Wednesday, March 17th
Paul’s letter to the Romans is thought to be more formal than other of his letters. In today’s reading, the first verse in Romans 8 is considered a key verse. Herein he states categorically there is no condemnation of them that are in Christ. He explains that obedience to God’s will results in receiving God’s Spirit.
He concludes by contrasting a life dominated by flesh as distinct from that controlled by law. The message is direct and unequivocal; however given the Mosaic Law and the other laws of the time, Paul delves into the work of the Holy Spirit. Given the fact Paul has not yet been to Rome, he proceeds to methodically address the law of man and the sin it exposes. Law is fundamentally good, but the result of law is to bring into the open the power of sin. Knowledge of or about sin does not save one from sin.
Paul further addresses the power of sanctification and living an emancipated life in Christ. One does not earn eternal life. It is still God’s gift and we are set aside for God’s possession and use. God’s sent His sinless Son, Jesus, in the form of man as an offering to sin, and in doing so condemned sin. Paul concludes by contrasting a life dominated by flesh and one controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Knowledge of or about sin is not the same as saved from sin. Because of our union with Christ, we are dead to sin and alive unto God. “Now I belong to Jesus, Jesus belongs to me, not for the years of time alone, but for eternity” are lyrics from a song I learned as a child. Throughout my life it is a reminder of God’s power over sin and His promise to those who belong to Christ-have the Holy Spirit.