July 13, 2018

Spiritual Engineering

Romans 8

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Life in the Spirit

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.1 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you2 free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,3 he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus4 from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Heirs with Christ

12 So then, brothers,5 we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons6 of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Future Glory

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because7 the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,8 for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God's Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be9 against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.10 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

  “For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Footnotes

[1] 8:1 Some manuscripts add who walk not according to the flesh (but according to the Spirit)
[2] 8:2 Some manuscripts me
[3] 8:3 Or and as a sin offering
[4] 8:11 Some manuscripts lack Jesus
[5] 8:12 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 29
[6] 8:14 See discussion on “sons” in the Preface
[7] 8:27 Or that
[8] 8:28 Some manuscripts God works all things together for good, or God works in all things for the good
[9] 8:31 Or who is
[10] 8:34 Or Is it Christ Jesus who died . . . for us?

Spiritual Engineering



Central Truth

Unlike human engineering marvels that sometimes fail, God’s spiritual marvels never fail. Our salvation "works" because God is the One holding it together, not us. 

Devotional | Romans 8

Growing up with an engineering dad, I was fascinated by his explanation of how things work, such as bridges that don’t collapse and train cars that stay on the tracks. Just like I struggle to understand the...

Growing up with an engineering dad, I was fascinated by his explanation of how things work, such as bridges that don’t collapse and train cars that stay on the tracks. Just like I struggle to understand the physics of engineering marvels, I struggle to understand how God can look at a sinner like me and declare, “Not guilty!” How does that work?  

Romans 8 tells us our salvation works according to the “law of the Spirit of life . . . in Christ Jesus” (verse 2). The moment we accept Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit seals us with God’s promise of eternal life (Ephesians 1:13-14). Once sealed, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ provides unbreakable spiritual marvels that defy human logic, and Romans 8 explains at least six of them.

1. Regardless of our failings and feelings, we will never be condemned to eternal separation from God. Jesus’ death and resurrection freed us from the law of sin and death (verses 1-2). God’s verdict over our lives remains NOT GUILTY.

2. No matter how difficult this life is, the same Spirit of Him who raised Christ from the dead lives in us, empowering us to overcome our sin struggles (verses 6-13).

3. Whether male or female, all who allow the Spirit of God to lead them are called sons of God (verse 14). This Greek word for “son” emphasizes the access and legal privileges reserved only for sons in that day. Women, we are called sons of God!

4. When we despair in suffering, the Holy Spirit prays for us according to the will of God as we wait for our eternal inheritance (verses 23-27).

5. God takes every detail of our lives, good and bad, and weaves them together to help us become more like His Son Jesus Christ (verses 28-29).   

6. No matter what happens in this life, nothing can separate us from God’s love. Our lives are sealed in Christ forever (verses 35-39).  

Unlike human engineering marvels that sometimes fail, God’s spiritual marvels never fail. Our salvation "works" because God is the one holding it together, not us. 

See Comments

Bio | Meg McKinley

Hi, my name is Meggon, but I usually introduce myself as Meg because that's what friends and family call me. You might also hear me called Mom, Momma, Aunt Meg, Miss Meg, or Meggo. And according to Scripture, I'm also called one of the "sons of God." Now that's a spiritual marvel worth checking out!

Discussion Questions

1. Even when our faith is firmly rooted in Christ, we still make mistakes and hurt others. Does this reality ever make you doubt your salvation? Which verses in Romans 8 can help you overcome your doubt?

2. According to Romans 8:10-13, there is no sin struggle that God’s Holy Spirit cannot help His children overcome. Are there any sin patterns that have had a hold on you for too long? What next steps can you take to demonstrate that you believe walking in the Spirit, and not the flesh, is possible?   

3. How does knowing that the Spirit of God prays for you when you are at a loss for words make you feel? Is there someone you know in the body of Christ who needs to be reminded of this truth?  

4. Romans 8:35-39 tells us nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is held firmly in Christ Jesus our Lord. If someone were to follow you around for a week, would they observe that you believe this truth? Why or why not?

8 Comments available

greg jones 6 days ago

“Once sealed, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ provides unbreakable spiritual marvels that defy human logic,”

Amen sister! I love everything about Romans ch 8. I love studying it, articulating it, reading what others have studied and said about it. Then God, usually through someone who hasn’t studied as much or can articulate much of anything about Romans 8, hits me in the head with my heart and it leaves a huge knot.

Knowing how a bridge is built doesn’t defy my logic. Though sometimes, staring at a bridge and then wondering how some people crossed the expanse it covers will make my head hurt.

Rita Satagaj 6 days ago

Good morning Meg! Loved your summary! I love that the Spirit of God prays for me when I’m at a loss, so comforting. Loved what you said “our salvation “works” because God is the one holding it together, not us.” So thankful for that!

Hope Harris 6 days ago

Meg! What a treat to see your face on JTJ today. I dig the term “Spiritual Marvels.” Still very humbled that the Spirit praying for me and that nothing or no one can separate me from the love of God.

Sue Bohlin 6 days ago

Absolutely PHENOMENAL devo, Meg! Of. Course. Of. Course.

I loved your “marvel”ous take on this chapter especially since I woke up this morning thinking, “Friday! Romans 8! More than conquerors—hyper conquerors! What an amazing super-power God has given us!”

Love and appreciate you SO MUCH!

Lindsey Driscoll 6 days ago

Great devo Meg, thanks for taking us back through this important chapter. Q4- great question “if someone followed you around for a week” what does life look like under the acknowledgment that we are never separated from God’s love? Hopefully an overflow of that love.

Hugh Stephenson 6 days ago

Good morning Meg! What an awesome devo and summary of Romans 8. I love your title and the six spiritual marvels.

Reading slowly through the passage is like taking a step back and seeing the big picture that I have seen up close for several weeks.

Q1 - Post conversion, I have never doubted my salvation. I have struggled with my sin patterns, some times mightily, but never doubted.

Q2 - All my sins have had a hold on me for too long. The blessing has been to see they are all rooted in pride and a lack of surrender.

Q3 - Knowing that the Spirit is praying for me in “groans too loud for words” gives me constant encouragement.

Q4 - Someone following me around for a week would see a real difference versus 5 yers ago but also see there is much sanctification to be done.

Michael Scaman 8 days ago

The chapter starts with stunning good news (for those in Christ)

The chapter ends with stunning good news (for those who love God)

Michael Scaman 8 days ago

The sufferings of Psalm 44 - Romans 8:36. where we are led like sheep to the slaughter

Suffering is followed by the joys of the marriage supper of the lamb in Psalm 45 (where a King of Israel marries a gentile bride and Psalm 45 is part of an argument in Hebrews 1 to show that Jesus is better than the angels )

The response to the wedding in Psalm 46 is a women’s chorus of blessing ( ''according to the Alamoth" in the title having a feminine root - at least in the view of British theologian Michael Reeves and some others) of Psalm 46 where two stanzas end saying ‘God is our [mighty] fortress’ - and thanks for the song Martin Luther

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