“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” (Romans 8:1-2).
Continued from My Roman Holiday: Romans 7.
“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” (Romans 8:1-2). Romans 8, at least for me, has always been a pinnacle moment in the apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans. Together with Matthew 7, Romans 8 is scripture through which I really began to hear the voice of the Lord as well as His call, and my life hasn’t been the same since. The purpose of this divine process, as described by Paul, is life through the Holy Spirit; that we have been destined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ; that we may be like Him in both body and spirit. What’s more, we will be glorified through Him, and He through the Spirit’s good work in us! We have been adopted into the family of God! “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8:14-17).
My testimony is not one of condemnation, but one of personal sacrifice and submission to God, but more than that, my testimony is not actually my own, but rather, my testimony bears witness to the faithfulness of God in keeping His promises, and the power of God to do what He says He is going to do. “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness” (Romans 8:9-10). I struggle with temptation and sin, yet I continue pressing on towards the prize. I am not oblivious to the struggle, nor do I encourage others to embrace the forces I resist. I find it an impossibility to willfully, and without regret, embrace sin, and be conformed to the image of Christ, at the same time, for too long. No, for this reason we must not go on sinning (Romans 6:15); we must not offer our members as instruments of unrighteousness (Romans 6:16); for now we are slaves to the Spirit, not the flesh (Romans 6:17). “[We] who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance” (1 Peter 1:2). I can do nothing else but marvel!
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us, and nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ. Neither height nor depth; neither those things in the realm of dimension or space, including principalities and powers, nor any other created thing. Paul is thorough in his encouragement to those who have been called by God. And now, one of my favorite passages in all of scripture: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (Romans 8:28-30). Paul does not consider our present sufferings even worth comparing to the glory that is to come, and consider, for a moment, the extraordinary persecution his audience faced. So, let’s not forget what the apostle wrote to the Philippians, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (1:21).
Romans 8 is full of any number of other revelations and wonderful truths worth exploring, but I have written what I believe the Holy Spirit has guided me to write.
Romans 8 speaks into our lives today; nothing in this life, whether trial or ease, achievement or loss, absolutely nothing, can compare to the glory that will be revealed in us! As I embark on my Roman holiday, I look forward to the journey ahead. I found a story of victory in Romans 8. Until next time, and Romans 9!
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