When God Shows Through
On the way home from church, a little girl told her mom that she was confused by something the preacher said in his sermon. When mom asked what it was, she said, “Is it really true that God is bigger than we are and that He lives in us?” Her mom replied, “Yes, it’s true.” With a confused look, the girl said, “If God is bigger than us and He lives in us…then wouldn’t He show through?”
Well, she’s right and the Apostle Paul thinks so too and that’s what Romans 8 is all about. Perhaps that’s why it’s called the ‘most wonderful chapter’ in the Bible. This morning, I’m going to ask you to stand as we read from Romans 8:1-6.
In our ‘Roman Road’ series, we’ve learned what “Justification” and “Santification” means. This morning, we’ll add another “ation” word to our Biblical vocabulary. “Condemnation” comes from the word “condemn” which the Bible says, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but He who does not believe is condemned already…” (John 3:18)
We hear “condemned” used in our legal system (“condemned to die”). And just like in a courtroom, the Bible says that every person will stand before the judge on Judgement Day. It says , “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)
But true believers need not be afraid. Because of our “justification” and living in “santification”, we will have “no condemnation.” In other words, on judgment day, Christians will be declared “not guilty”. (“ation” joke)
So is Romans 8 the ‘most wonderful chapter’ in the Bible because believers will be innocent on judgment day? Well, that’s part of it. But wouldn’t it be great if we were innocent now? Well, that’s what Paul says in v1, “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.” So “no condemnation” means believers are innocent and they will not be condemned by the judge.
You see, you don’t have to wait until judgment day. Today, by the grace of God, you can be pardoned and set free. Paul writes in v2, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Now understand, Christians will sin. But they will not longer be adicted to sin, no longer will they be a slave to sin. Let me explain.
In Romans 7, Paul describes the struggles that Christains will have against their sinful nature. And to help the Jews and the Greeks in the Roman church understand, he reminds them that Greeks are born under the Roman Law and the Jews are under the Mosiac Law. As long as they are alive, they’re held to the law of their land, the law of sin and death. But neither law…has any power over a dead person. So when you died with Christ you were now under God’s Law.
That’s what Paul is speaking about in v3, “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.”
Now even though Christians will sin, that is no longer who we are. Verse 5 tells us, “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.”
The Holy Spirit is a life giving, life changing force. Throughout this chapter Paul says the Spirit:
- can help me control my mind and give me peace in v 6,
- in v 11, the Spirit will give me a renewed “life”,
- in v 13, the Spirit helps me control my sin,
- and in v 16, the Spirit testifies that I am a child of God.
As believers, we don’t have to fear condemnation because we are a child of God. Verses 15-16 says, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by who we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”
But many Christians forget they are a child of God. They beat themselves up everyday. They live in shame and guilt over bad choices, over past failures and over ruined relationships. But rather than hanging on to the past, they should be standing on wisdom of Philippians 3:13, which tells them that they should be “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead”.
And what’s ahead? What is there to look forward to? Isn’t life filled with the same old..same old? You see, when we understand that who lives within us is greater than he who is in the world…then everyday is a new day. That’s why v6 says, “…to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” We have a peace, a new found joy and the love of being adopted into God’s own family. And would you like to be royality…the child of a King? Heir to the throne? Verse 17 says, “…and if children, then heirs-heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.”
So God’s Spirit wants to change me. He wants to change how I ‘look’ at life…how I ‘live’ my life. The Spirit wants to control my very thoughts. And if I do that, then the little girl was right when she said, “If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, then wouldn’t He show through?” He would and He will!
Does He show through in your life? If not, then verse 9 tells you why. “… if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” The Holy Spirit is God’s brand on us…it’s our family name. Verse 16 says, “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
Being a child of God assures us that when God looks through His book on judgment day…that our names are written there and we’ll be able to walk right into heaven. Is your name in the Lambs Book of Life?