Today’s Passage: Romans 8
In this chapter Paul develops the contrast between the Spirit and the flesh. The hallmark of the flesh is that it fails to measure up to the Law, and consequently is mired in death; the Spirit, of God, conversely, brings life and peace and righteousness.
As the chapter progresses, Paul gets into our adoption as children of God, to which the Spirit bears witness (16), and about hope for a future where all creation is set right (20).
If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you’ve probably come to this chapter more than once. It’s got a pile of familiar verses: the “no condemnation in Christ” verse (1), the “God causes all things to work together for good” verse (28), the “nothing can separate us from the love of God” segment (38-39). I’ve been a Christian since I was five, some twenty-eight years now, and after so many years of coming back to this passage, although I might learn or notice something new from it, it’s no longer novel to me. Whenever I read it, it’s familiar ground. There’s this sense to it: “I’ve been here before.”
So today, as I read vv. 18-26, my own subjective experience of reading the passage and having it resonate with me was familiar too. You look around, and this world’s a wreck. We’re up to our necks in an unfolding political trainwreck, we’re mired in materialism and afraid of losing what we have, the whole universe seems twisted on a cosmic level that I can’t even find the words for. And…I mean, God subjected the world to this futility? That’s what verse 20 says.
And to be honest, the only reason I’m able to trust him as he continues to subject the world to futility is that some two thousand years ago, he rolled up his sleeves, came down to earth, and got embroiled in our corrupted, diseased mess. It killed him. He let it kill him. And he didn’t stay dead.
So, here I am, hoping. The world has not yet been set right, but I expect that it will.
For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. (24-25)
For today’s chocolate, I finished off the Palmer’s cookies and cream hearts, and tomorrow I will finish off the Chocolove coffee crunch. What chocolate should I have after that? I see you liking this post. Suggest a chocolate, leave a comment.