HIS SPIRIT IS ALIVE IN YOU
August 15, 2010 Romans 8:1-9
More Than Conquerors #2 The Gospel shows us a map to deal with difficult realities: 1. Through the Spirit, mom and dad begin to see that their daughter is a sinner...but no more a sinner than they are. 2. Through the Spirit, they come to see that all children...even those who come from good homes...live in a world where the flesh and pride and lust permeate all relationships. 3. Through the Spirit, they see that this does not change God’s sovereignty, that He still rules from above, that He can use all sin and rebellion, even to a greater good. 4. Through the Spirit, the mother sees that she has her own pride issues to deal with, too. And she comes to see more and more the Grace of God. 5. Through the Spirit, mom and dad settle on a verse of Scripture from Romans 8:3132 that they memorize and commit to heart. So they will not...they cannot…condemn their daughter. They are free to love her, problem-solve with her, console and comfort her, and develop a plan together to keep the baby or put to up for adoption...but to trust that God will find a way to make good come from this. And the daughter will experience this in her life as Mercy and Grace.
This message recaps the first week and builds upon it. Particularly, I have tried to set out the two-fold promises of Romans 8:1-2: No condemnation and freedom in Christ Jesus. Then, trying to stay faithful to the Scriptures and Paul’s intent, I show how this actually looks in a person’s life. Reflect on these questions in your Small Group and/or throughout the week. 1. Read Romans 8:1-2. Note the ‘twin engines’ of life in Christ. “No condemnation...in Christ Jesus” and “set you free in Christ Jesus”. Which of these is good news to you in your life today? 2. In the sermon I said, “Mercy is NOT giving someone what they do deserve; Grace is giving someone what they do NOT deserve.” Comment on this from your own experience and faith understanding. 3. Look up 1 John 2:16. Read it aloud. Are these three categories sufficient to cover all the “things of the world”? Look up also Romans 13:14, Eph. 2:3, and especially 1 Peter 4:1-5. What is the main point and hazard of living in the flesh? 4. Do you know someone who has lived “in the flesh” and has gone through the stages of spiritual death? Read Romans 8:6-8. 5. Read the quote from St. Augustine below. Then read what King David wrote in Psalm 139:14: “you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” How do these verses reflect the JudeoChristian understanding of humanity? How is that being challenged today? 6. I spoke about a family whose teenage daughter reveals her pregnancy. I spoke about the mother and father and how they wrested with their response. The teaching of the Holy Spirit is listed on the left. Which of these five steps (not in order) do you think would be the hardest to take? What additional things do you think the Holy Spirit would teach this married couple? 7. How is it possible to hear about Jesus and accept His work on the cross but never hear about the Holy Spirit? Read Acts 19. What was the impact of knowing the Holy Spirit on the lives of the Christian in Ephesus? Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering. -Saint Augustine