It started with the lesson on Sunday afternoon in my English-speaking church in Honduras. The text was Romans 8. By Friday morning, there were posts from Romans 8 from four U.S. ministries in my Facebook newsfeed. That is not exactly a common occurrence. So, I thought I should re-read Romans 8 this morning. This is the result…
Reflections on Romans 8
I am not condemned! The law of the Spirit of life has freed me in Jesus from the law of sin and death. God did what the law could not do. He sent His own Son, in the likeness of man to be condemned in the flesh so that the righteous requirement of the law could be fulfilled in me, if I walk according to the Holy Spirit. Because I live according to the Spirit, I set my mind on the things of the Spirit. This gives me life and peace. I must never set my mind on the things of the flesh, for that cannot please God.
The Spirit of God dwells within me: the same Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead! Through this same Spirit, God gives life to my mortal body!
I am not a debtor to the flesh, so I will not live according to the flesh. This would only lead to my eternal death. But, through the Spirit of God, I will kill the deeds of the flesh so that I can live! The Spirit of God leads me because I am a child of God. I have been adopted into God’s family. I do not fear. I am not a slave to sin. I have been adopted into the family of Almighty God! His Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am God’s child. Therefore, I am an heir of God! I am an heir with Jesus Christ Himself!
However, receiving the inheritance requires that I suffer with Christ, so that I can be glorified with Him. I cling to the hope Paul gives in this passage. I believe that the glory waiting to be revealed to me will far surpass any sufferings I might experience in this life. All of creation is waiting and longing for restoration, for being set free from bondage to corruption. Even I groan inwardly and long for the day my body will be redeemed, the day I will receive my resurrection body as a child of God. It is in this hope that I was saved, and I wait for it with patience (and sometimes impatiently).
It is God’s Spirit who helps me in my weakness. I certainly don’t know how to pray as I should, but the Spirit intercedes for me according to God’s own will.
For everyone who loves God and is called according to His purpose, all things work together for good. There may be some sufferings, some trials along the way, but those are the very things that will help to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. God has predestined this conformation, so it will happen. The process might not always be pleasant, but the result will far outweigh the pain along the way.
God called me to be reconciled to Him through the death of His Son. He gave me the faith to believe, to obey, to trust, to follow Jesus. Because of Jesus’ shed blood, God has justified me. In His eyes, I am righteous. Therefore, He will one day give me a resurrection body for my eternal spirit. This is as certain as if it had already happened. Therefore, I can say with Paul that He has already justified and glorified me!
In light of all this, who can be against me? What does it matter? God will give me everything I need. Can someone bring a charge against me? It doesn’t matter. God justifies me. Can anyone condemn me? Only God could have condemned me, but He has justified me through His Son. Jesus is now at God’s right hand, interceding for me. No! No one can condemn me! Who can separate me from the love of Christ? No one. Nothing. No power on earth can separate me from the love of Christ. I am more than a conqueror through Jesus and nothing is able or will ever be able to separate me from the love God in Christ Jesus my Lord!
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the words of truth You give us in the Bible. Most importantly, thank you for the Truth you gave us and still give us in Your Son, Jesus, who made it possible for us to be reconciled with You! In His precious name I thank You and I worship You. Amen.