Background information • Paul was trained “in the Spirit” for 17 years in the desert regions (Galatians 1:16-2:2). • He received his spiritual information from the risen Jesus (Galatians 1:11-12). • Jesus called him to evangelize the Gentiles (Acts 26:17-18, Romans 15:15). Paul’s churches • Paul set up all the churches in his epistles, except the one in Rome. • Paul was writing to dear friends (except Rome), whom he did not wish to offend. • Paul really wanted to encourage, edify, and exhort his churches. • Paul really needed to warn the believers about sinning and falling away. • Paul wrote to his churches with extreme tact: not wishing to offend anyone, asking for contributions to his ministry, and wanting to be welcome to visit them! Paul’s warnings are somewhat hidden and need to be pointed out They are written so super-tactfully that most people just gloss over them … because they are camoflaged by blessings, edifications, promises, exhortations, etc. 2 examples follow … Romans 8:1-14 This passage is NOT about these BACs being “in Christ”, “in the Spirit”, being saved, etc. This passage is warning them … Walk in the Spirit, or else you will face eternal death! The Good … Being in Christ (8:1), being free from the law of sin and death (8:2), Jesus condemned sin (8:3), being spiritually minded (8:6), being in the Spirit (8:9), God being in us (8:9,10,11), etc. The Bad … The “good” is NOT what the passage is about … we ignore the most important part. The problem is … Being “in the Spirit”, meaning “the Spirit of God dwells in you” (8:9,11), and “walking in the Spirit” … are two different things! The Ugly … the warnings … #1 … “There is … no condemnation to those who … (walk) according to the Spirit.” (8:1) #2 … “the righteous requirement of the law … (walk) according to the Spirit.” (8:4) #3 … “For to be carnally minded is (eternal) death” (8:6) #4 … “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God” (8:7) #5 … “brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.” (8:12) #6 … “For if you live according to the flesh you will die” (8:12) #7 … “if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (8:13) #8 … “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (8:14) #9 … “we are children of God … joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him” (8:16-17) Romans 6:15-23 This passage is NOT about these BACs being set free from slavery to sin. This passage is warning them … Stop sinning, or else you will face eternal death! The Good … Being set free from sin and becoming slaves of righteousness (6:18), being slaves of God they have their fruit to holiness and the end, everlasting life (6:22), the gift of God (for God’s elect, Rom 8:28-30) is eternal life in Christ Jesus (6:23). The Bad … The “good” is NOT what the passage is about … we ignore the most important part. The problem is … Being set free and now being fully ABLE to live righteously, and actually BEING righteous (practicing righteousness) … are two different things! The Ugly ... the warnings … • “Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether (slaves) of sin leading to death, OR (slaves) of obedience leading to righteousness?” (6:15-16) • “I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh … so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness” (6:19) • In times past, they were free … they had NO choice to make: to sin or not to sin: “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.” (6:20) • And you thought this was only for unbelievers! “the wages of sin is (eternal) death” (6:23) • John also warned that it was necessary to practice righteousness: “… everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.” (1 John 2:29) “… let no one deceive you. (Only) he who practices righteousness is righteous” (1 John 3:7) .