Romans Bible Study Lesson 24

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Our Walk

Romans 8:9—13

In our last lesson in the book of Romans we saw that the righteousness demands of the Law are fulfilled in us when we walk according to the Spirit (verse 4). It is only after we are saved that we are capable of doing this and it is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are energized to do so. Prior to that the sinful nature was in control making it impossible for us to do anything that could please God. We could only obey our sinful lusts. There is also a strong tie with our walking in the Spirit and knowing the will of God. By concentrating in knowing and doing God’s Scriptural will (His will as revealed in His Word; specifically what Jesus Christ revealed through Paul) then we should have no need to worry about being in the center of His daily will. He will take care of the details while we rest in His perfect peace (Colossians 1:9; Ephesians 5:15).

Verses 5—8 discus the differences of those who are in the Spirit and those who are of the flesh. This is from a positional view. Those of the flesh are not saved and can only focus on things of the flesh and this leads to death. They are enemies of God and it is impossible for them to do anything pleasing to God (see 1 Corinthians 2:14). On the other hand those who are of the Spirit have a component in them that allows them to understand the things of God, things of a spiritual nature. The end result for us is life and peace.

Verse 9

We now discover the distinguishing mark that differentiates a believer from a non-believer, and a Christian from a non-Christian. Those who have the Holy Spirit indwelling them are saved. Those without the Holy Spirit are unsaved. The Holy Spirit is God’s mark of ownership upon the believer.

1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

2 Corinthians 1:22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

2 Corinthians 5:5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.

Ephesians 1:13—14 13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

This seal is the Holy Spirit. At the point of our salvation we are given the Holy Spirit as a seal that is our guarantee of a future with Christ in heaven. The words used to describe this seal are pledge and guarantee showing that there is no way for this seal to be removed and therefore our eternal future is absolutely sure. This seal is obtained by a work of God in a person’s life and is permanent. There is nothing we can do to have this seal removed from us.

Ephesians 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Verses 10—11

These things are true only if a person is “in Christ”. We are found to be in Christ if we have been baptized into Him through the Holy Spirit. This is the work of the Holy Spirit and not of water.

Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.

Water baptism was used throughout the Old Testament by Israel and was very specifically a sign to Israel of the coming of their Messiah.

John 1:31 “I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.”

Water baptism has no place in this age of Grace. Bringing baptism into this age causes much confusion because to do so it is necessary to intermingle two different plans into one bewildering mess. If there were no difference between the message in the four Gospels and Paul’s writings then we would need to bring water baptism into the salvation equation. Paul makes it very clear that he did not come to baptize (1 Corinthians 1:17). If water baptism was essential to our salvation, why was Paul backing away from it?

Notice that verse 10 is about anyone who has Christ in them while verse 11 concerns those who have the Spirit indwelling them. Of course, these conditions apply to all believers. We are in Christ and at the same time Christ is in us.

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Ephesians 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

Colossians 1:27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

I think of the two phrases in this way. When God looks at me, He sees Christ because I am in Christ. When the world sees me, they should see behavior reflecting the fact that I have Christ controlling me. It’s because we are in Christ that people can see Christ in us. Being in Christ seems to relate to my position with God while Christ in me relates to my internal change of heart reflecting my new nature. Because Christ is in me I now have the ability to carry out His work.

At birth I was in Adam. When I believed, I was reborn in Christ. Just as there is nothing I can do to get out of Adam, there is nothing I can do to get out of Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

It’s important to see that the Holy Spirit is not just alive in us but He is our life. Without the indwelling Holy Spirit we would continue to be dead.

From verse 11 we learn that it was the Father who used the Holy Spirit to raise Jesus Christ from the dead. This same power is indwelling us and capable of giving our mortal bodies life. Many take this to mean that at the rapture we will be given a new body and raised to life eternal. However, a careful reading of this and surrounding verses indicate the topic is about a believer’s spiritual walk while on this earth. To be consistent with the context this verse would need to refer to the Holy Spirit making our mortal, fleshly bodies alive and capable to serve God. Our body is amoral, but it can be controlled by the old nature or the new nature. In this case the body is being used to bring glory to God.

Verses 12—13

These two verses show us the outcome of the previous verses. Since God has saved us and given us the Spirit of life and has energized our body to serve and glorify God, we are obligated to live by the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16—22 16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

We all do the deeds of the flesh at times but we do not make it a practice or a lifestyle. We who are saved do not live by the sinful nature even though we may feed it at times. We live by the Spirit and our life is by the Spirit even though we may at times grieve the Spirit. When we live by the Spirit we are allowing the Spirit full control. He is the one working in and through us so we are able to please God and give Him glory. This work of the Holy Spirit is about our walk not our salvation.