Romans 8

Life through the Spirit

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you
The Greek is singular; some manuscripts me
free from the law of sin and death.
3For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,
In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit; also in verses 4-13.
God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.
Or flesh, for sin
And so he condemned sin in the flesh,
4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

5Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

9You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life
Or you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive
because of righteousness.
11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of
Some manuscripts bodies through
his Spirit who lives in you.

12Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation – but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

14For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.
The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture; also in verse 23.
And by him we cry, ‘Abba,
Aramaic for father
Father.’
16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Present suffering and future glory

18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that
Or subjected it in hope. 21For
the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who
Or that all things work together for good to those who love God, who; or that in all things God works together with those who love him to bring about what is good – with those who
have been called according to his purpose.
29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

More than conquerors

31What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:

‘For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
Psalm 44:22

37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
Or nor heavenly rulers
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 9

Paul’s anguish over Israel

1I speak the truth in Christ – I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit – 2I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, 4the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, for ever praised!
Or Messiah, who is over all. God be for ever praised! Or Messiah. God who is over all be for ever praised!
Amen.

God’s sovereign choice

6It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’
Gen. 21:12
8In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9For this was how the promise was stated: ‘At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.’
Gen. 18:10,14

10Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad – in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls – she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’
Gen. 25:23
13Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’
Mal. 1:2,3

14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,

‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’
Exodus 33:19

16It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17For Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’
Exodus 9:16
18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19One of you will say to me: ‘Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?’ 20But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? ‘Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?”’
Isaiah 29:16; 45:9
21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

22What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath – prepared for destruction? 23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory – 24even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25As he says in Hosea:

‘I will call them “my people” who are not my people;
and I will call her “my loved one” who is not my loved one,’
Hosea 2:23

26and, ‘In the very place where it was said to them,
“You are not my people,”
there they will be called “children of the living God.”’
Hosea 1:10

27Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: ‘Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea,
only the remnant will be saved.
28For the Lord will carry out
his sentence on earth with speed and finality.’
Isaiah 10:22,23 (see Septuagint)

29It is just as Isaiah said previously: ‘Unless the Lord Almighty
had left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom,
we would have been like Gomorrah.’
Isaiah 1:9

Israel’s unbelief

30What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the ‘stumbling stone.’ 33As it is written:

‘See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.’
Isaiah 8:14; 28:16

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