Romans 8:1-39 (NASB) Observations
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
1) There is a celebration to be had in the security and freedom of being a Christian. There is assurance found in Christ. In Christ we are a new creation.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
2) Jesus came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Because of His atoning sacrifice, we have been reconciled before God. The Spirit of life frees the believer from the power and penalty from sin. Through Christ and the work He did on the cross sin has been condemned.
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
3) The Spirit has liberated believers from sin and death and what the law was unable to do, God accomplished by sending His Son. The Holy Spirit is mentioned in almost half of the verses in this chapter. In addition, Paul illustrates how the flesh weakened the Law.
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
4) Relates to Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Paul is showing the contrast between the flesh and the Spirit to portray a new life that could be attained through faith in Christ Jesus. Paul is also illustrating the weakness of the flesh and explaining the power of the Spirit.
5) There is a battle between the Spirit and flesh. One leads to life and the other leads to death. Paul continues to play on the antithesis of the flesh and Spirit.
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.
6) We are capable of controlling our minds.
7) Flesh and a worldly attitude leads to death and the Spirit leads to life and peace.
8) You cannot entertain both; it is one or the other: flesh or the Spirit.
But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
9) As a Christian, the Spirit of Christ indwells inside them. “But” is an important transition point in this chapter referring directly to the Roman Christians shining light on the old age of sin and death versus the new age of Spirit, righteousness, and life.
If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
10) While the body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit breathes in life and deliverance from condemnation. “If” is introduced as a conditional promise as we see Paul explaining how Christ is inside of them when they come to faith. We also see Paul beginning to use the Spirit and Christ interchangeably.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
11) Through Christ we possess the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. Paul is affirming the same Spirit God sent to raise Christ from the dead will be breathed into believers.
12) The Spirit’s life-giving power is not limited by the mortality of our bodies. “But” denotes another conditional application as Paul describes the Spirit’s role in our body’s transformation.
13) The Spirit not only overcomes death, it also transforms our eternal life into a resurrected body. “Will give life,” points to resurrection, which was a huge topic of debate.
So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
14) The flesh represents the world and the consequences to our actions.
15) The flesh also represents rebellion against God. While He has provided an escape from it, we are still subjected to it and the decision is ours which path we choose: flesh or Spirit.
16) After coming to faith, we are no longer slaves to the world or to the masters of our sinful nature. Spiritual life trumps even death.
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
17) We are adopted by God and are joint heirs. Use of sons and children of God positions God as a spiritual Father who cares about His children. The Spirit of adoption must refer to the Holy Spirit.
18) We are transformed from slaves into sons through the sacrifice of Christ. Spirit of slavery could be in reference to the Spirit’s work under the Law.
19) We are God’s children and He is our Abba Father. The Spirit’s work allows the believer to experience joy and security.
20) Before the cross, we were slaves to our flesh and to the world. Slavery generally meant bondage, so the human spirit on its own was in slavery and bondage to sin.
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
21) By receiving the Spirit we are invited into the Godhead. The Holy Spirit testifies in our defense that we are His children.
22) The Holy Spirit enables us to be children of God and gives us the right to call out to our Abba Father when we suffer. Even our suffering, through Christ Jesus, will lead to glory.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
23) Suffering and glory stand in contrast and opposition to each other much like the Spirit and flesh do.
24) No matter what present sufferings we may endure, it will never match the future inheritance and glory that is still to come.
25) Having hope in the midst of suffering and death is only possible through faith in Jesus.
For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
26) Creation and Christians agonize from a sense of incompleteness and even frustration and fervently hunger for their future transformation.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
27) Creation was no longer complete after the fall of man.
28) Man’s fall, Satan’s temptation, and God’s curse of judgment have led to our current state.
29) There is a hope and a restoration that still lies in the future of being set free. Creation itself will also be set free.
For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
30) Birth is painful and it came as a result of the Fall and sin entering the world.
31) Creation groans and suffers in a similar way to that of humans. Not so much with, but together. Birth pains were used to describe times of great distress throughout the New Testament.
And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
32) First fruits represent our best sacrifices given to God and groaning within us points inward to our attitude. God sees the heart of the matter.
33) Humanity is frustrated, as they remain in their state of weariness, not so much in a state of anxiety, but more of expectation of what is to come.
34) We eagerly await the promise of eternal life and transformed bodies. In our present weakness, we hope for what is still to come.
35) The indwelling of the Spirit is just the first part of God’s redemptive plan.
For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
36) We are saved by hope, but waiting is necessary as hope turns into faith.
37) We cannot hope for something we have already seen. Salvation is secure at the moment of receiving Christ, but there is still a void or felling of incompleteness that will not be completely filled until Christ’s second return, so the best we can do is live according to the Spirit to fill us up as much is possible.
38) Hope involves looking for what cannot be seen. It requires perseverance to finish the race strong.
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
39) The Spirit intercedes for us when we do not know what or how to pray. The Spirit knows exactly what we need as well as the will of God.
40) The Spirit comes to our aid and the Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. This illustrates how the Spirit bears our weaknesses, infirmities, and burdens.
41) The Spirit of God overcomes any of our weaknesses according to God’s will.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
42) If we love the Lord and are called according to His purpose, He will cause all things to work together for good. “If” is an interesting word to begin this proclamation with because it denotes another conditional promise.
42) Bad things can be used for our good when it refines our faith and strengthens our hope. This passage does not denote whose good it refers to specifically, but ultimately God’s good is our best in any circumstance.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
43) God calls us, He justifies us, and He glorifies us.
44) God knew the end from the beginning. “Predestined”
45) God’s purpose is to work for our good, so we can glorify Him.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
46) God is on our side. “If” is used again here and as Christians, it should read, “Because God is for us, who can be against us?”
47) No adversary or circumstance stands a chance when God is for us. “Things” most likely points to the previous verses.
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
48) God took the initiative to provide a way to restore our fellowship with Him. He delivered His Son to be crucified to save us.
49) If God sacrificed His own Son, why would we think He would hold anything else back from us?
Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns?
50) Satan is the great accuser and he seeks to condemn us. This passage has a very judicial nature to it. It could point forward to the Day of Judgment when Satan will accuse us, but no accusation will be effective against God’s elect.
51) God justifies us. The world through Satan attempts to condemn us.
Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, and who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
52) Christ died, was raised from the dead by God, and now sits at His right hand of the Father. Psalm 110:1
53) Jesus intercedes on our behalf and He is our witness acting as the High Priest in the presence of God.
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
54) Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. It is interesting the use of “who” and not “what.” Who seems to denote an opponent and this could stem from what Christ and Paul had endured under the cruelty of man for the sake of God.
Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”
55) As Christians, we should not be surprised by persecution, suffering, and oppression. Paul is quoting from Psalm 44:22 illustrating humanity’s wickedness towards the goodness of God.
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
56) Through Christ who loves us, we are able to overcome any adversity. We are more than conquerors.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
57) Nothing and no one can separate us from God’s love. Death and life point to the natural world. Angels and principalities point to the spiritual world. Things present and still to come point to the temporal world. Powers points again to the spiritual realm. Height and depth point to the celestial realm or universe. Finally, created being most likely points to even believers not being able to separate us from God’s love.
58) Even death just brings one closer to God. In this time, death was a very real possibility because of one’s faith in God so martyrdom could be what Paul was contemplating.
WHAT DOES ROMANS 8 REVEAL ABOUT HOW AND WHAT WE SHOULD BELIELVE ABOUT GOD?
This chapter paints a beautiful picture of what it means to be a Christian and how nothing can separate us from the love of God. It also assures us that God is in complete control of all things for the good of His people. The Spirit of God is one with the Spirit of Christ and there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
God has adopted us, made us joint heirs, and He has invited us into the Godhead through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. As sons and daughters of God, we move from death to life and from condemnation to no condemnation. As His children, we are able to call out Abba Father, and He will listen and Christ will intercede for us.
In this chapter, we see God dealing with sin once and for all by sending His only Son to die for them. The law was not enough, so Christ, the spotless lamb became the atonement for all of mankind’s sin. God desires for us to stay focused on Him because He knows what the result will be when we look to the world for purpose and satisfaction. God has given us the Spirit in order to suppress our sinful nature and the desires of the flesh.
WHAT DOES ROMANS 8 REVEAL AS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK IN OUR LIVES?
This chapter is rich with references to the Holy Spirit, but Paul’s motive in writing was meant to focus more on what the Spirit does and not so much on what the Spirit was. Upon meditating on this passage, it is hard not to picture Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit writing it. The Holy Spirit liberates us from sin and death. It is our helper and comforter. In times when we do not know what or how to pray, the Holy Spirit will intercede in and through us.
As a believer invites Christ into their heart, getting the Holy Spirit is a package deal. The Spirit is living and breathing and longs to be active in and through the believer. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells inside every believer. The Spirit breathes life into our situations and us and assists us as we attempt to transform our lives becoming more Christ-like.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM MEDITATING ON ROMANS 8
The resounding theme of this chapter is God is for us regardless of past mistakes or current struggles. He sent His Son to die for us to provide a way for us to be redeemed while we were still sinners. He then equips us with the Holy Spirit so we can fight the temptations of this world and grow closer to God.
Nothing we have been through or will go through can compare to the future glory and inheritance we will receive. It has been said, “There are only two important days: today and that glorious day when Christ returns.” This chapter puts things in perspective and shows how nothing catches God by surprise. He knows the end from the beginning and He has given us the tools necessary to live a life, which brings glory to His name. So today, the application is: while we still draw breath, we must listen to the still small voice inside each of us and be about the Father’s business fulfilling the Great Commission.