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The Holy Spirit in Romans (Part 1)

Romans has much to say about the Holy Spirit of God. Romans 5:5 tells us that the Holy Spirit dispenses God’s love into our hearts. The Holy Spirit also bears witness to the truth in our conscience (Romans 9:1). But the most revealing part of the Holy Spirit’s work is found in chapter eight. That is a text that summarizes how the Holy Spirit worked both in the New Testament times and today.

The Holy Spirit delivers Christians from condemnation (Romans 8:1-2). In the first few verses, notice that those who are not in Christ are still subject to condemnation. Freedom can only be found in Jesus Christ. Christians can also be free from guilt (Romans 8:3). Notice that these things can only happen if Christians “walk according to the Spirit” and only if they are “in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Just like Christ, the Holy Spirit has a role in salvation.

It is in fact the Holy Spirit that sets us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). If you will Romans you will see this is the case. I would also encourage you to read the book of Galatians in the book of Hebrews. Paul and his associates were very careful to teach about the work of the Holy Spirit in the church.

The Holy Spirit gives spiritual life. The law of “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,” made Paul free from the “law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). It would be safe to say if it could make Paul free, it can make everyone free. The main thought is that the constraining power of sin, if not broken, leads to death. So sinners can only be delivered from condemnation if they are “in Christ Jesus” and “walk according to the Spirit.” This makes the Holy Spirit of equal value in salvation as the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit enables the realization of right living (Romans 8:3-4). The Mosaic law could not get rid of sin, because we were too weak and bound by sin to obey that law. It took God to send “His own Son,” in human flesh, among sinners, in a crucifixion sacrifice, to allow a way out. Therefore, “He condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3). He took on the form of sin, a common person, not a king or one of authority, and conquered sin. It is important to notice that Jesus came in “the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3). Jesus took on a sinful nature, but was not corrupted by sin. He paid the penalty for sin and guilt, and overcame the power of sin. “The righteous requirement of the law” can be fulfilled in the Christian (Romans 8:4). This can become true if Christians “walk according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). The Spirit sets sinners free from the power of inward sin so that they can do what God’s law rightly requires.

The Holy Spirit produces life in the believer (Romans 8:5-8). These scriptures teach that those who live according to the Spirit are those that set their minds to think, to will, and do the “things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5). Notice the Paul uses the thought of being “carnal minded” (Romans 8:6-7). To be “carnal minded” is to set the mind on selfish human desires that are contrary to God’s purposes, and this leads to death (Romans 7:5).

*** More next week***

You are loved.

Dr. Ray Reynolds

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