Romans 8:9–17, 26–32comment (0)
October 13, 2011
By Robert Olsen
Related Scripture: Romans 8:9–17, 26–32
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Assistant Professor of Christian Studies, School of Christian Studies, University of Mobile
It’s All About Certainty
Romans 8:9–17, 26–32
We Have the Spirit’s Presence (9–11)
Paul began Chapter 8 with a victorious account of our life in Christ, chiefly that there is no condemnation now for those who have put their faith in Him. Because there is no condemnation now for us, we can live a life of hope, knowing that our circumstances do not impact our eternal security.
In Chapter 7, Paul addressed the sin nature within humans. In Chapter 8, he was addressing how the Holy Spirit enables us to overcome our sin nature. At the moment we put our faith in Christ, God the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us. The Spirit does not come afterward through any other function such as baptism. Once the Spirit lives in us, He gives us the power to overcome our sinfulness. Having been freed from our slavery to sin, we are to live righteously. The Spirit living within us is the mark of a Christian and the guarantee that God is with us. Therefore God lives within us, and we are to honor Him by living in a way that is pleasing to Him, but furthermore the Holy Spirit’s presence within us assures us of our resurrection since it is the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead and is able to raise us from the dead and give us eternal life.
We Have the Spirit’s Guidance (12–17)
Because of what Christ has done for us — saving us from our sins and giving us eternal life — we have an obligation to live for God. But what happens if we sin? Isn’t this obeying the flesh? It is true that all Christians will continue to sin until they die and go on to see the Lord. However, when we spend time in fellowship with the Lord through prayer and reading His Word, we do not feed our sinful desires. It is as if we are putting to death the deeds of the body. This is why it is so important for us to spend time with the Lord so that we are refreshed spiritually and strengthened to not give in to temptation.
One may infer from the passage that Paul was suggesting that it is possible to lose one’s salvation. However, it is more likely that Paul was saying that those who continually live to sin gratifying the sin nature are probably not saved in the first place. If we have the Holy Spirit in us, then He will convict us and remind us that we belong to God. However, if we find we continually gratify the sin nature and never seek God, then that might be an indication that we do not have a true relationship with Him through Christ and might mean we need to place our faith in Christ to save us from our sins.
We Have the Spirit’s Prayers (26–27)
Another benefit of having the Holy Spirit indwell us is that He knows how to pray for us even when we don’t know how to pray for ourselves. Sometimes when we don’t know how to pray, we can just sit quietly, meditate on God and His Word and listen to what He has to tell us. Prayer is an important part of the Christian walk, and even when we don’t know how to pray, we can be assured that the Holy Spirit is interceding for us.
We Have Assurance (28–32)
This passage is one of the most comforting in the entire Bible. Because of the Spirit dwelling within us, we know that God is working all things for good. This does not mean that good things happen to us if we define good by the world’s standards. But it gives us assurance that even in the midst of trials, there is some divine good that will come out of them. People often think that suffering is incompatible with the idea of a good God, but the Bible indicates that believers will suffer, but we don’t face suffering as the world does. Instead we realize that God is working things for good, even in the seemingly worst of times. We are able to face these trials with a confident joy. God has predestined believers to be conformed to the image of His Son, and the Son was not spared suffering, but He faced it with obedience. But we have an assurance that God is sanctifying us, making us more and more like Him. Furthermore the result of this is that we are justified, being declared righteous before God, and glorified, being made more and more like God.