Romans 8 is favorite to many, how can it not be? Paul offers the great comfort of the Gospel in freedom from condemnation and life in the Spirit. I’ve had many different “favorites” over the years –
8:28 – The promise of good for those who love Him
8:18 – A beautiful perspective on suffering
8:31 – If God is for us, what else do we need?
8:32 – He’s given us the greatest gift, why fret about the rest?
8:38-39 – Nothing can separate us from the love of God
8:15 – Adopted by Abba!
But I’m in love with 8:3 these days – “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh.” I’m forgiven because He was forsaken, I’m accepted You were condemned! What a glorious mystery – the substitionary atonement of Christ, our alien righteousness. God’s justice executed, Christ’s death dealing the death blow, our sin forgiven and the Law fulfilled in us. This is theology that sings, real Gospel work that compels faith and obedience.
Brother, sister – you sin has been forgiven! You face no condemnation. Life is still hard and grief is still real, and often times the consequences for sins you’ve committed and sin that have been committed against you still hold a powerful sway over your life, but seeing our story inside God’s story DOES make all the difference. Listen to N.T. Wright’s great words, “If God is at work He will do what He will do, and His purposes are always full of surprises. But I am convinced that when we bring our griefs and sorrows within the story of God’s own grief and sorrow, and allow them to be held there, God is able to bring healing to us and new possibilities to our lives.” My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. Don’t wallow in the darkness when freedom is yours. Take your grief to the cross, preach grace to yourself, and follow Him.
Forgiven and Free,