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Sabbath School Lessons on Romans
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 37 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 9: Freedom in Christ *
Introduction: Last week, Paul finally got around to being brutally
honest about life. His mind was a slave to God, but, he admitted,
his sinful nature a slave to sin.( Romans 7:25) I was glad to hear
that I was not the only one struggling with sin! Bet that made you
feel a lot better about your own struggle with sin. But, the bad
news for you and for me is that we still have this sin problem. We
don't want to be slaves to sin. Paul describes our collective
situation as being "wretched." ( Romans 7:24) What can we do? Do we
need to do anything? Let's plunge into Paul's continuing discussion
about sin and salvation and see what we can learn!
- No Condemnation!
- Read Romans 8:1-2. What is the absolute best news for us
wretched, struggling sinners? (We are not condemned!)
- Does that mean that sin has vanished from my life?
(No. It we obeyed the law, Paul would not use the
phrase "no condemnation." He would say you "merit
eternal life." Christians who desire to obey Jesus
properly identify with Romans 7:24-25. We deserve
death. But, despite our situation, we are not
- Is that all you want to be - free from
condemnation? (I'll gratefully take it. But, I
want to be free from sin altogether. That is
consistent with our minds being slaves "to
God's law." Avoiding condemnation is the
critical bottom line.)
- How did I come out from under condemnation? (It was
through Jesus and something called "the law of the
Spirit of Life.")
- Notice that we have two laws here. What about
the nature of a law helps us to understand what
Paul is saying? (A "law" is a rule that is not
supposed to be broken.)
- What is the law of sin and death? (We
understand that rule. You violate the law and
you will die.)
- What is the law of the Spirit of life? (Let's
- Read Romans 8:3-4. How are the righteous requirements of
the law met in our life? (This is the answer to the "law
of the Spirit of life." Jesus came "in the likeness of
sinful man to be a sin offering.")
- How is what Jesus did a law - a law more powerful
than the Ten Commandments?
- What was the purpose of the sin offering in the Old
Testament sanctuary system? (It was the means of
taking away the sin of the person making the
offering. This helps us understand the "law" aspect
of this. Part of the legal system set up in the Old
Testament was that a sin offering excused the sinner
from death. The law of the Spirit of life is that
Jesus died in our place. We can claim the benefit of
this very generous law!)
- Notice that verse 3 says that Jesus "condemned sin
in sinful man." In what way does Jesus condemn sin
in us? (The very fact that Jesus died because of our
sin shows that sin is a very bad thing. We do not
want its acid in our life.)
- Look at the very last phrase of verse 4: "us, who do
not live according to the sinful nature but
according to the Spirit." Must we live according to
the Spirit to take advantage of God's "law of the
Spirit of Life?"
- If your answer is "yes," how can this be
reconciled with Romans 7:25?
- Our Obligation
- Read Romans 8:5. How does this answer our concern about
our obligation to "live according to the Spirit?" (What a
clear answer: Paul tells us that the key to right living
in the eyes of God is setting our minds on what the
Spirit desires. This works out the conflict Paul
describes in Romans 7:21-25. Our minds want to do good,
but our sinful nature is not cooperating. Paul says that
those Romans 7:25 Christians who desire to do God's will
find "there is now no condemnation for those who are in
- Read Romans 8:6-8. Is this just another kind of work that
we must do to be saved - the work of the mind? (We have
to make a choice. That is not a "work" in any traditional
sense, but it determines the outcome of our life. If we
choose to set our minds on what our sinful nature
desires, we are hostile to God, and we are eternally
- Read Romans 8:9-11. What happens if we choose to set our
minds on what the Spirit of God desires? (The Spirit of
God will live in us. Our spirit comes alive and we will
be raised from death just as Jesus was raised from
- Is sin gone from our life? ( Romans 8:10 says our
"body is dead because of sin." This suggests that
the issue is not whether our lives are free from
sin, but rather whether our lives are "controlled"
by the Spirit or the sinful nature.)
- Read Romans 8:12-14. Last week we learned that the law
has no more authority over us. Why? Because the penalty
for sin is death and we already paid that penalty in
Jesus. Is that the end of our concerns about the law and
sin? What obligations do we have in our day to day
living? (We have an obligation to put to death our wrong
actions. The fact that we find that we are not sin free,
does not mean that we should tolerate sin in our life.)
- How do we kill, stamp out, and otherwise obliterate
sin in our life? (By the Holy Spirit.)
- Why does Romans 8:13 say "if by the Spirit you
put to death [sin]?" Is the means of ending sin
important? (Yes. It is not possible any other
way. We have an ongoing obligation, by the
power of the Holy Spirit, to put to death the
misdeeds of the body.)
- If I have already died to the law, does that mean
that I am forever saved? (Paul is writing to fellow
Christians for he says "brothers." These brothers
are told ( Romans 8:13) "if you live according to the
sinful nature, you will die.")
- Read Romans 8:15. What fear is Paul talking about? (I
think it is the fear of dying because of our sins.)
- What takes away that fear? If I know I can be lost
by living according to my sinful nature, I should be
apprehensive, right? (My earthly father loved me.
He wanted me to succeed. He was behind me. He never
tried to block my success, he only worked for my
success. That is the attitude of God towards our
salvation. Our God is our Father and He is pulling
for our success.)
- Read Romans 8:16-17. How can we have assurance of
salvation? (The Holy Spirit testifies to our spirit that
we are children of God. We know when we seek to live a
Spirit-led life. We know when a major life choice is not
a Spirit-led choice. We know when the motive is self and
not God's kingdom.)
- Notice that we are called "heirs." Why is that?
(Heirs have a legal right to their inheritance. We
started out talking about the "law of the Spirit of
life." We are not against the law. We are claiming
the laws of the Spirit of life and of inheritance.)
- Friend, how about you? Have you made the choice to live
a life led by the Holy Spirit? Or, are you leading a life
led by your sinful human nature? It is that choice of law
that makes the difference between eternal life or eternal
death. Why not choose today a Spirit-led life?
- Next week: Redemption for Jew and Gentile.
* Copr. 2010, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.