Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Romans, Chapter 8

Yesterday we finished our discussion by talking about spiritual warfare, which is appropriate because personally, yesterday was one of the worst days I have had in terms of facing and feeling spiritual warfare around me. It was a day illustrated well by the second half of Romans 7 in that I knew the truth of certain issues, but in facing the attacks of Satan falsehoods were whispered into my mind and it was very difficult to overcome them. I know this is a vague explanation, but today we will see the opposite of that card by seeing what life in the Spirit is like in the face of spiritual warfare.

"3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit." – Romans 8:3-4

It is not that we gain righteousness, but it is merely granted once we accept this sacrifice of Christ. From that point on we are living in the Spirit. It is still our responsibility to grow from that point by practicing spiritual disciplines because our soul requires a different type of nourishment. While we were still dead in our sin we fed ourselves with our sinful desires. These were not sustaining, as the nature of sin is that it always leaves us wanting more. Once we accept Christ, however, we see here that we are not living in a sinful, earthly nature anymore, but a spiritual one. We must then sustain it through the Word and the truth of Jesus Christ. This desire and nourishment for the spirit is in opposite to sinful nature, and therefore as we pursue this nourishment it drives out the old, false, sinful nature in us. Because we are human we will never be fully expunged of this, but Matthew 5:8 calls us to pursue this righteousness so that we may be filled.

"19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God." – Romans 8:19-21

This is the reason for our struggle. The creation referred to in this passage is man, and when you look at it that way doesn't every word ring true? We are subject to frustration (some of us more than others). We are subject to bondage because of our sin, but we are set free because of grace and the sacrifice of Christ. We see later in this section that the Spirit itself speaks on our behalf and helps us in our weakness. Sometimes it may not seem like it, but this is the promise of God that He is always there to help.

"31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He 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?" – Romans 8:31-32

Who can be against us? If the divine, all-powerful Creator of the universe is in our corner because of the mediation of Christ Jesus how can we possibly have any reason to fear anyone? Once we accept the gift of salvation there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus. I know there have been moments where in my life where I have felt separated even from myself, but I have never once felt abandoned and turned away from the One that sacrificed everything for me. Remember my extreme examples from earlier in this discussion on Romans. If Christ can overlook everything and save us from ourselves, in spite of ourselves, then why should we be surprised at the depth of His love?


  1. What are the righteousness requirements of the law met by Christ?
  2. When you accepted Christ how did you feel liberated from bondage?
  3. Why would we feel separated from the love of God?

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