Study Notes: Romans 8

The eighth chapter of Romans is about the Holy Spirit. This most holy and intriguing personality is presented in so many dimensions that you will need to read the chapter multiple times to fully appreciate him.

Jesus introduced the multifaceted nature of the Spirit in the Gospels:

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever – The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you. John 14:16 -17 AMP”

Paul tells us that once we lay down legalism and the oppressive spirit of the Law, he is the one we turn to to help us live right before God. I quote:

“For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], so that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit]. Romans 8: 3-4”

He reiterates this in the Book of Galatians:

“But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do. But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law. Galatians 5:16-18 AMP”

The key to living right by God is NOT willpower or a code of dos & don’ts. It is the Holy Spirit. What a precious gift he is. He is our peace; he helps us live honourably; he directs us on which way to go in life and on how to please God. But, we must surrender completely to him and to allow him to lead us:

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:14 AMP”

The Spirit also heals. When he emergises the human body, miraculous things happen: “And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you. Romans 8:11 AMP”

The Holy Spirt is the one who helps us triumph over extremely difficult circumstances:

“[But what of that?] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us and conferred on us! For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship]. Romans 8: 18-19 AMP”

I believe the promises of glory and triumph are not just for the future or the end of the age but will be fulfilled daily in our lives if we depend on the Holy Spirit.

He also helps us pray according to God’s will and helps us express deep desires that are hard to articulate. Because he leads us to supplicate according to God’s plan, we are assured that God will arrange circumstances in our lives to align with that plan. Here’s the reference:

“And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will. We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. Roman 8:27-28 AMP”

The Holy Spirit is thus our ultimate ally. You cannot live as a Christian without him. You cannot fulfil your potential in God outside of him.

With the Holy Spirit, God demonstrates his love for us in abundance. God’s heir, Jesus Christ, gave his life for us. Now his Spirit resides within us freeing us from guilt and shame and helping us to live a life pleasing to God. Indeed, nothing can separate us from this matchless love of God. Nothing can condemn us for when we fall, the Holy Spirit picks us up and is ever ready to help us to do better. He is not an occasional visitor. He is in us and part of us. Nothing can take him away from us – not our mistakes or errors. The job of salvation is finished and if we would invite the Holy Spirit to walk through us, he will lead us along the paths of righteousness.

Today if you’re dealing with persistent sin, guilt or condemnation, I ask you to lay it all before the Holy Spirit. Ask him to energise and help you. Ask him to work within you to free you from the bondage of guilt and to help you to overcome sin.

If you are struggling with prayer, ask the Holy Spirit to help you when you pray.

If you are dealing with untold hardship and suffering, ask him to deliver you.

May the Holy Spirit demonstrate his power mightily in your life today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

PS: To begin your journey with God, simply say a short prayer now asking Jesus to walk with you and acknowledging him as your Saviour. Then, begin to read the Bible for yourself to become acquainted with God’s thoughts. (My Study Notes on my website may help.)

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