“Wrestling With Romans”
He Loved Me (Chapter 8 Verses 1-17)
The law in its impotence could never have given us such freedom (v3). It is passive, it has no power, no life in it, how could it have? Impossible! O yes it could produce death (v2b), but not life, only God can produce life, no other. The law can stir up our sinful nature (Romans 7.7b), giving power to sin (Romans 7.9), but no free, happy God-ward obedience. So what did God do? Something “without (apart from) the law” (Romans 3.21), in the fulfilment of his gracious covenant faithfulness he sent Jesus Christ, his Son (John 1.14), to write the law in our hearts (Jeremiah 31.33), in order that he should be our God, and we should be his people, demonstrated in our fulfilling his revealed will. In other words the gospel did what the law could never do. If ever you get to thinking God the Father does not love you, turn back to this verse. For it is he, we are told here, who devised this stupendous plan to effect your salvation, by placing the task in the hands of his own Son. Sending him whom he loves beyond anything we can comprehend and sending him to die for us who were rebels and God-haters, out of a heart of pure, sovereign love for us (Romans 5.6-8). O yes make no mistake about it Christian, he loves you (John 3.16). Do not, never, ever doubt it.
God did it by his Son (v3) that is by placing our condemnation (v1), upon him;
“Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned he stood;
Sealed my pardon with his blood:
Hallelujah! What a Saviour! (P. Bliss)
God made his Son sin for us (2Corinthians 5.21), he made him a curse for us (Galatians 3.13), thus granting us freedom (v1). It is this gospel that brings the transforming power into peoples lives (Romans 1.16), changing the human heart, providing us with a role-model for our new life, Jesus himself (Romans 8.29). Jesus is God, and in the dress of humanity he continued to behave like God, giving us a perfect model by which our lives now must be fashioned. The long-range forecast for your future is that God will succeed in bringing about his purpose in your life. He will not fail. He loved you, loves you, no matter what is going on now, he is one hundred per cent committed to you, and has been since eternity past. And guess what? He has not changed his mind since (Malachi 3.6; Hebrews 13.5).
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)