1. We started by looking at v. 1 & seeing how this verse is full of good, trusted, & lasting news.
A: Comparing Romans 8:1 to Romans 7:24…it highlights the radical nature of what has taken place in the life of the Christian. It is easy for us to forget this radical change…so what helps to remind you of the greatness of being in Christ…of NOT BEING CONDEMNED?
B: We took time to look through the first few chapters of Romans & noted how on our own we are convincingly headed towards condemnation. Look to Romans 1:28-32 or Romans 3:9-20 to see these descriptions. How can reading these sections of Scripture increase our desire to share the gospel with others?
C: The strength of the news that Christians are now not condemned is found at the end of verse 1, “for those who are in Christ Jesus.” What does it mean to be “in Christ” or “united with Christ”?
D: We ended v. 1 by talking about the fact that the text says, “no condemnation” and doesn’t qualify this news as being only for past, present or future sins. This news of no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus covers each of these categories. How are we tempted to doubt that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus for past sins? Present sins? Future sins?
2. We then looked at Romans 8:2 & the 2 opposing authorities.
A: It was said on Sunday that sin & death are mean masters, cruel authorities & their bondage is seen when people seek to explain, justify, or normalize their sin…what are ways we see this taking place in our world today?
B: The counter to sin & death is the authority of the Holy Spirit: giving life to those in Christ. How does living under the authority of the Holy Spirit bring about freedom from sin & genuine joy for the Christian?
C: We were encouraged to examine ourselves in light of these authorities…specifically in what brings us delight, what grieves us, where we seek to find our identity & where we find ourselves positionally? How does living under the authority of sin/death versus the authority of the Holy Spirit differ within these categories?
3. Then we went through Romans 8:3-4 & answered how these new realities occurred.
A: Paul uses very specific & careful language in v. 3 concerning Jesus…that he came, “in the likeness of sinful flesh”. This was to say that Jesus both came in the flesh, however he did not sin. Why is it necessary that these both be true for us to no longer stand condemned before God?
B: We were encouraged to ask God that He give us grace to not grow numb to the truth & power of the work of Jesus on the cross. Why is it easy to grow numb to gospel truth? How do you keep yourself from growing numb to these truths?
C: It was said that, “The Holy Spirit serves as the authority of our lives by empowering us, the people of God, to live as a new people...a people that live to please God.” What are ways that you’ve seen God’s people live in a way that pleased God in the past?
D: We ended with a call to think through the implications of the Holy Spirit empowering God’s people for God’s glory…to not compartmentalize this truth, but consider how it should impact every facet of living. Multiple ways were offered…our homes, our parenting, our work, our neighborhood, our schools, our vacations, our retirements, our relationships, our involvement in the life of the church, our investment in gospel causes in this valley and around the world. Where in your life would the belief that you are empowered by the Holy Spirit to please God & bring Him glory make a major difference?