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Romans chapter 8

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What does Romans chapter 8 mean?

Romans 8 is one of the most loved chapters in all of Scripture. Paul begins and ends this passage with statements about the absolute security of those who are in Christ. First, there is no condemnation, at all, for those in Christ. Last, nothing will ever be able to separate us from God's love for us in Christ. By this, he refers to those who have been saved by their faith in Jesus (Romans 3:23–26). As Scripture makes clear, the promise of salvation is only given to those who believe in Christ (John 3:16–18). Those who reject Jesus reject God (John 8:19), and will not be saved (John 3:36). For those who come to faith, their salvation is absolutely secure (John 10:28–29). Hardships may test their faith and strengthen it (Hebrews 12:3–11), but they never imply that God has abandoned His children (1 John 3:1). In between these bookends, Paul makes the case for why this is true.

He begins with another simple explanation of the gospel, God's good news about His Son's life on earth as a man and death on earth for our sin. That allowed the law to be fulfilled and justice to be done for human sin. Those who come to faith in Christ are described as living according to God's Holy Spirit. We no longer live according the flesh, as all non-Christians do. Those in the flesh—the world's way of living for self before and above all else—are hostile to God. They can't please Him (Romans 8:1–8).

God's Spirit lives in every Christian. If someone doesn't have the Spirit, he or she is not a Christian. The Spirit, given to us by God, is the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. He will resurrect us, as well, after these sin-wrecked bodies have died (Romans 8:9–11).

This Spirit from God is not a spirit of slavery. God did not save us simply to compel us to do His bidding. Instead, this Spirit is a spirit of adoption. God makes us His sons and daughters. His Spirit makes us able to cry out to God as a little child cries out to their daddy. Since we are heirs of God, we will share in all the glories of God's kingdom with Christ forever (Romans 8:12–17).

We also share in Christ's suffering, including the everyday suffering of living on this fallen planet. Paul is quick to say that our suffering here and now is not worth comparing to the glories of eternity, but he doesn't say that this suffering doesn't hurt. In fact, Paul writes that we groan right along with all of creation under the consequences of sin. We're all waiting. Creation waits for God's children to be revealed and all to be made right once more. We, God's children, wait for our adoption to be complete in the redemption of our bodies. When that happens, we can be with our Father (Romans 8:18–25).

Until then, we wait and we suffer. But we don't do it alone. God is with us spiritually in the form of His Holy Spirit, who helps us many different ways. For one, he helps to take our prayers, even our unformed ones, to God's ears. The Spirit intercedes for us to a God who is searching our hearts (Romans 8:26–27).

While we wait, we can also be absolutely sure of one thing: Our God is for us. He is working out every circumstance for our ultimate good. He chose us before we ever knew Him and destined us to be called, justified, and glorified (Romans 8:28–30).

God being for us means that nobody can ever bring any accusation against us and make it successful. God has already justified us. Christ stands by making intercession for us in that He paid for each and every sin with His own blood (Romans 8:31–36).

That brings us back to where we started. Nothing, no matter how terrible, no matter how powerful, can ever separate us in any way from God's love for us in Christ (Romans 8:37–39).
What is the Gospel?
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