Heavenly Father, You have accomplished so much more for us in Christ than simply providing a ticket to heaven. Help us see how our salvation transforms us as disciples of Jesus. As we grasp the gospel, may Your Holy Spirit free us to live holy lives and grant us boldness as we share the gospel. Amen.
Read Romans 6-8
In these three chapters, notice the theme of freedom through union with Christ. Paul writes about freedom from the tyranny of sin in Romans 6, freedom from life under the Old Testament law in Romans 7, and freedom through the Spirit of God in Romans 8.
Romans 6 After spending Romans 3–5 explaining how the righteousness of God can be accounted to sinners as a free gift through faith in Jesus Christ, Paul now feels a burden to deal with an important objection: “If forgiveness and righteousness come entirely by grace, then shouldn’t we keep on sinning, since that just means we get more grace?”
Paul answers this question by pointing to our union with Christ. “By no means!” he says. When we place our faith in Christ, we’re united to Him in His death and resurrection. Just as Christ has died to sin and been raised to new life, so we in Christ are now to count ourselves dead to sin and alive to God. As a result, the truth of what God has already accomplished in Christ changes us and causes us to live new lives unto God, freed from slavery to sin.
Romans 7 Because we’ve been united to Christ in His death, we’ve also been set free from the law. Paul uses the illustration of a marriage, where death releases one from the law of marriage (7:2–3). We now live not according to the law, but by the Spirit. However, Paul is very clear that the problem here is not that God’s law is bad. The law itself, he says, is good. It reveals what sin is.
However, our flesh responds to its law sinfully, which results in death. The problem, then, isn’t the law, but the sin that dwells in us, making us a prisoner. And yet, it’s precisely this slavery from which Christ has set us free.
Romans 8 And so we come to this wonderful declaration: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (8:1). God has set us free from our bondage to sin and placed us under a new “law” where we live by the Spirit, not the flesh. Something supernatural has taken place in us, such that God now dwells in us by His Spirit (8:9–11), changing us into people who put sin to death and live in the confidence that we are God’s children.
As children of God, then, we await the day when God will restore creation and bring His children to glory. But until that day, we remain confident that in spite of suffering, in spite of accusations, in spite of death, nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. The gospel transforms disciples so they can live as beloved children of God no matter the circumstances.
1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.3 For God has done what the law,weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us,who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
- Reflect on the logic Paul uses for why we shouldn’t live for sin but should live for God. Learn to repeat these truths to yourself so that you cry out to God for help in times of temptation.
- In light of this passage, how do we respond to the reality of ongoing sin in our lives?
- Prayerfully consider all that is yours through union with Christ by means of the Spirit. Worship God by sharing these truths with another Christian today or tomorrow.
- Consider practical ways we can hold on to God’s promises in Romans 6–8, especially as we seek to announce the gospel to those who are lost.
- Confess your fears to God in light of His promises in Romans 8, and ask Him to give you boldness in sharing the gospel.
- In light of all that God has accomplished for you in Christ, in light of His promises for your future, pray and talk to your community group leader about a difficult step that you need to take.
- Rework your five-minute gospel presentation based on the feedback you got from your group. Share it this week with a friend outside of your group and get their feedback. [Making Disciples]