Read This Week: Romans 8
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:28, 37-39 NIV
The word conquer brings connotations and feelings of victory over something; the demolition of a worthy opponent or getting the better of someone on the way to ultimate triumph. It is a strong verb originally meant for kings and their adornment of praise after successfully overcoming and putting down an enemy. To conquer is to establish a lasting and permanent mark of defeat.
In chapter 8 of Romans, the Apostle Paul doubles down and gives new meaning to the word conquer. He says we are more than conquerors as Christians indicating that we’ve gone beyond a decisive win to something deeper and more profound. Through Jesus’ finished work on the cross, we have gained a conclusive advantage over sin and death once and for all time. Nothing is left unconquered in the power of Christ. It is a total victory over our present brokenness, suffering, and hardships.
Paul writes in verses 1-14 that this total victory comes through the power of the Holy Spirit living in us after salvation. He declares that we live in our bodies with the same Spirit’s power that raised Jesus from the dead. The power that not only overcame the stronghold of sin and death but completely obliterated it. A person with that capability and power capacity is not merely a conqueror but someone that ascends to new and never before seen heights of success. Verses 10-11 says:
But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
The total victory in our lives made possible by the Holy Spirit first came to us through love – the complete love of God. In verses 28, 37, and 39, Paul references this love as the reason all things work together for our good. He says that love gives us the very purpose we long for on the journey and in our struggles. Paul points to love as the catalyst of victory over sin, weakness, and demise. The love of God in Christ Jesus laid the groundwork for us to win now and for eternity.
Our confidence and assurance in life culminate in God’s great love for us. This section affirms that nothing, in our full range of existence including the natural and supernatural forces around us, the uncertainties of time, and all reaches of space, can separate us from the love of God. Nothing can stop it, restrict it, or keep us from knowing and feeling His love in our best and darkest moments. It is a total victory in Jesus.
God gave me a poem out of Romans 8 verse 2:
From the beginning of creation, God’s law was given to all
Not a single law is out of date
Let us walk the righteous way.
Were freed from the law of sin,
For God’s spirit lives within
His amazing grace saves us from sin and wrath,
To live Godly lives and walk the holy path.
What that means to me is that it’s a wonderful privilege to live under grace. I am no longer under the law, there are no more chains. God’s law is now within in a new life with Christ. It’s great to live in my new nature, not my old nature.
I really appreciate this poem, Jeri, and your artistic expression of God’s grace and our privilege to live under it and not the law that leads to sin and death. It is a wonderful truth to know that in Christ, we exist and live under God’s grace and that it propels and empowers us to walk in His ways every day in our new nature.
You’ve articulated a benefit and blessing that followers of Jesus need to know, hear, and be reminded of on a regular basis. We need to live in the reality that we are no longer subservient to or obligated to sin, but we walk in victory.
In life and in our journey with Father God, until we go home to be with Him and the family of God, He gave us his Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives in us because we are His children. If we have given Him our life, we responded to God, now we get to live with Him forever and ever.
What blessed me in Romans 8 is a reminder that God loves me. He blessed me with His Holy Spirit to help me, guide me, teach me, council me, and pray for me. Prayer is talking to God because we love Him and we care about His feelings and what He wants to be done. It’s all about asking Him what His will is, then listen, respond, and obey. If it’s difficult then we keep asking Him to help us through the process, knowing that He is always working everything for our good because we love Him and we care.
It’s all about remembering that every day is a new day to learn and grow in the ways of the Lord. The Holy Spirit will help you, guide you in the right direction for sure. Keep asking because He never gets tired of listening to you.
I appreciate how you are always writing about and reminding us of God’s love, Heidi. This thought really stood out to me:
Prayer is talking to God because we love Him… It’s all about asking Him what His will is, then listen, respond, and obey. If it’s difficult then we keep asking Him to help us through the process, knowing that He is always working everything for our good because we love Him and we care.
I am thankful for your assertion that it is because of love that everything is working out for our good. It is the same love that God receives us with through Christ and that love cascades into all of our interactions and connections to Him. His love permeates and underwrites the benefits we enjoy and take part in because of our relationship with Jesus.
This week in Romans 8, God gave me a few songs. The first song is called, “Believing”:
We are children of God, children of God
We believe, believe, believe in our Father
Walking in his spirit, enjoying our journey
Our journey with God
Believing, trusting, relying on Him
Through our ups and downs, we are winning
Winning because we believe in our Lord
Glory, glory, glory, we are children of God. Amen.
When you trust and rely on the Lord, your journey in life is so much easier. Just trust and believe.
My second song is called, “Praising the Holy Spirit”:
We praise you, praise you, praise you, our Lord
Your spirit flowing through us, letting us grow
All things work together for good for those who love our Lord
Let’s praise, praise, praise, our Lord God Almighty
Let Him lead us through all things good or bad
The Holy Spirit giving us strength and love
Inspiring all of God’s children
Praising, praising, praising you, our Lord. Amen.
I am thankful for being a child of God. I feel blessed that His holy spirit gives me strength, power, and wisdom. All things are possible with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
Two beautiful songs filled with truth and God’s promises, Alma. Yours is a lyrical offering of the total victory in Christ that Paul outlines in Romans 8. The power and success the Holy Spirit gives us to do bring glory to God and accomplish His will. That fact should cause us to praise and worship God as your songs inspire us to do.
When my wife and I were first together, we used to listen to a song in the car called “Total Praise” that your post reminded me of. It goes like this:
Lord, I will lift my eyes to the hills
Knowing my health is coming from You
Your peace You give me in times of the storm
You are the source of my strength, Hallelujah
And You are the strength of my life, yes You are
I lift my hands in total praise to You
You are the source of my strength
You are the strength of my life
I lift my hands in total praise to You
In Romans chapter 8, God drew me to verse 35 and was saying to me, “You see all around you, my son, how this world is trying so hard to change you. It is trying to make you turn away from me. All the things going on today do not concern you in any way, because you know the truth. I am in you, protecting you from all the evil ways of the world. For you to fear nothing is all I hope for you.”
What that means to me is no one or thing can separate us from Him as long as we truly hold and accept Him into our hearts. No matter what this world tries to do, we have faith and trust in Him. We will stand strong with Him and not fear anything of this world.
Thank you for your comment and reflection of encouragement and exhortation during these troubled times, Sam. I can’t think of a better reminder of a truth that we can hold onto in the middle of our current crisis than Romans 8:35-39:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake, we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I read your words and they inspired me to reread that Scripture. Then the Holy Spirit filled me with hope and confidence to do as you said, “stand strong and not fear anything of this world.”