As chapter 8 opens with a “therefore,” let’s review the territory covered thus far in this letter.
In chapter 1, Paul declares that grace and apostleship were brought through “Jesus Christ our Lord,” who “was declared to be the Son of God in power…by His resurrection from the dead.” This gospel is “the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Paul is equally insistent that God’s wrath is justified, for although men knew God, “they did not honor him or give thanks to Him… therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity,” which led to “dishonorable passions,” and, finally, “to a debased mind to do what ought not be done.”
Furthermore, this wrath is distributed without partiality: “There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek; but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.” The only hope for justification before God is His righteousness, which is available “through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe…” Not even Abraham was justified by his works, but rather because he “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”
Through Adam came sin, and with sin, death; but “as by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” Shall we then “continue in sin, so that grace may abound?... Are we to sin because we are not under law by under grace?” Of course not. Rather, “having been set free from sin, [we] have become slaves to righteousness.”
Likewise, while “the law is holy… sin seized an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.” Because of this, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate… when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.”
Which brings Paul to his “wretched man” ending of chapter 7. And today to his gratefulness for the Spirit of God that dwells in him; for the “glory that is to be revealed;” for how “the Spirit helps us in our weakness.” Furthermore, he reminds his readers today that God can choose whomever He wants to receive the gift of grace, just as He chose between Jacob and Esau, and that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Our verse for this week is Genesis 1:1: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Romans 8 through 10. Now let’s read it!
1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.