Thursday, December 21, 2017

Romans 8

Romans 8:1-4 – Not Condemned

In chapter 7 Paul explained justification and sanctification and that we have a sinful nature.  Then he gives us the most important truthful words in the Bible.  “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”Rom. 8:1.  Because of Jesus who took the punishment for our sins when He died on the cross, we are now free from the wrath of God that we deserve.  We were all condemned by God for our sins, but Jesus declared us righteous and through our faith and belief in Him.  We are not and never will be condemned.   Thank you Jesus!

The purpose of this chapter in Romans is to assure believers.  All condemnation of Christians is forever finished!  There may be times when we don’t feel the peace of God, but we do have that peace.  It’s not about feelings.  God is your Father no matter your past.  This is done by God’s power alone.  We are His children and there is future glory waiting for us.

Principle:  There is no condemnation for believers in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:5-11 – Not the Same

Paul tells us there are two kinds of people.  There are those who live according to the sinful nature and those who live according to the Spirit.  Let’s look at the characteristics of each.
Those who live by their sinful nature:
Set their minds on their desires
Their mind is death
Their mind is hostile toward God
They do not belong to Christ
Do not submit to God’s law nor can they do so
Cannot please God

Those who live by the Spirit:
Set their minds on what the Spirit desires
They have life and peace
They are not controlled by sinful nature, but the Spirit
The Spirit of God lives in them
They belong to Christ
Their body is dead to sin, yet Spirit is alive because of righteousness
They will be raised to life with a mortal body as Christ was raised

To which group do you belong?
Where are you not living according to the Spirit?
Where in your life are you still controlled by sinful desires?
What in your life displeases God?

Principle:  God gives believers new desires

Romans 8:12-17 – Not Alone

Paul tells us Christians have an obligation, because we are joined to Jesus through the Holy Spirit.  Jesus delivered us from God’s wrath.  We are obligated to be obedient.  As a Christian we enjoy many privileges.  He has given us a new nature and a new identity.  We are empowered by His Spirit who now lives in us.  Through the Holy Spirit living in us we are guided and directed to walk Christ-like.  We are adopted into God’s family.  We are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.  He is our Father and we belong to Him forever.  We share in His glory as we share in His suffering.  We are predestined to be conformed to His likeness.  Nothing can separate us from God and His love.

We have additional benefits from being a child of God.  Matthew 6:7-8 tells us that God knows what we need before we ask.  Hebrews 12:7-11 tells us He disciplines us like a Father and through our discipline righteousness and peace are produced.  1 John 3:1-3 tells us of His great love for us and when he appears we will be like Him.  With this hope we are purified just as He is pure.

Principle:  Christians have an obligation to live by the Spirit, because they are sons of God.

How are you living as an obedient adopted child of God?
How will you thank Him for His great love?

Romans 8:18-22 – Creation Groans

Paul tells us our sufferings don’t compare to the future glory that God will reveal to us.  Even creation waits in eager expectation and is subjected to frustration as it waits for liberation from decay.

Paul suffered and the Lord Himself suffered so why do we think we should be exempt?  We all suffer in this life.  We suffer through death of loved one, divorce, disease and sickness.  We suffer when our family and friends disappoint us.  It’s part of living in this fallen world.  As bad as our pain and sufferings are, the glory that awaits us is immeasurable.  Our suffering will be short compared to our eternal sharing in the glory of our God.

What is this glory that will be revealed to us?  Glory means honor or distinction, great praise, a state of splendor and absolute happiness, gratification or contentment, splendor and bliss of heaven.  Believers will receive honor and reward for good works done for Jesus.  They will experience God’s glory.  They will have renewed bodies like Jesus.  They will experience eternal joyous worship and service to God.  They will experience a deeper intimacy with God and be in His unlimited presence.

Creation refers to the earth including the animals and nature not humans.  The world is not what God created it to be so it waits as we wait for God to rid it from evil and decay.  It is experiencing birth pangs.  We see this in earthquakes, floods, storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes just to name a few.  All violence and death in the animal kingdom are the result of the curse resulting from man’s sin.  One day the world will be renewed and there will be a new heaven and a new earth. 

Creation is God’s world.  He made it, but it is not what He created it to be.  The world has value because God created it and He values it.  We are to respect it and value it, but we must not worship it.  We are to praise and worship God and thank Him as its Creator.

Principle:  Our suffering will be short compared to our eternal sharing in the glory of our God.

Romans 8:23-25 – Christians Groan

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”Rom. 8:22-23. 

We are also feeling birth pangs and are yearning for the time when we will be in heaven with our Lord and when our grief and pain will be removed and our bodies will be made perfect.  Paul compares our groaning with that of child birth.  Child birth is filled with hope.  The pain is real, but will end and is full of hope. 

The longer we wait the more we are encouraged in our trials because of the hope of future glory.  Our hope is sure and certain, not wishful thinking.  We can be confident about God’s plans for the future.  God will do what He has promised so we eagerly and patiently wait.

For what are you hoping and waiting?

Romans 8:26-27 – The Holy Spirit Groans

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”Rom 8:26. 

Often times we don’t know what or how to pray.  As soon as we get tired in waiting, the Holy Spirit is right alongside helping us along.  Maybe we are overwhelmed with circumstances and want to pray, but just don’t have the right words.  God searches our hearts and knows our minds.  He has given us help.  He has given us the Holy Spirit who groans to the Father on our behalf and prays for us according to God's will.

Why do we need to pray?  We pray because we are weak and need God's help, but prayer can be hard work and a struggle.  Look at those in the Bible and see those who prayed like Moses, Elijah, David or the Lord Jesus Himself.  Jesus prayed often and depended on His Father for all things.  He is a model for us to pray at all times and for all things.  Our weakness should cause us to go to God in prayer.

Prayer is not easy.  The Christian life is not easy.  We know we should pray and we want to pray, but sometimes the words just don’t come easy.  We need to remember who we’re talking to.  We’re talking to the Creator of the universe.  We need to praise Him, confess to Him, and thank Him. 

Principle:  Remembering the Spirit’s intercession comforts suffering believers.

How does knowing the Spirit prays for you encourage you to pray?

Romans 8:28-30 – The Golden Chain

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who live him, who have been called according to his purpose.” - Rom 8:28.  This is one of the most familiar verses in the Bible.  He is not talking to everyone.  He is talking to Christians.  He is saying that no sinful person can change God’s purpose or plan for the life of a Christian.  The good he’s talking about is to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus.  He is saying as long as you love God, He will work everything together for good for you.

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those he predestined he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”Rom. 8:29-30.  These 5 truths have been referred to as the “Golden Chain of Five Links”.  These are truths that have been forged in heaven – foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification, and glorification. 
Foreknowledge – God knew before we were born who would belong to Him.
Predestination – God determined a person’s destiny beforehand, a destiny to be conformed like Jesus.  He marked a glorious future for those who love Him.
Called – God summoned believers to come to Him.
Justified – God declares us not guilty because of Jesus’ work on the cross.
Glorified – God makes us just like Jesus – He sees us as glorified.

Paul doesn’t say we feel or we hope.  He says we know.  We know God is working all things together for our good because He has an eternal purpose for us that includes salvation.  He has predestined us to be conformed to be like His Son.

Principle:  God is sovereign and in control of a believer’s life from start to finish.

How might God be working for your ultimate good?

Romans 8:31-39 – Salvation Secured

“What, then, shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also along with him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those who God has chosen?  It is God who justifies.  Who is he that condemns?  Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”Rom. 8:31-35.

Paul asked these questions in reference to these 5 wonderful truths we see in verses 28-30.  The reason that all things work together for good is that our salvation is from the Lord.  He originated it before the foundation of the world and will complete it at His second coming.  We are secure.  Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

What do you say to these questions?
What is your testimony?
How does the assurance of the love of God strengthen you?

Paul testifies, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 8:38-39.

Are you absolutely convinced of God’s great love for you?

Principle:  God’s great love for us is demonstrated in Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us on the cross.

Next time we will study Romans 9.  Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site.  Hope to see you here again.  --  I encourage you to trust in Jesus.

If you have enjoyed my post and have found if helpful, please leave a comment or share this post with the buttons below. 

You can follow me by clicking the “Follow” button or you can "Subscribe by Email".  If you follow by email, you will receive an email every time there is a new post.