This week we are reading through Romans 8. In this chapter, Paul brings to a close the first part of his letter. This first section can be characterized as Good Friday. In the opening chapters, Paul gives us a very frank description of our condition – for all have sinned and fallen of short of the glory of God and the wages of sin is death. Like the earthly Jesus, Paul gave us glimpses of what it means to be a Christian, but his focus has been on presenting the problem.
In Romans 8, however, we move from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. Paul takes us from a discussion of the problem to a proclamation of the solution. Please go back and read the introduction to the letter in Romans 1:1-17. Romans 8 shows the fulfillment of the gospel that “[Jesus] was designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead” with the promise that this “is the power of God for salvation.” As you read through Romans 8, see what Paul understands as the end result of belief in Christ. We sell God short if our salvation is limited to the hereafter. Rather, Paul tells us that the salvation of the Gospel is a very present realized status that we are the very children of God and heirs with Jesus Christ. For if God is with us, then who can be against us? For there is now nothing in all of creation that can separate us from the love of God.
If you are interested, I have attached Witherington’s excerpt on Chapter 8. pp.207-35. He has a good discussion on what it means to be “in Christ” or “in the Spirit” and the centrality of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.
Dinner is at 6. The menu is chicken tandoori. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!1982 Hymnal 208
The strife is o’er, the battle done;
the victory of life is won;
the song of triumph has begun.