Part 1 of 5 – Unshakeable… Series
Certain Bible verses stand out as favorites for Christians. One of these is Romans 8:1.
Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
God Frees Us from Guilt
God makes every person a real offer of freedom from condemnation and guilt for their sin. This offer is qualified by the fact that it is reserved for those who are in Christ Jesus. The next several verses go on to explain what this means. The reason that God can overlook human sin is that Jesus paid for this sin by dying on the cross. He fulfilled the demands of God’s law, and as a result, everyone who trusts in Him as their savior receives forgiveness for their sins. Followers of Jesus don’t have to live lives of wallowing in guilt for the things they’ve done. Jesus has paid for their sins once and for all.
God’s Spirit Gives Us a Wake-Up Call for Daily Living
In Romans 8:5, Paul begins to explain two different ways of life: living according to the flesh (“sinful nature” in some translations) and living according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:5 Those who are dominated by the flesh (“sinful nature”) think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.
Humans are born with a sinful nature and indulge that sinful nature by making choices that are contrary to God’s will. By contrast, if a person accepts Jesus as their savior, they are able to live a life directed by the Holy Spirit. This is a life that is lead in ways that please God.
This section of Romans 8 should make the Christian pause and consider how they are living. Are they living a life guided by the Holy Spirit, or are they living a life that looks like they are still following their former, fleshly (“sinful”) nature? It’s important for a Christian to pay attention to how they are living. A life dominated by the sinful nature leads to death, while a life led by the Spirit leads to life and peace. When a person realizes that they are living a life led by the sinful nature, the only right response is to confess their sin and turn back to God.
God Gives Us the Spirit to Overcome Sinful Habits
The reality is that all Christians will continue with the struggle with sin until they leave this earth. Yet Romans 8:12-13 offers hope about how a person can experience victory over sin.
Romans 8:13 For if you live by [the flesh’s] dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.
Like Romans 8:6, Romans 8:13 demonstrates that death is the end of a life lived according to the sinful nature. But there is a better path. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, a Christian is able to find victory over their sinful nature. God helps the Christian in several ways. First, every Christian has the Holy Spirit in them who guides them toward God and away from temptation. Second, God offers his word, the Bible, as a guide for life. Thirdly, Christians have each other for support – to pray for one another and to encourage each other in ways that are pleasing to God.
With this help, Christians don’t have to suffer constant defeat with their sin but can find real victory. As a person learns the truth that God declares about them and leans into that truth by faith, they demonstrate the work and victory of the Spirit in their lives.
Talk About It…
- What are your first thoughts regarding today’s topic? Please share with the group.
- What’s your favorite verse, passage, or chapter in the Bible? Why is it your favorite?
- Why do you think so many people love Romans 8?
- Why do people struggle with feelings of guilt, shame, and condemnation? What are some common areas of life where people feel guilty/ashamed?
- Read Romans 8:1. How can this verse provide hope for those who struggle with feelings of guilt, shame, and condemnation?
- Read Romans 8:2-4. On what basis can God say that a person is not condemned?
- Read Romans 8:5-11. Describe the life led by the sinful nature and the life led by the Holy Spirit. What is the “sinful nature”? How do you see the sinful nature at work in your life or in the lives of others?
- How do you know if you are being led by the sinful nature or the Holy Spirit?
- Read Romans 8:12-13. According to these verses, how seriously should we take the struggle against sin? Where do you find support for your answer?
- What are some practical steps that you can take to “put to death” sins in your life?
- Is there a particular sin that you are struggling with right now? If so, make a plan with a mentor on how you can overcome that sin with God’s Truth and experience freedom.
- Is there anything in today’s topic that you would be excited to share with a friend?
Adapted from PursueGod.org