Faithlife Sermons

Living the Family Life

Romans: Unashamed - Building the Church through the Gospel   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →
Sermon Series for Romans 8
Title: "You CanDo It!" – The Possibility of Following Christ Perfectly!
Review last week's sermon in a sentence - Living the Spirit-Filled Life!
Review last week's passage – Romans 8:9-11
Main Idea - The Life You’ve Longed For Is Found Only in the Spirit.
You Are IN the Spirit
You Are Alive IN the Spirit!
You Are Powerful IN the Spirit
I have a question for you this morning.
What do you think is your most important relationship in this life?
And I agree! I love my family! I love to spend time with my family.
But even in the best of families, there is still brokenness and pain. So as good and as wonderful as family is and can be, there is something better.
There is even a more precious relationship than our blood relation - it’s the relationship we have with Jesus because of His shed blood!
And because of Christ’s shed blood on the cross, His death, burial, and resurrection from the dead, you can be a part of a new family - your forever family. This happens when you become a child of God.
But how can you know if you are part of this forever family? How can you know that you are a child of God?
Well, Paul gives us some amazing ways we can know for certain that we are children of God!
Main Idea - How You Can Know You Are A Child of God!
Paul gives us in these verses three markers that clearly show if someone is a follower of Christ or not.
And the first one is rather graphic!
1. A Child of God Kills the Flesh (vs. 12-13)
We Owe the Flesh Nothing! (vs. 12)
Romans 8:12 ESV
12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
As you think about your former life. The life you lived prior to being a Christian, did your flesh (your sinful nature) ever do you any favors? Did your sinful nature actually help you. Did your flesh give you anything of value? The answer is NO! No! it did not. What did your sinful nature, your flesh give you? Death!
Ephesians 2:1–2 ESV
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
So this begs the question, do we owe the death giving flesh anything? And the answer is NO!
This is Paul’s point. We owe no debt to our old flesh. Nothing! Nada! Zip!
And because the flesh has never done us any good and only brought us the promise of physical death as well as spiritual death, we have no reason “to live according to the flesh.”
In other words Christians are under no obligation to follow the desires of the “insidious enemy within.”
Romans 8:12 NLT
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.
You can say no to sin! You can and must put off or put to death the old sinful person.
otherwise, there is something you need to hear from Paul...
A Stark Warning (vs. 13a)
Romans 8:13 ESV
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.
Talk about being blunt!
If you “live according to the flesh you will die.”
NLT - For if you live by its dictates, you will die.”
If you consistently live by your emotions and feelings to the exclusion of obeying the Word of Christ, YOU WILL DIE! Paul is promising spiritual death for those live by the desires of the flesh.
But wait one minute, I prayed a prayer when I was 8 years old and so I’m saved no matter what, right?
It depends. Was it a genuine, heartfelt confession of your sin and entrusting your soul to the safekeeping of God? Was there change that took place after this prayer. Do you desire the activities of God? Are you grieved when you sin? Do you exude in a growing way the fruit of the Spirit? Do you hunger and thirst for the Word of God? And most importantly, do you love the Jesus of the bible?
If these things are so then there is evidence of saving faith in your life.
If your prayer was simply motivated by your desire to not go to Hell and there is no desire for the things of God, you don’t want to be with God’s people at church, prayer is rare or non existent, when you sin there is no godly grief, you are not convicted by the Holy Spirit, there has been no change in your life, you are just as angry, worried, anxious, you gossip, slander, you are sexually deviant, as you have ever been, you have no desire to read, study, learn and meditate on the Holy Scriptures, why would you think you are a born-again Christian?
If I’ve just described you, you need to repent and beg Christ to save you because you, my friend are on your way to hell and your only hope is Jesus!
This is Paul’s stark warning! Don’t ignore his words!
But there is Hope!
A Spiritual Promise (vs. 13b)
Romans 8:13 ESV
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.
You have been given a powerful tool in your toolbox for the Christian life. Do you see what that tool is? That tool is none other than the Holy Spirit of God.
And do you see what Paul promises in verse thirteen?
He says “you will live.”
But please notice something crucial. Paul says something you need to understand...
“by the SPIRIT you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
It’s not by your will! It’s not by your power! Its not by your determination. It is by the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT within you that you are not only willing but able to KILL the FLESH!
Remember, it is the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT that changes your WANT TO! That’s not you, that is God working in you! And this is the ONLY way you will grow into the image of Christ.
Illustrate - Trevor, Broom, and a Bat.What do these things have to do with each other? Murder...
Apply - So, are the desires of the flesh growing weaker because the Spirit of God is empowering you to put to death the deeds of the flesh? That’s a really good sign.
One thing you can do to expedite this process is to pray to God to increase your distaste for sin and increase your desire to be holy.
Also, remember the stark warning. If what I said earlier characterized the whole of your life, you need Christ!
Review - How You Can Know You Are A Child of God!
1. A Child of God Kills the Flesh
Transition - but there is something even more interesting...
2. A Child of God Is No Slave to Fear (vs. 14-15)
Fear is still a reality for believers. It isn’t realistic to suggest otherwise. However we are no longer enslaved by fear! Why is this so? Well, consider who is your leader!
God Leads You (vs. 14)
Romans 8:14 ESV
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
What does it mean to be led by the Spirit of God?
Promptings are legit.
Illumination of the Spirit
Divine enablement to obey the Spirit’s revealed will through His Holy Word.
And if you are led by the Spirit in this way, what does Paul say about you? That you are a son/daughter of God Himself! Hopeful Truth!
But there is another amazing truth...
Fear No Longer Enslaves You (vs. 15a)
Oh, like I said earlier, fear shows up every now and then for the Christian, but we are no longer characterized by it. We are no longer slaves to it! Look at verse 15...
Romans 8:15 ESV
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
We sing this song - but it is all too easy for us to revert back to old patterns of fear. We are not a people of fear but a people of faith!
What didn’t we received when we became followers of Jesus? A spirit of slavery. Slavery to what? Sin
Hebrews 2:14–15 ESV
14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
If you are in Christ you are no longer a slave to sin and therefore a slave to fear. You have nothing to fear whatsoever.
Your greatest fear prior to salvation was God and His wrath. And God’s wrath was settled at the cross where God poured His wrath on Jesus instead of You.
So if your biggest fear was God and that’s no longer a problem, what is it you are afraid of?
If you are in Christ...
Sing with me...
“I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God...”
Is this true of you?
Because you need to remember something simple and quite profound...
Your Papa’s Got You (vs. 15b)
Romans 8:15 ESV
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
You didn’t receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. But what did you receive?
“you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons and daughters.
God not only justified you - made you right with Him, but God also adopted you into His family!
God did not have to adopt you in order to save you from eternal hell. But he did.
Jesus, Thank you!
The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend The agonies of Calvary You the perfect Holy One, crushed Your Son Who drank the bitter cup reserved for me
CHORUS Your blood has washed away my sin Jesus, thank You The Father’s wrath completely satisfied Jesus, thank You Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table Jesus, thank You
You are now His son! You are now his daughter! And there is a seat at His table just for you forever!
And He is our Abba Father - An Aramaic term of endearment.
We might say, “Daddy” or “Papa.”
What’t the point?
When we lived in the flesh we had plenty to be fearful of. Exposed and guilty in sin. And it says in the text that we can “CRY ABBA FATHER.”
But now we are protected by our Papa - He’s got you!
Papa’s got you...
What are you facing? What insurmountable challenge is staring you in the face?
Papa’s got you!
But I’ve got terminal cancer!
Papa’s got you!
But I’m out of money and all the bills are piling up!
Papa’s got you!
My marriage is on the rocks
Papa’s got you!
My child has walked away from Jesus and the faith
Papa’s got you!
No matter what you are facing your heavenly Papa has got you!
Don’t slip back into patterns of fear. Don’t go into problem solving mode, rest in the fact that your Papa’s got the situation well in control. Cry our to your Papa! Your Papa’s got you!
Illustrate - One of my greatest joys is walking with my grandkids and they reach for my hand and they hold Papa’s hand. Man! It’s the best.
But there are times when we are out and about in the middle of a crowd and they are no longer holding my hand.
Instead I grab ahold of their hand. And there ain’t nothing that will loosen my grip on their hand until I know they are safe.
MaryKate, Oliver, Sunny, and Elliot - Papa’s always got you!
My Christian friend. We have a God that is more determined to hold you than I am determine to hold and protect my grandkids.
Your heavenly Papa!
Jesus said it so well in reference to those who are His...
John 10:28–30 ESV
28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
Apply - What are you facing right now? Maybe it’s a lot of things. Why don’t you take the time to write them on a piece of paper and then at the end of this list, write in big bold letters - My Papa’s Got Me!!
Review - How You Can Know You Are A Child of God!
1. A Child of God Kills the Flesh
2. A Child of God Is No Slave to Fear
Transition -
3. A Child of God Lives Like Jesus (vs. 16-17)
What does this mean? Take a look at the text with me.
Romans 8:16–17 ESV
16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Jesus is God’s Child And So Are You (vs. 16)
Romans 8:16 ESV
16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
I’m adopted and at the adoption ceremony there were witnesses present to witness the legal transaction that took place. In an instant I was no longer “baby boy Lakso” but instead I became “Mark Allan Green” The son of Joseph and Shirley Green. The witnesses were there to ensure that the transaction took place and could verify it if my sonship ever came into question.
“God’s Holy Spirit confirms the validity of our adoption, not by some inner mystical voice, but by the fruit he produces in us (Gal. 5:22-23) and the power he provided for spiritual service.” - MSB
Christian - you are God’s child. That cost a lot - but you paid for none of it. Jesus paid for your adoption with His life!
And on top of this truth consider this!
Jesus Inherits Everything And So Do You! (vs. 17a)
Romans 8:17 ESV
17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Okay, so lets get this straight...
You are a former enemy of God
He offered His life in your place to pay your sin debt thus sparing you from God’s eternal wrath. All done by grace.
He saved you by faith and repentance.
He adopted you and made you part of His eternal family.
You are His heir! What’s His is yours!
There is a caveat however...
Jesus Suffered For Your Salvation And So Will You (vs. 17b)
Romans 8:17 ESV
17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Friends, as I read the bible and especially the New Testament, suffering is part of God’s program
The Apostles suffered for the faith...
The great Apostle Paul suffered for the faith...
Acts 9:15–16 ESV
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
Jesus suffered in immeasurable ways...
You will suffer.
Matthew 5:10–12 ESV
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
John 15:18–20 ESV
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
2 Timothy 3:12 ESV
12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
God is not sadistic. God is not mean! God understands and employs the power of suffering to refine us!To eradicate sin from us.
Suffering is God’s best tool in His toolbox to draw us closer to him and conform us to the image of Christ.
And, by the way, it is also a powerful evangelistic tool for the unbelieving world around us.
Genuine believers in Christ will suffer well - by God’s grace and power. And it blows the unbelievers’ mind that they do suffer and refuse to reject their Jesus!
Polycarp - “Swear,” urged the Proconsul, “reproach Christ, and I will set you free.” “86 years have I have served him,” Polycarp declared, “and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?”
The Godly will suffer some greater than others but you will suffer if you are truly his.
But this doesn’t cause us fear because this is not heaven!
2 Corinthians 4:16–17 ESV
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
And it is your suffering that will prove your position in Christ. And then you, you will be forever glorified with your savior forever.
What did you do to deserve this eternal glorification with Christ Jesus.
Johnathon Edwards has the answer...
“You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.”
This is what it means to live like Jesus. And if you are a child of God this is true of you.
Transition -
I love my family! I’m so honored to have them in my life.
But do you know what? I’m even more honored and thrilled to be a part of God’s family.
I know I am a child of God because I believe the Gospel. And I believe the gospel because He opened my heart to do so.
How do I know that I’m His child?
Because I am growing to hate my sin.
Because fear no longer enslaves me - instead I am growing in trust that my God will in fact work all things together for good and conform me to the image of Christ
Because I’m begining to live more and more like Jesus!
The Spirit’s fruit is growing in my life
I don’t worry so much about STUFF because I own it all anyway!
I am learning to suffer well for the gospel.
Jesus has done everything He will do to allow you to be a part of His family - I promise you, if you repent of your sin and trust that Jesus Christ is your only hope for eternal salvation, you will NEVER regret it!
If you are in his family, live accordingly.
Connection Group Reflection Questions
Related Media
Related Sermons