Romans - Lesson 34

Romans 8:1-22

Lesson 34
Watching Now
Romans 8:1-22

III. The Assurance Provided by the Gospel: The Hope of Salvation (5:1–8:39)

A. The Hope of Glory (5:1-21)

1. From Justification to Salvation (5:1-11)

2. The Reign of Grace and Life (5:12-21)

B. Freedom from Bondage to Sin (6:1-23)

1. "Dead to Sin" through Union with Christ (6:1-14)

2. Freed from Sin's Power to Serve Righteousness (6:15-23)

C. Freedom from Bondage to the Law (7:1-25)

1. Released from the Law, Joined to Christ (7:1-6)

2. The History and Experience of Jews under the Law (7:7-25)

a. The Coming of the Law (7:7-12)

b. Life under the Law (7:13-25)

D. Assurance of Eternal Life in the Spirit (8:1-30)

1. The Spirit of Life (8:1-13)

2. The Spirit of Adoption (8:14-17)

3. The Spirit of Glory (8:18-30)

E. The Believer's Security Celebrated (8:31-39)


Class Resources
  • This lesson offers a deep dive into Paul's Letter to the Romans, revealing its pastoral aims, Paul's intentions to visit Spain, Jerusalem, and Rome, and its relevance to early Christian dynamics and theological inquiries about the Law in Christ's time.
  • This lesson offers a fresh view of Paul's theology, focusing on Romans. It emphasizes the first-century context, highlighting Gentile inclusion and unity in Christ, challenging traditional views. Gain insights into Paul's message and its relevance today.
  • Explore the book of Romans for modern faith conflicts: balance tradition with contemporary practices, learn from history, and grasp Paul's ministry and Gospel's complexities.
  • Follow along with Dr. Moo as he begins a thorough review of Romans 1:2-5. You will learn how Paul emphasizes Jesus' earthly life, resurrection, and his appointment as the Son of God in power. This lesson examines the interconnectedness of faith and obedience, underscoring that while faith initiates salvation, genuine faith inherently entails obedience to Christ as Lord, maintaining a balanced Christian life.
  • By delving into Romans 1:16-17, you'll understand the Gospel extends beyond individual salvation, encompassing God's reign over creation and His establishment of justice. The Gospel challenges worldly powers, offering hope and transformation to all who embrace it.
  • Listen along as the class discusses questions and answers revolving around Romans 1:16-17.
  • In Romans 1:18-28, you learn that all people are held accountable by God, having knowledge of Him through natural revelation but some turn away. This passage highlights the manifestation of God's wrath against sin, the exchange of truth for falsehoods, and the absence of excuses for humanity's actions, ultimately emphasizing God's fair judgment.
  • Listen in as the class and Dr. Moo discuss aspects of Romans 1:18-28.
  • The lesson discusses Romans 2:1-11, it highlights the use of the diatribe device and the transition from focusing on Gentiles to Jews. It underscores the Jewish belief in their special status and their potential misunderstanding of God's judgment. The lesson reviews the focus of the text on key themes such as judgment, righteousness, and the relationship between faith and good deeds.
  • In this lesson, you'll review the significance of the Law, notably the Law of Moses, in God's judgment. Paul stresses that mere knowledge of the Law isn't sufficient for righteousness; obedience is key. The primary message is that salvation ultimately relies on God's grace and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as human efforts and consciences alone cannot secure salvation. This lesson highlights the importance of understanding these concepts in interactions with people of different religious beliefs.
  • The key takeaway in this lesson is that while being a Jew comes with a great heritage, it doesn't guarantee salvation. Obedience to God's law is crucial, and reliance on religious heritage or rituals won't save you. The lesson emphasizes the universal human condition of being under the power of sin, and people cannot be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the Law or by the works of the Law. Only through faith in Christ are we made righteous.
  • This lesson explores the New Perspective on Paul, emphasizing that the Law was for Jewish covenant status, not just salvation. It promotes a holistic faith view, balancing vertical and horizontal aspects, Spirit-led obedience, and 1st-century Judaism diversity, enriching Pauline teachings in the church.
  • In exploring Romans 3:21-26, you'll gain insights into the relationship between righteousness, faith, and salvation. Paul highlights God's righteousness, which is accessible to all through faith in Jesus Christ. By weaving together themes of righteousness, faith, and inclusivity, Paul challenges conventional Jewish and Gentile perspectives, emphasizing the continuity of God's salvation plan while underscoring the centrality of faith in Christ for all believers.
  • In this lesson, you will gain insights into the potential challenge in translating Romans 3:23-24, particularly the term "all" and its connection to the debate on universalism in evangelicalism. Dr. Moo stresses the importance of coherence in biblical interpretation and explores the themes of God's righteousness, faith, and grace in justification. The lesson reviews the cultural background of redemption, drawing parallels with the Greco-Roman slave market and emphasizing the need to understand both the problem of sin and the Gospel solution.
  • Embarking on this lesson, you'll gain insight into the historical development and contemporary challenges surrounding the doctrine of justification. Through exploring classic Reformation principles and contemporary reassessments, you'll understand the tensions between Protestant and Roman Catholic perspectives, particularly regarding the infusion of righteousness and the role of grace.
  • The lesson explores the intricate connection between faith and works, justification, and sanctification in contemporary theological discourse. It delineates divergent views on justification, with scholars like Piper advocating for the preservation of biblical distinctions amidst modern theological trends. The lesson examines key questions regarding the meaning, basis, time, and means of justification.
  • Students in Dr. Moo's class ask multiple questions about justification.
  • By studying Romans 3:27-4:25, you gain insight into Paul's theology, where faith, exemplified by Abraham's righteousness, transcends works and ethnicity, emphasizing the universal scope of salvation through Christ.
  • Hear the questions the students ask regarding Romans 3:27–4:25. And discover Dr. Moo's answers to the questions posed.
  • In Romans 5 – 8, you gain insights into profound theological concepts like justification, identity in Christ, and the tension between present reality and future hope, guiding you to embrace your changed identity and hope for future transformation amidst life's trials.
  • Students as deep questions about Romans 5-8. Hear what Dr. Moo presents as answers to their questions.
  • Through Romans 5:1-11, you'll review the contrast between the Old and New Realms, understanding the essence of living in grace, finding hope amid suffering, and experiencing the assurance of eternal security rooted in Christ's sacrifice and God's love poured into believers' hearts by the Holy Spirit.
  • In Romans 5:12-21, Paul contrasts Adam's sin with Christ's redemptive grace, emphasizing humanity's hope and victory over death through union with Christ, while various interpretations of original sin underscore the universal need for redemption and Christ's pivotal role in restoring humanity to God.
  • Listen to the thorough questions the students ask regarding Romans 5:12-21.
  • The students ask excellent questions of Dr. Moo in this insightful discussion on Romans 6:1-14.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain a deeper understanding of the theological implications of Christ's death and resurrection as explained in Romans 6. You will explore different interpretations of Paul's language regarding the old self and the new self, considering the implications for the Christian life. Ultimately, you will be challenged to recognize your identity in Christ and to actively live according to that identity, rejecting the slavery of sin and embracing servitude to God.
  • Hear the questions the students ask of Dr. Moo regarding Romans 6:1-23.
  • In diving into Romans 7, you'll explore the Law's role in Christian life. Paul's discourse clarifies the distinction between law and gospel, emphasizing the Torah's significance in understanding divine commandments.

Dr. Douglas Moo, from Wheaton College Graduate School, offers an exegetical examination of the book of Romans. This course was recorded during a D.Min. seminar at the Carolina Graduate School of Divinity in May 2012.

Please note that the audio mp3 file numbers on downloaded files are two greater than each lecture number beginning with number 15.


This transcript follows the main points of the speaker but is not always word-for-word.

Romans 8:1-12


Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.




A. The Law Verses the Spirit: It seems to me that the end of Romans 7:6 is somewhat of a place where Paul outlines where his argument is going. It is the contrast between the old way of the written code and serving in the new way of the Spirit. So, first, Paul says this is the old way of the written code, the Law, looked like. Here was Israel’s experience in being given the Law of God; this is what it led to with sin using the law to bring death. There was also an inability to fulfill God’s Law. Now, Paul says let’s look at the other side. Let’s look at this new way inaugurated by the Spirit of God, his wonderful new covenant gift to us. The Spirit is the central motif of Romans 8 as Paul focuses on the ministry of the Spirit in a way he has certainly not done in Romans to this point. There are three basic parts: the Spirit who gives life, the Spirit who makes us children of God, and the Spirit who assures us of future glory. To some extent, it is a movement from past, present and to the future, although the first part of the section does have a lot of present focus as well.


B. We No Longer Suffer Condemnation: The beginning of Romans 8 is a place where Paul takes us back to Romans 7:6 but also takes us back to the end of Chapter 5. In the beginning of chapter 8, it kind of goes back to the beginning of chapter 5. Chapter 6 and 7 are really important, but Paul announces that we no longer suffer condemnation because we are in Christ. In Adam there was condemnation but in Christ we experience life. Now, he restates that point as there is no condemnation in Christ. He immediately goes on to talk about sin and the law in Romans 8:2. It is almost like Paul comes back and restates this point in light of the discussion here in chapter 6 and 7. Indeed, Paul says at the beginning of Romans 8, we are not condemned in Christ; we do not suffer condemnation because the Spirit is working to set us free from the law of sin and death. Paul tells of these powers that we are released from. I wouldn’t call chapters 6 and 7 parenthetical digression as the chapters are so important. In a certain way, you could view it that way. In a way it does digress. Both chapters are sort of characterized by the question and answer format, ‘what shall we say then?’ So, at the beginning of Romans 8, Paul is asserting the wonderful Good News, that in Christ there is no condemnation because God’s Spirit has entered into our situation and set us free from the Law with its negative consequences of sin and death. All of these powers are conquered by the Spirit in Christ.


C. The Contrast Between the Spirit and the Flesh: At the end of verse 4, we have this famous contrast between Spirit and flesh which now dominates the remaining section. I think almost all of our English Bibles appropriately now capitalize the word Spirit. It is clear that Paul isn’t talking about a battle between our flesh and our spirit; it is a battle between people’s flesh and God’s Spirit. That is the contrast that we have here and Paul deliberately puts it in several different ways. He talks about our thinking and our mindset along with our activity and behavior. The point that he is making, God’s Spirit now governors us from the point of our thinking right through to the point of our behavior. We walk by the Spirit, we think according to the Spirit and we have the mindset of the Spirit. The Spirit is now the dominating power in the life of the believer. What the Law couldn’t do was to conquer the flesh, our weakness and sinful propensity of which God’s Spirit does do, leading ultimately to the life of the resurrection. You see in verse 11 that Paul brings in the future resurrection life we are going to enjoy. It is not just the present life; the Spirit is ultimately active to raise our bodies and to transform us finally.


A lot of people put a basic break between verses 11 and 12. To me verses 12 and 13 belong to what comes before and I think makes a certain point by belonging to that. The Spirit and Flesh contrast continues into these verses and you have the balance of what Paul is trying to create here. Verses 1 – 11 celebrate all that the Spirit has done. He has conquered the Law and sin and death. The Spirit is producing a new mind set, a new way of behavior. But at the end of the passage, Paul wants to make it clear that the Spirit is doing all of this and is doing it to the degree that we let the Spirit do it. So, he reminds us that in light of everything that God is doing, we have an obligation, not to the flesh and live according to it for if you live according to the flesh, you will die. But if by the Spirit, you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. This is another warning, the accent of human reaction and responsibility. Paul is very clear that God has given us the Spirit; he is a new powerful influence in our lives. But we have to respond by letting the Spirit do his work. We need to find ways to use the Spirit to conquer sin, if we expect to have eternal life. We talked about this already; so again, we have this same balance once more. We look to the future and ultimate justification or the judgement. What we do through the power of the Spirit is important and indeed vital.


D. We Are Children of God: In verses 14-17 the metaphor has shifted now with Paul introducing this idea of our being children of God. The Spirit now enables us to enjoy that adoption to sonship as Paul puts it in verse 15. There are two important points of background here. There is the Old Testament background and the Old Testament Israel is God’s son; Israelites are the children of God. But now Paul is saying that you, who belong to Christ, are the children of God. Just as in Romans 4, Paul says you who are believers, whether Jew or Gentile are Abraham’s children. In that relationship we therefore cry Abba Father; there is that sense within us that we do indeed belong to God. He is our father; we cry Abba, just as Jesus addressed God as Father in Mark 14:36 praying in Gethsemane. Abba is an Aramaic word denoting a close family relationship. It isn’t true that Jews never used this word about God; but it is used as a distinctive in the New Testament view of who we are in relationship to God. We have this word in Romans 8, namely huios for son; it can mean sons verses daughters where the Greek word technon talks about a child or children of either gender of course. They often overlap, but the reason why Paul uses huios here in verse 14, ‘by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.’ I would prefer to keep that as sons of God here. In verse 15, you have a word build on that same Greek word, adoption to sonship. The reason why the word son becomes important is because Paul is picking up the Greco-Roman idea of adoption. It was a widespread practice among the Greeks and Romans by which you could adopt someone and give them all the rights and privileges of that new family.


E. We Have a Future Glory: It was a very famous thing in the Roman world as the Emperor Augustus was adopted by Julius Caesar as his son. This meant that Augustus became the emperor when Julius Caesar died.  Paul thus uses the language of son here deliberately using it and addressing both men and women. The son language becomes important to reflect that background, the way in which a male would be adopted to become one who is the heir which Paul talks about in verse 17. This is where we have the transition into the last part of Romans 8. If we are children or sons, we are heirs of God, Paul says and of course being an heir means we have something that we are looking ahead to. We don’t have it all yet. When you adopt a child into a family as Caesar did for example with Augustus; he becoming emperor eventually, was his inheritance. That is what is promised to you. That is what is coming in the future. So Paul’s attention now turns in verse 18 to this future. We, indeed, will experience this inheritance if we suffer with Christ in order to share his glory. Paul then comes back to that whole theme that he started with in chapter 5; future glory despite the suffering we are now going through. It is important to understand how the word glory frames this passage. Verse 18 begins with glory and in verse 30 he ends with saying that those who he justified, he also glorified. This is a framing device that Paul uses to tell us what this passage is all about.