Romans   (Today's New International Version unless otherwise noted)

Romans 8

Life Through the Spirit

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,a

Really Jesus, no condemnation?  You are so amazing.  Am I to live without guilt Lord?  Part of me says yes, live without guilt for You have forgiven me, and part of me says to remember my sins and be ashamed so I do not commit them again and again.  Which is it Lord?

Could it be both?  Condemnation is not guilt.  I am guilty of my sins and need to never forget that.  I do not stand in judgment over anyone for who could sin more than me?  But I am not condemned because Jesus died for me.  I am free to live like someone with hope and who is destined to spend eternity with his all-powerful King and Redeemer.  Could it be any better?  Rejoice my soul in God my savior!       

2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

Free from the law of sin and death, awesome.  Holy Spirit, help me to walk in You law.  Help me to live a life where my daily words and my ways are Your words and Your ways.  Help me to be first one with You spiritually, and then live this earthly life under Your supervision and guidance.  Help me remember Your fruits and your ways every second. 

 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,b God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.c

Jesus, You were, and are, my sin offering.  You paid my price.  You set me free and brought me home.  You are alive and well and give me the only life that really matters, life in You. 

Father, You sent Your son!  I have sons Lord.  Even when they rebel I do not think I could send them to do what Jesus did for me.  And now You are my Father.  If You send me Father to suffer to bring others to You, and obviously You can do that, I will trust in You to give me the strength to go where You lead me to suffer as You call me.  Praise to You Father.  

And so he condemned sin in sinful man,d 4in 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.

Live according to the Spirit – what a wonderful thing.  Holy Spirit, wake me up and help me realize what an awesome life You have set before me.  You, in Your mercy, are living in me and my life is tied up with You.  Help me to not shame You or dampen You in any way, but let me be a fountain that You pour out of, every minute of every day.  Please Holy Spirit, help me to walk instep with You, breath in time with You, let my heart beat to Your tempo.  Help me truly live my life as one with You.         

5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Holy Spirit, I remember when my mind was set on sin.  It possessed me.  Do not let me go there again.  Keep me with You and keep my mind on whatever is Your will.  Please Holy Spirit, make Your desires my desires.   

6The mind of sinful mane is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mindf is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

Jesus, You are so right again.  Unfortunately, I see it around me, and perhaps even within my own life.  My home is in turmoil now Lord because there is a war between minds controlled by sin.  I see the members of my family that have not submitted to Your rule and Your love, and they are vengeful and respond to pain with anger.  They seem unable to have peace or love if they are attacked or provoked.

I know Lord You have made me different, but I know I can fail You so quickly.  When the war is raging and the fighting or depression is flooding, You are an anchor and a rock with me.  I am so far from perfect, and I shame You so much, but there is a difference.  Somehow my heart comes back to forgiveness and love no matter how bad the pain is.  It can only be You, for I know I am not like that at all.  Or perhaps I am because You and I are one. 

Lord, how can I let others, especially my family, know the love and peace You have placed within me?  Help me Lord to live it and please open their hearts to submit to You.         

9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.

Holy Spirit, you are in control?  So often it hardly seems that way because I fail so much.  But when I fail, I feel the guilt.  I know that is you alive in me.  You are in control because sin is not my nature anymore.  It doesn't feel good, but bad, very bad.  Please Holy Spirit, keep opening my eyes and guiding me and changing me.  Make me new.  

And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

It is so good to be alive in you Lord!  It is amazing.         

 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Holy Spirit, lead me. Plant in me the firm obligation to live by your ways.  Make me miserable if I live any other way.  Guide me away from sin and into righteousness.  Please Holy Spirit open my eyes to your guidance and my heart to what it means to be a son of God.        

 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.g And by him we cry, “Abba,h Father.”

I am not to be a slave of fear!  Through you Holy Spirit, I am a son and have nothing to fear.  Why would a son of the creator of the universe fear anything but his Father?  Holy Spirit, please keep me living in you and bring my life, my breath, my steps in sync with you.  And help me to actually live without fear of this world in any way.     

 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

How can I share in your sufferings Lord?  My little problems here and there are nothing compared to what You did for me on the cross.  I know that I cannot even come close to comprehending what you did for me.  Perhaps I share in Your sufferings by simply putting my faith in you.  I don't know Lord.  All I really know is that you suffered so much for me that if my small suffering sin this world do make me part of your suffering, I will do my best not to complain but to take joy in them.         

Future Glory

18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Obviously from this you do mean that it is our present sufferings that allow us to share in you sufferings. (verses 16-17 above).  Praise you Lord that the glory of heaven is a reflection of Your victory, not the pitiful amount of suffering I have had to endure here on earth.  You are so awesome Lord.  Help me to give abundantly to people who do not deserve it simply because they need it, or simply because.       

 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21thati the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Yes Lord Jesus, we do look forward to that day when all the trials are over and You return.  What a glorious time!  And to think that all the universe, everything, waits for the same time.  Everything will become new again.  How great to have a body that isn't tempted to sin, never feels tired or old or sick.  The world and heaven and earth all overflow with the beauty You gave them before sin.  Come Lord Jesus, come!       

 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Waiting patiently is not my strong suit Jesus.  But it is one of the fruits of Your Holy Spirit.  Holy Spirit, help me to show your patience.  Not just for this glorious day of the Lord's return, but for every day in my life.  I don't know your plan for my family during this trial.  I don't see a future full of good yet.  But it is not for me to know your plan and your future.  It is for me to trust you and wait.  Help me to wait in joy and peace for whatever you plan.  For you are so kind and loving, whatever you plan is, it is wonderful.  Holy Spirit give me patience and joy, or joyful patience!         

26In 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. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

Holy Spirit, you help me to pray in your will.  Prayer is not about me getting what I want, but you inspiring me to want what you want.  Please Holy Spirit, change me and help me to pray as I should.  Show me what is most important in my life and help me to pray with wisdom and understanding for those things that are most important.         

More Than Conquerors

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,j whok have been called according to his purpose.

What an amazing verse Lord.  Father, thank-you so much for giving this to me.  Help me to remember this when I am in the midst of my trials.  Father, I know you will let me suffer so I will learn, and I am a slow learner so I often suffer again and again.  But Father, in the end, I hold on to the belief that you do what is best in love and mercer.

But also Father, I know that you must work for the good of all those you call, not just me.  I know that you must sometimes let one of your children suffer for the sake of the rest of your children.  I know you will do that, you did it with you own son.  So Father, if it is my turn to suffer for the good of other, so be it.  You will see me through.  If my suffering a trial will help you call others to Jesus, or strengthen another suffering child of yours, or whatever else you may want, let your will be done.       

29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Father, this raises so many questions that I am almost afraid to ask.  I know You are great and sovereign.  You can do whatever you please.  But if you have chosen and predestined those you will call before we are born, how can anyone be condemned?  Or did you choose them ahead of time, because you knew them?  Oh Father this is too deep for me. 

But this I know: you chose me.  Why Father?  Thank-you so much.   Now I pray for my family to be chosen also.  Is there  a point to that though?  Are they predestined?  Do my prayers for them matter?  Yet your word instructs me to pray for them, so it is my destiny to pray for them.

Father, I can't understand this fully, but I don't need to.  It sounds like we are all predestined and chosen by you, yet we are commanded to pray for one another and to preach your good news.  So be it.  I will pray and I will love and I will preach with both my words and action.  Amen.         

31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

That pretty much sums it up Lord.  Why do I worry and fear?  What is my problem?  Lord Jesus, help me to live like someone who only fears God.  Boy, did that just hit home.  I have been debating an action and now I realize that if my only concern were fearing God, the decision is easy.  Father, I am sorry I debated this so long.  Again, help me to live like the only person I fear is you!  Change me Lord.       

 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Father, you are amazing.   You gave us your son for our good, what would you not do for our good?  Rather, you gave your son for me, what would you not do for my good?   I need to walk in faith and follow you without reserve for you surely will watch me closely and care for me since Jesus has already paid such a high price for me.  Holy Spirit, please help me to live like the only person I need to fear is God.        

 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who 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.

Jesus, you died and rose for me, and now you intercede for me.  There is no one that can condemn me because you protect and love me.  You justify me.  Again, why would I fear anyone else but you?  Lord, help me to be single hearted in my love for you.  Help me to decide thing based only on what you would do.  Help me to be totally committed to you.    

 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;

we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”l

37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Paul is convinced they are more than conquerors in all those things, yet so many of them suffered those things.  Holy Spirit, help me to understand how enduring something makes me its conqueror.  Or rather, Jesus is the conqueror of course.  If Satan uses hardships to try to separate us from you Jesus, and we instead persevere in faith through the hardship, we will be closer to you and in that way, w
e are conquerors!  Help me be a conqueror!      

 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,m neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor 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.

a 1 Some later manuscripts Jesus, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit,
b 3 Or the flesh; also in verses 4, 5, 8, 9, 12 and 13
c 3 Or man, for sin
d 3 Or in the flesh
e 6 Or mind set on the flesh
f 7 Or the mind set on the flesh
g 15 Or adoption
h 15 Aramaic for Father
i 20,21 Or subjected it in hope. 21For
j 28 Some manuscripts And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God
k 28 Or works together with those who love him to bring about what is good—with those who
l 36 Psalm 44:22
m 38 Or nor heavenly rulers