I continue with my study of the Book of Romans with my notes on Chapters 5-8, many of which are focused on our sin nature.
Notes on Chapters 5-8
- There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ for we are at peace with God through Christ and partakers of his grace (Romans 5:1,2). Grace is like the dove with the olive branch in the story of Noah, the Holy Spirit (the dove) carries tidings of peace from God as we are now no longer vessels assigned to wrath but vessels of mercy, to be used by God for his good purposes in Christ Jesus.
- Our sufferings are for our benefit, they build endurance, character and hope in us. They also give God an opportunity to pour his love into us through the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:3-6). This was particularly helpful to me because it reminded me that all sufferings produce benefit, speaking personally I find that they help me turn to God, which strengthens my relationship with him and my faith. He has not let me down yet, although some times have been hard (very hard)!
- We have moved from the reign of sin to the reign of grace (Romans 5:21). We are not subject to sin or its authority but rather that of grace, so we that are no longer under sin should not pay the wages of sin which is death but of righteousness which is life (Romans 6:23).
- Although we may suffer temptations, we are no longer under sin because the old man of sin has been crucified and is dead so we are free from sin (Romans 6:6,7). I believe it was Watchman Nee in his book “The Normal Christian Life” who said that we must reckon ourselves dead to sin and so we should, for we can expect sin to fight to convince us that it still rules us, but this is a lie that we must rebuke.
- It is important to understand that we are under grace, therefore we are not under the curse of the law and sin cannot compel us because sin is stimulated by the existence of the law (Romans 6:14, 7:5).
- Fleshly tactics are not going to free us from sin (but God may through his grace allow some respite if we use them) because we don’t actually understand our own selves or our sin nature (Romans 7:14-17, 18-20). I have read from commentators that the Lord may even let us try our own efforts until we are at the end of our rope; it is at this point we are open to allowing Christ to free us from sin. We must turn to him to free us from sin and let the Holy Spirit do the work it needs to do in us.
- Be particularly watchful at those times when you attempt to do what is right, for evil (temptation) will not be far from you (Romans 7:21).
- Until the day we die our mind will war against the flesh (Romans 7:25)
- We need to take our thoughts captive and not even think about fleshly things, because they bring death upon us (Romans 8:5). In contrast, if we think of holy things, the things of the Spirit, they will bring life and peace in our lives (Romans 8:5). I have recently found it helpful to try and memorize a verse of scripture or have it on hand to recite when facing temptations or even when you’re bored (which is a temptation in and of itself!).
- We are going to suffer…but it is for our glory (Romans 8:17).
- All of creation is groaning along with us, it is waiting like we are for the revelation of the sons of God so that it too can be free (Romans 8:19, 21).
- Finally, all things work for our good because we love God and are called for his purpose (Romans 8:19).