"Becoming a Son and Daughter of God"
Jose Alvarez

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in
Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

*         The word for condemnation is a judicial sentence.  It is symbolic
of a verdict that has been passed down by a judge; and has become a
*        If you will please go down to verse nine, it tells us that we are
no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of Christ dwells in
us.  Therefore, any one that is in Christ (that is, he or she that is a
Christian), from the viewpoint of the completed work of Christ, are now
spiritual, and not carnal or fleshly in nature.
*        However verse one tells us, that though we are no longer in the
flesh as in relationship to our standing with Christ, we can still "walk
after, or according to the flesh."
*        The word for "walk" in the Greek is to order or conduct our lives.
*        The term for "the flesh" is a very broad term.  Usually, the
apostle Paul uses the word for "the flesh" as in pertaining to Christians,
as any time that a Christian chooses to obey God according to his or her own
understanding, plans, and reasoning, and not according to the voice of the
Holy Spirit.

Php 3:3  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and
rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Ro 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I
myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

*        Verse one finalizes, by telling us that there is no damming
judicial sentence for those people who order their lives according to, or in
conformity, to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Those individuals, who order
their lives in conformity to their own reasoning, planning, and scheming of
things outside of the voice of the Spirit of God, will fall into the
condemnatory judicial sentence reserved for sin.
*        Can Paul here be talking about believers or about the lost?
*        I would venture that Romans 8 is written primarily for Christians.
We shall study, and understand, what this condemnatory sentence that Paul
discusses is all about.  We shall also see, that that the principle of
condemnation, or being absolved from condemnation, is really a law.
Romans 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the
mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

*        Let us begin our discussion by going to the last verse of Romans
chapter seven.  Paul tells us here, that as a believer, at any given moment,
he can make the choice to serve God either in the flesh or in the spirit.
This confirms what we already touched on in verse one of chapter eight of
Romans.  Christians can either conform their lives according to their own
reasoning and understanding.  This is the flesh.  Conducting our affairs in
conformity to the Holy Spirit's wishes however is to walk after the Spirit.

*        In Romans 7:25 the word "to serve" is to be a slave of.
*        Also the word "law" is defined as, that under a certain set of
conditions, certain results will always occur.
*        Man's spirit (pneuma) and mind (nous) are very much intertwined.
The purpose of man's mind, in God's economy, is to discern and understand
the wishes of the Spirit of God residing in man's spirit.  Once that our
mind has understood the wishes of the Holy Spirit, its responsibility is to
activate the intellect and the will to bring our bodies to in subjection to
the voice of the Holy Spirit.  This is what it means, "to walk in the

*        Likewise, as we read and meditate on the Word of God, our minds
become renewed. This in turn causes image of the person of Christ in our
spirits to be further revealed and matured.
Ro 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the
renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable,
and perfect, will of God.

Eph 4:23  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Col 3:10  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after
the image of him that created him:
*        Serving God, through this relationship of understanding the wishes
of the Holy Spirit in our minds, and conforming our lives to that
understanding, will activate the law of God. The law of God tells us, that
every time that we act in conformity to the wishes of the Holy Spirit, God
Himself is obligated to bless us and pour out His righteousness in
accordance with our obedience and the wishes of His voice.  As we stated
earlier,  the word "law" is defined as, that under a certain set of
conditions, certain results will always occur.  God has bounded Himself
therefore to always bless us when we move in accordance to His voice.

*        On the other hand, any time that we order our lives outside of the
voice of the Holy Spirit, we walk after the flesh, and activate the law of
*        This brings us into the condemnation, or condemnatory judicial
sentence reserved for sin, found in verse one of Romans eight. We end up
falling back into the law of sin and bring ourselves back into the worthy
condemnatory that God has placed upon sin.
1Co 15:56  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
Ro 3:20  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified
in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

*        Time and space are not sufficient in this study, for us to get into
a discussion of an understanding of "the law".  Please refer to our study on
Romans chapter seven.  "The law" and "the flesh" are very closely related.
Both have to do with our obedience of God by our own efforts, outside of the
leading of the Holy Spirit.  I believe that the main difference lies simply
in that the flesh is the inward motive of our hearts to act without God,
while the law represents the end results that come about from our acting in
the flesh.

*        Notice that in the verse above; (1Cor. 15:56), Any time that we
conduct our lives outside the voice of the Holy Spirit we give power or
strength to sin!!
*        Likewise, in Romans 3:20, our actions in the flesh outside of the
voice of the Holy Spirit, will only give us more knowledge and awareness of
sin in our lives.

*        Why is this?  The answer lies in that; we were never supposed to
obey God outside of the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Because we are sinful,
weak, and infirm people, living in a fallen world, it is impossible for us
to obey God by our own efforts.  Only the Holy Spirit can cleanse us and set
us free.  Any time that we choose to obey God outside of His leading, and by
our own efforts, we will fail to overcome and please God.  How many times do
we vow not to commit the same sins, yet find ourselves breaking our promises
again and again?  This failure to please God will only bring us more
hopelessness, more frustration, more condemnation, more guilt and anger into
our lives.  This is why walking in the flesh gives strength to sin.

*        Part of the deception in the American church is to serve God
through psychology, through self-help programs, and through simply making
"right choices."   This is the work of the flesh and it will always give
strength to sin.  Like wise, any church that plans according to programs,
formats, agendas, and committees, and not the voice of the Spirit of God,
will give strength to sin and consequent failure in its midst.  Part of
these results can be seen today, in the many churches that sow much into
their planning and working, and yet reap little in terms of the harvest for
the kingdom of God.

2       For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free
from the law of sin and death.
*        Please observe the operation of the two laws found in verse two of
Romans eight. The law of the spirit of life resides in the person of Christ.
As Christ is revealed in our lives, this law becomes more evident.
Likewise, as we obey Christ in the spirit, the law of the spirit of life
"kicks in" or is activated.

*        What is the law of the law of the spirit of life?  It is the law
that brings the life, the blessings, the righteousness, the freedom, and the
power of God into our lives.  In other words, every time that we choose to
obey the voice of the Holy Spirit we activate the blessings of God according
to this law.  This law of the spirit of life, and the "the law of God" found
in Romans seven, verse twenty-five, are one in the same.
*        The law of sin and death is activated at any time that we choose to
follow God in the flesh, and not in accordance to the voice of the Holy

*        It is of vital importance for us that we comprehend, that the law
of the Spirit of life in the person of Christ is more powerful than the law
of sin and death.  If we always endeavor, to the best of our abilities, to
serve the Holy Spirit in accordance to His voice, the law of the Spirit of
life will continue to set us free from all sin until we are perfectly
conformed or renewed into the image of Christ within us.  Total perfection
of course will not occur until we get to heaven.

Romans 8:3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the
flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,
condemned sin in the flesh: {for sin: or, by a sacrifice for sin}

*        Verse three tells us that we are unable to obey God through our own
efforts, plans and understanding, in that that flesh is weak. " But praise
be to God."  Christ has condemned sin in the flesh.  We are no longer
condemned, because sin has now been condemned in our place.  The
condemnation of sin also has to with its being rendered powerless or
ineffective.  By the death of Christ, sin in our bodies has been dethroned;
it has been rendered a mortal blow.  It is now unemployed from its board of
directors, Satan, the flesh, and the world.  This is what Paul describes in
Rom 6:6;
Ro 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body
of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
*        It is extremely imperative that we understand however, that our
only safety lies in continuously and without fail obey the voice of the Holy
Spirit.  At any time that we start to willfully disobey God, or commence to
order our lives back outside the promptings of the Spirit, we shall activate
the law of sin and fall back under its condemnatory sentence.

Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this
world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now
worketh in the children of disobedience

*        It is also very sobering to observe as in the verse above, that any
time that we willfully disobey God we give energy to the devil (The word for
"worketh" is the word for "energizing" in Ephesians 2:2)
Rom 8:4  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who
walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

*        Our only way to please God, and to perfectly fulfill all that He
requires of us, is through a life that is totally submitted, and surrendered
to the wishes of the Spirit from moment to moment.
Rom 8:6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is
life and peace
*        To live in the flesh brings death.  The word for death in this
verse is "thanatos".  This type of death is an encompassing death.  In
reality, "thanatos" is a spiritual death and contains within itself ruin,
pain, bondage, weakness, infirmity, and so forth.  It is directed to our
"whole man"; body soul, emotions, and spirit.  This is why it is crucial
that the Christian learns how to walk by the Spirit of God.

*        The only way to develop and mature the voice of God so that we may
walk "in the Spirit" is by embracing the cross of Christ and living under
its shadow.  The Christian life is one of uncompromising obedience, yielding
and surrendering to God.  Our obedience activates the cross of Christ in our
lives.  This in turn destroys the sinful nature and manifest forth the voice
of the Holy Spirit, as our sinful nature quiets and dies, and gives clarity
to the "still small voice" of the Spirit within us.
Rom 8:8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom 9:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the
Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he
is none of his.
Romans 8:12  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live
after the flesh.

*        Paul once again confirms to us that we have no more business
serving God according to our own programs, agendas, control, formats and
understanding.  Yet, and sadly enough, much of the church still operates
today according to the flesh.   This is why the church remains powerless,
and many times can only bear boring and ritualistic services bound in its
shackles of fleshly agendas and programs.

Rom 8:13  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through
the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

*        This is a very important verse that tells us that our total freedom
from sin, bondage, and hurt can only be executed step by step in accordance
to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  How many times do we try to overcome sins
through own efforts?  We promise ourselves that we will stop smoking, or
overcome our anger.  The results are that we always fail, and feed our bad
habits with even more power for them to continue on.

*        The "deeds of the body" are defined as the practices of the body,
or indeed our habits.  Please notice once again that only the work of the
Spirit will and can put to death these habits.

*        The voice of the Spirit will always lead us to the cross of Christ.
The cross of Christ will always put us to death.  Our total freedom from all
bondages, sin, hurts, and bad habits can only come as the cross of Christ
puts or sinful self to total death.  There is no other way!! Remember, a
corpse in a casket cannot sin, because he or she is dead!  A corpse cannot
respond to sin.  This is why we must allow the cross of Christ to work
deeply in our lives.
Ro 6:7  For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Rom 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of
15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye
have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
*        To finalize our study for today, let us look at verse fourteen of
Romans eight.  Why can we only become truly a son or a daughter of God when
the Spirit of God leads us?

*        Any time that we aim to please God, or serve Him, through our own
means, plans, and efforts we fall into performance, duty, trying to earn
brownie points with the Lord, and so forth.  We serve God out of guilt and
condemnation.  We attempt to carry out evangelistic programs out of this
same sense of guilt or duty.  This is the spirit of bondage of fear
described in verse fifteen.

*        Once that we can experience the beauty of simply serving God
through His voice by embracing the cross of Christ, all condemnation, guilt,
performance and duty are gone.  We come into the realization that the
responsibility for the world does not fall on our shoulders anymore.  Let us
observe that Elijah the prophet was not sent to the whole world but only to
those whom the Father showed him.
Luke 4: 25  But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the
days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when
great famine was throughout all the land;
26  But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of
Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.
27  And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and
none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

*         We can enter into the blissful rest of not planning for our
future, and of not shouldering our own results as the Spirit of God leads
us.  Our only responsibility comes in faithfully executing the commands of
the Lord according to the voice of the Spirit.  The outcome of the results
becomes the Lord's; our future is in His hands.  Our plans are simple in
accordance to His voice.
*        No longer do we have to save the world, or be continuously planning
one church program after another church program.  We simply have to hear and
obey. Our lives become simply to do no more and no less than what the Spirit
dictates.  Hallelujah!  All guilt, performance, and figuring out things for
ourselves is gone forever!  This, my friends, is the Spirit of adoption!
God Bless You and Thank You.

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