No Condemnation

No Condemnation

Scripture: Romans 8:1-17
Date: 12/02/2017  Lesson: 9
"Dwell on this idea that the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, is the same one dwelling in us if we allow Him to. Think about the power that is there for us! What keeps us from availing ourselves of it as we should?"

Three Steps to Heaven (PB) by Joe Crews

Three Steps to Heaven (PB) by Joe Crews
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Welcome to the Sabbath School Study Hour. Whether you're watching from around the world or you're here worshiping with us here at the Granite Bay church, we just want to welcome you for joining us today. If you have not been able to download or even get this lesson here that we're been studying in the Book of Romans, you can go to the Amazing Facts website, and download it and follow along each week as we do this study. We're so excited that you're able to study with us today. And we also have a special gift that we want to give to you, Your Case in Court and you can get that if you call in to 866-788-3966, and ask for Book Number 192. And that will be available to you free for watching with us today. And we're just so glad that you could join with us, we just want to ask the song leaders to come out and begin our study today with a song.

Thank you, Pastor John. We are excited, ladies? Yes?

Yes.

Because we look forward to this time every year where we get to start singing our favorite Christmas songs, and I know that yours as well. There's just only a few weeks that we get to do it every year. And so we're trying to get in our favorites. And today, we're going to start with Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, 122. And we're going to sing all three stanzas. So join with us if you're at home, pull out your hymnals, we want to hear your voices. 122.

Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the newborn King

Peace on earth, and mercy mild

God and sinners reconciled

Joyful, all ye nations, rise

Join the triumph of the skies

With angelic host proclaim

Christ is born in Bethlehem

Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the newborn King

Christ, by highest heaven adored

Christ, the everlasting Lord

In the manger born a king

While adoring angels sing

Peace on earth, to men good will

Bid the trembling soul be still

Christ on earth has come to dwell

Jesus, out Immanuel

Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the newborn King

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace

Hail, the Son of Righteousness

Light and life to all He brings

Risen with healing in His wings

Mild He lays His Glory by

Born that man no more may die

Born to raise the sons of earth

Born to give them second birth

Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the newborn King

Thank you so much for joining with us. And we look forward to singing Silent Night with you next week. At this time Pastor John is going to have our opening prayer.

Before we begin our Bible study, we'll let bow our heads as we have a word of prayer. Our kind Heavenly Father, as we are here we are just asking your special blessing as Pastor Shawn Brummund shares this study today. Lord, we ask that you be here with us and all those around the world as we study this lesson today on no condemnation. Thank you, dear Lord, for answering our prayers and being with us today. We pray in Jesus' name, amen. At this time, I'd like to invite Pastor Shawn Brummund to share the message with us today.

Good morning everyone.

Good morning.

It's good to see you here. And thank you so much for all your smiling faces. You know, as we were singing our different hymns and as we we're approaching that traditional season where we remember the birth of Christ and such, I have to confess that I just had this not overwhelming but this large feeling of just thankfulness to be able to be a part. What a privilege to be a part of the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church. And what a privilege it is to be a part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as well as well as the study hour.

You know, the Sabbath School of Study Hour, this has been a longstanding program in which God has brought God's Word not only to us live here in Sacramento Central Church and now here in Granite Bay, but to thousands around the world. And just want to welcome you as well, we thank you so much for joining us here this morning as we continue to study this great and powerful book. This gospel book, many Christians have counted the Book of Romans the most powerful gospel book that there really is in all of the Bible. And so this is no small book amongst this Holy Bible that we're studying here today. Well, I invite everybody to open their Bibles first off to not the Book of Romans but to the Book that's just a couple of chapters... couple of books after the Book of Romans. That's 2 Corinthians 5 chapter. And as we go to 2 Corinthians chapter 5, I like to read together here verse 17. We're going to 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and we are going to be reading verse 17.

Now some of you know just by reference what that verse is already, don't you? I know that there's more than one that not only knows where the references is but knows this verse by memory. And not only do you know the reference and this verse by memory but this is also a verse that describes your experience. This is something that describes your faith and life experience. So let's read it together here as we review it for some and perhaps for some of us that are watching or studying here today, this is also new. In verse 17 it says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation. All things..."

Sorry. "Old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new." And, you know, as I was thinking of that scripture and as I was studying for this particular study lesson in poring over Romans chapter 8, poring over Romans chapter 7 in such, and looking at the context in that close relationship that the two chapters have together. And reflecting on really chapters 6, 7, and 8, I really, my mind was brought to this particular verse because this particular verse is one that really summarizes these three powerful chapters that when we are in Christ, we are no longer the same, are we? When we are in Christ, behold, old things have passed away, all things have become new. And so there is a very real, spiritual, practical, moral character change that takes place when we find ourselves in Christ. Well, we're looking at lesson number 9 today, and that starts on page 72. And we have a couple of volunteers that are going to be reading here for us. And I'm not sure, is there... Okay. Yes. We have a volunteer here today. And she's going to read our memory text which is Romans 8:1. Of course, you can find it in your Bible and you can also find it in your quarterly study on page 72, on page 72.

Okay. Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."

Okay, thank you. And so this is a very powerful verse. And we're going to spend the next few minutes looking at this particular verse because this verse is something that is worth stopping and parking at for some time. In fact, it's so important and that the words in the verse is found in the title of our quarterly study which is No Condemnation. I'm going to go ahead and read the first two small paragraphs that begin page 72 because it is just so well done as the different authors and editors have contributed to this, it says, "Romans 8 is Paul's answer to Romans 7. And so if you studied last week whether in this study or whether you studied it in your local church or whenever it was, I trust that you've already looked at Romans 7 because Romans 8 is really part 2 to Romans 7. And that's why it says Romans 8 is Paul's answer to Romans 7.

In Romans 7, Paul speaks of frustration, failure, and condemnation. But in Romans 8, the condemnation is gone and it's replaced with freedom and victory through Jesus Christ. Paul was saying in Romans 7 that if you refuse to accept Jesus Christ, the wretched experience of Romans 7 will be yours. You will be slaves to sin unable to do what you choose to do. In Romans 8, he says that, "Christ Jesus offers you deliverance from sin." What does He offer us? He offers us deliverance from sin. And the freedom to do good that you want to do but your flesh won't allow. And so thank you for the editors and the author and contributors to this particular quarterly because that is just such a accurate statement and summary of the two chapters that we've been looking at both in Romans 7 last week and now also as we look at Romans in the 8th chapter.

Now when I say Romans 8, if you studied and you read through, you know that I'm talking about just the first half of Romans 8, don't you? Because the second half of Romans 8, Paul is inspired to go in some different directions on some different topics. Now depending on our time here, we'll see how many of those different topics we can touch on. But the first half of Romans 8 is really the punch line for what God has been working up to both in Romans 6, Romans 7, and Romans 8. In fact, the first half of Romans 8 really is on the topic of what I call the second half of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now what does gospel mean again? Gospel means good news, doesn't it? Okay, so if gospel means good news and Jesus says, "Hey, listen we can find a victory and they have no longer have sinned, they have dominion over us, but now righteousness will reign in our lives."

That's good news then, isn't it? Okay, that's why I call it the second half of the gospel. Now theologians have been throwing a word around it for a long-time scholars, Bible Students, Christians and such. And it can be tempting to think that theologians made up this work as it's such a long fancy kind of sounding word, but it's actually in the Bible several times and it's called sanctification. Sanctification. Now sanctification is not a word that we use that often, is it, in our regular day to day lives and conversations? But it's very real in the conversation of the New Testament. And so it's important for us to understand what that means. Sanctification. I want to ask everybody a question here today.

Does anybody agree with me that in order that for us to be formed from the inside out or maybe we can say reformed from the inside out to experience a love for God's law and to experience a love for what is right in God's eyes, to have a power, then to do what is right, how many agree that that is really, really good news? Okay, I see a few hands go up. Okay, I have somebody in the back. He's got both hands up. All right, okay. So I join you in that, okay? This is something that is important for us to understand. In fact, I want to share here just a little bit of a personal testimony if I may. When I was 20 years of age, I had been experiencing 20 years of a secular life.

My parents were very loving parents, it was a very loving home. But my parents had decided early on one or two years after I was born to leave the church of their heritage, to leave the Christian faith altogether, and to live a secular life. And so my experience basically from as far back as I can remember up until 20 years of age was 100% secular, and faith, and religious-free. And so 20 years of age that summer, God had spoken to me in a very real way, no audible voice, but there was a very real voice that I was tuned into that said, "Shawn, I want you to check out this church thing." And without sharing my whole personal testimony, I was open to it at that time.

I was looking for hope in a very hopeless situation. And so I started going to church. And every Sunday morning, there was a local church that I felt comfortable with, I went every morning, every week at 8:30 every morning and I attended that church. And while I was attending church, fortunately, the pastor there was one that was opening the Bible still and he was sharing some different parts of the Bible and the good news and Gospel of Christ. And even though there wasn't a whole lot of knowledge that was there, in fact, I started from ground zero. And I didn't know a lot about almost nothing about the Christian faith, I didn't know the Ten Commandments, I didn't know anything about Jesus, nothing. But because my heart was opening and because I'd open the door to my heart, Jesus says, "Behold I stand at the door and I knock. And if anyone opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me." And so because I did that, Jesus honored that and He came in. And I'm telling you friends, my life was just turned upside down in a wonderful way. And all of a sudden, I began to see the world in a different way.

My emotions were starting to be restored because of the simple pleasures that I was indulging and so deeply, and my emotions have been numbed. And all of a sudden, I started to enjoy and experience the fruits of the spirit. And I didn't even know what the Holy Spirit was, never heard of it, but I was experiencing it, wasn't I? Okay, I was beginning to become born again. I was starting to experience the Spirit-filled sanctification experience. That was the best news for me, in fact, it wasn't until years later that I even learned about justification, the need for forgiveness and so on, I didn't even know about that part. So that was good news that I learned later. For me, the second half of the gospel was the first half for me because that was the only experience and knowledge that I had. And so it hurts me and I know it hurts God when some of us say to ourselves, "Well, I like the first part, I like to be justified, I like to know that I'm forgiven and I'm going to go to heaven and I'm going to have eternal life. But I'm not so excited about changing my life. I'm not so excited about opening my heart to Christ and allowing His spirit to come in and begin to take the throne in my heart." And so, you know, that's part of the gospel.

That's part of the good news that Jesus gives to us, that He gives us a new life in Him. "Behold, old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new." As a former Pharisee, the author of the Book of Romans, the prophet Paul and Apostle Paul, he was not only thrilled to find out that justification came by faith alone that he didn't have to deserve it, there's nothing that we can do to deserve justification. The only thing that we can do is bring all their sin at the feet of Jesus and say, "Lord, I accept you as my Lord and my savior, I come to you. Please, have mercy and forgive me." And when we do that, the Bible tells us that He counts us new, He counts us justified, He counts us acquitted from all the charges that have been laid against us from all our sins and our guilt. And now we are a child of God from that point forward. And so Paul was thrilled to be able to discover this very real spiritual gospel truth that he had not experienced as a Pharisee in the years previous in his experience. But it's very important for us to really understand that Paul was just as thrilled as I was when he discovered that there is a power outside of himself that allows us to be able to experience a new life and begin to overcome sin.

You see, Paul was a Pharisee, and Pharisees were brought up to be very strict and to look very closely at the law of God. But the problem was that they were also taught to look to themselves in their own strength to be able to overcome the sin that the law revealed. And so Paul was just like Martin Luther, he was in a lot of misery because of that. And not only that, but he had a lot of very sinful attributes that continue to have dominion over Paul. Some of those attributes are arrogance. Paul was a very arrogant man. And we can find that in his own confessions as well as in the historical Book of Acts. We find there that Paul is describing himself. And he says, "I was an arrogant man. I was murderous." Okay, so Paul was a very murderous man, in fact, he had the blood of many innocent Christians that he had led to the execution bar. He was an angry man. We find that as well. He was a man that was ruled by envy.

These are all sinful works of the flesh, are they not? And so Paul was under the dominion of sin, even as a very religious person, as a Pharisee within the synagogue. It wasn't until he discovered that there is a Spirit of God that can fill his heart. There is a higher power than he is that can help him to have dominion over sin. And so that was the good news that Paul experienced, that was the good news that I first experienced, and I know there's many in this room and many are watching today that you've also experienced that as you have come to find that victory in the spirit. So let's return back to the Book of Romans. Romans 1, chapter 8 I should say and we're going to look back at verse 1, our first key verse.

Let's read it together. Again, it says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the spirit... do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." And so very clearly, we have this very powerful answer to the desperate cry that is cried out by the man that Paul is describing in Romans 7:24. "Oh, wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death?" And Romans 8 is being set up by what Paul had already read or written in Romans 7 ending with that desperate cry of the man of that chapter. And so essentially, the last half of Romans 7 is setting us up for Romans 8 in a very dramatic and effective way. And so I'm very thankful for our teacher last week, as he was able to bring that forward for us in such an effective way.

So to coming to the saving gospel of Jesus Christ is to reject the works of the flesh, as we've just read in verse 1, and to daily ask for the Holy Spirit in our lives, in our hearts. That's the invitation, that is the solution that God gives to us in these very powerful verses. Now some may ask, and we're looking at this both in Romans 7 and Romans 8, and if you weren't studying in the past and we haven't stopped here at the word flesh, I just want to explain that just briefly because flesh is normally used, you know, to describe our physical bodies, isn't it? Okay, Paul is not talking about the physical body itself, he's not looking at the physical body in a derogatory way or something that is just kind of disposable, it doesn't matter.

In fact, there's all kinds of verses that tell us that we need to respect our bodies, and that our bodies are actually a temple of the Holy Spirit in whom we're talking about here today. And so it's very important for us to understand that God is not trying to tell us that our flesh is kind of bad in of itself physically. No, in fact, we are to take great care of it and respect it as a temple. So what is God telling us when Paul is using the word flesh in these different verses? Well, Monday's lesson study gives us a very good brief definition of it. In Monday's lesson study it says, flesh means an unregenerate person. An unregenerate person, okay? Another word for flesh or unregenerate is carnal. Really, what it's talking about is that hardwired problem that we're all born with, that we're all conceived with, and that is bent towards sin. All of us are born with a sinful nature.

How many parents here had to teach their child as they were growing up from that cute little age up until here, and they first started to talk, how many had to teach their child how to lie? Anybody had to teach their child how to lie? How many parents here had children that lie? Come on, put your hands up. All right, every parent should put their hand up here. One of the most horrifying experience that a parent has and I deserve it too is when that cute little munchkin, the innocent little angel that came in that little beautiful bundle from the hospital and so on, barely is able to walk, and just shortly after it's able to say mama and papa, and it can put a sentence together, it's pretty well about that stage, you know, that they're taking a cookie that they shouldn't have taken. And you say, "Did you eat that cookie?" And they look up and they say, "No."

Okay. It just comes instinctively, doesn't it? Okay, all of us are hardwired towards sin. And that's what it's talking about, it's talking about that fleshly nature in regards to our sinful nature. It's not talking about the blood and the bones and the muscles and such that we're to take care of. Well, that been said, let's leave Romans just briefly again and back up to the gospel of Luke. And as we go to the gospel of Luke, we're going to the 11th chapter. And when we get there, and we're gonna go to start with the... Let me see now verse 9. So we're going to the gospel of Luke 11, and we're going to look by reading verses 9 through 10. Now immediately, as soon as we start reading it, many of us, if not all of us here today and those who are watching, many of you are very familiar with these verses, okay?

You'll see what I'm saying when we start to read it. Verse 9, Jesus says, "I say to you, ask and it will be given to you." Some of you don't even have your Bibles open, you know it. "Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives, and he who seeks, finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened." Now these verses have been used in a variety of ways. When I want to trade in my old car for a very desperately needed new one, okay, ask and you shall receive we say, don't we? Okay. And then our Christian friends will rally around and say, you know, seek and you shall find, you know, knock on the door and it will be opened to you. When you're looking for that first house or maybe a new house or a bigger house because your family is expanding.

Now look, you needed a new job or a higher paying job or your finances need, you know, rearranging and recovery and so on, we come to these verses, don't we? And so these are very well used verses. And that's not a bad thing, in fact, I believe that the principle here that Jesus is bringing to us in the right context and of course with the right motivations, can be claimed. And so I'm not saying that we're misusing those verses. But what I am saying is what a crime it is, if this is the only way that we use these verses and we miss the original point that Jesus had in mind in regards to why He even spoke these words in the first place. In other words, so often we end at verse 10 and we miss the main point, the original point that Jesus was trying to make. And so with that being said, we have a volunteer here again, Brianca is going to read the next of the verses, and allow Jesus here to make His point as she read verses 11 through to verse 13. Thank you.

"If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him."

Okay, so today, by God's grace, we're allowing Jesus to make His original point. What is the original point that Jesus is trying to make? To ask for the Holy Spirit, yes. Okay, seek, and you shall find. Seek what? To seek the Holy Spirit? Isn't that what Jesus is saying? Knock and it shall be open to you, okay? So all these things ask and you shall receive. Receive what? The Holy Spirit. And not only that but then Jesus says, he's making that point is also speaking in some of the most exaggerated kind of humorous language we can almost call it.

Where He says, hey, listen, which parent here says when their little one says, "You know, Mommy, I'm really hungry." And instead of an egg, you give them a scorpion. I mean, it's ridiculous, isn't it? Okay, Jesus is trying to be ridiculous on purpose. Why because he is trying to communicate to you and I, how eager God is to give us his Holy Spirit. He's using the most effective and exaggerated language He can to make that point. He's saying listen, too often, God is so disappointed with us as we make our way through the day and we don't ask for the Holy Spirit. We don't knock on the door, we don't seek out the presence of God in our heart. And so Jesus here is trying to make the main point. And so again, these original verses 9 and 10 that we're so accustomed to and so familiar with, may we not miss the original point that Jesus had for you and me, and that is to remember how much God wants us to ask for the Holy Spirit in your lives. And chapter 8 and verse 1 as we just read, this also explains to us why this is so important.

Why was Jesus using this most exaggerated language as He can to tell us and encourage us and urge us to ask for the Holy Spirit? Why? Because in Romans 8 and the first verse as we've read, it says, "Therefore, there is no condemnation." Did Jesus come to condemn? No, the Son of Man was not sent into the world to condemn the world, but the world might be saved through Him as it says in John 3:17. And so Jesus is wanting to save us from condemnation, and so He paves the pathway and summarizes it in this powerful verse through Paul in Romans 8:1. It says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." Well, how are we in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. And so Jesus is here, again, reminding us and urging us how important it is to have the Holy Spirit in our hearts, have the Holy Spirit ruling in our lives.

Now in the 6th verse of the same chapter in Romans and it repeats basically the same thing and so I'm just gonna jump ahead. We don't have time to, of course, to look at every verse in this very long chapter even in the first half of Romans 8. But let's look at verse 6 'cause essentially He's saying the same thing in a different way. He says, "For to be carnally minded," that is minded of the flesh, "is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." And so again He says, listen, "If you're in the spirit and you're spiritually minded you have life and peace."

Now, friends, I think it's very important for us to understand that you can sit at the feet of every self helpers, spiritual guru in the world. You can go to every seminar, you can go to all kinds of different versions whether it's eastern religions and new age and all these different, you know, claims to supernatural victory to your life or whatever it is, friends, you can sit at the feet of all these, you will never be spiritually minded. You know, this word spiritual has been, you know, just dragged through the mud through our modern generation. And really the Bible tells us that the only way that you can truly be spiritually minded is to have the Holy Spirit of God in your heart.

It's the only way, there is no other way to be spiritually minded. And so that's why it tells us in verse 6 that, "To be spiritually minded is life and peace." And He tells us in the previous verses and the verses after, and that is through a life in the spirit. Well, that being said, let's turn to the Book of John, we're going to leave Romans 8 just briefly, again, we're going to back up to another gospel and come to the teachings of Jesus 'cause Paul is reflecting of what Jesus, of course, had already taught during his life on earth previous to that and I just cannot go through this subject without going to one of my favorite chapters because this chapter speaks on the same topic that Paul speaking on in these verses in Romans chapter 8.

Now John chapter 3, many of you as we turn to it already know what that's about. But if you don't, we're going to discover very quickly that this is what I call the born again chapter. And the reason I call this chapter that is because this is the only chapter, the only chapter in all scriptures that uses the term born again. And yet it's very popular among many of our evangelical friends and Protestant Christians and so on. Let's read what Jesus had to say in regards to that popular term. So I'm going to go ahead and read John 3:3. And then we have a volunteer here who is going to read a little bit later in the same chapter. Verse 3 says, "Jesus answered and said to him, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Unless we are born again, we cannot have spiritual eye sight, Jesus is saying. You can't even recognize the kingdom unless you are born again. Is it important to be born again, friends? Sure it is.

If you can't even see it, how in the world do you going to enter it? Okay, and so this is about being spiritually minded again, isn't it? Paul says to be spiritually minded is life and peace. And spiritual in its very essence, in its original obligation, and again, you know, as opposed to its misdefinition and misuse which is so popular around many unbelievers is that spiritual comes from the word spirit. And the original spirit that the word is derived from is the Holy Spirit of the Bible. And yet so many of us who are trying to claim that we're spiritual people but we have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. The Bible says there's no such thing, Jesus says, "Unless you're born again," and He's speaking in the context of the spirit, "You can't even recognize the kingdom of God." All right, we have a volunteer, Denise is going to be reading for us verses 5 through 8 in the same chapter here this morning.

Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I say to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from or where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Okay, thank you. And so now Jesus goes on and says, "Now that you cannot see the kingdom of God," but verse 5 says, "If you don't have the spirit, if you are not born of the Spirit" the Holy Spirit with capital S, "He cannot enter the kingdom of God." You cannot see it and you cannot enter it, unless you have the Holy Spirit. Very important for us to be able to understand.

Then we come to verse 6 as He says, you know, we're all born of the flesh, but hey, we're in trouble if we only stay in the flesh because again our flesh is hardwired, and the flesh is really talking about that part of our brain that was hardwired towards sin. And so Jesus says listen, to be just in the flesh is big trouble, but to be born of the spirit is spirit, this is the key to life. Then we come to verse 7 and this is no small verse, Jesus really comes to the punch line, in verse 7, He says, "Do not marvel that I say you must be born again."

Is Jesus give it as an option to have the Holy Spirit to be born again and be part of His kingdom? No. And so we here have a very, very important chapter that is telling us how essential it is, in fact, He is telling us that our salvation is bearing upon whether or not we have the Holy Spirit in our lives or not, whether we are born again or not. This is why Paul was inspired to also write in the Book of Galatians and the Book of Corinthians, two very hard hitting passages on the very same subject. Why? Because God wants us to be able to understand how important this is and how much and how eager as we read in Luke chapter 11, Jesus tells us, "God wants to give us the spirit."

We don't have time to look at both. Well let's turn to the Book of Galatians and we look at one of those examples. Okay, we're going to the Book of Galatians. And we're going to go to the 5th chapter and we're going to start by reading verse 16 to get the context. Verse 16 reveals to us that the passage that we're about to read and look at, again, is on the very same subject that we've been looking at in Romans 8, we'll continue to look at here today. Verse 16 says, "I say then walk in the spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Is this the same topic friends? Sure it is, isn't it? Okay, so this is the same topic talking about either walking in the flesh or walking in the spirit.

Now let's skip down to verse 19, it says, "For now the works of the flesh are evident." And then he gives us an example list, now this is not exhaustive. In fact, if you go to 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, again, we don't have time today, you can find that he lists some others as well. Verse 9:18 says now, "The works of the flesh are evident which are adultery, fornication," which is our sexuality before marriage, adultery of course is engaging in sexuality outside of your marriage, "Uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath."

What is that, friends? That's... our modern day, we call that losing our temper, okay? When we lose our temper, outbursts of wrath, "Selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies." Heresies. Every time I come to this verse in this passage and list, I say to myself, isn't that something that heresies is... I would have never guessed that he would list it in there, you know, 'cause the others are more character defaults, different, you know, sins and transgressions of God's law. But God tells us one of the works of the flesh, one of the fruits of the flesh is heresy. Now what is heresy?

Heresy is false doctrine, isn't it? Heresy is coming up with theology and either coming up with it or adopting it from some other source and then propagating that. And so a heresy is something that is not in harmony with the Bible's teaching, something contrary to what God has revealed in the Holy Scriptures. And so if, you know... how do I say this?

You know, over the years, I've had a lot of different people that have, not a lot, I shouldn't say that. I've had a handful of members that I've had to try to win back into the Bible truth as they have either adopted or have concocted some kind of wild-eyed, you know, unbiblical theology and just ran with it and promoted it at my church and so on. And yet they claim to be one of the most spiritual people there are. And yet God tells me that it's not the Holy Spirit that's leading me into that, that's the flesh. Verse 21, "Envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."

Now that's pretty strong, isn't it? Jesus says, "You must be born again and walk in the spirit where there is no condemnation." Because if you don't walk in the spirit, you're walking in the flesh, and if you walk in the flesh, you will practice one or more of these things and you'll find yourselves not inheriting the kingdom of God. But let's go on to the good news. Verse 22, it says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and against such things, there is no law." Beautiful, beautiful contrast in list there, isn't there? Which one will you choose? Which one will we choose as we continue on?

Well, let's back up to Romans chapter 8 before we run of all or our time. And I'm just having so much... I'm enjoying myself so much up here just going through these important life-giving truths that I can see that... You know, when you're having fun, time flies, and it seems to be flying faster than ever here today. So let's go to Romans 8:2. And we have a volunteer, Tadd is going to kindly read that for us. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

Okay, thank you. Now there's two laws that are being spoken of here, isn't there? Now this is no small verse because this particular verse is boiling down what Paul has already started to paint in Romans Chapter 7 is continuing to paint in Romans Chapter 8. And that is that there are two laws of life that all of us are living by, okay? One or the other is what I mean. So there are two laws of life that we are either living by the law of the spirit or we are living by the law of sin or the law of fleshes it's also called. So there's a law of the sin or flesh and then there's the law of the Spirit.

Now we don't want to get this confused with the law, capital L which is God's Ten Commandments as moral law and so on, that's not what Paul is speaking of here, he's talking about two laws of life when he's using the term law here. The best way to put it that I can think of is to think of the law of gravity, okay? This is not part of God's Ten Commandments, isn't it? But it's still a law, isn't it? It's a law of life. It doesn't matter what I pick up, if I take this quarterly and I was to release it out of my head, what will happen? It will fall down to the ground, okay? And so all of us agree that law of gravity is consistent, isn't it?

It doesn't matter what object I pick up, if I drop it, it's going to fall down to the ground because gravity the law of gravity tells me that the law of thermodynamics tells me that if I leave this book long enough all matter left to itself will always move towards chaos, will always move towards disorder. That's the scientific law of thermodynamics and it is consistent and there is no exception that any scientist has ever found. And so that's why they're called laws of science. There's spiritual laws. Galatians 6:7, we don't have time to go there but I'm going to read it from my notes. In Galatians 6:7, it says, "Do not be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows that he will also reap.

For he who sows to his flesh will reap of the flesh corruption but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." And so there is a spiritual law there, what you sow is always inevitably what you will reap. If you sow to righteousness into the spirit and to God, you will reap good things. If you don't and you reap to the flesh and to sin and to wickedness, you will reap bad things in your life, won't you? Okay, there's a general law of life, a very real spiritual love life. And so what verse 2 really is bringing us down to what it is boiling down to is the big million dollar question, and the million dollar question is this, what law will you choose to live by?

The law of sin, that's leading to death or the law of the spirit that is leading to life? Those are the two choices that we have in life, isn't it? And this is part of the gospel. You see, the whole gospel is not just confessing our sins and such, but it's also repenting our sins, surrendering to God, asking for the Holy Spirit, and then to walk in the spirit from day to day. That's the other part of our gospel experience with Jesus Christ. And that's the point that God is inspiring Paul to go to so much effort into trying to communicate to you and me. Well, let's continue on as we read verses 3 and 4 in the same chapter, Romans 8:3, it says, "For what the law could not do, and that it was weak through the flesh."

We're going to come back to that. "God did by sending His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on the account of sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit." Now it can be very tempting to come to verse 4 and say, well, there it is, there's justification again, Christ life covers ours. Well, Paul already spent multiple chapters previous to this, already making that point. Paul is not being redundant here.

Paul is telling us here that when we are in Christ the Spirit comes into our life and he gives us victory and now we can experience more and more as each day goes by, the experience of having and reaching and experience the righteous requirement of the law. That's the second half of the good news is that, "Behold, old things have passed away, all things have become new." As we started with our opening verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17. And so again, friends, there's one thing that I've been praying that God has put upon my heart during this particular study is to get across the fact that this is not bad news. This is good news.

Our sinful nature says it's bad news, the devil comes along and says it's bad news, the demons come along and say this is terrible news, you know, this is going to ruin your life if you give yourself over to complete righteousness and start to love God's law. But, friends, I can tell with experience, being on the other side, that is not true, that is a lie that comes straight from the flames of hell. This comes straight from the devil himself. I am telling you, friends. God has given us a spirit, a presence in our heart that can help us to be able to experience a new life in Jesus and new life in him. Now we need to do that daily, do we not?

Now I'm not trying to say, listen, you invite the Holy Spirit and poof, you just kind of get up in the morning, you don't have to think about it anymore. No, you have to work in cooperation with the spirit, doesn't it? Galatians chapter 5, we just read, the later verses says, "Therefore, if we live by the Spirit, let's also walk by the Spirit." There's a cooperation a partnership that works in conjunction with that. That's why it says in the same Book of Romans later on in the chapters, where it says, "Make no provision for the flesh." Okay, so we still have to do our part as we work in cooperation with the spirit and be able to avoid temptation and overcome it by God's help and strength.

We're quickly running out of time. I just wanted to summarize as we read in verses 3 and 4. And because Paul is really wrapping up the whole subject of the place of God's holy law in the life of a believer, in the life of a Christian, I want to just take a couple of minutes and look at what the law can and cannot do. Now the first thing that the law can do is essentially educate us. In fact, that's the only thing that the law can do. The only thing that the law can do for us and it is essential is educate us and educating means it gives us a knowledge. A knowledge of what? It gives us a knowledge of God's will and it gives us a knowledge of the principles of a heavenly government, God's will and knowledge of principles of heavenly government. This knowledge, then an extension of that reveals our sin, does it not?

Paul talks about that in the same Book of Romans. So because of that education, now it's like, "Hey, wait a minute. The more I study God's law and His holiness, the more I recognize how much I've broken it and how much I fall short of it." And so it reveals our guilt and it reveals also that the wages of that guilt is death. And so now we need a Savior, don't we? And so in an extension of that now, extension of revealing our sin and guilt, it drives us to the feet of Jesus. We find our cleansing and forgiveness. And we find the Holy Spirit there as well, don't we? And this knowledge of the law then helps us to know how to follow and obey. You know, for the first six years of my life as a Christian, I was born again, I was saved, I was walking with Jesus, I had the Holy Spirit, but not once did I keep the Seventh-day Sabbath. Why? Because I hadn't been pointed out.

I hadn't been educated by the law yet concerning that point of God's holy law. But once the Lord pointed me to it and once I discovered it, I began to keep it. Why? Because it educated me on that is part of God's will, something that was new to me and so I began to keep the holy day, Sabbath, from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. And praise Jesus, I've been blessed ever since for the last 25 years or so and I don't regret it ever since. Now the law... This is what the law can do. But just like a textbook knowledge, if you're going to be a mechanic or a surgeon, textbook knowledge is important, isn't it, if you're learning to be a mechanic or a surgeon? But is textbook knowledge enough? Okay, somebody came into the surgery room with his scalpel in his hand, he says, "You know, I've been reading my textbook for the last two years and I can't wait to do my first surgery." And you're the patient, are you going to be excited about that?

No.

No. Okay. Textbook knowledge is important, but it can't replace hands-on experience with an accomplished surgeon that is walking you through that first successful surgery. Hands-on experience with a master surgeon. And that's the relationship between the law and what it can do and what it can't do, the relationship with the law to God as well as to us. Now let's talk about what the law can't do. The law cannot do I should say. Three things the law cannot do. Number one, it cannot cleanse us from our sin. 1 John 1:9 says that, it's God who cleanses us from our sin. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

It cannot convert or change the heart, Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure." And so it is God who changes the heart and gives you that new motivation. That's where the word will comes in that verse. The law cannot strengthen us to obey and resist temptation. Again, Philippians 2:13, "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure." It's God who is working through you through the Holy Spirit that's able to strengthen you to obey and resist temptation. And of course, the Holy Spirit is available 24/7 at all times, at all places. There is no place on earth, no place in space, no place on the ocean or under the ocean or in the water that you can escape the presence of God. If you're asking the Holy Spirit to be with you, He will be with you wherever you go. That's the beautiful thing about that part of God.

He's omniscient, but he's also omnipresent, and he's omnipotent which means he has the power to help you to overcome sin if you give yourselves over to it. And so I hope that helps as we continue to walk through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and as we go into some new subjects as we look at lesson 10 next week and study together. I want to remind you that we do have a special offer if you're watching online and you're North American, you like that to be sent to you, you can just call in I should say to 866-788-3966 and ask for offer 192. That's 1866-788-3966, ask for offer 192, Pending Your Case in Court, and we'll send that to you for free. You can also download it for free on amazingfacts.org as a digital copy. God bless you. We look forward to studying with you next week.

Friends, have you ever heard of the bowhead whale? This enormous leviathan is the second largest creature in the world. Dark and stocky, it runs the fertile Arctic northern waters. These massive creatures can be more than 65 feet long and way more than 75 tons. That's heavier than the space shuttle, yet in spite of their titanic size, they're able to leap entirely out of the water.

Can you say belly flop? The bowhead whale gets its name from its bow shaped skull and they've got one ginormous noggin. Matter of fact, their heads are about 40% of their body size which comes in handy when you find out how they use their heads. They've got very thick skulls. Sometimes, they get trapped under the surface and they use their heads to ram the ice. They can break a breathing hole in the ice that is a 1.5 feet thick. Friends, you have to just imagine what it would be like to be walking around on the Arctic ice and all of a sudden have the ground beneath you crack and split and rise, as one of these sea monsters pushes its head up to breathe for the first time in 90 minutes because bowheads make their home in the coldest part of our world, they have the thickest blubber of any whale. But this, plus, their friendly and curious nature made them prime targets when the European whalers discovered the bowheads. They hunted them nearly to extinction.

Fortunately, because of conservation efforts, we've slowly seen their numbers begin to increase since the '60s. One of the most amazing facts about the bowhead whale is its longevity. Scientists have discovered by evaluating harpoon tips found in their skull and examining their eye tissue, there are bowhead whales out there that are probably over 200 years old. You realize that means there are bowhead whales swimming the oceans right now that were alive before Abraham Lincoln was elected president. Can you imagine that? Among the other amazing mega facts about the bowhead whale is its mega mouth. They have the largest mouth of any in the animal kingdom. And when they open their pie hole full extended, it's large enough to park a medium-size SUV inside.

Yet in spite of the fact they've got such big mouths, they survive by eating the very smallest creatures in the ocean, plankton, krill and other microscopic animals. Friends, I'm always amazed by the creatures God has made. This bowhead whale is able to dive to the deepest oceans. They can break through the ice and move mountains with their head and completely leave the water and fly through the air. And yet they do all that by gaining strength from almost microscopic organisms. Helps us remember that we survive through the little promises in God's Word. Jesus when tempted by the devil, He quoted just a few little verses and He sent the enemy running. You can also have that same durability and long life as the bowhead whale by trusting in God's Word and His promises.

Amazing Facts changed lives.

We are going to church every other week. About 19 years old, things really start to make sense for me. I started to go to church for myself and the pastor wanted to study with me. When we came to the study about baptism, and I kind of just shrugged, put my head down, I said, "I'm not ready." He looked me in the eye and said, "Jason, you'll never make yourself ready. You know, this is something you have to do." Put a lot of things behind me, the drinking and smoking and all that stuff stopped. All through at a time, when I've been learning about God, it was just me and God. Comes around up to about August, and I meet this girl. And about two years into a relationship, we're talking about marriage and everything.

We did pray, we did study together, we were arguing a lot, but we were engaged. I started drinking again. And that was a slow downward spiral on the different things and my devotional life started really weaseling away. We broke up in 2008. It was heavy for me 'cause again, being with somebody for that long, it's almost like a divorce. I started to fall back away even more, I remember looking in the mirror just looking at myself and say, "What are you doing? How can you do this to God who has brought you so far?" And, you know, God really heard my cry. There was a Testimony Telling at my church, and there was a call, and kids start getting up, a bunch of high school kids are getting in for calls of baptism. I'm back doing the PA system at this time and I feel just like this urge as my heart just started ripping out of my chest. As I've this feeling just to go up. I get up to the front and I just meet the pastor in open arms. I realize that there's so much more to life than just living life for myself. And, you know, falling away, it's not a necessity. But God can work through anything in the bad to make it to good, that's a promise He makes.

Together, we have spread the gospel much farther than ever before. Thank you for your support.

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