Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1. Romans 8

(This is the LAST in a series of ten posts counting down my ten favorite chapters in the New Testament. My friend David is also counting down his ten favorite chapters in the New Testament. You can find the corresponding post on his blog by clicking here.)

Well, we made it to the end, folks. We made it to Romans 8. I doubt I can do this chapter justice with my writing, so I will just try to focus on a few of the major themes and hit some key verses. Then you can go read the chapter for yourself and see how much more is there.

The focus of Romans 8 is the mingled spirit, which is actually the focus of the entire Bible. Even more, verses 19-23 show us that all of creation is awaiting the full revelation of this mingled spirit. But what is the mingled spirit? Did you know that there are two different spirits in the Bible? One is the Holy Spirit (uppercase "S") and the other is our human spirit (lowercase "s"). Verse 16 says:
"The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God."
Yet in many instances, translators have a hard time picking which spirit to use. That's because the Spirit dwells in our spirit. The Spirit has even been joined with our spirit so that the two are one (see 1 Corinthians 6:17). Thus, both the Holy Spirit and our human spirit witness that we are children of God.

But Romans 8 actually shows more than just the Spirit indwelling our spirit. Romans 8 shows the entire Triune God giving life to the entire tripartite man. In verse 10, we see the Son dwelling in us and our spirit receiving the life of Christ:
"But if Christ is in you...the spirit is life because of righteousness."
In verse 6, we see the mind, the leading part of the soul, receiving the life of Christ:
"...but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace."
In verse 11, we see the Spirit dwelling in us and the Father giving the life of Christ to our bodies:
"...He who raised Christ from the dead [the Father] will also give life to our mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you."
The Triune God imparts life to our entire being, starting with our spirit, by indwelling us! What are the results of this impartation of life?
  • No condemnation (v. 1) - see more in this video
  • Freedom from the law of sin and death (v. 2)
  • The fulfillment of the law of God (v. 3)
  • The putting to death of the practices of the flesh (v. 13)
That's a lot of good stuff already, but I must mention a couple more themes in this chapter: the process that Christ went through to indwell us and the process we go through to become fully one with the life of Christ. Christ's process involves the following steps:
  • Incarnation: "...God, sending his own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin..." (v. 3)
  • Crucifixion: "...condemned sin in the flesh." (v. 3)
  • Resurrection: "...raised Christ from the dead..." (v. 11)
  • Ascension: "...Christ Jesus...who is also at the right hand of God." (v. 34)
On the other hand, the process that man goes through is given in verse 30:
"And those whom He predestinated, these He also called; and those whom He called, these He also justified, and those whom He justified, these He also glorified."
If all this sounds impossible, don't worry...it's not up to you! The following verses give some comforting thoughts showing how the Triune God is taking care of everything:
"Moreover, in like manner the Spirit joins in to help us in our weakness, for we do not know for what we should pray as is fitting, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." (v. 26)

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (v. 28)

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" (v. 31)
 The Triune God is dwelling and working within us to give us life and bring us to full salvation.


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