Episode #125. Today we’ll read Romans chapter 8 together: The Spirit gives life, He ministers to us, and he helps us in our weakness.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #125. Today we’ll read Romans chapter 8 together: The Spirit gives life, He ministers to us, and he helps us in our weakness.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
There is a chapter called Naming the Narrative, in the book I’ve talked about to you before, The Next Right Thing, by Emily P. Freeman.
As I’ve said several times, this book came to me at just the right time, helping me to make some personal changes to narratives that were holding me back. It cannot be overstated. I believe the podcast would not exist had it not been for what I learned in this book. My friend, Susie, reminded me – quite by accident – that I needed to re-name an experience in my life. We were holding our book club and I was sharing with the girls my most humiliating moment. I told them I was perhaps 20 or 21 and participating in a speaking competition in San Diego. The speech had to be researched, written and memorized and then given extemporaneously – without notes. I was an utter failure and walked off the stage.
In her inimitable wisdom, Susie responded by saying something like: “Wow, that was a long time ago.” I simmered about that while someone else took the floor and realized how very right she was! I mean, I’m 63 years old…I’ve had a ton of humiliating experiences since then! I needed to re-name that narrative. It was like a shirt that didn’t fit anymore. Get rid of it. Perhaps there’s something or some things in your life like that. Things that define you; old stories that define you in your mind. Consider them. And I would also suggest getting The Next Right Thing and rename some of your own narratives. There’s a link to the book on my website at Lifting Her Voice.com.
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 first fruits — 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.
Like a warm blanket on a cold morning, verses 31 thru the end of the chapter warm and encourage me as I hope they do you. If you are a Christ follower – as I am – we daily are defending our faith in a world which is increasingly hostile toward us. We are indeed as sheep going to slaughter. However – and that is a HUGE however – the question stands: If God be for us, who can be against us? Just sit with that for a moment…let this mean something to you.
What are you and I afraid of? The last time the Holy Spirit prompted you to speak to someone about Christ, why didn’t you do it? (I’m asking myself this question too.) We don’t have to be afraid. God is for us. This is punctuated by the next verse: “He did not even spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all.” And, as we just read, it is followed by many more. Verse 35: “Who can separate us from the love of Christ?” It’s almost a dare, isn’t it? The power of God Almighty lives inside us through Christ. This should leave us speechless and breathless and humbled. More importantly, we cannot miss opportunities to share this truth with a lost world who needs it so badly. Let’s pray.
Oh, Father, thank You. Thank You that through Christ, we are more than conquerors. Thank You for the confidence You give us. For we dare to believe – to take You at Your word and to be 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 Your love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. For that we praise You and thank You. Give us an opportunity to tell someone about You today. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
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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