The Spirit Makes All the Difference

Romans 8:1-11

Jerry A. Collins




Ł      Why are believers no longer condemned by God?

Ł      What does the mind of the flesh mean?

Ł      What does the Spirit accomplish in a believers life?


Chapters 6-8 tell us: Sanctification is a work of God whereby God imparts His righteousness in and thru the believer.

(1) The believerís relationship to sin is that he died to it and is to now live unto God thru Christ6

(2) The believerís relationship to the Law is that he is free from it and itís domination7

(3) The believerís relationship to the HS gives assurance of victory in the xian life8

Since we still have a sinful capacity, must a believer spend the whole life on earth frustrated by ongoing defeats to indwelling sin? Is there no power provided to achieve victory? In Romans 8 is described the ministry of the indwelling HS who is the source of divine power for sanctification and spiritual victory in believers life.


(1) First is the statement of no condemnation vs 1. Therefore introduces a conclusion based on everything been said from chp 3. The fact that we have been justified, declared righteous by God; the fact that we are no longer under Godís wrath; the fact that we possess eternal life; the fact that the Spirit indwells us; means that we have a permanent and secure relationship with God. No condemnation says that God will never condemn us to an eternity separate from Himself for our sins. And the reason is because we are in Christ Jesus. We are within the sphere of His safety net. He suffered the consequences of our sins as our substitute and released us from this. No condemnation does not mean there is no judgment (2 Cor 5:10) but not a judgment of condemnation but rewards.

(2) Reason in Christ no condemnation because He freed us from law of sin and death vs 2. Law refers to the principle of something. These laws refer to the certainty and regularity that characterize the operation of the Spirit and sin. It is the Spiritís work that leads to life and it is sin that leads to death. We have been set suggesting a once-for-all act of freedom at salvation from sin and death. The principle called sin and death is combined since sin produces death in all its forms both physical and spiritual (5:15, 17, 21; 6:16, 21, 23; 7:10-11, 13; 8:6, 10, 13). So it is not only Christís work for us but the Spiritís work within us that brings this freedom. The One makes possible the other!

(3) Explanation: God condemned sin thru Christ vs 3-4. First he declares again the impossibility of achieving freedom over sin thru Law since it is powerless to free us from sin. Law is described as weak not in sense that it was flawed in and of itself but because of the nature of our human sinful and fleshly nature could not deliver us from sin. It did not provide sufficient power for obedience. However, God did it. What the Law was unable to do Christís incarnation in the flesh did. God accomplished deliverance over sin by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man. Not sent in sinful flesh but its likeness meaning that his human nature was protected and preserved from indwelling principle of sin that has plagued all humans. Jesus had 2 natures, human and divine in one person. The whole point in coming was to be a sin offeringóto do something about sin. Not as a moral example; great teacher; social change; political figure; suffering servant; but a Savior! He condemned sin in the flesh. He passed judicial sentence on it so that those in Christ are not condemned. The purpose or goal vs 4 was that a life of holiness could be fully met in us the requirement of the Law mite be fulfilled in us. Jesus death provided this deliverance from power of sin but experiencing this in our daily lives is not automatic. It happens as we walk by the Spirit and not the flesh. The flesh walk is a life directed by values of this world, worldly wisdom that which world uses to come to its conclusions and dominance of sinful nature. The Spirit walk is in submission and dependence on the Spirit who leads us in accordance with the character of Christ.


(1) Explanation of this contrast 5-8In vs 5 and following is the contrast between aspiring to what the flesh wants or what the Spirit desires. (1) The flesh is mindful of the sinful interests, lifestyle, values, standards, of human nature. It orientation is purely human. (2) The Spiritís aspirations are different and dictate aopposite perspective. These two are in conflict. Each mindset produces differing results vs 6. (1) The aspiration of the flesh are equivalent to death or leads to all kinds of death. (2) The aspirations of the Spirit is life and peace. The Spirit is characterized by life and the peace is both here in life and with God. But why does aspirations of sinful nature only end in death? Because it is at variance with God 7-8. First, by nature it is hostile toward God. Antagonistic to righteousness. Second, it is rebellious to law of God. It is incapable by nature to do so. Fleshly sinful nature has no capacity to honor God. Third, vs 8, flesh cannot please God. Alien to God and His righteousness the flesh is completely incapable and totally devoid of any ability to please God whatsoever! A believer, then who caves into his sin nature is going to live, act, think and perform only as one who has never known Christ.

(2) Application to believers 9-11 ĎHoweverí marks a contrast since we are not ones with only a sinful human nature but also an indwelling HS vs 9. 1stcc means since the HS is presently living within you. In this age every believer possesses the indwelling of the HS. This makes clear the false notion that baptism of HS is a second work or later work. If the Spirit needed to wait for some subsequent commitment to holiness then without the Spirit that person does not belong to Christ. Vs 10 and result of Christís indwelling presence your body is deadÖyour spirit alive. Since your body subject to sin it will die. But because of righteousness of Christ given to you, you are alive spiritually. Though your body decays due to ravages of sin, your inner man is renewed, alive and maturing. The eternal, spiritual life of God has been implanted within you even thou your body is still mortal. But even more than this vs 11óthis same HS who raised Jesus from the dead is same Spirit who will give to us a new resurrected body. So we are promised new spiritual, eternal quality of life now and a new resurrected body in the future when we are with Christ forever (1 Cor 6:4; 15:42; 53).

1. Be aware of the tendency of your fleshly sinful nature to be appealing to you. You will have to fight the tendency to want to resolve something in a fleshly way. Your angry and want to solve it with anger.

2. Acquiesce to the HS by yielding your will to what Godís Word teaches you. Just do it. A believer can never use the excuse. I am only human.

3. Sanctification happens not by trying to change and reform my human nature but by obeying the aspirations of the HS who empowers me to please God.

4. The spiritual life is developed by cooperating with the HS not grieving Him or Quenching Him as He works in my life to conform me into Christís image.

5. Sin only produces death; HS only life!