This morning I was reading through Romans 8. Wow, what an incredible chapter in the Bible that so candidly speaks to the life of a believer. Paul's words beckon us to consider the works of the flesh, in opposition to the works of the Spirit, and to heed the command to live according to the Spirit, as Christ is at work in us. As I began to pray through the beginning verses of the chapter, and thank God for the rich insights into these spiritual realities and truths that are ours in Christ, Romans 8:1 kept jumping off the page.
Living according the Spirit and not according to the flesh isn’t always easy, is it? Daily putting to death the deeds of the flesh and desires of the body isn’t always comfortable, is it? Recognizing each day that our flesh is “hostile” to God, that it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot, is not always encouraging is it? But Romans 8:1, friends is the lens from which we are to read the entire chapter, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
If you are feeling condemned today, which the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as, “declared to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil”; “pronounced guilty and sentenced to punishment especially: sentenced to death,” this sentence of condemnation is not from Jesus. If you have surrendered your life to Christ and placed full trust in Him as your Savior and Lord, you stand free from the sentence of condemnation. And it is through this position, placed upon you by Christ that you are called to live out of.
When we read Romans 8 through the lens of Romans 8:1, instead of feeling condemned and discouraged, our hearts should be full of hope and exhilarating anticipation that the Spirit of God is at work in us to produce the righteousness of Christ in us. To give us life and peace. To lead us according to the will of God. To testify with our spirit that we are sons of God, heirs of God, co-heirs with Christ. To pray for us with groanings to deep for words. To keep us bound to the love of Christ, no matter what comes our way. And these are just to name a few of the ways He is at work in us.
Visit Romans 8 today, dear sister and allow your heart and soul to be encouraged and rooted in this fundamental truth that you are no longer condemned but stand worthy before the Father who has adopted you as His beloved daughter.
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,…” Romans 8:15-16