Romans Chapter Eight

The first four verses of chapter eight continue to develop the theme that was dealt with in chapter seven, which is the resolution to the problem of the Law, and the problem of flawed humanity, and also the resolution to the problem of the accuser who uses the Law to condemn and sentence us. He declares in verse one that there is a ‘not guilty for being a flawed human’ verdict upon humanity because of what Christ has done.
Paul then develops the theme of the shared life together with Jesus that has been won for us and how this is incomparably superior to the life of isolation that we experience if we live our life for self and within the limitations of our flawed human condition. Now he introduces the dynamic of the indwelling Holy Spirit. He launches into a narrative of the epic struggle of life over death, showing how the cosmic energy of all life is to be found in the person of The Holy Spirit – the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which sets us free from the law of sin and death.
He again reinforces the need for a focussed mindset that moves its concentration from being absorbed in self to being captivated by what The Holy Spirit wants to achieve in us in the joining of our spirit to the spirit of Christ. He is at work in us as the ‘Spirit of Adoption’ We are told that we need no longer be taken hold of by some dark spirit of fear and dread, but that we are being securely placed in the God Family of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and are now deemed to be adopted as the very offspring of God, to share the full inheritance that Jesus has, as the firstborn in this wonderful family.
Paul then describes the end point of this inclusion of us into God’s Family, as his offspring as being one of a superb manifestation of glory for the entire universe to see.
He says that there is an intense anticipation in the natural creation which is waiting for this glory to be revealed. Paul is taking the narrative now back to genesis where the creation suffered at the fall of man. Genesis Chapter three states that God cursed the earth and said that thorns and thistles would spring up because of sin’s entry into the world.
Here in Romans chapter eight Paul says that the creation is groaning, trapped within this curse of distortion and decay, and will only be set free from this when the glorious event of the manifestation of God’s offspring is seen in the earth.
This painful condition of inner groaning is then seen to have been placed within us, as the inner silent groaning of The Holy Spirit, who is wrestling and struggling with our humanity to subdue it into the image and likeness of Christ (again the starting point for this is in Genesis). Paul has now unfolded the two major purposes for which we are predestined in Christ. First, to be made part of Christ’s family through adoption, because of Jesus’ joining himself to us, and secondly to become made like him, as we share life together with him. This is the beautiful simplicity of predestination – mankind has been adopted, and mankind is to be subdued and conformed to the likeness of Christ, and The Holy Spirit will struggle with every individual to bring the light of this truth home to them. Only God knows the eventual outcome of each and every human struggle.
Towards the end of the chapter Paul then asks the rhetorical question – ‘What then shall we say to all of this?’ – He then gives the answer ‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’ Paul concludes with the great assurance that no matter what trials or tribulations befall us, by way of natural or supernatural conflict, that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.


1. So there is a ‘not guilty for being a flawed human’ verdict understood by every human being who knows what Jesus Christ has done for humanity and who takes this on as the way to live life.

2. Because the Spirit principle of sharing life together with Jesus in his divine existence sets us free from being trapped in the cycle of sin and its deathly consequences.

3. The law could not achieve this result because it was limited to what our flawed humanity could achieve. But God sent his own son who took on this limited capacity of flawed humanity and who lived perfectly within its weakness, breaking for all time the hold that that this death-lock had always held upon mankind.

4. So that the right living that the law commanded could now flow freely from us who live a shared life together with Jesus in his divinity instead of a life isolated and limited by its own flawed condition.

5. For those that are about simply looking after themselves will always be focused on self, but those who are concerned about what The Holy Spirit is saying will be focused on what The Holy Spirit is doing.

To be focused on self brings isolation, but to be focused
on God’s spiritual realities releases a life of oneness with God.

7. But the self focused mind is in opposition to God and it will never subject itself to His ways because it is actually impossible for it to do so.

8. So then those who are living a self focused life cannot be living a life in harmony with God.

9. You don’t have to be absorbed in self, but be captivated instead by God’s Spirit, if His Spirit lives inside of you. And if anyone is not taking hold of God’s Spirit they are not even relating to God.

10. And with Christ is living within you, your physical body may be heading towards death as the result of the fall of man, but your spirit is eternally alive because of your life partnership with God.

11. So if the Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then He who raised up Christ from the dead will also one day raise your body from the dead by the very same Spirit.

12. So brothers and sisters, we do not owe any favours to the life of self interest and self indulgence,

13. For if you live this self absorbed life you will be like the living dead, but if, in agreement and cooperation with the Spirit you become dead to the self life’s demands you will truly be alive. 

14. For as many as are led through life by God’s Spirit in this way are like sons and daughters being brought up in Father God’s family.

15. For you are not clinging to some dark spirit of fear and dread, but you have embraced God’s spirit of adoption through which you can confidently address God as your father in the most intimate way.

16. God’s very Spirit affirms to our spirit that we are the offspring of God.

17. And if we are his children then we are his heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ; so that if we have him partner us in life’s suffering, we will also partner him in eternal glory.

18. For I know of a certainty that the hardship and pain we might suffer in life just cannot be compared to the awe-inspiring glory that will be revealed one day in and through us.

19. And the intense anticipation of all of creation is waiting expectantly for this glory to be revealed in us as God’s children.

20. For creation has been rendered transitory, to waste away, not of its own choice but because God has put it in that place of having to wait for something to happen.

21. Because creation itself will also be set free from its prison of death and decay and swept into the awe-inspiring liberation of God’s offspring.

22. For we know that all of creation is experiencing the struggle of bringing something to birth together with us up to this very time

23. And not only they, but we too, who experience the initial phases of the transforming work of the Spirit – we too are agonizing deeply within, waiting for the full and final experience of being God’s mature children, which is the absolute transformation of our bodies from mortality to immortality.

24. And we are kept and preserved by hope. But hope that has already seen the finished result is not hope, because if you have already seen it as it is then why do you still wait in hope to see it?

25. But when you hope for something you cannot see, then you wait for it patiently.

26. The Spirit joins himself to us in our human weakness, because we do not always know what we should be asking God for, but the Spirit feels our agony and pleads on our behalf with silent cries. 

27. And He who searches the hearts shares the same mind as the Spirit, because He pleads for those who have entrusted their lives to Him, for the Father to answer their cry in His own perfect way.

28. And so we can be assured that everything that happens in our lives will be divinely contrived to bring about His greatest benefit for us, who love God, and who accept the invitation to be part of his will for our life.

29. For he knew beforehand and predetermined all of us who can now be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the family firstborn among a multitude of brothers and sisters. 

30. Moreover all of us predetermined for this purpose were also invited by God and made acceptable and privileged to share his glory.

31. So what will we say about all this? If God wants to do all of this for us, who can stop him?

32. How could God who did not spare his own Son but who sacrificed him for all of mankind, not give us, in partnership with his Son, all that we could ever need?

33. Who can dare accuse any person chosen in such a way as this? It is God who has declared us not guilty.

34. Who can dare judge us? It is Christ that died, and what’s more, has risen again, and who is even at the right hand of the Father, and who prays for His best to happen to us.

35. So what can separate us from this love of Christ? Could it be suffering or misfortune, or persecution, or no food, no clothing, danger, or violence?

36. The Scriptures say “It is for your sake that we suffer death blows all day long. We are counted as sheep for the slaughter”.

37. No, in all these things we end up on top because of Him who loved us.

38. And I am convinced that not even death, or life, or heavenly angels, or angels of darkness, or demons, or what is happening now, or what might happen in the future,

39 Or things above, or things below, or any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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