The reassuring words of Romans 8 are loving response to several questions that were raised by Paul’s very graphic and disturbing picture of his own spiritual struggles he expressed in Romans 7.
Romans 8 starts uplifting – “Therefore, there is a now no condemnation for those who in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
It also ends on a positive note – “I am convinced that neither death nor life…will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39)
Paul struggled often with his new found spiritual self and his natural sinful self and was not afraid to admit it. We see Paul as a spiritual giant, yet if we look closely he admits to some of the same weaknesses and questions that we have. Even we often feel we are far less than Paul we need to realize that the following questions we may have in common with him, because he answers them for us in Romans 8:
1.) If we keep failing, will God keep forgiving us?
2.) Can we stop doing what we don’t want to do?
3.) Can we be sure that God won’t give up on us?
4.) Is there a way out of this awful struggle?
5.) Will God help us overcome the failures we experience every day?
6.) Can anything separate us from the love of God?
All these questions are answered in Romans 8.
QUESTION ONE – IF WE KEEP FAILING WILL GOD KEEP FORGIVING US?
ANSWER – Yes, because He doesn’t see us as we see ourselves.
Paul assures us of this right at the start of Romans 8. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so He condemned in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4)
Paul reminds us that if we have placed all our trust in Jesus then we are free from condemnation. So, for those who truly believe in Christ no longer stand before God as guilty sinners, because we stand before Him as “in Christ”. What an awesome truth Paul reveals to each of us! Jesus offered His sinless self and in the process took the death that we deserve.
The reality that God sees us as being in Christ is probably one of the most incredible truths to be found anywhere in the Bible! Because by being in Him is to be truly accepted by God on the merits of His Son.
Paul further says – “…the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2), What he is trying to say here is that because of what Jesus did for us we have been freed from us trying to keep the law to earn favor with God. Of course this does not mean we can go out deliberately breaking the laws of God. We often try too hard to follow the laws and just make matters worse in order to gain His favor and it ends in futility. Because of Christ we don’t have to struggle trying to gain His favor because by being in Christ we already have His favor.
QUESTION TWO – CAN WE STOP DOING WHAT WE DON’T WANT TO DO?
ANSWER – Yes, if we learn to rely on the Holy Spirit.
We need to realize that we need to focus on what the Spirit desires. We need to follow His lead and remain under His control. If you are a true believer, He is already in you for the main purpose of leading and lovingly controlling you. So how does one live under the Spirits control? We need to make a conscious effort to yield to the Spirit. He won’t force Himself on you you must willingly ask Him in. We need to continually give Him control of all aspects of our lives. Once we start doing this then the fruit of the Spirit will become more apparent in our lives.
Never lose hope however; because we will never in this life reach the place where we will be totally satisfied with ourselves, that will not happen until we are finally walking side by side with Christ. In fact the closer we follow the Spirit the more aware of our human imperfections we will become aware of.
When we live in step with the Spirit we are walking on the path to life and peace on this earth temporarily, but forever in heaven.
QUESTION THREE – CAN WE BE SURE GOD WON’T GIVE UP ON US?
ANSWER – Yes, because God loves as His children.
Paul tells us this in Romans 8:12-17. He tells us that in Christ we have become God’s children. Paul assured the Romans they no longer needed to live in the type of fear they had been living when they were trying to earn favor with God by works, because they now had a new relationship with God because of Christ.
No parent wants their parents, why would God be any different? He wants us to come to Him and to call Him “Abba” a Jewish term that children use that translates as “Daddy”.
Our Father in heaven knows we are weak and frail and He truly understands each time we fail. He is always there, arms wide open, willing to forgive us, just as any loving father would do. He is also always standing there waiting to help us in times we’ve strayed and decided to turn back to Him.
QUESTION FOUR- IS THERE A WAY OUT OF THIS AWFUL STRUGGLE?
ANSWER – Yes, if we find ultimate hope in the life to come.
When we face trials and hardships in our lives, we often may find ourselves becoming discouraged and sometimes it might be difficult to keep on going. this is when we must learn to trust in God the most, even if we wonder why we are suffering or why others around us are suffering so much. This is when we should turn to Romans 8:18-21 were he tells this “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory will be revealed to us. The creation waits in eager expectations for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the One who subjected it. In hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
Paul was the ultimate optimist in spite of all his pain and persecution that he endured because his main focus was the glorious eternity that he knew waited God’s children.
Those of us who have learned to call out “Abba Father” will be assured that He has designed us for glory and any suffering that we are asked to endure is a way of preparing us for this glorious eternity that God has prepared.
QUESTION FIVE – WILL GOD HELP US OVERCOME THE FAILURES WE EXPERIENCE EVERY DAY?
ANSWER – Yes, He has promised to help and to intervene in our daily lives.
So often we are our own worst enemies. We seem so confused at times wanting God’s will but still so full of self desires. We often wonder how He will protect us from ourselves. Paul answers this for us in Romans 8:26-27. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And H who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”
The Holy Spirit is the one who takes our imperfect thoughts and words and revises and cleanses them and then gives them to the Father and He who knows our hearts will take the revised prayers and answer them. It should be very reassuring to all of us to know that even though we blunder and fail God is there to intervene, we just need to let it be done.
QUESTION SIX – CAN ANYTHING SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD?
ANSWER – No, nothing can change God’s love for us.
That answer comes from Paul in Romans 8:31-34. “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His ow Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God that justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”
Wow, God is for us! What else do we need to know? So, if God has acquitted us through Christ, how can anyone less condemn us?
god has proven His love for us through the life, death and resurrection of His beloved Son. Paul said it perfectly. “…For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, neither height or depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This held in the first century and it still holds true today.