Today we read two stirring chapters for those who sense they are “called to be saints” (Romans 1:7). They follow on from Romans 5 & 6, which challenge believers that they, “having been set free from sin” must now be “slaves to righteousness” (6:18). The sacrifice of Jesus brought an end to the law of Moses, a law which spelt out all the ways that humans become classified as sinners in God’s eyes. In its place we have, “received the spirit of adoption, as sons (and daughters) by which we cry, ‘Abba, Father’” (8:15). Let us recognize that we became the adopted children of God when put on the name of His Son in baptism; let us think positively of the wonder and privilege of this!
Chapters 7 & 8 today go together. It is essential we develop a spiritual mind, in contrast to a fleshly mind. There is nothing in between. Paul says, “those who live according to the spirit set their minds on the things of the spirit … the mind of the spirit is life and peace” (verses 5,6). This state of mind develops the more we read God’s word and this letter of Paul is an outstanding and inspirational example.
Paul says, “If God be for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? … Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life … nor things to come … nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (verses 31,35,37-39). God will certainly be for us – as long as we are for Him and show we are trying our best to be “slaves to righteousness”.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (15:13). This is not the power to do miracles, it is having a genuine spiritual mind in contrast to a fleshly mind: absorb the point Paul makes in what we read in 8:5, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit”. And, O, the wonder then of God being “for us”.