Sunday Morning Soundbytes – 8/26/2007

Yesterday’s message was called Set Free from Sin by the Spirit of God, taken from Romans 8:1-4.

Romans 8:1-4 – 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (NIV)

The main idea of the message was that if you are in Christ, then God has set you free from sin by his Spirit. Here is a brief recap of the message:

1) There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

“Whoever believes in Christ is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:18)

2) Why is there no condemnation? Because the law of the Spirit set us free from the law of sin.

There are three different types of law that we find in Romans 8:1-4: the Law of Moses, the law of sin, and the law of the Spirit. The Law of Moses is an example of written law. These were God’s commands given to us to obey, especially in the Ten Commandments. But the law of sin and the law of the Spirit are both laws of principle or force. The law of sin is the principle of my sinful nature which rebels against God and desires sin over righteousness. The law of the Spirit is the principle of the Holy Spirit living inside me who desires righteousness and holiness rather than sin.

Note three important distinctions about these laws:
    1) the Law of Moses has righteousness, but no power;
    2) the law of sin has power, but no righteousness;
    3) the law of the Spirit has both righteousness and power.

3) Why do we need the law of the Spirit? Because the law of Moses was powerless to set us free from sin, so God sent his Son.

The law is like a mirror. A mirror can show you that your face is dirty, but it cannot clean your face for you. In the same way, the law can show you that you’re sinful, but it cannot take away your sin. The best mirror in the whole world will not help me if I have no desire to wash my face. God’s law was holy, righteous and good, but I did not desire to follow God’s law. The law of Moses was powerless to help me, because it was weakened by my sinful nature.

But what was impossible for the law to do, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. I like what John Stott says about this phrase: “not ‘as a sinful person,’ for Jesus was sinless; not ‘in the likeness of humanity,’ for Jesus was fully human; but ‘in the likeness of sinful humanity’ for Jesus was both completely sinless and fully human.”

4) What was God’s purpose in condemning sin? So that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who live by the Spirit.

The law of the Spirit does it all! It fulfills the righteous requirement of Moses’ law, and it sets us free from the power of sin’s law. Through Christ we have been set free from sin by the Spirit of God.

Note: To read the complete message, go to the Sermons tab at the top of the blog.

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