“This is the question of Romans 8: ‘Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ really strong enough to hold me, to keep me, right to the very end?'”
Dr. Sinclair Ferguson
Read Romans 8
- Verses 1- 11: This is the climax of doctrine for the Christian: “There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” Going off of chapter 7, Paul is now discussing the “I” of the flesh transitioning into faith. In our flesh, we cannot (see verse 7-8) submit to the law of God and fulfill it. Those of the flesh, or pre-converted, are unable to please God. We needed somebody to do that for us, which is Christ who willingly gave himself as a sin offering. In doing so, we were given the righteousness of God as a free gift. The Holy Spirit, which brought Christ to life, is the same Spirit that will raise us into a new life in which we are now able to please God. This grace is not according to works but solely the free gift of God. “People may wash this old nature, they may clothe it, they may decorate it, they may educate it, but no evolution can produce grace out of nature.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon
- Verses 12-17: What is the result of being in Christ? A freedom from the slavery of the flesh, a spirit of adoption, and sharing in the glory of Christ. The finished work of Christ enables us to approach the throne of grace boldly in the name of Christ. We are enabled to love God so freely and intensely that even suffering will not make us waiver in our hope placed in our newfound “Abba.” In fact, the suffering of Christ brought ultimate freedom and glory, which will too happen for us in eternity. “This is a fatherhood that relates only to those who are spiritual. We are born into it by the new birth and brought into it by an act of divine grace of adoption.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon
- Verses 18-30: All of creation is groaning. For what, you may ask? For the return of Christ and the inauguration of the New Heavens and New Earth, where all of creation will be rejoicing in Christ amidst the sons and daughters of God. We, too, groan for that day in which we will be resurrected into the New Earth where we will be fully restored amongst the renewed creation. Obviously, this is an unseen hope, but that is the essence of hope. This Spirit that grants hope unto us also intercedes for us according to the will of the Father. God discerned that in our state we would be unable to fully express our laments, requests, and confessions adequately. That is the main role of the Spirit as our providential helper. Finally, we know that God promises to work “everything together for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” We can rest assured in our life and God’s sovereignty because he reigns even over the salvation of his people. He knew you and I before the foundation of the world, and take comfort in that, dear Christian. Rest assured in God’s eternal decree that “this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.” This truth from John 6:39 is echoed through God’s steadfastness discuss here in Romans 8.
- Verses 31-39: Rest assured in your triumph over your fleshliness and enslavement to sin. Why should you rest assured? Because “who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies.” Not a single thing can bring an accusation against us because God is the one who has called us, justified us, and will glorify us. It is none of us, and it is all of God. That is why we are “more than conquerors.” We do not conquer because we are valiant in faith. Rather, we are feeble, and need God to intercede and cause us to finally see Him. That is why nothing will separate us from this love, because it is according to God, not to us. You are loved. You are secure. Rejoice.
- How ought we please God in light of salvation?
- What is encouraging about the future coming of the New Heavens and New Earth?
- How does God’s sovereignty affect our lives?
- Lord, how moving is the message of the freedom of Christ. There is now no condemnation for us because we no longer are under the bondage of the flesh but have entered into the life of the Spirit, and all of this is according to your power and grace. Thank you for bringing me into your grace. Because you, O Lord, are the one who enables me to be more than a conqueror. My hope for the New Heavens and New Earth is so steadfast because you are the one who promises it unto us, and there is no promise of God that will be left void. Lord, help us to bring your kingdom here in our hearts as we long for the future kingdom where creation is restored. Finally, Lord, comfort us and let us know that we are eternally secure in accordance with your will. Amen.