SERIES: Heart & Soul: A Study through Romans
MESSAGE: Safe and Secure
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Romans 8:1-11

As the old saying goes, “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” That’s certainly true of Paul’s authorship of this book. He closes chapter 7 on a low note, only to crescendo to a swelling high point in chapter 8. “Don’t despair! You’re in secure hands and you’re safe,” Paul tells us. He reminds us of four facts that should settle every heart.

Connect Recap Notes: September 29, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Safe and Secure"
Text: Romans 8:1-11


As the old saying goes, "It's always darkest before the dawn." That's certainly true of Paul's authorship of this book. He closes chapter 7 on a low note, only to crescendo to a swelling high point in chapter 8. "Don't despair! You're in secure hands and you're safe," Paul tells us. He reminds us of four facts that should settle every heart.

  1. Our Punishment Is Done (v. 1)
  2. Our Position Is Defined (v. 1b)
  3. Our Power Is Dynamic (vv. 3-4, 9)
  4. Our Practice Is Different (vv. 5-11)
    1. The Unbeliever
    2. The Believer

Our Punishment Is Done (v. 1)Our Position Is Defined (v. 1b)Our Power Is Dynamic (vv. 3-4, 9)Our Practice Is Different (vv. 5-11)Practice

Connect Up: Talk about what it means to be "in Christ." John Stott states, "The expressions 'in Christ,' 'in the Lord,' and 'in him' occur 164 times in the letters of Paul alone, and are indispensable to an understanding of the New Testament. To be 'in Christ' does not mean to be inside Christ, as tools are in a box or our clothes in a closet, but to be organically united to Christ, as a limb is in the body or a branch is in the tree. It is this personal relationship with Christ that is the distinctive mark of his authentic followers." Stott gives three points to ponder when we are in Christ: personal fulfillment, unity, and radical transformation.1 What are some of the other benefits and blessings of being "in Christ?"

Connect In: Being in Christ means that our lives should be different; we should live holy lives. What do you think the marks of holiness are? Billy Graham lists twelve, including: being of one mind with God, striving to be like Christ, loving God and others, etc.2 What more can you think of?

Connect Out: Knowing that there is a difference between believers and unbelievers, one seeking after bodily desires, the other seeking spiritual pursuits, how would you explain to an unbeliever the difference between the Christian and non-Christian without being condescending? Discuss the following:
1 John R.W. Stott, "In Christ:" The Meaning and Implications of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, July 15, 2013,, accessed 09/30/19.
2 J.C. Ryle, 12 Marks of Holiness, June 6, 2007,, accessed 09/30/19.

"Safe and Secure"
Romans 8:1-11

  1. Introduction
    1. We can feel that our spiritual position is tenuous as we read the book of Romans
      1. We discover the struggle that all believers go through
      2. There are some who say they love the book of Romans, then they read it
        1. Paul spoke about "the wrath of God" (1:18)
        2. "There is none righteous, no, not one" (3:10)
        3. "All have sinned and fall short" (3:23)
    2. Everything Paul taught in the book of Romans is an introduction for the truth of the gospel of God's grace
      1. Paul clearly wanted believers to feel safe and secure in Christ
      2. No matter what struggles you go through, you can have hope because of your security in Christ as a believer
      3. Deuteronomy 33:27
    3. Romans 8 could be considered the crowning chapter of the book of Romans
      1. The chapter opens with no condemnation in verse 1 and ends with no separation in verse 39
      2. These are the great bookends of the Christian life; no matter what chapters are written in your life, there will be no condemnation and no separation
    4. This is a welcome reprieve from the desperation found in chapter 7
      1. Romans 7:13-18
      2. In just those verses, there are nineteen personal pronouns
      3. The truths of Romans 7 are among the most depressing truths found in Scripture
      4. Paul was very honest about the frustration and struggle we all deal with
      5. In Romans 7, we feel the chains of bondage; in chapter 8, we hear those chains falling
  2. Our Punishment Is Done (v. 1)
    1. Some people consider the first verse of chapter 8 to be the most hopeful verse in the entire Bible
    2. The New King James Version includes a comma after Jesus, and the verse continues with a phrase that was not included in this verse in the original text but is in verse 4
      1. This is called a copyist error; this phrase was copied into verse 1 and continued to be copied this way through the years
      2. We know this because we can look at many older manuscripts and find that not one of them has this clause in verse 1
        1. If you keep that phrase in verse 1, you will look inward and question whether you're walking in the Spirit rather than the flesh
        2. But if you remove that phrase, verse 1 will cause you to look upward rather than inward
    3. Paul did not say that as believers we won't make mistakes
      1. We can expect to deal with the consequences of our actions, but there's a big difference between consequences and condemnation
        1. Abraham lied about his wife (see Genesis 20:1-10)
        2. David committed adultery and murder (see 2 Samuel 11)
        3. Peter tried to kill a man, then later denied Jesus that same night (see John 18:10-18)
        4. Paul and Barnabas argued over a teammate, and it severed their relationship (see Acts 15:36-41)
      2. This verse could literally be translated "therefore now not one condemnation"
      3. The Greek word for condemnation, katakrima, is a strong word for judgment
        1. While there is no condemnation for believers, there will be an evaluation at the judgment seat of Christ, where believers will be rewarded for their service on earth
        2. There will be condemnation for unbelievers
        3. Romans 1:18
        4. As believers, we will never stand in judgment like the rest of the world; Jesus paid the price for our sin
        5. John 5:24
  3. Our Position Is Defined (v. 1b)
    1. There's no condemnation because, as believers, we have a new address
      1. We are now in Christ
      2. The phrase "in Christ" is used eighty-seven times in the New Testament and is one of Paul's favorite descriptions of believers
      3. If you were to count all the equivalents of that phrase, such as "in Him," the phrase appears 130 times in the New Testament
        1. You are identified with one of two people
        2. You are in Adam, or you are in Christ
          1. 1 Corinthians 15:22
          2. As believers, we are in communion with Christ, but without Christ, we are nothing
    2. A lot of us are interested in our heritage; we want to know who our ancestors were, what they did, and where they came from
      1. We are linked physically, culturally, and intellectually to our ancestors
      2. When you are in Christ, everything changes
        1. In Christ, we are "a new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
        2. In Christ, we have "no condemnation" (Romans 8:1)
        3. In Christ, we have a new connection as "fellow workers in Christ Jesus" (Romans 16:3)
        4. In Christ, we have a new expectation (see 1 Corinthians 15:22)
  4. Our Power Is Dynamic (vv. 3-4, 9)
    1. There's a noteworthy shift in focus from chapter 7 to chapter 8
      1. The personal pronouns that were so prevalent in chapter 7 are absent in chapter 8; the Holy Spirit takes the place of the personal pronouns
      2. Until now, there have only been two references to the Holy Spirit
        1. Romans 1:4
        2. Romans 5:5
      3. In the first seven chapters of Romans, Paul mentioned the Holy Spirit once, maybe twice, but in chapter 8 alone, he mentioned the Holy Spirit twenty times
    2. Chapter 8 is all about the freedom that comes from being in Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit
      1. John 16:7
      2. 2 Corinthians 3:17
      3. Because we've received the Holy Spirit, we have freedom
      4. Paul showed us how we have freedom in verses 2-4; he used the word law in two different ways
        1. In verse 2, he used it to refer to a principle or driving force, such as the law of gravity
          1. Within each of us is an impulse to do wrong—the sin of law and death
          2. But within every believer is a new, vitalizing force which moves us to do right—the law of the Spirit
        2. The second usage of the word, found in verses 3 and 4, refers to the actual Law—the law of Moses, which was weak and couldn't fix the law of sin and death
    3. What the law of Moses could not do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His Holy Spirit to dwell in His people
      1. The Holy Spirit is not a force; He's a person equal in every way to the Father and the Son
      2. Since the day of Pentecost, that person of God indwells and empowers every believer; this is the secret of our victory
    4. How do Christians move forward?
      1. Through the storage principle—we are filled with the Holy Spirit
      2. Through the contact principle—we must abide in Christ
  5. Our Practice Is Different (vv. 5-11)
    1. The Unbeliever
      1. Paul was not addressing the mature Christian and the carnal Christian; he was speaking to the saved and unsaved
      2. Unbelievers are totally earthbound
        1. Their only concern is immediate gratification; they are spiritually dead
        2. Matthew 6:25
    2. The Believer
      1. Believers think differently, act differently, and should live differently
      2. There is no believer who doesn't want to live a holier life—and we can, because of the power of the Holy Spirit
      3. Paul didn't want us to just have imputed righteousness; he wanted us to have practical righteousness
        1. God's primary objective isn't for you to be happy; it's for you to be holy
        2. God wants you to be happy, but you can't be happy unless you're holy
  6. Conclusion
    1. The key to maturity is where your mind goes—what you think about
      1. In verse 6, we learn that "to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace"
      2. However, this does not mean that the struggle is over; it's just different, because the Holy Spirit has entered the scene
    2. We can be overcomers, not because we're strong, but because the Holy Spirit is strong
      1. When you fall, don't feel like you can't get up
      2. Get up, move on, move forward, and get help; let the body of Christ stand with you
      3. It will be the same struggle with one difference—the Holy Spirit will empower you to fight
Figures referenced: F.B. Meyer, William R. Newell, Anthony Johnson Showalter, Griffith Thomas, A.W. Tozer

Cross references: Genesis 20:1-10; Deuteronomy 33:27; 2 Samuel 11; Matthew 6:25; John 5:24; 16:7; 18:10-18; Acts 15:36-41; Romans 1:4, 18; 3:10, 23; 5:5; 7:13-18; 8:1, 39; 16:3; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 5:17

Greek words: katakrima

Topic: security in Christ

Keywords: believers, different, dynamic, holy, position, power, practice, struggle

Safe and Secure - Romans 8:1-11 |
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