Romans 8: 1-4
8 So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One.[a] 2 For the “law” of the Spirit of life flowing through the anointing of Jesus has liberated us[b]from the “law” of sin and death. 3 For God achieved what the law was unable to accomplish, because the law was limited by the weakness of human nature.[c]
Yet God sent us his Son in human form to identify with human weakness. Clothed with humanity, God’s Son gave his body to be the sin-offering so that God could once and for all condemn the guilt and power of sin. 4 So now every righteous requirement of the law can be fulfilled through the Anointed One living his life in us. And we are free to live, not according to our flesh, but by the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit![d]
Romans 8 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Over the last few months, this chapter has just jumped out at me. In the last year, as I began to dedicate increasing time to studying God’s Word, I realized that although I was a Christian, something was missing in my faith.
This might seem odd, but slowly I realized that what was missing was an intimate knowledge of God. For years I had tried to practice saving faith, but it was more like a person petitioning Santa Claus for the blessing I wanted than a true relationship with a loving Father. I knew about Him, but I really didn’t know Him.
As I spent more and more time with God, I wanted… no, I needed…to get closer to Him. Yet there was a competing thought that tried to overcome me. At the same time God was drawing me closer, my mind was telling me I wasn’t good enough.
My past was holding me back. I knew who I was on the inside. I knew my brokenness. I knew my shame. How could a Holy God want to be close to that? I was sure that God couldn’t use me and didn’t really want me. I was sure I had just “snuck in under the radar”. I didn’t know or feel God’s love.
Then about two months ago, I started reading the Bible with a new focus and a different approach. I wasn’t reading just to read. I started reading it as if God was talking to me. The first time I read Romans 8 with this new perspective, my world shifted. I felt His love. I felt God holding me. I felt good enough. I knew that I was whole for the first time in my life. I felt God’s complete love for the first time in my walk, and I haven’t felt unloved once since.
Perhaps you know that place of struggle. If you don’t, I give glory to the Lord for setting you free. May we all pray that the Holy Spirit would set and keep us free to walk in the fullness of His love and grace.
Father God let me receive the fullness of your love. Father deliver our entire church body from the prison of condemnation and let us all receive your love. Father renew my revelation that Jesus died for my sins as well as the sins of the world. Father God create in us a deep hunger to seek a relationship with the Holy Spirit, whether for the first time or at deeper levels. Lord give us a never-ending passion for knowing the greatness of your power in us. AMEN