Romans 7,8 are two of the most uplifting in God’s word and this makes the Bible so fascinating. God’s book is designed to last the lifetime of each of us. As we read day after day, year after year, comparing scripture with scripture, the fullness of its message and meaning grows clearer. Chapter 7 tells us how the natural mind works. Paul was confronted by a recognition of the ways of failing to keep that Law, for example he wrote, “I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet” (verse 7). But human nature is such that laws like this prompt a recognition of covetousness!
The idea of coveting is obsolete today; the aim of modern marketing is to encourage people to covet. Paul inspires his readers to live so “that we may bear fruit for God” (verse 4), and in chapter 8 Paul encourages Christ’s followers to think positively, i.e., to think spiritually, and not let their minds dwell “on the flesh” for “those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (verse 8).
When we start to develop a spiritual mind, the outcome says Paul, is that “all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (verses 14,15). The Psalms are a great help in developing the spiritual mind.
How real and ever present in our lives is our Heavenly Father? Paul tells the Romans they have become “children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (verses 16,17). Paul then makes a really challenging point, saying, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (verse 18).
There were times when Paul “groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (verse 23). The chapter reaches its climax when he writes, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life … nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (verses 37,39). May we all be “more than conquerors”.
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