Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes


Romans 8:4-13
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Romans 8:4, 5
v4: Christ has made it possible for believers to successfully perform (“fulfill”) the righteous deeds required by the Law. In saying this Paul distinctly uses a form of the verb which means “may be fulfilled” because believers may or may not do this. We now have a choice. Our obedience is possible but not automatic. It depends on whether we choose to “walk according to the flesh” or the “Spirit.” v5: As we’ve seen there are many forces confronting us which we can’t control, but Paul tells us there is one thing we can control and that is where we direct the attention of our conscious mind (phronousin, “to put the mind on,” “to think,” Romans, Sanday and Headlam, Int’l Critical Commentary, T and T Clark, Edinburgh, 1900, p.195).

Monday: Romans 8:5, 6
vs5, 6: Those who are “according to (in agreement with, follow after) the flesh” habitually focus their thoughts on the passions and appetites that originate in their body. Over time the influence of these passions and appetites grow and the person can be drawn back into bondage and ultimately spiritual death. Those who are “according to (in agreement with, follow after) the Spirit” when tempted turn the attention of their mind away from the temptation and look to the Holy Spirit for help and guidance. In the moment of temptation He shows them what to do and by obeying Him they draw closer to God and find relief from the temptation.

Tuesday: Romans 8:5, 6
vs5, 6 (continued): Paul is explaining that those believers who end up being dominated by their flesh are those who choose to entertain its temptations. They let their minds dwell on sinful thoughts and when this happens the power of the temptation grows and their resistance declines until the sin is committed. Those who are led by the Holy Spirit choose instead to repeatedly re-direct their conscious mind back to the Lord and His will. They do this by awakening themselves to the presence of the Spirit (who dwells with and in them) by such means as worship, prayer or reflecting on Scripture (Eph 5:18-20; Mt 4:1-11).

Wednesday: Romans 8:7-9
vs7, 8: Paul reminds us that a believer’s flesh does not lose its rebellious nature toward God. Christ broke the right of sin to dominate our flesh (v3) but the thoughts that arise from the “flesh” (our bodies and old ways of thinking) still come from a “hostile enemy” which is not submitted to God and is, in fact, helplessly unable to do so. Therefore those who are under its dominion constantly disobey and are unable to please Him. v9: At this point Paul reminds us that this condition of being dominated by ones flesh is never, in fact, true of a believer because every believer has within them the Spirit whom Christ has sent. Yes, in practice believers may allow their flesh to control them, but in reality they aren’t slaves because they could escape at any time by drawing on the power He’s given them.

Thursday: Romans 8:10
v10: As Christians, though our bodies will be redeemed in the future (Ro 8:23; 1Co 15:42-57), during this present age they are still under the sentence of death. Thankfully God has given us His Spirit to help us, yet we still have to wrestle and cope with bodies that are rebellious and dying. But our spirit, which is the essential person within us (intellect, will, emotion), is alive. It (we) has been set free from sin and death and united to God. Christ’s righteousness has been given to us as a gift, and He continually intercedes for us before the Father (Ro 8:33, 34), so we are spiritually “alive.” Even when we sin, His presence remains in and with us as though we were sinless.

Friday: Romans 8:11
v11: The Holy Spirit frees us from every area in which our dying bodies control us. We need only remember that it was He who raised Jesus to life after He had been dead for three days, to recognize that by giving us the Spirit God has given us more than enough power to escape the temptations of our flesh, or to receive healing for the ailments that afflict our mortal bodies, or to assure us that though condemned to die, we will not stay in the grave but, like Jesus, will be resurrected to eternal life when He returns (Jn 5:25-29; Ro 8:23; 1Co 15:20-26; 1Th 4:13-18).

Saturday: Romans 8:12, 13
v12: Paul says, “So then, brothers, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to (in agreement with, follow after) the flesh” (literal). He doesn’t want us to miss the practical application of the truths he has just explained (8:1-11). Believers are no longer “sold into bondage” to the flesh (Ro 7:14). No matter how deep the addiction, we are not enslaved to it. We have been set free and empowered to obey God. v13: He also reissues a warning (Ro 6:16; 8:6-8), “…if you live according to the flesh you are about to die…” (literal). The believer who refuses to lay hold of God’s resources (Ro 8:1-4) is by default choosing to let their flesh control them, and is walking down a path that leads to death. This is why it is urgent that believers use the tools God has given us and not ignore them. Paul says, “…but if by the Spirit you put to death the practices of the body you will live.” We have been given all the resources we need, but clearly it is our responsibility to diligently employ those resources. Time and again our spirit must exercise its proper authority to rule over our flesh by drawing on the power of the Holy Spirit.
 


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