February 2nd, 2007
Even in the worst places on Earth you find traces of goodness, reminders of beauty and the love of God. Maybe that’s why Paul felt able to say in today’s reading that he was convinced that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God. You may be experiencing oppression or persecution, and people can hurt you and damage your body, but they can’t separate your from the love of God. You may be suffering famine, you may have no clothes, and you may be in danger, but these things can’t separate you from the love of God. If you are a believer in Jesus, then even death can’t separate you from the love of God: in fact, it brings you closer.
Paul’s Letter to the Romans — Chapter 8
8:1 People who belong to Christ Jesus no longer face condemnation. 8:2 The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus freed you from the law of sin and death. 8:3 What the law was unable to do, because of the weakness of human nature, God did by sending his own Son in human form to deal with sin. So he condemned sin 8:4 to enable the requirements of the law to be met in us, who do not follow our sinful nature, but the Spirit. 8:5 People who follow their sinful nature think about sinful things, but people who follow the Spirit think about the things of the Spirit. 8:6 The sinful nature’s way of thinking leads to death, but the Spirit’s way of thinking brings life and peace. 8:7 The sinful nature’s way of thinking is hostile towards God. It is not subject to God’s law, and never will be. 8:8 People who follow their sinful nature cannot please God. 8:9 But you are following the Spirit, not the sinful nature, if the Spirit of God lives in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Christ. 8:10 If Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 8:11 If the Spirit of God who raised up Jesus from the dead lives in you, God who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who lives in you. 8:12 Friends, we owe a debt, but not to the sinful nature requiring us to follow the sinful nature. 8:13 If you follow the sinful nature you must die, but if by the power of the Spirit you kill the actions of the body, you will live. 8:14 All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 8:15 You did not receive a spirit of slavery again to fear. You received the Spirit of adoption, by which we exclaim, “Abba! Father!”
8:16 The Spirit himself tells us within our spirits that we are children of God. 8:17 If we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, since we suffer with him so that we can also be glorified with him. 8:18 The sufferings of this present time cannot be compared with the glory which will be shown to us. 8:19 The creation waits eagerly for the children of God to be revealed. 8:20 The creation was subjected to purposelessness, not willingly, but because of the one who subjected it, in hope 8:21 that the creation itself also will be liberated from the slavery of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 8:22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning with labour pains until now. 8:23 Even we ourselves, who have had the first taste of the Spirit, groan within ourselves, waiting for adoption and the redeeming of our bodies. 8:24 We were saved in hope, but hope that can be seen is not hope. Who hopes for something that can be seen? 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps our weaknesses, because we do not know how to pray as we should. The Spirit himself prays for us with sighs which cannot be spoken. 8:27 God who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he prays for the believers according to God’s will.
8:28 We know that God makes all things work together for good for people who love God, those who are called according to his purpose. 8:29 He knew them in advance and he determined their path in advance so they would become like his son, who would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 8:30 He called the ones whose path he had determined in advance. He justified the ones he called. He glorified the ones he justified.
8:31 Can we say that if God is for us, who can be against us? 8:32 He did not spare his own Son, but handed him over for us all. Will he not, in addition to his son, freely give us everything? 8:33 Who could bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who judges. 8:34 Who is it that condemns? It is Christ who died, or rather, was raised from the dead. He is at the right hand of God, pleading our case.
8:35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 8:36 It is written, “For your sake we are killed all day long. We were treated like sheep for the slaughter.” 8:37 In all these things, we are more than conquerors through the one who loved us. 8:38 I am convinced that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death, not life, not angels, not rulers, not present considerations, not future events, not powers, 8:39 not height, not depth, and not any other created thing.
Entry Filed under: Hope