Read This Week: Romans 8

If Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. – Romans 8:10, 26-27 NIV

The Holy Spirit has been referred to at times as the “Forgotten God” because so many Christians neglect His presence in their lives. The Spirit is the member of the triune Godhead mentioned the least during Sunday gatherings and whose power we often fail to access in our daily journey. Some even substitute the gospel for the work of the Holy Spirit. But, His existence is undeniable, and His presence is what empowers the people of God to live out His purpose, accomplish His will, and be the Church in the world.

The Apostle Paul does not forget or neglect the Holy Spirit in the teachings of Romans 8. From the second verse to the end of the chapter, he asserts that it is not possible to be a Christian without the Spirit. We cannot separate the person and work of the Holy Spirit from the Father or from Jesus. Paul sets the tone for this in verses 2 and 5-6:

The law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires, but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

Here, we see that the Spirit is the One who causes us to believe in and benefit from Christ’s finished work on the cross. He enables us to do God’s will and gives us the power over sin and death in the present as well as the ability to live victoriously apart from what our flesh wants to do. The Holy Spirit reminds us that we are justified before God and no longer condemned.

Paul also uses this opportunity to teach the Roman believers and us that the Holy Spirit is our Helper as Jesus said He would be in John 14:26. He helps by teaching us the deep things of God and how to obey the Lord’s commands. The Spirit helps us escape from and avoid sin. He stands in the gap for us in our weaknesses. And as Paul specifically points out, the Spirit prays for us and intercedes on our behalf. Verse 26 says:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us.

In our new life with God, the Holy Spirit shows up in ways and at a point where we often need it most, in our prayers. Because of our weakness, we sometimes don’t know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit comes and ministers to us by assisting in our communion with God even when we can’t find the words to say. The Holy Spirit, however, understands our hearts and the meaning of our deep emotions, and through them, pleads to God for us. He is the ever-present help in time of need.

It is no wonder after Paul outlines this ministry of the Holy Spirit that he writes, We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. This verse is never more true or understood when we remember that we have the power of the Holy Spirit living in us, the same power that raised Christ from the dead. How could all things not work together for good when we know we have the Spirit of God with us at all times? May we never forget that beautiful and hopeful truth.

8 Comments

  1. almaschmidt on July 27, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    This week in Romans 8 verse 35, God gave me a song called, “Love of God”:

    We are children of God, we are children of God
    Children of our Father God who loves us all

    You and I can’t hide or run
    He knows where we are
    So let’s run to Him
    Not run away from doing our life with Him

    His love is deep, so deep that his love will never separate from us
    So let’s do the same.
    Trust, believe, and love our Lord. Amen.

    God knows exactly what we need. Just remember that His love will never fade, it just gets better and better. So, let’s trust in Him and we will be blessed.

    • Jason on August 3, 2020 at 3:17 pm

      This was my favorite line from your song this week, Alma:

      You and I can’t hide or run
      He knows where we are
      So let’s run to Him

      It is a really encouraging and wonderful thought to know we can’t run or hide from the person and love of God. He knows right where we are at all times and He’s willing and able to touch, comfort, protect, and heal us. May we always know this and run to His loving arms.

  2. Jeri Centers on July 30, 2020 at 10:15 am

    God gave me a poem from Romans 8 verse 38 and 39:

    There is nothing that stands in my way
    There is no one person that will cause me to sway.

    Jesus is my remedy
    For all my troubles nothing can move me
    From my convictions.

    Not the trials in this life or the tests I go through
    Will cause God’s love to never ever end.

    Not the storms out at sea or the ones on the shore
    Could carry or take me away from the God, I adore.

    What that means to me is if my world fell apart, nothing or no one can not change my love for my Lord. Nothing can separate me. I will always remain fully persuaded of the love God has for me.

    • Jason on August 3, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      This is another powerful and beautiful poem, Jeri. The line I can’t get away from and is giving me hope and peace today is:

      Not the storms out at sea or the ones on the shore
      Could carry or take me away from the God, I adore.

      I am thankful to you for reminding us that nothing resides in any place we inhabit, whether it be on land or sea, that can separate us from God and his love. That is hopeful and reassuring in these challenging times. Keep sharing your heart and expressing your art for God’s glory!

  3. Kathy on July 30, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    This is what God was saying to me in this chapter: “If you are not in Jesus Christ there is condemnation for you as you continue to walk in the flesh. You should be walking according to the Spirit. If you are saved, you receive no condemnation because My son Jesus bore the condemnation you deserved, and your identity is now in Him. You are free from the guilt of sin and you are free from the power of sin. Jesus is your substitute. He was treated as a sinner, so you can be treated as righteous.

    Walking in the Spirit is a continued and progressive motion. If you continue in the flesh, you can not please Me. Your mind is the battleground where the flesh and the Spirit fight. Walking in the Spirit brings life and peace. You must also walk by the Spirit if you want to grow and pursue holiness in Me. My Holy Spirit leads you to repentance, to think little of self and much like My son Jesus. It leads you into truth, love, holiness, and usefulness. You, a child of Mine, can have a relationship so close that you may cry out daddy or papa to Me! As My child you should know who you are in Me.

    Your sharing in present suffering, is a condition of your future glorification. This coming glory will not only be revealed to you, but it will actually be revealed in you. If you are weak and do not know exactly how you should pray, I will, through the Holy Spirit, make intercession for you. I am able to make your sufferings work together for your good and My good. Your participation in this eternal plan is essential. If I am for you, it doesn’t matter if others are against you. You plus Me makes an unconquerable majority. The evidence I am for you is the gift of Jesus Christ.”

    • Jason on August 3, 2020 at 2:11 pm

      I really loved this line from your post, Kathy: Walking in the Spirit is a continued and progressive motion. This is a great word picture of how the Spirit works in our lives and God’s intention for our lives in the Spirit’s power.

      The word “continued” intimates the active and ongoing nature of sanctification. It is something that never stops or ceases for life. The word “progressive” asserted to me that our walk with Jesus is constantly evolving and experiencing growth, adjusting to what comes our way.

  4. Heidi on August 3, 2020 at 10:04 am

    This whole chapter is so amazing. It brings hope and so much love from Father, God. When we are doing life with God, He helps us, because we are His children. You can be assured that God is always working in our hearts, healing our hurts, and mending our wounds as we worship, sing, spend time with Him, talk to Him, listen and respond to Him. As we take His advice, He leads us and guides us in the right direction. I am so thankful to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

    I heard God saying to me, “I love you so much, My children! There is nothing that can separate you from My love unless you chose to not respond to My Love, guidance, instructions. I love to help, guide, and lead you in the right direction. It blesses My heart and you will be blessed. I hope you continue to come to Me so I can help you.”

    • Jason on August 3, 2020 at 2:16 pm

      Heidi, I really appreciate your reflection of one part of the Holy Spirit’s ministry that is often overlooked and that is His ministry of healing. This line was so encouraging: You can be assured that God is always working in our hearts, healing our hurts, and mending our wounds as we worship, sing, spend time with Him…

      Thank you for reminding us that the Holy Spirit not only empowers us to live for God but to experience the healing in our lives that often evades us and prevents us from fulfilling our purpose. God is a loving Father and has given us His Spirit to bind up our wounds and experience the wholeness and freedom He intends for us.

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