“Wrestling With Romans”
Life, Life and more Life (Chapter 8 Verses 1-17)
With “for” (v2 KJV), Paul now explains to us the behind-the-scenes operations which brought about our spiritual freedom. Now through Jesus Christ we live in the dynamic of another law, not that of sin and death which dehumanised, robbed us of all that life should be, but the law of the life in the Spirit. It began with our justification (v1), and its effect is that of new and unending life (v2), created by and sustained within us by God the Holy Spirit. The law of sin and death have been driven out, overthrown, they no longer have any power with us, because of the indestructible life of God within us (1John 4.4). A person can have a form of religion without having the Holy Spirit living in and empowering them, like having a motor car without an engine in it, no spark, no power, no life (2Timothy 3.5). Now the truth of the matter is, we either have the Spirit of life in us, or we do not, there is nothing in between (Matthew 12.30). If the Christian is free, the non-Christian is enslaved. If the Christian is justified, the non-Christian is condemned. If the Christian has life, the non-Christian is dead. If the Christian is reconciled to God, the non-Christian is alienated, an enemy. If the Christian is an heir to the glory of heaven, then the non-Christian is an heir to hell. You are either one or the other.
It is to a life that God calls people through his Son Jesus, and because it is a life there must be the process of growth, a growing transformation (2Corinthians 3.18). There are different stages in that growth, there are difficulties, crises, all which work together for good (Romans 8.28), bringing about more and more development and conformity to the image of God’s Son, which is the final goal, our destination (Romans 8.29). This life needs to be fed, nourished, first with milk and then on to solids (1Corinthians 3.2; Hebrews 5.12-13; 1Peter 2.2). But even those who have been on the road as Christians a long time, are still growing (2Corinthians 3.18; Philippians 3.12-15; Colossians 1.10). It is a process which is completed only in heaven, there and then we shall be like Jesus (1John 3.2). That life begins with our profession of faith in Christ (Colossians 2.6), that is the foundation that we start to build the super-structure upon (Colossians 2.7) always going higher and higher, reaching for heaven, for perfection (Matthew 5.48; 1Corinthians 13.10). But it is all possible because of the life of the Spirit within us, the fullness of God filling us (Colossians 2.9-10). And the more you are yielded to him, the more life you have. It just gets better and better.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)