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Therefore there is now

Romans 8 is one of the most powerful descriptions of the benefits of a life in Christ Jesus. Such a life is one that has by grace through faith been joined to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Four key elements of such life:

no condemnation

We are no longer under the weight of sin and death. We can often live under a cloud of accusation and sense of failure, a key scheme of the enemy to separate us from the truth of who we are in Christ. A life of no condemnation is not immune from such feelings and messages, but is freed to know that Christ has become sin for us (including all the condemnation, guilt, shame, and failure) and in exchange has given us His right standing with God.

adoption & inheritance

Saved by grace through faith, we now belong to the family of God – we are chosen to be His sons and daughters, and given the blessing of an eternal inheritance = enteral life which begins by knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ (John 17:3) and will continue forever. How? Why? Because God so loved the world (John 3:16). How great is the love the Father has lavished upon us that we should be called children of God (1 John 3:1). And we are given the right to become children of God when we receive Jesus, when we believe in His name (John 1:12-13).

longing & hope

While we are not of the world we remain in it for a time so that others may come to know Jesus Christ. Therefore we are often tugged in the now and not-yet reality of God’s kingdom – a kingdom coming, on earth as in heaven – but not in fullness yet. As CS Lewis so aptly writes, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” Since we have been set apart for and by the Lord, we will always be out-of-place in this world and the world out-of-place in us. Such longing & hope (assurance) gives us much needed perspective for such a time as this.

no separation

Nothing… and I mean nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39). The crescendo of Romans 8. Again, the follower of Jesus is not immune from the experiences and dangers of this world (tribulation, distress, persecution, famine…) but the steadfast promise for those in Christ Jesus is such things cannot disrupt the purpose and promise of God’s love for us, evil has no power to overcome God’s salvation of our lives.

for those who are in Christ Jesus

For those who lay hold of the One who has first laid hold of them (Philippians 3:12). For those whom God has first-loved, first-chosen, saved while dead in sin (Ephesians 2:4, 1 John 4:19, John 15:16). The relief of God who is the One at work to will and act in us according to His good pleasure, proving His love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Philippians 2:13, Romans 5:8).

Pastor Jon