Brother Mike’s Message
Life in the Spirit | Romans 8:1-17
Setting in the middle of a large valley filled with an indiscriminate mass of dried human bones is God’s prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 37:1-10). He is led through this grim silent valley walking alone through this mass of dried skeletal remains when God asks, “Can these bones live?” Ezekiel responded, “O Lord God, You know.” Then God instructs, “Prophecy over these bones” (v. 4-5). So Ezekiel began to preach (v.7); the dry bones began to move and reconnect. Sinew and flesh came on them, and skin covered them, but there was no breath. So God said to Ezekiel, “Prophecy to the breath.” Tell it that God says to come from the four winds, and breathe on these who are dead so that they might live. So Ezekiel prophesied to the winds and the breath came into the bones, and they came to life.
It was easy for Ezekiel to tell the difference between the dead and the living. Even though it is not always this easy for us to tell the difference between a living soul and a dead soul (cf. Eph. 2:1), the New Testament reveals that at the very moment one is raised from the watery grave of baptism for the forgiveness of sins, the Spirit of God moves in to provide new life (Acts 2:38; see Rom. 6:4). When the Spirit moves in, the penitent believer is changed into a new creature—“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17). It is this life in the Spirit that is the focus of our text.
Paul has taught that in the flesh no one is righteous (Rom. 3:10). In the flesh we are all slaves to sin (Rom. 6:16). Then, after confirming that no one can receive new life apart from forgiveness of sins (Rom. 6), and arguing that no one can receive forgiveness of sins based on keeping law (Rom. 7:1-6), Paul announces that the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2).
He then explains that the Law of Moses could not accomplish what “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” can accomplish because it was dependent upon flesh/sinful man. But God, sending His own Son (perfect and sinless) in the likeness of sinful flesh (cf. Phil. 2:7-8) can set us free from sin and death (Rom. 8:3). The rest of this chapter tells of the new life guided by the Spirit.
Join us Sunday morning to hear more of “Life in the Spirit.”