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Romans 8

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, JUNE 1

SCRIPTURE: Romans 8

Although there are no bad parts in the Bible, some chapters seem to rise above others.  I am thinking of chapters like Genesis 1 or Psalm 23 or John 3 or Philippians 2 or Romans 8.  That doesn’t mean these chapters are better than others.  There is no such thing as a bad chapter in the Bible.  It just means that some chapters (like the ones I listed) seem to resonate with most of us in a different way than other chapters do.  Today we have the opportunity to tackle what I consider one of the great chapters of the Bible: Romans 8.

While I am excited about getting to walk through this chapter with you, I am well aware that there is absolutely no way we can do justice to this incredible chapter in the short amount of space that we have.  Think about it.  This chapter begins with the incredible, life altering, universe shaking truth that God does not condemn Christ followers.  Even with all of our struggles with sin, our failures, our foibles, God does not condemn us.

The chapter moves on to talk about the gift of the Holy Spirit.  He is not only proof and evidence of our salvation.  He is also the person and the power for us to live a more Christ like life.

From there we encounter the marvelous truth of adoption.  When we are saved, we are adopted into God’s great family.  Since we are not always up to speed on our Roman history, we may miss the fact that in the Roman culture, naturally born children could be disowned but adopted children could not be.  In other words, once you were adopted into a family, you were always a part of that family.  Somebody needs to shout because that means when we are adopted into God’s family we are a forever member of God’s forever family.

As we move further into the chapter, we are sadly reminded that all of creation was devastated by the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden.  But that sadness is quickly tempered by the fact that there is a day coming when all of creation will be released from the burden of the curse of sin.

A little bit further, we encounter the crazy truth that “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose”.  Obviously not everything that happens to us is good.  But God is able to take everything that happens, mix it all up, and when he pours it out it is good.  How great a God must He be?

The chapter ends with the incredible statement that nothing can separate us from God’s love.

I would encourage you to read back through this chapter at least one more time.  If you have the time, I would challenge you to read through it a little more slowly than you normally read.  Maybe you could even pause ever so often and just let this incredible chapter marinate in you.  There is just so much in these 39 verses.  

What a Savior we have!  What a glorious Savior!

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Romans 7

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

WEDNESDAY, MAY 31

SCRIPTURE: Romans 7

Paul has much to say about the Old Testament Law in this chapter.  I realize that for us Christ followers in the 21st Century, the Law can seem a very distant and dim ghost from the past.  But the reality is the Law is very much alive and doing quite well.  You may remember, in fact, that Jesus said He did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it. (Matthew 5:17)  He also said that no part of the Law, not even the dot of an “I” or the cross on a “T”, will pass away until everything has been accomplished. (Matthew 5:18)

So, the Law is very much in existence and is accomplishing what God has always wanted it to accomplish.  You might think that the purpose of the Law is to provide a guide to how we are supposed to live.  And while a great case can be made for that, the truth is the Law proves that we are unable to live the way we are supposed to live.

Romans 3:20 says that “through the Law comes knowledge of sin”.  This creates a bit of a quandary for us.  The more we try to keep the Law, the more we realize we cannot keep the Law.  The more we try to keep the Law, the more we realize just how sinful we are.  As Paul says in Romans 7:7-8, his covetousness was revealed by the Law.

The question of Romans 7 then is this: Is the Law bad?  The answer that Paul keeps coming back to is a resounding “NO!”  The Law is not bad.  It is, in fact, good.  And the Law always accomplishes what God created it to accomplish.

That accomplishment is simply that we are not and cannot be good enough on our own to keep God’s Law.  The Law proves we are sinners unable to do anything about our sin on our own.  In other words, (long drum roll inserted here), the Law is proof that we need help if we are going to have hope.

In other words, the purpose of the Law is to drive us to a Savior.  It is going to get a little crazy here so hang on.  When we were saved, we died to sin. (That’s what Romans 6 is all about.)  And Romans 7:4 says we also died to the Law.  When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, the Law lost its power over us.

That doesn’t mean that when we get saved, we can live like we want to.  It doesn’t mean that when we get saved there is no morality to govern our behavior.  It doesn’t mean that when we get saved we can just sin all we want however we want.

Instead Romans 7:6 teaches that when we are saved we die to the power of the Law so that we can live in the new way of the Spirit.  When we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us.  One of the reasons that He does is so we can live differently.  The Holy Spirit comes to live in us so that we can begin this journey of turning our back on our sin and turning more completely to Jesus.  This, by the way, is what the Bible calls sanctification.  The Holy Spirit comes to live in us so that we can increasingly live like Jesus.

I wish I could tell you that was an easy process.  But if you will reread Paul’s words in Romans 7:19-20, you will discover that he struggled mightily with living in the new way of the Spirit.

Yes, it is hard to live the Christian life.  But it is better.  It is always better.  Always.  

I want to encourage you to give thanks for the Holy Spirit living in you.  I also want to encourage you to invite the Holy Spirit to rule and reign in your life so that your life begins to look more like Jesus’ life.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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