Sermon Notes for Sunday, July 12, 2020

July 9, 2020

Romans 8:1-4
July 12, 2020
“There is therefore now . . . “ The first four words of Romans 8 are written in a way that indicates that Paul assumes that the reader knows what comes before.  It is because by God’s grace I want us to receive a full a blessing and benefit from Romans 8 as we can that I will not assume that we all know what comes before these first four words.

  1. A Too Succinct and Simple Summary of Romans 1-7
  1. The theme of the letter is the Gospel of God which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is the Gospel of the Holy Spirit which is the power of God to bring rescue and redemption to all who believe, 1:1-17
  1. We all need the Gospel because we are born in sin, under the wrath of God even while God makes clear in His creation and our conscience in an undeniable way that He is the creator and the sovereign ruler in and over all, 1:18-3:8; which because of our sin, we dismiss or deny, 3:9-20
  1. God comes in Jesus Christ to do for sinners what we cannot do for ourselves, setting Abraham before us as the father of the faithful and showing us that where the first Adam failed the final Adam was fully faithful so that we can be declared whole on the basis of what God has done in Christ to which we are called to surrender our lives, 3:21-5:21
  1. BUT there was then and in every age those who distort the Gospel with a Gospel that is not the Gospel that reduces the Gospel to a formula to be affirmed and accepted even giving us reasons/excuses to continue a lifestyle of sin, 6:1-7:23, but then comes 7:24-25 which is the foundation for the first four words of Romans 8 and all that follows.
We will examine Romans 8 through seven words:  freedom, focus, foundation, fullness, future, faithfulness, and forever.  Freedom is the first word:  Freedom From, Freedom For, Freedom Forever, but what is Freedom?

  1. Freedom From:
  1. Condemnation which is the opposite of Justification; deserved punishment for our crime; We are guilty and ashamed before our holy and righteous God
  1. Free from the law of sin and death.  The law of God is that those who fail to fulfill the law of God will die.  Laid down in Genesis and laid out in the rest of the Bible.
  1. Freedom from a life of despair and defeat which sinners seek to hide from and cover up in a life-long pursuit of something less than that for which we were made;
  1. Freedom For:
  1. Fullness of life in Christ Jesus, THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS.  Plural, People, Permanence, Passion and Purpose.  Commitment to a Community with a Calling to communicate truth to the world.
  1. Fullness of life in the Spirit.  A life that is faithful and fruitful; a life that is progressively more like Jesus.
  1. Fullness of life for which God created and redeemed us as His people through sending Jesus in the likeness of sinful flesh, for sin so that in the condemnation of Jesus freedom from the bondage of sin was brought to us.  This freedom is forever. 
III.  But what is Freedom?  “The desire, ability, and opportunity to be and to do for billions of years what will not disappoint or destroy you.”  Piper.  Freedom is when desire meets ability in the context of opportunity with the assurance that it will bring life and not death, hope and not despair for at least a billion years; whatever can do that for you will make you really free.  Only Jesus can and will!