Y’all! All. Of. Romans. Eight. Read it. Listen to it. Memorize it. I’ve included a link to a reading of Romans 8 at the end of this post.
Up to this point in the letter, Paul has exposed our sinful nature and need for a Savior. A Savior that could only be the Son of God in the flesh nailing our sins between His bloody hands and the cross; a cross meant for condemnation and humiliation and a statement. And then Paul opens Romans 8 with this powerful truth, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
Paul goes on to contrast life in the flesh/world versus life in the Spirit/God and the importance of where we set our minds and actions. In the world, there is only death and an inability to please God. But in the Spirit, there is LIFE and PEACE. We are CHILDREN of God. We are ADOPTED as FAMILY. We are HEIRS. We have HELP when we are weak and INTERCESSION when we are at a loss for words. All things are worked together for GOOD; for God’s perfect will. God is for us…who can be against us? NOTHING can separate us from His LOVE. Nothing. We are more than CONQUERORS.
Yes, and Amen! If you are like me, you get so fired up by all of this…but then you just aren’t feeling it. You still don’t feel at peace. You still feel conquered more often than a conqueror. You sometimes don’t feel close to God. You still feel weak. You still fight temptation. You still cry your eyes out at all the suffering.
Because it is finished, but not yet final. The work of Jesus to fully satisfy the debt of sin is FINISHED. But the final battle has yet to be waged. For a time, sin and suffering still exist. Victory has been declared, but we don’t yet fully see it. Paul says, “Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:24b-25)
We groan. The creation groans. Because things are not the way they should be. We are not yet home, and things are not yet fully restored. “The whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves…groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we are saved.” (Romans 8:23-24a)
CS Lewis says, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” Indeed.
Things will one day be beautiful and perfect and free of pain and tears. But for now, we not only endure but live out loud. This time of waiting is a time of demonstrating to others what they too can experience. It is a time to bring others in on this journey with us. “The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:19) Because even in the suffering, God is there. God is working all things for good. Nothing can separate us from His love. And there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Not on our best days and not on our very worst days. Our soul may be groaning for the day of full and final restoration, but while we are still here, there is still work to do. We live in freedom, full of hope, and with full assurance that He is a good good Father. That’s who He is. And we are loved by Him. That who we are.
Click below to listen to a powerful reading of Romans 8...
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