This is Episode #330 and today we’ll read Romans chapters 8-10 together. For I am persuaded that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #330 and today we’ll read Romans chapters 8-10 together. For I am persuaded that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Romans Chapter 8
The Life-Giving Spirit
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit.
Now the mindset of the flesh is death, but the mindset of the Spirit is life and peace. The mindset of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed, it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him. Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through his Spirit who lives in you.
The Holy Spirit’s Ministries
So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs — heirs of God and coheirs with Christ — if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
From Groans to Glory
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to futility — not willingly, but because of him who subjected it — in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. Not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits — we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. Now in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.
In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.
The Believer’s Triumph
What, then, are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
Because of you
we are being put to death all day long;
we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans Chapter 9
Israel’s Rejection of Christ
I speak the truth in Christ — I am not lying; my conscience testifies to me through the Holy Spirit — that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the benefit of my brothers and sisters, my own flesh and blood. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises. The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, praised forever. Amen.
God’s Gracious Election of Israel
Now it is not as though the word of God has failed, because not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Neither is it the case that all of Abraham’s children are his descendants. On the contrary, your offspring will be traced through Isaac. That is, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but the children of the promise are considered to be the offspring.
For this is the statement of the promise: At this time I will come, and Sarah will have a son. And not only that, but Rebekah conceived children through one man, our father Isaac. For though her sons had not been born yet or done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to election might stand — not from works but from the one who calls — she was told, The older will serve the younger. As it is written: I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.
God’s Selection Is Just
What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! For he tells Moses, I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then, it does not depend on human will or effort but on God who shows mercy. For the Scripture tells Pharaoh, I raised you up for this reason so that I may display my power in you and that my name may be proclaimed in the whole earth. So then, he has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
You will say to me, therefore, “Why then does he still find fault? For who resists his will?” On the contrary, who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?” Or has the potter no right over the clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor? And what if God, wanting to display his wrath and to make his power known, endured with much patience objects of wrath prepared for destruction? And what if he did this to make known the riches of his glory on objects of mercy that he prepared beforehand for glory — on us, the ones he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
Only A Remnant Will Be Saved
As it also says in Hosea,
I will call Not My People, My People,
and she who is Unloved, Beloved.
And it will be in the place where they were told,
you are not my people,
there they will be called sons of the living God.
But Isaiah cries out concerning Israel,
Though the number of Israelites
is like the sand of the sea,
only the remnant will be saved;
since the Lord will execute his sentence
completely and decisively on the earth.
And just as Isaiah predicted:
If the Lord of Armies had not left us offspring,
we would have become like Sodom,
and we would have been made like Gomorrah.
Israel’s Present State
What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness — namely the righteousness that comes from faith. But Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not achieved the righteousness of the law. Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written,
Look, I am putting a stone in Zion to stumble over
and a rock to trip over,
and the one who believes on him
will not be put to shame.
Romans Chapter 10
Righteousness by Faith Alone
Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God concerning them is for their salvation. I can testify about them that they have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. Since they are ignorant of the righteousness of God and attempted to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes, since Moses writes about the righteousness that is from the law: The one who does these things will live by them. But the righteousness that comes from faith speaks like this: Do not say in your heart, “Who will go up to heaven?” that is, to bring Christ down or, “Who will go down into the abyss?” that is, to bring Christ up from the dead. On the contrary, what does it say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.
This is the message of faith that we proclaim: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame, since there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Israel’s Rejection of the Message
How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. But not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message? So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ. But I ask, “Did they not hear?” Yes, they did:
Their voice has gone out to the whole earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.
But I ask, “Did Israel not understand?” First, Moses said,
I will make you jealous
of those who are not a nation;
I will make you angry by a nation
that lacks understanding.
And Isaiah says boldly,
I was found
by those who were not looking for me;
I revealed myself
to those who were not asking for me.
But to Israel he says, All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and defiant people.
I don’t have to tell you that these three chapters are a little difficult to follow. If you’re like me, it’s possible that you will have to read or listen to them two or three times…maybe more. But they are so faith-affirming. As you read – line by line and verse by verse – a picture of God’s immense grace takes form. Then we are only faced with the challenge of whether we will dare to believe that what Christ did for us is not too-good-to-be true, but simply true. And we are being invited into this extraordinary, lavish gift. I am of a mind that once we have tasted His grace, we dare to believe that Jesus died for all and that we are included in all. It’s there for the receiving.
Romans 8:31-39, titled in the CSB as The Believer’s Triumph, challenges us with laser focus and child-like simplicity. Paul finishes with this: For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Dare I add, not even ourselves?
Let’s pray. Father, I’m drained. No, wait…I’m full to overflowing! How could You possibly love me that much? Why on earth would You send Your Son to die for me? And yet, there it is, in black and white. You did and You do. I can’t respond by saying, “I can’t believe it!” Because that’s the very thing You’re looking for from me – belief. It’s the caveat, the condition of salvation…that we believe You. Help us, Lord. We come from a there-are-no-free-lunches mentality. And in the same beat, we hope and pray that it’s true that we could be loved that much. Wanted. Help us, Holy Spirit. Intercede for us, Jesus. We so want all of it. Help us to step out in faith in ways we never thought we could. We’re ready. Amen.
If you’re on the fence, I hope these passages have given you the info to step forward with faltering faith to say, “I believe You, Jesus,” please let me know at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I would be happy to give the details.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will be changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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