Set Free from Sin’s Dominion: Romans 8:1–14

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b) Rom 8:1–14: Earlier in this letter, Paul wrote, “All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death.”

Therefore, we can already live righteously in newness of life (Rom 6:1–7).[1]

The Spirit within us has stripped sin of its power, freeing us from the dominion it exercises over all those who are still “in the flesh.”[2]

Since the Mosaic law is spiritual, we can grasp its meaning and obey it only by the aid of the Spirit who inspired it (1 Cor 2:14–16).[3]



Romans 6–8 elucidates the difference between someone struggling hopelessly against sin and a person who has embraced the once-for-all-time work of Christ. Those in Christ cannot continue to live in a pattern of sinning (1 John 3:1–10).

Freedom from condemnation, living by the Spirit, and future participation in the resurrection remain distinct aspects of salvation, yet they inseparably intertwine (Phil 3:7–21; Tit 3:11–14).[4]

This ability to obey fulfills the Old Testament promise of a new covenant in Deut 30:6, Jer 31:31–34 and Ezek 36:25–27. As we internalize God’s commands in our hearts, we must consciously choose to live for God and resist any sinful impulses.[5]

Since the Lord rescued us from slavery to sin and death—making us slaves of righteousness—we must avoid the tendency to pursue moral transformation by our own power (Rom 6:16–23).[6]

When encountering God’s Word, those living by the Spirit do not regard the Lord’s commands as the unwanted imposition of obligations which we must obey. Instead, they provide an opportunity to react joyfully to what God has done for us. Therefore, godly behavior follows as a natural response to our relationship with the Lord.[7]



Tensions with desires of the flesh remain. Yet, as we live with sensitivity to the leading and power of the Spirit, he enables us to overcome sinful impulses (Gal 5:13–26).

The definition of what constitutes sin becomes more refined as we mature in faith to include thoughts, attitudes, and motives, rather than merely actions.

Regrettably, we shall not completely overcome those sins until we live in the presence of Christ (1 John 3:2–3).

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Read Rom 8:1–14. What does the Holy Spirit do in us as we fight against temptation and sin? Why can we see God’s commands as a joyful opportunity? Knowing that Christ has paid the penalty for all your sin, how do we react when you fail?




Go to Passed from Death into Life (John 5:24–27)

[Related posts include Delivered from this Body of Death (Rom 7:14–25); Co-Heirs with Christ (Rom 8:16–18); Creation’s Eager Expectation (Rom 8:19); Subjected to Futility (Rom 8:20); Set Free from the Slavery of Corruption (Rom 8:21–22); Confession and Belief (Rom 10:8–10); Future Vindication (Rom 10:11–12); Salvation for All Who Call (Rom 10:13); Dead in Adam but Alive in Christ (1 Cor 15:20–23); Redemption through Christ’s Blood (Eph 1:7–8); Citizens of Heaven (Phil 3:20); Glorified Bodies (Phil 3:21); and Our Certificate of Debt (Col 2:13–14)]

[Click here to go to Chapter 10: The Tree of Life (Genesis 3:22–24)]


[1] Kirk, Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God, 130.

[2] Schreiner, Paul Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology, 258.

[3] Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, 1:356.

[4] Kirk, Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God, 125–6.

[5] Schreiner, Paul Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology, 258.

[6] Goodrich, “Sold under Sin: Echoes of Exile in Romans 7:14–25,” 495,

[7] Westerholm, Understanding Paul: The Early Christian Worldview of the Letter to the Romans, 123–4.