God’s Treasure Chest – Romans 8

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Here is some of the treasure I discovered while reading and studying Romans chapter 8. I hope this brings you encouragement!

Romans 8:1-4 say, 
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent His own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. (NLT) 

If every Christian on this planet got a heart revelation on just this first verse their lives would be propelled forward in such a major way it would be astounding. Thankfully, over the past number of years more and more Believers are beginning to get ahold of this truth as a result of the grace revolution sweeping across the globe.

Christians everywhere are refusing to bow to guilt and condemnation and they are beginning to rise up and walk in their righteous identity in Christ Jesus! As a result, they are now living an overcoming life through Christ Jesus.

It finally hit many of us that what we were doing – the way we were attempting to live out our Christianity WAS NOT WORKING. We figured out that guilt and condemnation only served one purpose – to pull us into more sin, more often.

So we’ve decided to start believing what the Bible actually says, including the good news that there is now (at this moment in time; currently; presently) no (by no means; not at all; under no circumstances) condemnation for us because we have chosen to make Jesus our Lord and Savior.

The NLT says those who belong to Christ Jesus. The NASB as well as many other translations say those who are in Christ Jesus. 

This phrase is huge and what I’ve discovered in my own life, which I mentioned in my last post on Romans 7, was due to my lack of understanding about what it meant to be in Christ, I continued seeing myself as a sinner after I accepted Jesus instead of seeing myself as the new person I was in Him.

I was identifying with my old nature, but trying to live from my new nature. It didn’t work.

I still remember one day – years ago – after being frustrated with my girls about something and screaming at them, I started to go right into the guilt and condemnation mode that I so often lived in and God reminded me that day not to go there. It was like He was helping me see so clearly that day – it really has never done you any good Sandra, to go there.

So instead of burying myself once again under the mountain, God gave me the grace to go a different route on that very transformational afternoon. I turned away from my sin and turned directly to Jesus and began to thank Him for His finished work on the cross and for the forgiveness He provided for me through His shed blood. I thanked Him for His love that was unconditional toward me. I remember standing there being in total awe of God’s grace toward me in that moment. I didn’t feel any guilt or condemnation for the first time in my life after sinning. It was an extraordinary experience, but I had to make the choice that day to reject what the devil was screaming for me to accept.

Someone may say, what about repentance Sandra? 

Repentance comes very naturally when we keep our eyes on God’s goodness. In fact, Romans 2:4 says it’s the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.

If you want to read more about what I believe and my personal experience in regards to repentance, you can check out one of my most shared blog posts to date titled Now That I’m Under Grace, Should I Repent?

Now I want to show you something very important about seeing God’s Word through the lens of grace. Read this next group of verses and then I will tell you afterwords how I used to see them, when I was reading the Bible without my grace glasses on.

Romans 8:5-8 say,
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. (NLT)  

I guarantee you I was shaking in my boots while reading these verses before I understood God’s love and grace the way I do now. Here’s what went through my mind as I read verses like these.

Verse 5: Oh my gosh, I’m sure I’m dominated by my sinful nature. After all, I feel like I am constantly messing up. I’m going to try harder to be controlled by the Holy Spirit though. That’s all I need to do is just try harder. 

Verse 6: OK, I can do it. I’m going to let the Spirit control my mind more often. Rah, Rah, Rah! I was like a cheerleader on the inside part of the time (when my self-efforts kicked in) and upset with myself the rest of the time for failing to do what I promised myself I would do while in cheerleader mode.

Verse 8: That’s right Sandra, you’ve got to stop blowing it or you’re never going to be pleasing to God.

During those years, at the root of my fearful reactions was a terrible misconception I had about God. I perceived Him as someone standing over me just watching and waiting for me to mess up so He could hit me over the head. I often felt God was displeased with me and was forever trying to work my way back into His good graces. I was actually perceiving God the exact opposite of the way He really is.

Now, let me show you the next verse that blew me away just a couple of months ago while I was studying this chapter on a personal retreat. Are you ready for this good news? You better sit down!

Romans 8:9a says,
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (NLT)  

Did you see that? If you are a Believer in Jesus, the new person you are in Him is NOT controlled by your sinful nature. In fact, you ARE controlled by the Spirit. 

Go ahead and scream for joy. I know….I know…

Wait, there’s more…

Romans 8:11 says,
The Spirit of God, Who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. (NLT)  

Hold it, are you telling me that I have been trying to live this Christian life by my own efforts for decades and all this time Christ in me was more than willing to do what needed to be done in and through me, but He couldn’t  because I never gave Him much of a chance. 

Ummm, OK, I’m SO getting off this dead end road and going with the simplicity of trusting in Jesus for THE REST OF MY LIFE.

I’m not saying at all that I am perfect in my actions. What I am saying is that the more I’ve learned to identify with the person I am in Christ Jesus the more I have begun to act like that person.

Romans 8:12 says,
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. (NLT) 

You should see how excited I’m getting. After reading this verse I threw my arms up in the air and said, There it is. We have no obligation to obey our sinful nature because we have been set free and are brand new in Christ Jesus! 

Romans 8:13 says,
For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. (NLT)

Here’s are Andrew Wommack’s commentary notes on this verse:

“This has to be speaking of spiritual life and death, since everyone will die physically. This is saying that those who put their minds predominantly on spiritual things will have God’s kind of life and that those who keep their minds predominantly on the flesh will suffer all the wages sin can pay (Romans 6:23).

The word mortify means to kill (Strong’s Concordance). We are to kill our actions that are not consistent with what the Lord wants us to do.”

I do this all the time.

If I start to have a bad attitude about something I’ll say to myself, Sandra, you’re a Jesus girl. You don’t really want to have a bad attitude. 

I also remind my girls of this often. I call out the new nature in them by reminding them that they are Jesus girls. I’m certainly not a perfect parent. I have a lot to learn. But calling out the new nature of Jesus in people works a whole lot better than constantly saying, stop it, stop it, just stop it. I admit, the just stop it method takes a whole lot less time and may give an immediate result, but it definitely does not produce any lasting change. People are only changed when they start genuinely believing who they are in Christ.

Right Believing Leads To Right Living.

Romans 8:14 says, 
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. (NLT)  

Here are Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary notes on this verse:

“Being led by the Spirit of God is the ultimate standard whereby we may know someone is a son of God. This raises the question, If you aren’t led by the Spirit of God, does that mean you are not born again? It is true that everyone who is not born again is not led by the Spirit of God and that everyone who is born again is led by the Spirit of God, but that requires some explanation.

First, there are varying degrees of being led by the Holy Spirit. No believers are following the leading of the Lord as much as they could be, and if an absolute standard was applied to this verse, no believers would qualify to be sons of God. With this in mind, believers have been led by the Spirit to some degree in making Jesus their Lord, if nothing else.

Second, being led by the Spirit does not cause people to be sons of God, but being sons of God causes them to be led by the Spirit. (Love it) All believers do have the Spirit of God to lead them, but that doesn’t mean all believers heed His leading. In context, Paul had just spoken about denying the flesh through the power and leading of the Holy Spirit. Here he was simply pointing out that all Christians have the leading of the Holy Spirit available to them to accomplish this.

Some people have tried to make a distinction between being a child of God and a son of God. They say a child of God€ is any born-again believer, while a son of God refers only to a mature Christian. This looks good on the surface, but further study will reveal there is no difference.

In Galatians 4, these same terms are used, and son or sons is applied to all believers. Galatians 4:6 says, And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father, and Romans 8:9 says, Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Since every believer must have the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9) and every son of God has the Spirit of God’s Son in him, crying, Abba, Father (Galatians 4:6), then we can clearly see that every born-again believer is a son of God. Therefore, these terms are used interchangeably, and no doctrine about different levels of maturity can be drawn.”

Romans 8:15 says,
So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, Abba, Father. (NLT)  

Go to You Tube and look up Bethel Music’s video titled No Longer Slaves. It’s amazing. I’m listening to it right now while writing this because reading Romans 8:15 just reminded me of it. It’s so powerful and it’s the truth about every Jesus Follower!

Romans 8:17 says, 
17 And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering. (NLT)

Here are Andrew Wommack’s notes where he explains what it means to be an heir of God:

“Our relationship with Jesus makes us heirs of God. What a statement! We are joint-heirs with Christ of everything God has. The term joint-heir signifies a shared inheritance. A joint checking account means two people share the account, and both signatures are needed to cash a check or make a withdrawal. One signature will not release funds from a joint account. Jesus is our joint-heir. Even though we might be tempted to sign our inheritance away as Adam did, Jesus will never cooperate with that. Our inheritance is secure because Jesus will never put His signature on any of our bad choices.

Adam was not a joint-heir with Christ; he was a joint-heir with Eve. They shared dominion over the earth. In order for their transgression to be valid, both of them had to participate. They did (Genesis 3:6), and they signed away their authority over the earth to Satan. He became the god of this earth (2 Corinthians 4:4) through what Adam did. In a very real sense, God didn’t create Satan. He created Lucifer, a powerful angel. Adam and Eve created Satan when they gave him the power and authority they had been given over the earth.”

Romans 8:18 says
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later. (NLT)

“What a statement! Just think of some of the terrible things people have suffered in this life. The Holocaust, wars, slavery, shame, sickness, hatred, and all the other tragedies are nothing compared to the wonderful things the Lord has prepared for us. That is not lessening the suffering; it is placing the consolation so high above all tragedy that there is no comparison. The glory God has prepared for us is infinitely greater than all the pain sin has inflicted. Our consolation will be so great that the former things will never come to mind (Isaiah 65:17). Thank You, Jesus! (God’s goodness blows my mind)

Notice that this glory is going to be revealed IN us. Right now we have all the awesome glory of God on the inside of our born-again spirits; we just can’t totally perceive it at this time. As Paul said, We see through a glass, darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12). But when we go to be with the Lord, or for those who are alive when He returns, we will receive our glorified bodies and totally renewed minds. Then we will have full revelation of what was in us all along.”

Nothing Can Separate Us From God’s Love

Romans 8:31-39 says, 
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? No one”for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one”for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. 35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow”not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below”indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)  

Yes Indeed!

Next God’s Treasure Chest post will be on Romans 9.

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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