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Pastor Brant Seacrist

April 22, 2018

"LIFE IN THE SPIRIT"

TEXT: Romans 8: 5-11
READING:  Psalm 119: 33-48

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SUBJ: The stark contrast drawn between existence in the absence of the Spirit and the eternal prospect of life in the Spirit and that wherein the Spirit dwells in us.

AIM: That we might look to being more responsive to the indwelling Spirit of God by minding spiritual things.

INTR: Great peace is brought to us in Paul’s words declaring “No Condemnation,” along with the explanation of how it was accomplished in Christ.
1. The sense that God neither condemns nor will He execute punishment on believers is precious to all who know the joyful sound.
2. The proof of this is shown in the operations of spiritual life within us whereby the focus of minds is on the things of Christ rather than the world.
3. The world and fleshly religion seeks to blur the distinction between itself and the true life of God in the soul. In this passage, we are shown the absolute rejection of carnal mindedness, not as an occasional thing but as a way of life as is declared in v. 8.

THESIS: Inasmuch as those in the flesh cannot please God, it follows that they who are in the Spirit not only should but must please God and by the grace of God and the Spirit of righteousness, they do.

I. A firm conclusion (vv. 5-8)
1. We are often confronted in scripture with “compare and contrast” and this is used here to emphasize an absolute distinction. (See Romans 2:6-10)
2. Paul here presents us with a proposition (v. 5) as to the activities of two kinds of people and will seek a conclusion as a result thereof.
3. To be “after the flesh” means to be bound to and directed by the corruption of the nature which is so because of the fall and such a way of life is promoted by the world and the devil.
1) The comparison is made relative to the things they care about which is a result of their affections.
2) The thought here is of a conscious directing of the mind to polar opposites.
4. So then, they who walk (vv. 1,4) after the Spirit think about and care about spiritual things.
5. The further observation is of contrasted states: death versus life and peace.
1) The reference to the carnal mind in verse 6 is to the understanding, the judgment, the will, the affections, the thoughts, and the reasonings of men as distinguished from: But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. James 3:17.
2) The things here, in the carnal mind have death as their end (not their purpose).
3) To be carnally minded in the saints is not to bring and end to their salvation; it rather brings the same effect on their lives and consciousness of spiritual things (Paul saw the same in the Corinthians) and sees them as forfeiting the fruits of grace (Galatians 5:4).
4) The contrasted state is Spiritual mindedness wherein there is a sense of being partakers of the divine nature and the evidence of such life is seen in them and
5) They know peace of conscience (See v. 1); a characteristic of the kingdom of grace of which they are a part, that which passes understanding and finds its beauty in communion with Christ our Lord and so causes them to be peaceable people in all their relationships in the world.
6. The distinguishing cause (v. 7) is that the carnal mind is “enmity against God”
1) It hates the perfections of God and the expression of them in Christ; it denies His rights and is willfully in denial of the omniscience of God and so persists in a life of contempt for God.
2) Its friendship is evidently with the world and lives willingly under the government of Satan.
3) It not subject to the Law of God and because of innate depravity – cannot be!
7. Thus, nothing about being in the flesh is pleasing to God and it requires regeneration and Spirit restoration to be pleasing to God. they cannot please God because there is no principle of obedience found in them. (JFB)

II. A delightful prospect (vv. 9-11)
1. The ubiquitous “but” appears reminding us of Paul’s earlier assessment of the Roman Christians
1) They were referred to as “beloved of God” and they were “called to be saints.”
2) Furthermore, their faith was spoken of throughout the world.
3) They are not in the flesh “if so be” or “seeing that” the Spirit of God dwells in you.
4) None ever died in the presence of Christ and all live forever who are indwelt by the Spirit!
2. The Spirit of God brings to us regeneration, illumination, sanctification, faith, comfort, sonship (adoption), intercession, and the pledge and seal of God upon us as the “earnest of our inheritance.”
3. A parting shot resounds in concluding that if a man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His – is not identified as beloved of God, has not been called to be a saint, and in the absence of faith cannot please God.
4. In verse 10, we are reminded as to how we are to treat that “old nature,” the flesh. Compare Romans 6:11 and reckoning ourselves to be dead.
1) Even though the body of sin remains active it is clearly identified as being rendered as subject to death and will come to it shortly; it is appointed to die; dust thou art and c.
2) The contrast: The Spirit is life because of the holiness it produces imputing to our account and imparting to our souls the very righteousness of Christ.
5. The promise of v. 11 ever thrills the souls of all who wait upon our Lord.
1) The same quickening power that both raised Christ from the dead and true believers unto salvation shall also be to the quickening of our mortal bodies in distinction from the wicked.
2) This is peculiar to the saints in that bodies that are fully compatible with and in cooperation with true spiritual life will be brought out of this decaying body we now possess.
3) Not only will we be found in the blessed robes of righteousness; we shall be housed in bodies suited to an eternal dwelling in the presence of God in Christ!