Day 343 Romans 8-10

Day 343
Romans 8-10

The eighth chapter of Romans is a like a gospel symphony unveiling in a series of cantos all that Jesus Christ accomplished in His death on the cross (J.S. Bach created an entire cantata from it). As it happened, the Apostle’s desperate cry for deliverance from his wretched state was answered in Jesus Christ (7:24-25). The first movement in this symphonic drama is the victorious announcement that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The gospel accomplishes what the Law was powerless to achieve by the Holy Spirit who indwells every believer. Paul refers to the Holy Spirit nearly twenty times–the most concentrated emphasis upon the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. The power to live the Christian life is found in the Spirit who has set the believer free from the Law of sin and death by fulfilling the Law in us (1-4). The Law condemns but it is powerless to produce holiness. The Holy Spirit enables the believer to walk in obedience by standing against the flesh (5-11).

In the second movement, the Holy Spirit also leads every believer in an intentional fight against the sin within so that they will be marked by an ever-increasing likeness to God Himself: “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (14). There’s more! The Holy Spirit confirms for every believer that they are in God’s family (16). Yet, there’s still more! The Holy Spirit identifies every believer as an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ (17).

In the third movement, Paul waxes lyrical over the reality that all creation (i.e. mountains, rivers trees, birds of the air, and fish of the sea) is eagerly awaiting the day when all who are in Christ will be revealed as the sons and daughters of God (18-25). After sin entered the world, God subjected creation to frustration in order that it might anticipate its eventual liberation from bondage and decay. Even now, creation is craning its neck for what will unfold when the sons of God are finally revealed. Every believer joins with creation groaning inwardly for the redemption of our bodies. Until that day, the believer waits in hope.

In the fourth movement, the Holy Spirit helps believers in their weaknesses, groans with them in their sufferings, and intercedes with and for them according to the will of God. The Holy Spirit accomplishes all these things so that the believer never needs to fear what God is up to and whether He will complete what He promised (28). The chain of God’s salvation cannot and will not be broken (29-30).

The final movement in this symphony of Spirit-kindled ecstasy reveals the virtuosic prowess of the Apostle (31-38). He can hardly contain himself. Amid crashing cymbals of exuberant praise and Spirit-inspired defiance of every foe, the security of every believer in Christ is affirmed and celebrated. The tempo of his praise knows no rest. God is for us! He has given us His Son. He has justified us. Indeed, nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” For the Apostle Paul, that truth is worthy of being shouted from the rooftop.

As it happened, Paul shifted from his rapturous delight in the glorious hope for all who believe, to the perplexing problem of Jewish unbelief (Romans 9). If, as he just celebrated, the believer is secure in Christ and nothing shall stand against God’s elect, then what can be said about the Jews? Since a majority of Jews have not believed that Jesus is the Messiah, can God be charged with unfaithfulness? Undoubtedly, the people of Israel were special to God. He established a covenant with them. He gave them the Patriarchs, the Law, and His promises. Despite Israel’s unbelief, God’s promises have not failed because His purpose according to election still stands. God is faithful when His people are unfaithful (6-29). Furthermore, Paul argued that many who seemed to be among the people of God were not (6b-7) and that the true Israel also included Gentiles. As he has stated throughout this letter, acceptance before God was not a matter of following the Law. To be saved, one has to believe in His promises centered in Christ.

Paul’s love for his own kinsmen according to the flesh has not faded in the least, in spite of their unfaithfulness (cf. 9:2-3; 10:1). He knew from reading the Old Testament that Israel would be unfaithful (10:18-21) but God’s way of salvation has never altered. It is available to all who believe whether Jew and Gentile. He declared, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (10:13). Since God’s salvation is available to all who believe, then every single person needs to the hear the word of Christ.

O God, there is no greater assurance than knowing that there is no condemnation for all who are in Christ! Thank you for the gift of Your indwelling Spirit who sets us free to live for Your honor. We praise You that the golden chain of our salvation will never be broken and Your love will never be cut off from us. We also pray that You will open the eyes of those who do not believe, Jew and Gentile alike, as You send us out among the nations to preach the good news. In Jesus’ Name, we pray, Amen.