What is Jesus Christ like? What is it like to be a follower of Jesus Christ? Listen to this sermon about Christ’s first miracle, turning water into wine, in which the Bible teaches us about the character of Christ and what it means to be His follower.
As we come to Romans 8:12, Paul moves from instruction to exhortation, giving us one of the most essential evidences of those who are truly sons of God: killing sin. The critical practice of killing sin in your heart is evidence of the fact that you have been justified in Christ alone. So walking in Christ means that you are by nature someone who is making war on your remaining sin, thereby manifesting that you are indeed in the Spirit and of the sons of God.
With verses 9 through 11, Paul continues to delineate the contrast between those who are of the flesh and those who are of the Spirit. The emphasis here is that those who are of the Spirit can be confident that God’s own Spirit is within them, they belong irrevocably to Christ, they are alive because of Christ’s righteousness, and that at Christ’s return, the Holy Spirit will raise our mortal flesh to eternal life.
In these four verses, Paul begins explaining the distinct contrast between the flesh and the Spirit in order to help us understand how the Holy Spirit changes our nature and empowers us for victory over our indwelling sin. At the heart of our nature is the issue of the mind. Those who live by the flesh set their minds on fleshly things. Those who live by the Spirit have renewed minds set upon the things of God. Thus, we find some critical lessons here regarding the life of the mind and, particularly, the spiritual hostility of the unregenerate mind.
After the amazing pronouncement that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Paul continues in these next three verses to explain the foundation and the result of that truth. As we explore his words, we see that our justification is the necessary ground of our sanctification, and that the only sin we are capable of conquering is one that has been forgiven in Christ.
Moving from the first seven chapters of Romans into chapter eight is like climbing a mountain and reaching the majesty of the summit. As Paul leads us into a discussion of life in the Spirit, our sonship in Christ, and the ultimate victory that we possess as a result of God’s sovereign redemption, the whole of life is put into proper perspective as we take in the view from our Father’s mountaintop. We learn particular how God’s declaration of “No Condemnation” impacts every aspect of life.