Friday, 21 April 2023
Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh…but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. -Romans 8:12-13
Considered one of the most profound chapters in Scripture, Romans 8 begins with the bold declaration that “…there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!” We have been set free from the guilt and punishment for sin because Jesus Christ became our substitute, taking the wrath of God upon Himself. His suffering, death and resurrection has set us free from condemnation and made us righteous before God!
And therefore dear brethren, because of how the Lord in His infinite mercy and love has delivered us – unworthy sinners made righteous by the blood of Christ, we have an obligation to live a Spirit-filled life. For all who believe in Jesus Christ, God has sealed us and has given us His Holy Spirit as a pledge of what is to come (2 Corinthians 1:22) Jesus did not ask the Father to take us out of this fallen world, but knowing the suffering and trials His disciples would have to face, He sent us the Holy Spirit – our Teacher and Helper, to guide us in victorious Christian living.
· Our Progress – A sanctified life (Vs 13): While in this world, we continue to face many temptations and trials, but the Spirit of God enables us to put to death every deed of the flesh, and live a holy life pleasing to God. By the Spirit we can reject and renounce every sinful and carnal desire and live in obedience to Christ. “…walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)
· Our Position - Adoption to sonship (Vs 14-16): What a great privilege to be called children of the Most High God! The Holy Spirit dwelling in us, gives us the assurance that we are no longer slaves to sin, but we are sons of God, free in Christ. “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6) As sons we have an authority, an intimate relationship with the Father and we become co-heirs with Christ, sharing in the eternal inheritance.
· Our Present - Suffering that leads to glory (Vs 17-25): Suffering is not something we welcome, but as witnesses for Christ we will face persecution and rejection (John 15:18-19, 16:33). However our suffering in this present world cannot compare to the future glory! Remember, for a Christian there is no Crown without the Cross. God has given us the Holy Spirit as our Comforter and Encourager to strengthen us in our times of suffering. Paul exhorts us to we rejoice in our sufferings, “knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
· Our Advocate in Prayer (Vs 26-27): God has given us the Holy Spirit, as an Advocate who will ‘teach us all things’ (John 14:26) and ‘guide us into all truth’ (John 16:13) In our deep struggles and anguish, when we do not know what or how to pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf, expressing our anguish before the Father. What powerful prayers these must be! This should encourage to spend a more Spirit-filled time of prayer and intimacy with God.
With hearts of gratitude and adoration for the One who set us free, may we live a victorious Spirit-filled life, bearing fruit in every good work and being powerful witnesses for Christ.
Word of encouragement: ‘His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.’ (2 Peter 1:3)