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God is in Charge of You

Romans 8:9

The good news is that if you are in Christ, Christ is in you.  It is a glorious truth that must not be underestimated.  The Lord of glory has entered into you, to prepare you to share in His glory (Colossians 1:27).  Once we belong to Jesus, it is still true despite our sinful nature and its distractions to take us away from fellowship with God.

Christ is in You

Romans 8:10-11

Every Christian lives with a paradox.  Our spirit is now alive because God's Spirit has indwelt us; and yet our body is dying and one day will be dead (Romans 5:12).  At the same time as we are enjoying our relationship with the living Lord and look forward to meeting Him, we live in a corrupt world with a corrupted body which can fail to function properly.  One day it will stop functioning completely.

Spiritual Obligation

Romans 8:12-14

Naturally, our own sinful nature is very demanding.  It demands that self is put first, our body pampered, our desires indulged and our fantasies entertained.  It says that we have to obey or we will die!  But that is a lie.  The truth is exactly the opposite: if we give in to that sinful nature, we will die!

No Fear in Christ

Romans 8:15

When we trusted in Christ Jesus as Saviour and Lord, something remarkable happened.  God sent His Holy Spirit into our hearts (Acts 15:8)!  His holy presence is so different to the enslaving control of sin.  All graceless religion enslaves its followers.  To be accepted, adherents must change their behaviour or suffer punishment.  Their pious actions may help to bind them to a committed community who are afraid of sanctions if they step out of line, but cannot bind them to God who looks for a reborn heart (1 Samuel 16:7; John 3:3).  Religion, without being born again, is a weighty and inesc

The Holy Spirit's Birth Certificate

Romans 8:16-17

How do we know that we are children of God?  Human identity is proved by a birth certificate, but our spiritual identity is validated by the Holy Spirit.  Objectively, we know from Scripture that "... if you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9).  But the Holy Spirit also gives us His own personal assurance. When we believe in Jesus, we receive the 'Spirit of sonship' (Romans 8:15), and He confirms to our hearts that we really do belong to God's own family.

From Suffering to Glory

Romans 8:18

It should be no surprise that our earthly pathway, as believers in Jesus, is marked by suffering (1 Peter 4:12-14).  Some experience very little, and when it comes it is a nasty shock; for others the suffering is constant, only the intensity varies.  Of course, suffering is a part of the fallen and rebellious world.  We are not in the Garden of Eden, nor are we in heaven.  Everywhere we look, something is not quite right, and affects us adversely, fulfilling the promises of Genesis 3.  Such suffering is common to all people, whether they believe or not.

Hope for Creation

Romans 8:19-21

Everyone who trusts in Jesus should be looking forward to His return.  That Day will mark the end of the 'old order of things' and announce the supremacy of His Kingdom.  It will also be the death toll of sin's reign over our old natures.  And we shall be changed (1 Corinthians 15:21-22)!  No longer the rejected people of earth, we will be revealed as the glorious children of our heavenly Father.

Groaning and Hoping

Romans 8:22-24

It only needs average eyesight to realise that the world is not right; in fact, everything is dysfunctional in some way or another.  It is hard work to live here, confronting daily challenges to our bodies, minds and spirits.  Although it would be nice to think that following Jesus would eliminate all struggles, the reality is that the more closely we follow Him, the more struggles we have.

Hoping and Waiting Patiently

Romans 8:25-27

There is no doubt that Jesus will return: Jesus said it (John 14:3) and the Bible predicts it in significant detail (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 2 Peter 3:10).  This 'hope' (the Bible's technical word for 'reliably confident expectation') has proved to be the essential motivation for the persecuted church: uncertain of today but confident about Jesus.  Yet, hard times are still hard … and our bodies, minds and spirits do groan as the pressure increases.

All Part of God's Good Plan

Romans 8:28

Children, who know they are loved, are confident in their parents and safe in their home.  In the same way, those who are trusting Jesus Christ instinctively know that God is good.  That personal inner conviction is a part of the work of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16).  However, when circumstances are hard and the jigsaw puzzle of life seems to have important pieces missing, we need to be reminded from the Bible that God is always at work for the good of those who love Him.