The Way - Day 115 (Romans 8)

Daily Reading:
Romans 8
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
As a group, using chapters 7-8, make a list of all the words or phrases that describe who you are because of Jesus. What steps can you take to be more aware of all the actions Christ Jesus has, and is taking, for you at all times?
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 37:23-24
OPTION 2: Proverbs 15:22-23
OPTION 3: Matthew 5:47-48
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for Romans 8 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
Romans 8
In the first few verses of Romans 8, Paul has been assisting his readers in comprehending the Holy Spirit's work in their life. He has already stated that the Spirit frees the sinner from sin and death (8:1-3), empowers him to obey God's moral law (8:4), helps him live according to God's ways (8:5-13) and adopts him as a child of God (8:14-17). Becoming God's children means that He is now our heavenly Father and we have inherited the indwelling Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), eternal life (Romans 6:23), access to God (Hebrews 4:16), and future glory in God's kingdom. However, Paul is quick to also say that being a child of God will result in suffering as Christ suffered. Suffering as Christ suffered does not mean we must die, but that we must live for Him and be ready for others to persecute us for our faith (8:17).

Even though believers can expect to suffer for the cause of Jesus Christ, Paul reminds them that present sufferings "are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (8:18). Paul later refers to this glory which will be revealed in us as the "redemption of the body" (8:23). Right now, a believer still suffers from the lusts and desires of his sinful flesh. Although the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ removed the penalty of sin (Romans 6:23), the flesh is still operational within us when we give into temptation (James 1:14-15). So we can rejoice that the struggles and trials we experience in our lives today will one day be done away with when our bodies are fully redeemed. Paul describes this redemption of the body in his letter to the church at Corinth, "The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." (1 Corinthians 15:42b-44). This redeemed (spiritual) body will experience no more disease or death, no more guilt from sin, no more weakness during temptation, and no more limitations in time and space. When will this transition from the natural (sinful) body to the spiritual body take place? Scripture is clear that our bodies will be fully redeemed at the moment Jesus Christ returns to earth (the rapture, see also 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58), which is an unknown time.

In the meantime (between the present time and the future redemption of the body), the body waits to be completely freed (8:19-20) from the "bondage of corruption," which is brought about by sin (8:21). In fact, Paul says that "the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now...but we also have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body" (8:22-23). The Holy Spirit is producing good works in us right now (Galatians 5:22-23) and this is a small taste of that time when our bodies will be fully perfect and without fallenness.

Not only do we personally long for an end to our struggle with sin (8:24-25), but the Spirit also desires the redemption of our body. While the Spirit awaits that time, He helps our weaknesses by praying for us to do the will of God "with groanings which cannot be uttered" (8:26-27). These groanings are unexpressed in words, but is the Spirit's way of praying for us to follow God's ways. The fact that the Spirit prays for us is an awesome thought. The Roman Christians who were reading Paul words should remember that even during trials, temptations and weakness that "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (8:28). Instead of being frustrated with the hardships of this life, they should see that God will complete His work in them (8:29-30).

Paul closes out his encouraging words to his readers by reminding them of God's love for them. If they are secure in the righteousness of Jesus Christ (justification), than they should not fear who will come against them (8:31) because if God was willing to give up His only Son, He will also "freely give us all things" (8:32). In asking a series of questions (8:33-34), Paul wanted to leave them with one final thought about their security in Christ and future redemption of the body, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" (8:35). Answering his own questions, Paul emphatically declares, " For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (8:38-39). Those who have been saved by God's grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, cannot be separated from the love of God. This confidence in Him should lead us to obey God's ways now and look forward to our future redemption for God's glory.

Dear God, I am overwhelmed by Your love for me and I look forward to the day when I stand before You complete and righteous. May I begin this process of righteousness now by obeying Your ways and having hope in my future redemption.