What True Freedom Really Looks Like


A sermon idea based on Romans 8:1-11.

The Big Idea

THEREFORE, on the basis of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, all who come to trust in him receive true freedom and real peace.

Romans 8:1-11 NRSV

[1] There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. [3] For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, [4] so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. [5] For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. [6] To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. [7] For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law-indeed it cannot, [8] and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

[9] But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. [10] But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. [11] If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

The word “therefore” is far more significant than we often realize. When the Apostle Paul uses it, he’s connecting what is next to whatever thought came before. And the thoughts thus far shared in his letter to the Romans have to do with God inviting and including all in his family, Jew or Gentile. After his seventh chapter (about our continuing struggle with sin and the flesh), he issues one of the greatest promises in all the Bible – that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Chapter eight is the introduction of Paul’s “therefore.” Now that we are justified by grace through faith, real freedom is ours if we’ll simply walk in it, rather than continuing to live in bondage to our natural inclinations.

Now that Christ has done his work, we have two options going forward.

1. Walk according to our own nature, apart from God, on our own.

And to walk in this way leads to loss, to isolation, and to defeat.

2. Walk in the Spirit, in union with Christ.

And to walk in the victory that is ours in Christ sets us up to live in continual community with Christ. The spiritual walk prepares us to communicate with God throughout our journeys, here and now and forever.

To be truly free means to be able to let go of all of our sinful, fleshly, immature tendencies and to walk in harmony with the Spirit of Christ who dwells in us and accompanies us continuously.

Photo by Heshan Chamikara on Unsplash

Recommended Resources

Romans for Normal People: A Guide to the Most Misused, Problematic and Prooftexted Letter in the Bible (The Bible for Normal People)
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  • 200 Pages - 10/30/2022 (Publication Date) - Bible for Normal People, The (Publisher)
The Message of Romans (The Bible Speaks Today Series)
  • Stott, John (Author)
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  • 464 Pages - 12/29/2020 (Publication Date) - IVP Academic (Publisher)
Romans: An Introduction and Commentary (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Volume 6)
  • Bruce, F. F. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 283 Pages - 07/28/2008 (Publication Date) - IVP Academic (Publisher)

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