One of things I’ve set on my heart to do this year is to read through the Bible. I got set up with the Navigators Bible Reading Plan through the 2:7 class that Ryan and I are taking. I love how it breaks it out each day in four different sections.
I read through Romans 8 this morning, and there were several truths that were like a sweet balm to my soul.
And while I already knew these truths, that’s what God’s Holy Spirit does: presents the Word as fresh; a message just for today, personalized just for what my heart needs.
In verse 1, Paul starts out with the most comforting of words: “There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” NO CONDEMNATION–Yes, please. The notes in my McArthur Study Bible say that we are introduced to the “staggering results of Paul’s teaching…that justification is by faith alone on the basis of God’s overwhelming grace. No sin a believer can commit–past, present, or future–can be held against him, since the penalty was paid by Christ and righteousness was imputed to the believer.” How comforting it is to know that nothing I’ve done, ever, or in the future, will result in condemnation because I’ve trusted Jesus as my Savior. Thank you, Jesus!
(For further description and elaboration of above, see verses 2-8.)
I’ve got highlights all over the chapter, let me share some more balm: In verse 9, Paul states that we have the Spirit in us, and later in verse 16 he comes back around and shows us that we can confirm God’s Spirit in us because our own spirit will bear witness that we are children of God. McArthur explains it another way: “God’s Holy Spirit confirms the validity of our adoption, not by some inner, mystical voice, but by the fruit he produces in us and the power he provides for spiritual service.” We can confirm in our own hearts that we have the Spirit because of the fruit and power that can only have been given to us by God. What a miracle! I know that on my own without Christ, I am not fruitful nor powerful.
Skipping ahead to verse 24, Paul talks about hope and says, “Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?” He encourages us to rest secure in our hope, our faith, even when what we see is not what we want or understand.
In verse 28 (one of my most favorites of all), he furthers my hope stating “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” ALL.THINGS.WORK.TOGETHER.FOR.GOOD. Even those things we don’t want, or those things that we brought upon ourselves. Yes, those things God will work together for GOOD. Maybe not what we initially think is good, but trusting Him for what he knows is good for us, and for His kingdom. As John MacArthur says, “In his providence, God orchestrates every event in life–even suffering, temptation, and sin–to accomplish both our temporal and eternal benefit.
A few more treasures in Romans:
v.31: If God is for us, who can be against us?
v.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?
v.37: In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
v.38: For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor thins present nor things to come, nor powers, 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.
This book, this chapter, is where I return again and again when my heart needs to be surrounded in His love, His assurance, His truth.
Jesus loves me, this I know…
(All Scripture references are from ESV version, The MacArthur Study Bible)