5 Minutes, 6 Big Ideas, 7 Days in Romans 8
Paul explains in Ephesians 4:15-16 how God equips His family to share with others how He is working in their lives for mutual growth and encouragement in love and truth:
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Empowering this mutual “building up”, God gives each of us a unique ability to help others by dispensing God’s grace (1 Peter 4:10). Paired with our individual histories, experiences, education, interests and relationships, this gift of grace empowers each individual to exhibit a facet of the beauty, truth, and power of God’s love in Christ.
With this in mind, here are 6 “Big Ideas” to reflect on during the week from Romans 8. Review them for 5 minutes each day of the week, focusing on how these powerful truths can shape your day to day life so that your unique facet of God’s grace can build up the Body of Christ and shine in a world in need of the light of Christ.
1. YOU ARE MADE “RIGHT” WITH GOD
Key questions: What is our standing before God? • What happened to our sins? • What does God think of us? • Is fear to motivate us to live rightly?
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
2. THE HOLY SPIRIT DWELLS IN YOU
Key questions: Do we consider the amazing fact that God lives in us? • Do we consciously preoccupy ourselves with what Jesus has done for us? • Is “walking in step” with the Spirit becoming a constant practice? • Are we reminding ourselves that we no longer must sin, no matter what?
Romans 8:9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
Romans 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.
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
3. THE PERFECT FATHER HAS ADOPTED YOU
Key questions: Do we live in awareness that God is our perfect Father? Do we live free from “fear of punishment” or seek to avoid our Father’s disapproval? Do we revel in the fact that God wants to be our Father?
Romans 8:15-16 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!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
4. YOU ENDURE THROUGH UNAVOIDABLE SUFFERING
Key questions: Do we live realistically knowing that suffering in this world must take place because of sin? • Do we live with certain hope that one day this necessity of suffering will come to a halt? • Do we live in excited, enduring expectation of that day by walking in step with the Spirit?
Romans 8:23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
5. GOD PROMISES TO EXTRACT GOOD OUT OF YOUR SUFFERING
Key questions: Do we rely on the Holy Spirit’s prayers for us when we are stymied by the hardships of life? • Do we trust that our Father will use suffering to produce “good” in our lives, namely, “to be conformed to the image of His Son”?
Romans 8:26-29 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. . . . And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
6. GOD’S PERMANENT, UNSTOPPABLE LOVE IS FOR YOU...ALWAYS!
Key questions: Do we relate our suffering to God’s proof (Jesus’ death) & promise (to continue “gracing” us) that demonstrate He is “for us”? • Do we deal with human opposition by fleeing to the Father’s justifying us and the Son’s past & present work for us? • Are we convinced that no circumstance of life or powerful forces of evil will ever put us outside God’s love?
Romans 8:31-32 What then shall we say to these things? If God is 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?
Romans 8:39b . . . nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.