Treasures Gushing Like Niagara Falls
Some places in the bible are like a goldmine - overflowing with treasures that just seem to gush out like Niagra Falls. Romans chapter eight in one such place. I am going to take several posts to unpack some of the treasures of Romans 8, but this post is like a 1,000 elevation view of the whole. So, here are the treasures, gushing out to all who look to Christ and believe them!
No condemnation, rather life in the Spirit. There is not an ounce of condemnation left for those who are in Christ. The reason? Because Christ took it all; drank every last drop of if when he "condemned sin in the flesh" - i.e. in his body on the cross. That's what happened on the cross. Jesus took condemnation - the very condemnation your sins and my sins deserved. He took it, all of it, drank every last drop of the cup of God's condemnation and therefore there is none left for us. This is not pie in the sky theology talk, but is meant to be lived out as what we might call "life in the Spirit". Jesus gets our condemnation, we get his life in the Spirit. What an exchange!
Heirs with Christ. The Spirit that we receive from God, his very Spirit, the Holy Spirit (who is God!) now lives inside of us as a present possession. And he is working along with our cooperation to put to death the sinful things we are still at times inclined to do. This is life-giving, for sin sucks the life out of us and will ultimately kill. This sin-killing work of the Spirit is the proof that he is leading us as children of God. The Spirit testifies to us that we belong to God - it is through the Spirit that we cry out "Abba! Father!" Because we are children we are fellow heirs with Christ, our big Brother.
Untamed hope when things are hard. Paul says that suffering, though inevitable in this life carries no weight when compared with future glory. He is clearly talking not about just a brighter day sometime in this current life, but rather life in the resurrection - life after Christ comes again. And we know this because it is not just to individual Christians that this hope belongs, but to creation itself, for creation groans just like we groan. Now if anyone had the credibility to speak about suffering in a hope-filled way, it was Paul who suffered more than we could possible imagine. But thankfully it is Paul who wrote the famous Romans 8:28 "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." And how can this be true? The next verse tells us what God is up to in our suffering - he is making us more like his son Jesus Christ. His purpose in forknowing, predestining, calling, justifying, and glorifying are unstoppable so we have great reason to hope!
More than conquerors through his love. If God is for us - and for all who trust Jesus, he most certainly is - than who can possibly mount a winning opposition against us? Paul certainly doesn't mean that there won't be opposition for he knew so much opposition. The point is that it doesn't ultimately matter. The reason? God gave up his Son for us all; won't he give us all things we need? Of course he will! So whatever we face, we can have confidence in God's unfailing, all-conquering love. Accusations from the enemy or others? God is the one who justifies! The threat of condemnation? No, Jesus died, rose, and is at God's right hand. Separation from God's love? No, in all things - the good, bad, ugly, and really bad we overwhelmingly conquer through Him! Nothing will ever be able to separate us from him!
God's intention is that Romans 8 would get into the minds, hearts, consciences of his people so that they would be bold, radical, sacrificial lovers of God and people. Believe it! Live it!