Bible Discussion — Romans 8 (Part One)

October 17, 2007, 11:30 am; posted by
Filed under Bible, Chloe, Connie, David, Djere, Erin, Josh J, MC-B, Mike J, Steve, Tom  | 3 Comments

This week, looks at the next chapter in the book of Romans, Romans 8. That’s right, it’s Romans 8 Day!!

And not only do we have almost-universal participation, but joining us as guests today are Capt. Steve Carroll, Rev. Dave Maxon, and Maj. Doug Jones!

Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26
27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50

Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18
19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | 31-34 | 35-40

And the book of Romans: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch. 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7

This Chapter articulates the key difference between the world and the Christian. The people of this world walk in the flesh, “fulfilling the desires of the flesh, and of the mind” (Eph 2:3) — but “as many as are led by the Spirit, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). The test to determine which you are is Romans 8:9 — “…ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit if . . . the Spirit of God dwell in you.” You must be born again of God’s Spirit.

Capt. Steve:
This is the kind of passage that I start reading quietly to myself, but by the end of the passage, I am shouting the words at the top of my lungs, and people are sticking their heads in my office to make sure everything is okay. “It’s all fine — I just got a little excited!”

Set free from our slavery to death, we are made God’s beloved children. In a flourish, Paul declares that the calling of the children of God is the crowning moment for all of creation (v. 19-20) and that God’s love for his children never fails (v. 31-39).

This passage contains some of the most important tenets of Christian faith, so I suppose I should probably actually discuss this one, huh?

Maj. Jones:
Whenever I am asked about my favorite portion of Scripture, I always say Romans 8. As I now reflect and ask myself why, I am reminded of the assurance of life, liberty and the source of my joy and contentment.

Pastor Dave:
How yellowed and worn, the edges of the page that holds Romans 8.

Capt. Steve:
The Holy Spirit is praying for us. How does that work?

Verses 38-39 contain a fairly well-known list of things that cannot separate us from God’s love, but the list actually starts in verse 35.

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” — The words “for us” are omitted in the NU text. I’d never noticed that before.

The phrase in v. 2: “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free…” Still wrestling with what precisely that means.

The verses preceding Romans 8:28 are the ones that emphasize the Holy Spirit as our Intercessor. I always separate them and use them separately, instead of realizing that His intercession can lead us right to knowing HOW all things in our lives can and will work to our good, as long as we love Him and walk in His calling.

It can’t be wrong or inappropriate to pray for God’s will in a situation — that’s precisely what the Holy Spirit is doing.

Maj. Jones:
Paul begins in verse 35 by asking who, but then lists many whats.

Connie: Sheep for the Slaughter
Capt. Steve: Plan B
Chloe: For Your Sake
Tom: The Pangs; Indwells
Pastor Dave: Glorified; Foreknew
Djere: Firstfruits of the Spirit
David, Mike: Abba
Steve: Peril
MC-B: The Whole Creation
Erin: The Creation Waits
Josh: No Charge; Famine Nakedness Danger

v. 22 cannot help but remind me of the birth of our daughter. It is the most amazing thought to think that creation has been in such pain, in such groaning, so that this great work of God can happen. And this great work of God? Not just Jesus–but us! Amazing.

There is nothing else like this set of assurances offered in any religious or spiritual system that I am aware of.

The song “Returning” by Maxon and our good friend Gee McDee.

Verses 18-25 remind me of The Shawshank Redemption — “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

Dan Tabolt sharing that when he was first saved, he thought 8:13 said “modify” the deeds of the body, because he didn’t know that “mortify” meant to kill. He thought all you had to do was change things around a little.

I don’t know about a story, but on a quick read, I came up with at least 12 songs I know that have their source in this chapter.

In Luke 18, the rich young ruler asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Inherit is a loaded word, indicating not only that the ruler could not achieve eternal life by his own means, but also that the owner of that life had to die in order for him to receive it.

Capt. Steve:
There was this guy, and he had a problem with sin, and then he gave it over to Jesus. And the Spirit of God filled him and made him special.

Paul never says the Roman church will escape suffering. Christians are the sheep to be slaughtered. But Paul does give the church the assurance that Christ is there with us, nothing they do can separate us from Him, and “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (v. 18).

Paul offers some insights into the predestination/election question. I think the key is, “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate.” God said about Abraham, “[F]or I know him, that he will command his children, and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD.” God’s choosing is linked with his foreknowledge of what our response will be.

Pastor Dave:
We that are in Christ, and live according to the Spirit, are free from condemnation and obtain the liberty decreed by God in advance.

Capt. Steve:
This chapter goes to great lengths to point out the difference between being ‘free from sin’ and ‘being free in sin.’ The Church is really good at preaching forgiveness, but biblical holiness is hard for people to swallow.

To say we are still bound to sin because ‘nobody is perfect’ is to deny the power of the Spirit. Christ gives us freedom from sin — we don’t have to sin anymore. It doesn’t have to control our lives.

When Paul talks about the sinful condition, it reminds me that so many of us living in sin are like addicts, thinking we have it under control, that it’s not a problem, that we can quit any time we want. We want control, but we never really have it. Either we allow the Spirit to have control, or we allow sin to have control.

The God of the Law is not dead, and He hasn’t changed, but His relationship with His elect has. The reason for which one does something is now made far more important than the act itself.

God’s purpose in creation was to create a people, indwelled by his Spirit, who would be conformed to the image of His Son, doing a great work of redemption around the world.

Verse 3 says the law was weakened by the sinful nature. God had given humans the law as a perfect guide to how to live in relationship with Him, but it was weakened; conversely, because Christ is what it means to live in relationship with God (because He is God), He can’t be weakened by sinful nature.

You want to talk foreknowledge? God knows all, apart from time, and holds the entire history of the universe in His gaze, at once. To him one thousand years is as a day. It’s amazing to think that He sees all, yet also thinks of us, has a plan in mind for our lives, cares for the plight of sparrows.

I cannot believe His foreknowledge implies any lack of choice on our parts. God’s transcendence of time allows Him to see the results of our actions, without determining them.



3 Comments to “Bible Discussion — Romans 8 (Part One)”

  1. Steve Carroll on October 17th, 2007 1:30 pm

    Amen on the Deep theological meaning Josh. One would think we both attend the same recovery focused bible study

  2. Josh J on October 17th, 2007 2:43 pm

    Well Capt, if you think that looks familiar, wait until you see my lesson to take away.

  3. Connie on October 18th, 2007 10:01 am

    Maj. Jones:
    Paul begins in verse 35 by asking who, but then lists many whats.

    Maybe it’s because you know “who” is behind most of those “whats”.

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