Romans 6-8 Issues of Life and Death

Romans 6-8 Issues of Life and Death

Bill Blurb: Last post concluded the Proverbs of the Day, and this one introduces verses from the Topical Memory System (TMS). I was originally planning on doing NT “proverbs” but I “reckoned” that it would be more profitable for folks to better understand verses they've already memorized. For those of you unfamiliar with the TMS, it's 60 verses selected to help people remember what the Bible teaches about key topics of the Christian life. These are really useful for renewing one's mind (see comments Romans 12:1-2) especially if you understand and meditate (think through implications for applications) on them. It's the only way I know to experience the metamorphosis from being a carnal caterpillar to a spirituality successful butterfly. I'll be using the NKJV text, except where noted. Look for the upcoming Youtubes on these verses (

Psalm 131:1-3 Resting Humbly in Peace
Ps 131:1 Song of The Steps Of David* “Yahweh, my heart isn’t haughty, nor my eyes lofty; nor do I concern myself with great matters, or things too wonderful for me. 2 Surely I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. 3 Israel, hope in Yahweh, from this time forth and forevermore.

Observations: (*See note on Ps 120) 131:1-3 This is the third psalm of the triad, following the pattern of the Step Psalms: affliction (129); trust (130) followed by peace (131). “Of David” is perhaps reminiscent of David's humble childlike dependence upon God. In Hezekiah's life, it would be an appropriate response to God sparing his life and instructing Isaiah to heal him (last post cf Isa 38). The fact that God had answered his prayer, and intervened in his life was not the cause of pride, but rather humility. Hezekiah was rewarded for his hope in God (130:5) and exhorts Israel to hope in Him as well
Application: God answers and blesses us for His glory and the benefit of others, not for us to become prideful.
Prayer: God, thanks that You graciously answer my prayers and bless, may I always depend upon You and encourage others to hope in You. Amen.

TMS 2Corintians 5:17 A New Creation
2Cor 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation;
old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new.

Observations: Everyone who believes in Jesus as their Savior is forgiven, born again, and has a new life (John 1:12; 3:16), as well as a capacity to know and serve God. What you were doesn't matter; what counts is what you are becoming as you live your new life.
Two verses from the context are worth noting:
2Cor 5:15 “and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”
2Cor 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Being “in Christ” is not just a term for being a Christian. A good translation which accounts for most of the contextual usages of the phrase, would be “in union with Christ.” Those who abide (Jn 15) and obey (Jn 14) would fit this category. The old person which we were, has gone. All things “have become” new (perfect tense, happened in the past with continuing results up to the present). Those who don't abide in Christ, and go back to their old ways, and aren't living the new life. But, by abiding in Christ, one experiences a new life, drawing on His life. See Romans 6-8 below for help.
Application: If you are abiding in Christ, your life should be new and shiny; what is past, is past, it's time to live the new life.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thanks for giving me new life in Christ; may I live it to the fullest. Amen.

Romans 6-8 These are some of the most important chapters for believers in Jesus to understand and master, because they tell justified believers how to be righteous, sanctified, and glorified. They are not about justification by faith, nor getting forgiveness, nor believing that Jesus died for your sins. Paul's audience already believed that (see chapter 1) and those topics were already discussed in chapter 3-5 Getting a running start by understanding Romans 5 on will help with Romans 6. Knowing Romans 6 will help with Romans 7. Most people do not understand these chapters because they read them with too many theological/sermonic preconceptions, and then don't read them with the contextual preconception. Thus they wind up having Romans 7 clearly contradict Romans 6. The net result is they live defeated lives and are not sanctified, nor holy, nor righteous. Part of the difficulty lies in the fact that Paul uses different meanings for righteous, grace, salvation, life, death, etc. There is a righteousness that all justified believers possess, by believing that the Father accepts Christ's death as their substitute, but there are elements of righteousness (being rightly related to God) that Paul will say are gained by obedience,
These three chapters are prefaced by the conclusion in 5:20 “The Law came in besides, that the trespass might abound; where sin abounded, grace abounded more exceedingly; 21 that as sin reigned in/by death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The context of chapter 6 is not just what Paul wrote in the first five chapters, and not just Gospels-Acts, but the OT. The Law (Genesis-Deuteronomy) sums up the Law's teaching about life and death, the key items in this section, with

Deuteronomy 30:6 And Yahweh your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. 9 The LORD your God will make you abound...the LORD will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, 10 if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. 15 "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them." See comments on Dt 30.

Life is blessing, reward, and rulership or dominion, being the preeminent nation. Death is cursing, and loss of sovereignty and dominion. The land was given to Israel as an act of God's grace. Enjoying the land was dependent upon being obedient and righteous (doing what was right in God's sight). If you don't grasp that, you need to pay a little more attention next time you read the OT. Adam and Eve “died” the day they disobeyed. They were still walking around, playing hide and seek with God, and talking to Him. The thing that changed, is they lost their glory (were naked 2Cor 5:3), and holiness/relationship with God, and immortality (right to live forever). Our relationship with Christ reverses the effects of the Fall, by saving us in three progressive stages: first, from the lake of fire through the payment of the death penalty for our sin (justification Rm 3:23 this is the past action of God toward those who believe); then our relationship with God is restored and grows as we grow in holiness  (or sanctification Rm 6-8a); finally, we are restored to pre-Fall glory (glorification Rm 6b). Enough theology, on to the text. (There are a couple of sermons that will be on to help with these chapters).

Bill Blurb: I've been having difficulty emailing larger files through the blog distributing app. So the outlines, which contain the justification and “proof” of the interpretations reflected here, are not attached to the email. They will be on the Blog site. Many observations are in the text Reading Guide this time.

Romans 6 Free to Be Righteous

Romans 6a Reading Guide

1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?

Chapter 5 just stated that where sin abounded grace abounded even more, so why not just revel in sin so we might revel in grace? For outline, In light of…the Content

2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Reason maybe? What does it mean to live in sin? How have we died to sin?  Don’t peak at next verse until you answer.

3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

I knew that, but haven’t a clue about what it means, do you?
Break it down, how were we baptized into Christ? Water, Spirit, sprinkled…
Find a meaning of baptism that fits both uses of it. Hint: identified is a little weak

4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Dead men walking. This religious stuff doesn’t make sense, on the surface. How are we buried? What’s the glory of the Father got to do with it? What does the parallel between us and Christ look like in real life? What is walking in newness of life?

5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,

Remember the mvp is in the last half (even though there might be an ellipsis), the first half modifies it. So how were/are we united together? What does the last half look like?

6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

What does knowing got to do with it? What's a slave of sin? Are we enslaved?
Who’s the old man? In what way was he/it crucified?
What was the status quo? How does it change?

7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.

How is sin being personified or typified? Are we freed from sin? In what way?

8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

Time when? Reason? (for the conditional) How did you die with Christ?
What does it mean to live “with” Him?

9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.

How does this knowing compare to the previous one?
Content, Time when/reason, Result

10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

Manners will help you out here (as in most of life). So Christ now lives for God?

11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

MOST IMPORTANT: This is the most important verse for understanding sanctification. It is expanded in Romans 12:1-2. Understand each meaning of likewise…precisely like what; what are the exact points of correspondence? Define and give examples of “reckon.”

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.

Do you have a choice in the matter? How do you obey this imperative? What do you obey?

This verse serves to introduce the conclusion of the above section, and the next section technically begins in verse 15. However, break it there, and use the verse in your outline both for this study, and to begin the next one.
This is a great chapter to memorize. Don’t let the opportunity to nail it down pass you by.
Unless of course you like being a slave to sin.

Romans 6b Reading Guide
Bill Blurb: First read the passage as if you’ve never seen it before, jotting down questions and thoughts. Using the methodology in How to Study the Bible like Sherlock “Olmes read it a second time. The Reading Guide helps you know what’s significant and worth exploring in more depth as you prepare your outline, as well as moving the focus to application.
The Outline (under Digging Deeper), should be reviewed after you’ve done your own, and before you discuss it in the study. Compare options and differences and think through why there are differences when they occur, and which option has greater support.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.

This verse is so good, we're going to have a second look. This verse serves to introduce the conclusion of the above section, and the next section technically begins in verse 15.
What’s the difference between reigning and being a tourist? What are sin’s desires/lusts? Does it look that a victorious Christian life is Paul’s expectation for his readers? What’s the role of individual responsibility compared to God’s sovereignty in this verse? In the chapter? In the section chap 5-8? In the book of Romans? (You might want to come back and answer this later.)

13 And do not present/yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present/yield yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Coordinating conjunction (which should tell you something). You might find some chiastic structure in here, the main point being that in the center. Cf. Rm 12:1. Ellipsis. (extra credit: you might want to trace how Paul uses “present” 3936 in Romans). Don’t forget verse 11 (everything flows from there, I reckon).

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Don’t forget 5:21. How is grace supposed to reign? Seeing righteousness as the flip side of sin (process and product) is really useful. How does being under grace differ from being under sin, under the law, under the circumstances, under the Lordship of Christ? Are the indicatives promises, commands, simple statements of fact, or something else?

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

Cf v 2. Is sin presented as an act of volition, a choice, or as something we have no (rational) control over? The Content of Paul’s exhortation is that…

16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

Again, note the deliberateness of choice and the parallelism of eis (leading to). Paul mentions death once in chapter one, then 19 times in chapters 5-8, then never again in the book. What does he mean by death? Make sure you have a good understanding of it. How does this knowledge, that we’re supposed to have, make a difference in behavior? Is righteousness here experiential, or “positional”? What’s the difference? How would you respond to someone who says, “I thought we believed and got righteousness, but here is says we're supposed to obey, and that obedience leads to righteousness. What about faith?”

17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.

Were they delivered to the doctrine, or was the doctrine delivered to them? (cf KJV and NKJV, NIV {to which you were entrusted},et al.) How did this delivery occur? What is this “form of doctrine/teaching”? What does God have to do with their obedience, ie, why thank Him? Exactly when did they obey? Where’s the belief? How many things can you learn about obedience from this verse?

18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

How did the being set free from sin occur? Is the Christian identity a toggle switch or a rheostat? What kinds of freedom can we enjoy or crave? Can you boil them down to two? Is freedom to do what we want really freedom? Is self-emancipation automatically self-enslavement? Does a slave of righteousness always do what his/her master wishes? Consequences?

19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

What other terms could Paul be speaking in? To what weakness is he referring? What’s the relationship between his manner of speaking and their weakness? Note the parallelism of eis (trans “leading to” and “for”) in terms of process and product. Why did the translators break the parallelism? Legitimate? Is holiness a positional, static quality/state/characteristic/item, or dynamic? What insights into the verb “present” do you get out of this verse? How does it compare to your understanding of it in the other verses where Paul uses it?

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

Note the structure of vv 20-23. Note the “odd” use of free. What does Paul mean by it? How does a slave of sin differ from someone who occasionally or habitually sins? Can a believer plead “I can’t help myself”?

21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.

In light of v 21’s conceptual similarity with v 23, is it more than just a parenthetical modifier to v 20? How is Paul motivating his readers?

22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.

Important: You won't understand verse 23 correctly unless you understand this verse first.
Is this freedom from sin an accomplished fact, a possibility, something automatic? Who does the setting free? How does it happen? What’s the result? Is that automatic? What relationship(s) exists between/among slave, fruit, holiness, and everlasting life? Why would someone translate the last term “dominion of the {Messianic} age”? How does it compare with death?

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gracething of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

With all the emphasis on human responsibility, why does Paul conclude with the gift idea? How does it square with the concept of choice and fruit earlier in the chapter? What is the nuance of “in”? “In Christ” is a loaded term.

Observations: 6:1-4 Many observations are in the text Reading Guide this time. See the sermon on which explains most of the text. Since we've been united with Christ in His death and resurrection, we should walk in newness of life, not the old way. The old has died, the new has come. To make this a reality in our lives we need to understand and implement verse 11.
6:5-10 We have been freed from enslavement to sin, which means it has no power over us. The chains were broken when we believed. Now we live to serve God not sin. Those who don't are like those who went back to serve their old masters after the Emancipation Proclamation and US Civil War freed them. Don't pick up the chains and put them back on. Remember these verses when you get to chapter 7. You are no longer under the control of sin.
6:11-14 To “reckon” is to account or conclude that it is true, the state of reality, even if you can't see it. If you were dead to sin, you wouldn't be tempted by it, much less succumb to it. I eventually, and unpleasantly discovered that I am allergic to green peppers. I eat them and get sick. I liked the taste. I'll grill them for my family. But they no longer have any appeal to me. I am dead to them. I used to love New York Super Chunk Fudge Ice Cream. Then one day my doctor told me my cholesterol was getting too high. I haven't bought it since. I still love the taste, but I don't love the idea of a heart attack. I envision myself eating a spoonful and I see myself in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. So I'm dead to NYSCF, and alive (still). See application below. Victory can be yours. See “It Ain't Gonna Reign No More” on
6:15-21 Whatever we habitually do becomes our identity. If we yield ourselves to sin, we become sin's slave, and that results in death (loss of dominion, rulership, reward, and glorification). Obedience leads to righteousness (sanctification not justification), which results in holiness (verse 19). Use the same dynamic that you used for sin, and flip it around to become holy (dwell on it, consider benefits and consequences, and then embrace it, and don't let go).
6:22-23 Don't misunderstand verse 23 because you don't understand verse 22. We who have been set free from sin (justification), by our union with Christ, and who have become slave of God (reckoning self to be dead to sin and alive to God), have the fruit of holiness or sanctification, and the result of that holiness is reward, dominion in the Messianic Age (eternal life). That's the conclusion of the chapter, verse 23 just gives the justification: the wages/consequence of sin is death (loss of dominion), but the gracething (charisma is the word for grace with the “ma” = “thing” suffix, a bestowal of grace/power/glory) dominion of the Age, in union with knowing Jesus the Messiah as our Lord.
Application: Reckon yourself dead to sin, and you won't let it reign over you. If you are busy presenting yourself to do God's will throughout each day, you won't be able to do Satan's will.
Prayer: God thanks for Your grace that effects my forgiveness, empowers my sanctification, and rewards my service; may I live my life in union with the Lord Jesus, serving You. Amen.

Romans 7 Freed for Fruitful Service
Romans 7a Layout
1 Or do you not know,
brethren (for I speak to those who know the law),

The Content of what Jewish (law cognizant) Believers should know is that

that the law has dominion over a man
as long as he lives?

2 For the woman who has a husband
is bound by the law to her husband
as long as he lives.
But if the husband dies,
she is released from the law of her husband.

3 So then if, while her husband lives,
she marries another man,
she will be called an adulteress;
but if her husband dies,
she is free from that law,
so that she is no adulteress,
though she has married another man.

4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead
to the law
through the body of Christ,
that you may be married to another——
to Him who was raised from the dead,
……… that we should bear fruit to God.

How did we become dead? How are we married to Christ?
What kind of fruit does Paul have in mind?

5 For when we were in the flesh,
the sinful passions which were aroused
by the law
were at work in our members
to bear fruit to death. (s/b parallel to bear fruit)

What's the flesh? How does it bear fruit to death?

6 But now we have been delivered from the law,
having died to what we were held by,
so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit
and not in the oldness of the letter.

How were we delivered? What held us? What does it mean to serve in the newness of the Spirit?

7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! We should not say that the law is sin
On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. (Reason we should not say)
For I would not have known covetousness (Reason Paul can say)
unless the law had said, "You shall not covet."

8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment,
produced in me all manner of evil desire.
For apart from the law sin was dead.

9 I was alive
without the law,
but when the commandment came,
sin revived
and I died.
10 And the commandment, which was to bring life,
I found to bring death.

How was Paul alive once, and then “killed” by the law? “Without” means apart from. How did the he die? What's he doing writing this letter if he's dead?

11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment,
deceived me,
and by it
killed me.

12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not!
That which is good has not become death to me
But sin, that it might appear sin,
was producing death in me
through what is good,
so that sin through the commandment
might become exceedingly sinful.

Romans 7b Study Guide

14a For we know that the law is spiritual,
14b but I am carnal, sold under sin.

How does 14b square with Rm 6:6-12, and 7:4-6 where Paul states in no uncertain terms that we're free from sin? What is the contrast between spiritual and carnal?
Note that there is the “historic present” in Greek and English, where the present tense is used to vividly describe something in the past. Hint 7:9.
V14 is giving a reason for what?

15a For what I am doing,
15b I do not understand.
15c For what I will to do,
15d that I do not practice;
15e but what I hate,
15f that I do.
16a If, then, I do what I will not to do,
16b I agree with the law that it is good.

15a-b give a reason for what? Paul wrote this in Corinth (Rm 16:22-23); check out Acts 18 and see if this is the same guy who doesn't know what he's doing?
Note that 16 is a conclusion. Conditional clauses are frequently results.
RWP in OLB on v 15 “There is a deal of controversy as to whether Paul is describing his struggle with sin before conversion or after it. The words "sold under sin" in verse #14 seem to turn the scale for the pre-conversion period. "It is the unregenerate man’s experience, surviving at least in memory into regenerate days, and read with regenerate eyes" (Denney).

17a But now, it is no longer I who do it,
17b but sin that dwells in me.

What’s the “it”. To what time in his life is Paul referring? (Hint 7:9 – where did Paul shift time reference?)
“Now” can be both a temporal and logical signifier. (RWP =a logical contrast)

18a For I know that in me
18b (that is, in my flesh)
18c nothing good dwells;
18d for to will
18e is present with me,
18f but how to perform what is good
18g I do not find.

This is a key verse for refuting the dead aspect of the so-called “total depravity” (cornerstone of some theological systems.)

19a For the good that I will to do,
19b I do not do;
19c but the evil I will not to do,
19d that I practice.

Is this the normal victorious Christian life/experience?

20a Now if I do what I will not to do,
20b it is no longer I who do it,
20c but sin that dwells in me.

Try result for summarizing conditional clauses. However, you can use reason to tie in a result summary to its context. The reason for X is because the result of Y is Z.

21a I find then a law,
21b that evil is present with me,
21c the one who wills to do good.

A gimmie.

22a For I delight in the law of God
22b according to the inward man.
23a But I see another law
22b in my members,
22c ……..warring against the law of my mind,
22d ……..and bringing me into captivity
22e to the law of sin
22f which is in my members.

So the same guy who wrote in chapter 6 and the beginning of this chapter, that he is free from sin and a slave of God is now captive by sin?

24a O wretched man that I am!
24b Who will deliver me from this body of death?

25a I thank God——
25b through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Supply the ellipsis
This anticipates Chapter 8 (which you should skim right now if you haven’t done so)

25c So then, with the mind
25d I myself serve the law of God,
25e but with the flesh
25f the law of sin.

Another ellipsis. Where does Paul state the corrective for this condition? What is the corrective (justification or sanctification)? Exactly where in Paul’s life does this condition exist?

Observations: 7:1-25 This passage vies with Luke 17:21 (kingdom is within you) as the most damaging-to your-Christian-life misquoted (ripped shrieking from context) verse in the Bible. Ephesians 2:1 (you’re dead) would round out the trinity of untruth.
Sooooo….remember the context and truths of the previous chapter (and fit it in with the next chapter while you’re at it). Memorize Romans 7:6 (or at least refresh your memory of it multiple times as you work on this passage. Location…location…location….Context…context…context!!!!
7:1-6 We have been delivered from the law by our death and union with Christ, so that we are no longer under its enslaving domination (sin...death). So now, we are free to be fruitful for God, not bear fruit for death. We should no longer serve sin, but now serve in newness of the Spirit (cf. 6:4).
7:7-24 Paul reflects on his former enslavement to sin before he met Christ (pre-conversion, as noted in the reading guide above in verse 15). He speaks in the historic present for vividness, and brings Christ into the picture at the end of the chapter, as his deliverer. Before he embraced the law as the guide for his life (as a child) he was alive, but then “died” when he could not keep the demands of the law. The death he's talking about here is powerlessness or lack of temporal dominion. He was blameless regarding the Pharisaical interpretation of the law, externally, but he zeros in on covetousness, the one internal commandment. The first commandment is an internal and outward one, and difficult to measure. But coveting is something he knew he did. Paul wanted to do what was right but his body (put for the flesh) didn't cooperate. Sin was dwelling (controlling) him, and he didn't want it to. He was defeated and enslaved, the opposite of what he had stated as the “normal” Christian life in Romans 6, and the beginning of this chapter. What he was lacking was the Spirit of Christ, which the next chapter will explain.
7:24-25 He finishes his retrospective view of his enslavement with a plea for deliverance. Who will deliver Him from this body that causes death? Note carefully what he says. He thanks God that He is delivered though His relationship with Jesus Christ. Then he reflects back on the condition he had experienced: serving the law of God with his mind, and the law of the sin with his flesh/body. This is the thing from which he has been delivered, by His relationship with Christ, the futility of trying to serve God with just the law. In the next chapter Paul will show how the Spirit gives him the power to live in the freedom he outlined in chapter 6. Those who think this chapter is the normal Christian, are ignoring the context of the two surrounding chapters, the beginning of this chapter, and the bulk of the NT epistles, and most of the gospels for that matter. They wind up doing the devil's work, rather than bearing fruit for God.
Application: God delivers us from powerlessness over sin though our relationship with our Lord, Jesus the Messiah, so we can bear fruit for Him.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thanks for the power you provide so I can be victorious over sin, and do what's right in Your sight. Amen.

Romans 8 Putting to Death the Deeds of the Flesh and Living

Romans 8 Reading Guide
8:1 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.

For whom is there no condemnation/judgment? What does it mean to walk according to the flesh/Spirit?

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

If you understand “law” as governing principle, it might help. How is Paul freed?

3 For what the law could not do
in that it was weak through the flesh,
God did
by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin:
He condemned sin in the flesh,
4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us
who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Why couldn't the law sanctify? In whom is the righteous requirement of the law (whatever that is) fulfilled? Is this all believers? Is the point of this chapter to get people to believe that Jesus died for their sins?

5 For those who live according to the flesh
set their minds on the things of the flesh,
but those who live according to the Spirit,
the things of the Spirit.

Flesh is that temporal, perishing, sagging stuff that hangs on (or off) your bones. My favorite definition is that it is a “desire for the temporal” (as in temporal power/pleasure/possessions).

6 For to be carnally minded is death,
but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Life and peace are covenantal blessings (see Phinehas – Num 25; Levites -Mal 2).

7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

How does one please God? Why is Paul talking about pleasing God?

9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

What does it mean to be “in the flesh” verses “in the Spirit”? What does “dwell” mean? How does it differ from merely being inside a box? What does it mean to “have the Spirit” ? How does one get and keep it? Is “having” the Spirit the same as having the Spirit “dwell” in you? Is indwelling the same as regeneration or sealing? Is there an ellipsis here? Why do you say that? How would this passage compare to the end of Matthew 7?
What does it mean to be “not His”? What does it mean to be “His” (the genitive case of the personal pronoun; the nuance comes from the case and the pronoun could be translated him as well as his; “of Him” would be the most literal, neutral translation). Note parallelism of God and Christ. Significance???

10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin,
but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Why did he move from the Spirit being in us to Christ (and then God in the next verse)? How is the body dead? Should Spirit be capitalized? Why not living or alive instead of life?

11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
He who raised Christ from the dead
will also give life to your mortal bodies
through His Spirit who dwells in you.

You sure you understand how Paul is using life? Why the mention of the Resurrection?

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors - not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.

Why are we debtors? What does it have to do with getting life in verse 11? What happens if you live according to the flesh? Manner might help your outline here.

13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die;
but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

IMPORTANT VERSE!! So if a justified believer, who believes in Christ's substitutionary atonement, who's been born again, lives in accordance with their desires for the temporal (does their will rather than God's will) what will happen? What does Paul say? To what “death” is Paul referring? Who “puts to death” the deeds of the flesh? Exactly how does one put them to death? What role does the Spirit play? From your previous study, you should be able to immediately conceptually define “deeds of the body/flesh” and specifically identify at least a dozen of the dirty deeds to/by which Christians are commonly tempted. If not look up fruit of the flesh in Galatians 5 for starters and add the flip side of the fruits of the Spirit. If you don't know how to do this see: Sanctification: “It Ain't Gonna Reign No More” on
Don’t confuse the VP with it’s modifier. How does this future death differ from “dead” in 10b? If you don’t have the Spirit, how can you put to death the deeds of the flesh?

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Define “led by the Spirit” and “sons of God”. What’s the conceptual relationship between the last part of v13 and v14? In other words, what does led by the Spirit correspond to in the previous verse? Similarly, do you see any relationship between “live” and sons?
If you answered the above correctly, it should be obvious that you’ve got an explanatory gar.
What's the difference between being a child and a son?

15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."

Where was bondage/slavery previously mentioned (6:6; 7:6 for starters)? Where does it show up below in this chapter? How do these other usages help you understand it in this verse? Why fear? Why is adoption mentioned? What did adoption mean in the Roman culture? A child had no rights and was ruled over by slaves/tutors until the father recognized him as his heir, in a process known as adoption. Julius Caesar made Octavian his “adopted son” designating him as the heir apparent to the “throne,” a practice followed by successive emperors during the Pax Romana.

16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

How does the Spirit do this? If someone has doubts about their salvation, is the Spirit not bearing witness? How does a child differ from a son?

17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God BUT co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we co-suffer with Him, that we may also be co-glorified together.

This is a crucial verse to understand. Simple comparison and contrast will help a lot. Is there a difference between children and heir? Note the significance of the “de” between being an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ. Is there any difference? If so, what? Make sure you look this up in an interlinear or at least look up the words in the OLB to notice the “sun” prefix on joint heirs, co-suffer and co-glorified. Are there any requirements to being glorified?

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

What’s glory? Where is it revealed (1Pt 1)? What’s suffering got to do with it? What suffering are you currently experiencing? Is it stupid self inflicted suffering, or smart Spirit led suffering? Hmmm….

19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

What’s creation got to do with it? How does creation eagerly wait and why? How does revealing of the sons (cx children) relate to the revealing that goes on in v18.

20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
Easy to outline, harder to understand. What hope, and when did it start?

21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

How does creation parallel our experience? Why are we back to children instead of sons?

22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

Who knew? Why only until now?

23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Now he tells us what adoption is. Aren’t you glad you read the chapter first? What are the firstfruits of the Spirit? How does this compare with Eph 1:14 (first installment) and the idea of Salvation reversing the effects of the Fall? Why are we still groaning? So adoption is the redemption of our body, differing from the redemption of our soul, but what is the redemption of our body? (Hint: the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Glory, who gives glory to the faithfully obedient).

24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?

How does this verse help you understand Biblical hope? What is hope? How does it differ from faith? Are you hoping your sins are forgiven? If not (and you shouldn't since that justification is a present possession based on your faith) then, for what do you hope?

25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Is perseverance an automatic thing? What if we quit or sit out for a while?

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

How does the Spirit’s help actually benefit us? If the groanings can’t be uttered, does that make them soundless to the human ear?

27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Who is the He? What does the will of God have to do with the argument?

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called/elect/choice according to His purpose.

Great verse worth memorizing. For whom is this promise? It this a temporal or eternal good? What is God’s purpose? Who are the “called/elect/choice” and how does that work out practically? Note that "the called" is in apposition to "those who love God."  Jesus said that if we love Him, we should keep His commandments (Jn 14:15). Does this verse apply to those who don't obey Him? If someone doesn't know what God's purpose is, does this verse apply to them?

29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

This begins the famous “unbroken” but dangling chain. For some reason folks can appreciate the intra-verse context, but ignore the chapter beginning in verse one. This verse describes God's purpose to glorify those who love Him. What does it mean “to be conformed to the image”? How does that differ from forgiveness? What’s the point of being firstborn, and the many brethren? Heb 1:6 and 2:10 might shed some light. To what are people predestined? Is predestination on the basis of God knowing something? See sermon and outline on Predestination and Free Will, and develop a Biblical (rather than theological) understanding of the concepts.

30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Define each word. Has Paul said anything about these concepts earlier in the chapter? Note the same verb tense (aorist active). A snapshot of action, just saying it happens. When it happens usually has to be determined from context. Is Paul saying this is true of everyone or is he describing the progression? Is this true of the Chosen People, Israel?

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Sounds like a concluding thought to me. Flip around the second question into a statement for your outline.

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all,
how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

Another good verse to memorize. What's the point of the verse? For your outline you have flip the question into a proposition or statement, here and below.

33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
“The One who…is not; because” might get you started. Remember “elect” is choice/select.

34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Was anyone else making intercession earlier?

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Is this Christ’s love for us, or our love for Christ? How does this compare to the love in v28? Looking up these words isn’t necessary for your outline, but has some good applicational thoughts if you have time.

36 As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."

OT quotes frequently give reason. What insights does this verse give us into the nature of the Christ-following life?

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Yet/but might confuse you. Could be a new concluding point. There’s that love again. In what way is one a conqueror? Is it true of everyone God loves?

38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Focus on the ending of these verses, rather than the rhetoric in the beginning. Understand love and “in Christ”. How does this verse serve as a transition to Chap 10.

Observations: 8:1-39 The key observations are above and in the outline below. The key thing to note is the role of the Holy Spirit in setting us free from the law of sin (the governing principle) and resultant death, by giving us the power to be victorious. When we walk according to the revelation and prompting and power of the Spirit, we will not face condemnation/judgment when we appear before Christ's judgment seat (2Cor 5:9-10). The requirements of the law are only filled in those who walk in obedience (verse 4). Those who quench the Spirit, and do not allow Him to live/dwell in them have no union or abiding relationship with Christ now, nor part in Christ’s future kingdom. The ones who are controlled/led by the Holy Spirit are the heirs/sons of the Kingdom. Everyone born of God is a child of God, but (the conjunction in verse 17 is “de” indicates that what follows is similar but different) only those who co-suffer with Christ will be co-glorified. No pain, no gain. But the present temporal suffering far outweighs the glory we will get if we endure (see 2Cor 4-5). Redemption and glorification of our bodies is the processes of adoption/becoming heirs of the kingdom. This is the hope in which we were justified. We don't have it yet, but await it. All creation (cursed earth included) await the revelation of the sons of God, when the Messiah will rule on earth. This is God's plan in predetermining that there will be a group of people to share in the Messiah's glory and reign. His loyal love will bring that about for those who love Him and respond to His call/invitation. Note comments above in verse 29 in the text. Nothing can separate us from that love, except ourselves.
Application: Submit to the revelation and leading of the Holy Spirit in conforming you into the image of Christ, so you will share in the Messiah's glory.
Prayer: God thanks for graciously providing all I need to please You and enjoy all Your blessings. Help me respond in faithful obedience to all You want me to do. Amen.

Digging Deeper

God in a nutshell: See the introduction.

Us in a nutshell:

Where to Go for More:

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