In the Spirit or in the Flesh?
A Sermon on Romans 7:6
6But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
6But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
What does it mean to be in the Spirit? In this sermon on Romans 7:6 titled “In the Spirit or in the Flesh?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shares that it means the Christian lives in a totally new way than before. He says that to be in the Spirit is to live in Christ and renewed daily in His power. He contrasts the new life with the old life of sin and bondage under the law. The law was good, but because of human sin and depravity, it brought only condemnation. Jesus is better than the law. Jesus died for His people and makes them new creatures in Christ if they believe in His gospel. Jesus brings commandments that are not burdensome, but rather they are freeing. The glory of this new life is in living in the Holy Spirit as children of God. Christians are no longer slaves to sin and immorality. The most important question then is how does one live this life? The answer is by believing in the gospel of Christ, and in His death, burial, and resurrection as the only means of salvation and peace with God. This message is the only way of true peace and joy with God.
- The apostle Paul is addressing criticism that justification by faith leads to immorality. He argues that it is the only way to live a holy life.
- Paul contrasts the old life under the law and the new life in the Spirit. The old life inflames sin and leads to death. The new life in the Spirit leads to serving God.
- The old life is external and written on stone. The new life is internal, written on hearts and minds by the Spirit.
- The old life lacks understanding of the purpose and meaning of the law. The new life has the veil removed and understanding granted by the Spirit.
- The old life observes the letter of the law. The new life grasps the spiritual meaning and purpose behind the law.
- The old life has the wrong motives: fear of God and self-satisfaction. The new life has the right motive: love of God and desire to please Him.
- The old life leads to bondage. The new life leads to freedom and liberty in the Spirit.
- The old life lacks power and encouragement. The new life has forgiveness of sins, victory over sin and death, the indwelling of the Spirit, relationship to Christ, purpose from God, and the hope of glory.
- The old life is unable to overcome sin and leads to death. The new life has the power of the Spirit to overcome sin and leads to life.
- The old life does not change. The new life is progressively transformed into the image of Christ by the Spirit.
The Book of Romans
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.