Victory by the Spirit

Victory by the Spirit

Romans 7:21-8:11

1.    There is both struggle and victory in the Christian life
21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. 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.

  • We are new people in Christ but we have indwelling sin in the flesh
  • There are two extremes in understanding Christian experience:

1) No struggle only victory
2) Struggle and only defeat

  • Legalism says respond to the struggle with law
  • Mysticism says respond to the struggle by seeking some liberating experience
  • The truth is we can have victory over the struggle by means of the Spirit

2.    Victory in the Christian life is produced by the Holy Spirit
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.

  • Ex. Of Jet overcoming law of gravity(Newton’s 1,2 and 3 law of motion and Bernoulli’s law of pressure)
  • The law depends on the flesh and therefore is doomed to fail
  • God fulfilled the law for us in Christ and paid for our sin
  • Now, in Christ, by means of the Spirit we have the righteousness of Christ
  • We have a new righteous position in Christ and as we live by the Spirit He produces that righteousness in our character and lifestyle

3.    Victory by the Spirit begins with our minds
5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

  • Flesh vs. Spirit
  • The key is the mind; we need to surrender our minds to Christ and ask for the help of the Spirit to control our thoughts
  • We need to intentionally set our minds on the Spirit’s truth and direction

4.    Victory by the Spirit is certain because of the Spirit’s indwelling
9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

  • 1st class condition; therefore the Spirit does live in us!
  • The indwelling of the Spirit is synonymous with being a Christian
  • Our body is under the law of sin, it will die and it will be subject to fleshly temptations
  • But the Spirit who indwells us has made alive our human spirit through the righteousness that was imputed to us in Christ
  • We now are in the Spirit because we are indwelt by the Spirit
  • Example of crabgrass; once it invades your lawn it will spread and take over because its growth potential is greater than normal grass
  • The Holy Spirit has imparted Christ’s life to us and in us; He will continue to produce Christ’s life within us

5.    Victory by the Spirit is certain because the Spirit who indwells us is the Spirit of resurrection
11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

  • The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ and He is the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead
  • The Spirit, by virtue of who He is and what He does, will give us life in our bodies
  • He is the Spirit of resurrection, therefore He will produce the resurrection life of Jesus within us
  • Example of Peter before Pentecost and Peter after Pentecost
  • Indwelt by the Spirit and filled with the Spirit, we can expect victory over our struggles
  • Not the absence of conflict but victory in and victory over our conflicts