Romans, Week 7, Part 1

The recent weeks have been so fully-packed that I haven’t been able to get this final post written to wrap-up our study of Romans chapter 8. But now that I am self-isolating, and many of the things that occupied my time are now cancelled, I figure it’s the perfect time to reflect on God being for me in the face of everything that is arrayed against me.

Paul asks in Romans 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things?” What are “these things” to which Paul seeks an answer? In broad terms they are everything that Paul has written in the letter to this point pertaining to what God has done for us in Christ. But more specifically he is pointing toward the immediate context of what he has just written—that before the creation of the world, God himself set his love upon us and predestined us to be conformed to the image of Christ. To this end even now he is orchestrating all things to work together for our good, which ultimately is to bear Christ’s image perfectly. And then, in time, God called, justified, and glorified all those whom he so predestined (8:28-30). Continue reading “Romans, Week 7, Part 1”

Romans, Week 6

We now come in our study to what is probably the most well-known and readily-quoted verse in Romans chapter 8: “And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (28). This is near the top of the list, if not at the top, of passages to reach for in times of suffering and trials. But for the deepest comfort it must not sit in isolation from the following verses, because together they give us not only the purpose toward which “all things” are working, but an ironclad assurance of salvation for all who are “called according to his purpose.” Continue reading “Romans, Week 6”

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”

Romans, Week 2

This week in our study we covered Romans chapters 5-7. No small task. But it was made easier by remembering that our goal is to lay a foundation for chapter 8, not to deeply explore every nook and cranny of 5 to 7. With this in mind, I must limit this post to the high points of our discussion. I am so glad we broke the first week of Trillia’s study into 2 weeks… Continue reading “Romans, Week 2”