Romans, Week 5

The passage we studied last week, Romans 8:18-27, opens with a verse that always tugs at my heart, and often brings me to tears. Building on his previous thought, that we suffer with Christ in order to be glorified with him, Paul declares “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18). When Paul wrote this, he wasn’t making light of our present suffering. Paul knew what it was to suffer. When he wrote this, he was making much of the glory that is to come for all who are in Christ. This is even more evident in the parallel passage he wrote in 2 Corinthians:

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Cor. 4:17-18, emphasis mine.) Continue reading “Romans, Week 5”

Romans, Week 3

This week we studied Romans 8:1-11, which begins:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh in order that we might fulfill the righteous requirement of the law. — Romans 8:1-2

With these words Paul kicks off the chapter that is the pinnacle of his great epistle to the Romans. In these four verses we find the heart of the gospel: God sent his Son Jesus Christ to condemn sin so that the Spirit might set us free to live in a manner that fulfills the righteous requirement of the law. And those who have been set free in Christ are no longer—and never will be again—condemned! With this glorious declaration Paul is looking back at the foundation that he has been building for justification by faith alone, and looking forward to the love of God in Christ from which nothing in all creation can separate us, making us more than conquerors in him. Nothing can separate us from God’s love because we are justified and there is therefore now no condemnation for us. Put the other way, There is no condemnation for us because we are now in Christ, and once in Christ there is nothing that can separate us from God’s love. Continue reading “Romans, Week 3”