God’s Saving Word: Spiritual Renewal
Romans 8:1-17: The apostle Paul says that living according to the Spirit and in union with Christ Jesus sets us free from sin and death. Being controlled by human nature is in opposition to being controlled by what the Spirit wants.
Life in the Spirit
8 There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like our sinful nature, to do away with sin. 4 God did this so that the righteous demands of the Law might be fully satisfied in us who live according to the Spirit, and not according to human nature. 5 Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants. 6 To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace. 7 And so people become enemies of God when they are controlled by their human nature; for they do not obey God’s law, and in fact they cannot obey it. 8 Those who obey their human nature cannot please God.
9 But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to—if, in fact, God’s Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you[b] because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin. 11 If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you.
12 So then, my friends, we have an obligation, but it is not to live as our human nature wants us to. 13 For if you live according to your human nature, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death your sinful actions, you will live. 14 Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children. 15 For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God’s children, and by the Spirit’s power we cry out to God, “Father! my Father!” 16 God’s Spirit joins himself to our spirits to declare that we are God’s children. 17 Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ’s suffering, we will also share his glory.
Today’s Key Verse: Romans 8:1
There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus.
Describe the conflict Paul writes about regarding being controlled by human nature versus being controlled by the Spirit. Have you ever experienced this type of conflict? If so, how did you deal with the situation? What words of hope does Paul offer in today’s reading?
Thank you, God, for calling me to be your child and for bestowing on me your blessings. Lead me each day by the power of your Spirit so that my thoughts, words, and actions are pleasing to you and in accord with your will. Amen.
Romans 8:18-39: The apostle Paul describes the future glory for God’s people.