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Romans 7-8 and the Power to Obey
August 19, 2021

The Gospel and the Kingdom of God

I was telling someone that the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, teaches us how to live the Christian life. If we will hear and obey those words, we will withstand all the onslaughts of life (Matt. 7:24-27).

Knowing that truth bring us to the next step: God’s power to obey Jesus.

Romans chapter 7 basically says, “God gave a good, even perfect, law to the Israelites, but they—nor anyone else—could not do it." The problem, Paul says, is “sin in the flesh.” Flesh just means our body. Our body has its own desires, and those desires are fueled and empowered by “sin.”

The answer to this problem is found in Romans 8:1-4. The Law of Moses, the law the Jews consider perfect, could not remove “sin in the flesh,” but God can remove it through the sacrifice of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit. He does not remove our bodily desires, which we still have to overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit, but he removes “sin in the flesh,” which is what made it impossible to overcome those desires.

That’s the theory of overcoming sin and obeying Jesus. Read Romans 7 and 8:1-4, and next week we’ll look at how to make sure you have the Holy Spirit and the practical application of overcoming the desires of the body, so you can obey Jesus. (Not all bodily desires are sinful, of course. God just wants to empower us for self-control and living our life in friendship with him.)

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