Romans 8 - A Chapter of Hope!
Romans 8 - A Chapter of Hope!
THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.
Following a long reminder of the condition of man and justification by faith, the Apostle opens this letter with the words, “There is therefore...”
Contrasting the darkness of the life of sin and its power over man, The Apostle pen’s words of hope to the lost!
He reminds us that we will always labour under the weight of the battle of sin
He reminds us that although we are beset by sin and death, we are exempt from its power over us and every curse placed against us!
Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
Notice though that the verse qualifies the condition! Who live and walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit!
The message from Romans is that we labour under the imperfection of the flesh and its bent toward sin, the mercy of Godin pardoning and forgiving it, and the regeneration of the Spirit to live it!
The key os walking “after” the Spirit
The Greek word here means having a “singleness of mind and commitment; to enter into a binding contract; Oneness”
Those who walk after the Spirit have a singleness of mind. They are not walking in perfection but are labouring to subdue and mortify the flesh, so that the love of Christ regins within themselves.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Receiving Christ is more than the application of His blood to cleanse us from the stain of sin! It is a call to a new life of sanctification which means leaving this world behind to pursue the Kingdom of God!
But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living. For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy.
As we walk this new life, the enemy tries to tell us that we are not good enough! He is right…we are not! That is where the power of the Holy Spirit comes to play!
He reminds us of the good things about our new life in Christ
We are now the sons and daughters of God
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
We are joint heirs with Christ
And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
We will be glorified with Him
For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.
All things are working together for our good!
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
God’s plan is to make us more like Christ
For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
The best promise at all
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
He goes on to remind us that not all is roses and happiness
Therefore, those who are ill-treated and suffer in accordance with God’s will must do right and commit their souls [in charge as a deposit] to the One Who created [them] and will never fail [them].
And we still toil unto weariness [for our living], working hard with our own hands. When men revile us [wound us with an accursed sting], we bless them. When we are persecuted, we take it patiently and endure it.
The Apostle is speaking from experience! He never lost his zeal for the purposes of the cross
Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?
We must keep our eternal focus and not lose sight of the end-game!
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.
Read the book of Revelation. Heaven is a place of music, praise, service, comfort, rest, rejoicing, without sorrow, sickness, and death!
I will close with these words of Scripture
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.
Are you suffering now? Could that suffering bring you closer to Christ? Remember that He will be with you in your suffering!