Reading for Thursday, Feb. 9: Romans 8
We could probably spend a whole month talking about all the encouraging truths Paul lays out for us in this great chapter. With yesterday’s study in mind, I think ch8 flows naturally out of Paul’s comment about this new “law of the Spirit”. In fact, you could say Paul turns the spotlight on the Holy Spirit in this chapter.
Look at the promises God gives us here regarding the Holy Spirit:
1. Through Christ, the Holy Spirit sets us free from sin and death. Rom. 8.1
2. The Holy Spirit unites our “living” (conduct, ethics) with our “thinking”. Rom. 8.5
3. The Holy Spirit is the promise of life and peace. Rom. 8.6
4. The Holy Spirit is the promise of resurrection. Rom. 8.11
5. The Holy Spirit is the promise of adoption. Rom. 8.15-16
6. The Holy Spirit is the promise of inheritance. Rom. 8.17
7. The Holy Spirit is the promise of hope. Rom. 8.22-24
8. The Holy Spirit is the promise of help in weakness. Rom. 8.26
9. The Holy Spirit is the promise of intercession in prayer. Rom. 8.26
10. The Holy Spirit is the promise of God’s love toward us. Rom. 8.31-39
A keep a note that a good friend of mine wrote me years ago. In this note, my friend shared some of his struggles to live out God’s calling for him: to be the kind of husband, father, employee, friend, and man God wanted him to be. At the end of the letter, my friend quoted from this chapter and he wrote, in large bold print: SPIRIT OVER FLESH. That was his prayer and he was asking me to join him in praying that God’s Spirit would victoriously reign over his flesh. I think my friend understood the theme Paul is laying out for us here. Through His Spirit, God is waging against our fleshly desires, our human compulsions, to bring about His Kingdom reign IN us. As Paul has already argued, there is only one way this happens: IN CHRIST.
Let us remember today that IN CHRIST, there is no condemnation.
IN CHRIST, we cannot be separated from the love of God.
IN CHRIST, sin and death no longer have the final word.
IN CHRIST, tribulation and distress and persecution and famine and nakedness and danger and sword no longer have the final word.
IN CHRIST, we graciously receive ALL THINGS necessary for life and peace and love.
IN CHRIST, we are truly more than conquerors.
IN CHRIST, SPIRIT OVER FLESH.
This is Good News.