Romans 8: Living in the Spirit

This entry is part 127 of 154 in the series 365 Key Chapters of the Bible

The Holy Spirit is key to living the Christian life. Whereas in the old covenant He externally empowered people to accomplish His work, He now indwells us and sanctifies us.

Even though we may struggle with sin, the Holy Spirit is conforming us more and more to the image of God so that we become more in our practice who we already are in our position.

Calling Upon the Grace of God

Salvation has always been through faith alone in God. Even under the old sacrificial system, there were no sacrifices for sins of presumption—for intentional sins. Who has not been guilty of such a sin?

As a result, we all stand in need of the grace of God. Both then and now we need a Savior who fulfills the Law for us. Jesus perfectly fulfilled the Law through His life, death, and resurrection, taking our place so that we might have His life and His righteousness. For this reason, Paul joyously proclaims, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Romans 8:1–2).

Because of what Christ has done, we need to remember that the Spirit of God indwells us. This gives us hope—just as Christ was raised from the dead, so we will be raised up as well.

Living According to the Spirit

We have a choice throughout every single day: we can either walk in the flesh or live by the Spirit. If we choose the flesh, we are choosing our old, dead self and are putting ourselves into slavery to sin again. But if we have truly believed in Christ, we will live by the Spirit.

Now, we will all fall back into old habits and patterns of sin at some point, but God calls us to be sanctified throughout our lives. That means that, through the power of the Spirit, we are being transformed. This is because we are no longer of the line of Adam, but are of the line of Christ. We are now able to call God “Abba” or “Father” because of our adoption as sons.

Yearning for Eternity

The things of this world are going to pass away, but that which is unseen will not pass away. Even though we will experience suffering in this life, these sufferings “are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).

Our hope comes because of Christ’s resurrection. We have new life in Him, a life that is even better than the life Adam and Eve had before they sinned in the Garden of Eden. We can trust that God is at work in all things, and that all things will work out for good (Romans 8:28). One day, we will be fully conformed to the image of Christ.

This teaching is based on Ken’s Handbook to Scripture

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