This is where I often live… the 7th of Romans.
I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate… it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway… Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
Romans 7:14-25 NLT
Thankfully, at the end of that chapter, there is a ticket out: “The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord…” (Romans 7:25 NLT)
The 8th of Romans looks like a completely different neighborhood, and I’m determined to move into it! In the 8th of Romans…
- “now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus…” (v. 1)
- “the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” (v. 2)
- “God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.” (v. 3)
- “letting the Spirit control your minds leads to life and peace.“ (v. 6)
- “the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.” (v. 10)
- “all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” (v. 14)
- “his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” (v. 16)
- “And since we are his children, we are his heirs.” (v. 17)
- “we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory.” (v. 23)
- “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.” (v. 26)
- “the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” (v. 26)
- “the Spirit pleads for us in harmony with God’s own will.” (v. 27)
- “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (v. 28)
- “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?“ (v. 31)
- “overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (v. 37)
And of course, the grand conclusion:
I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 NLT
The 7th of Romans, for the follower of Jesus, is just temporary housing. Our real home is the 8th of Romans. And every time we yield ourselves to the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit, we live as more than conquerors.
I don’t have to live under sin’s tyranny any longer. I don’t have to walk in fear and anxiety over my eternal destiny. I don’t have to succumb to temptation. I can pray and connect with God. I can enjoy a foretaste of heaven to come. I can walk in the confidence that I am God’s child, that he is my Father, and that I’m on my way home for good.
If you’ve turned from sin, from self, from unbelief to trust and follow Jesus, welcome to the neighborhood! You’re going to love living in the 8th of Romans!