online, and transfer credits to Calvary Chapel University or Veritas International University for an accredited college degree that will impact your spiritual life for the rest of your life. Apply now at calvarychurchcollege.com.

Thank you for tuning in today. We're passionate about helping you strengthen your walk with God, and you can be a part of connecting others to Jesus in the same way with a gift to help keep these teachings you love on the air. Just call 800-922-1888. That's 800-922-1888, or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you. Tune in tomorrow as Skip Heitzig shares about how different and more purposeful your life becomes when you say yes to Jesus. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-04 11:41:55 / 2023-04-04 11:50:34 / 9

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