Dear Praying Partners,
Thanks for your support in prayer each Wednesday. We can be assured that God hears and answers prayer. As we seek His face for the prodigals and for revival, may we be encouraged to know that we are attuning our hearts to His.
In Romans six, seven, and eight, three overriding realities regarding sanctification emerge: chapter six presents what God has done, chapter seven reveals the hopelessness of our sinful natures, and chapter eight tells of what God can do in us through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Chapter eight is very exciting because it answers the question of sanctification that Paul asks in the concluding remarks of chapter seven, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” The answer comes back quickly and soundly, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom.7:25). Jesus is the only One who can deliver us.
The first great truth of Romans eight is the beautiful reminder that Jesus has taken away the condemnation of our sins. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Think about it! No condemnation! How totally awesome is this reality? With the gloomy backdrop of Romans chapter three and five, where we see that we are all condemned because of our sin, this truth of “no condemnation” is amazing. The word “therefore” takes us back to everything that leads up to this point, namely the work of Christ on the cross, which is what has justified us—made us righteous before God.
Notice the way justification is presented by Paul earlier in Romans. First, “[All] are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom.3:24). The grace of God is what makes it possible. Secondly, “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom.5:1). Faith is the link that brings us into the good of what Christ has done. Thirdly, “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God” (Rom.5:9). This confirms beyond doubt that our justification is fully dependent on the death of Jesus.
The three-letter word “now” is also significant. This is a present reality. It is not that we need to wait in order for the judgement to pass over us, but rather we know presently that if we are in Christ the condemnation is passed. It is passed because it already fell on our Savior, the Lord Jesus. Paul says that the law could not do this, but Christ did it by coming and condemning sin through His sinless life and atoning death. Then he makes this wonderful correlation between what Christ accomplished and our present lives as believers. “By sending his own Son…He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Rom.8:5). He met all the demands of the law, and because we are in Him, they are also fulfilled in us, “Who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Walking in the Spirit is now the tenor of our lives. We’ll look a little closer at that next week.
Thanks again for praying,
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel