By the Holy Spirit that Dwells in Christians, Christians are given Power to Overcome Sin and Live a Life Characterized by Godliness
Thesis: Not only is sin weakened in its power because the Christian is dead to the law (therefore, dead to sin) but also the Christian is given power to overcome the power of sin through the Holy Spirit that dwells in him.
I. SINCE THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE HAS SET THOSE IN CHRIST FREE FROM THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH, WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER CONDEMNATION (1-4).
A. Weakened by the flesh of humanity, the law was powerless to save man (3).
B. By sending his Son to be a sin offering, God did what the law was powerless to do (3, cf. 7:14-24).
C. God condemned sin in sinful man through offering Christ for sin (3).
D. Therefore, the requirements of the law might be met in those who walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh (4).
II. THOSE THAT ARE IN THE FLESH CANNOT PLEASE GOD (5-8).
A. They that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh (5).
B. They that are after the Spirit mind the things of the Spirit (5).
C. The mind of the flesh is death (6).
D. The mind of the Spirit is life and peace (6).
E. The mind of the flesh is enemity against God (7).
1. It is not subject to the law of God (7).
2. It cannot be subject to the law of God (7).
F. They that are in the flesh canot please God (8).
III. THROUGH THE INDWELLING SPIRIT, THE CHRISTIAN IS MADE ALIVE (9-11).
A. Those who have the Spirit dwelling in them are not in the flesh but, but in the Spirit (9).
B. If anyone has not the Spirit, he is none of God’s (9).
C. There are two dimensions to salvation: life of the inner man and life of the mortal body (10-11).
1. If Christ is in us (Christ only), the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is alive.
2. If the Spirit also is in us, he that raised up Jesus from the dead shall give life to you mortal bodies, through the Spirit that dwells in us.
IV. THE CHRISTIAN HAS AN OBLIGATION TO THE SPIRIT, TO LIVE ACCORDING TO HIM, AND NO OBLIGATION TO THE FLESH, TO LIVE ACCORDING TO IT (12-13)
A. Christians are debtors, but not to the flesh to obey it (12).
B. If we live after the flesh, we must die (13).
C. If we live after the Spirit and put to death the deeds of the body, we shall live (13).
V. THOSE LED BY THE SPIRIT ARE THE SONS OF GOD (14-17).
A. Since we have received the spirit of adoption, we are freed from fear and cry, “Abba, Father” (15).
B. The Spirit bears witness that we are children of God (16).
C. If we are children of God, then we are heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ (17).
D. If we suffer with Christ, we shall also be glorified with him (17).
VI. THE SPIRIT NOT ONLY HELPS US WITH THE INTERNAL STRUGGLE AGAINST SIN, BUT ALSO HELPS US WITH THE EXTERNAL STRUGGLES CAUSED BY SATAN (18-27)
A. Our present suffering is nothing compared with the glory which lies in the future for us (18-21).
1. The creation waits expectantly for the revealing of the sons of God (19)
2. The creation was subjected to vanity in hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondadge of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God (20-21).
a. It was not subjected by its own will.
b. It was subjected by him who subjected it (cf. Gen. 3:17-19; Rom. 5:12-21).
B. We know that the whole creation travaileth and groaneth in pain together until now (22).
C. We who have the first-fruits of the Spirit groan within ourselves waiting for the redemption of our body (23).
D. As a people of hope, we wait for something better (24-25).
E. In the meantime, while we wait and suffer, the Spirit helps our infirmity (26).
1. He makes intercession for us when we don’t know how to pray (26).
2. As the Spirit makes intercession with groanings that cannot be uttered, the Lord knows his mind and knows our needs (27)
F. We know that all things work together for good to those who are God’s called people (28).
G. God foreordained that Christians should be conformed to the image of the resurrected Christ (29-30; cf. Psa. 24:7; 125:1-3; Job 1:6-19; 2:1-8).
1. He freordained the ones he foreknew.
2. He did this so that Christ might be the firstborn among many brethen.
3. Whom he foreordained, he called.
4. Whom he called, he justified.
5. Whom he justified, he glorified.
VII. THROUGH THE HELP OF GOD, CHRISTIANS ARE MORE THAn CONQUERORS THROUGH THE CHRIST WHO LOVED US (31-39).
A. If God is for us, no one can stand against us (31).
B. Since God delivered up Christ for us, we can confidently assume that he will give us all things (32).
C. No one can condemn God’s elect, for it is God that justified us (33, 34).
D. The Christ who died, was raised, and sitteth at the right hand of God makes intercession for us (34).
E. Although we are allowed to suffer, nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ (35-39).
1. We may suffer tribulation, anguish, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword (35).
2. We may be accounted as sheep for the slaugher (36).
3. However, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Christ (37)
4. Neither death, life, angels, principalities, things present, things to come, powers, height, depth, nor any other creature shall separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (39).
Conclusion: The Spirit that dwells in us will give such victory over temptations and trouble in life that we will be more than conquerors through Christ, who took us from under law and gave us the Spirit.
© 2004, Dr. Wm. T. (Bill) Lambert
Professor Emeritus – NT Literature and Interpretation
College of Bible and Religion