Every believer is fighting a battle—a battle within themselves. God has created a new, holy nature in each of his children. But even though elect believers are regenerated and sanctified, their old, totally depraved nature remains in them while they are still on this earth. Their old nature and new nature are constantly in conflict with each other. Paul describes the frustration of this inner spiritual struggle in Romans 7:19: “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” As a believer continues to mature and study God’s word, they are brought to an increasing awareness of the depth of their own sin and sorrow for it. They may exclaim along with Paul in Romans 7:24, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
To the discouraged believer who feels like their sinful nature is always winning the battle comes the answer to Paul’s question, the promise of Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” Christ has borne the guilt of your sin. Even though you will never be able to live a sinless life on this side of heaven, in Christ you have the Holy Spirit working in you, enabling you to fight the battle against your sinful nature. As you go on to read the entire chapter of Romans 8 this month, you will be reminded of all the amazing benefits that come from the Holy Spirit dwelling within you. The presence and work of the Holy Spirit, shown by its fruit in the lives of believers, gives us confidence that we are indeed adopted children of God and serves as a guarantee of our future resurrection.
Every believer is also fighting another battle—a battle against Satan and all his powers of evil. Satan is a fierce adversary. First Peter 5:8 describes him as a “roaring lion” that prowls around looking for someone to devour. He will use any means necessary to try to draw us away from God. He uses the difficult circumstances of life in this broken world to try to convince us that God does not have our best interests in mind. He uses persecution to tempt us to deny God and join with him instead. He uses the pleasures of this world to distract us from being vigilant in our fight against sin. He even uses our own minds to accuse us and to tempt us to doubt our salvation.
To the discouraged believer who feels like Satan is winning the battle comes the promise of Romans 8:35–39 that nothing, no matter how powerful it seems to be, is able to separate us from the love of God. Romans 8:37 also assures God’s children of the final victory over Satan that we have in Christ when it says that “we are more than conquerers through him that loved us.” Romans 8:32 emphasizes the great love of God for his people by reminding us that he gave up his own Son to pay for our sins. And the familiar promise of Romans 8:28 combats the lies of Satan by reminding us that God is using all things, even the most difficult and painful circumstances of our lives, for the good of his people.
Romans 8 is a beautiful chapter that holds a special place in the heart of many believers, including myself. It has often been called the greatest chapter in the Bible, not because it is more important than other chapters, but because of how it sets forth the truth of the gospel in an especially clear and powerful way. As you read and meditate on the promises of Romans 8 this month, I challenge you to see how many of these verses you can commit to memory. Being able to recite these promises to yourself as you engage in the daily battle against Satan and your own sinful nature will give you strength to press on. They will remind you of the life and peace that is found in Christ Jesus now, the certainty of victory in him at the last day, and the eternal life and perfect peace that awaits you in heaven.
Abby is a wife and mother in the home. She attends Trinity Protestant Reformed Church with her husband and three children.
|July 8||Rom. 7:18–25||What is Paul describing in these verses? How have you experienced this struggle in your own life?||Ps. 103|
|July 9||Rom. 8:1–4||Why is there no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus? What comfort do you find personally in this promise?||“Before the Throne of God Above”|
|July 10||Rom. 8:1–4||What role does each person of the Trinity play in your salvation?||Ps. 45|
|July 11||Rom. 8:1–4||For what purpose has God redeemed you according to verse 4? Does your life show this?||Ps. 89|
|July 12||Read Rom. 8:5–8||Can you think of some examples of “things of the flesh”? How about “things of the Spirit”? What things do you set your mind on?||Ps. 48|
|July 13||Rom. 8:5–8||How does the spiritual condition of your mind influence the way that you live?||Ps. 51|
|July 14||Rom. 8:5–8||What is the “life and peace” that comes from being spiritually minded? Have you experienced this?||Ps. 69|
|July 15||Rom. 8:9–11||How have you observed the work of the Holy Spirit in your own life?||Ps. 109|
|July 16||Rom. 8:9–11||How is the Holy Spirit’s presence in you a guarantee of your future resurrection?||Ps. 79|
|July 17||Rom. 8:12–13||What does it mean to mortify sin? How can your Christian community help you do this?||Ps. 50|
|July 18||Rom. 8:12–13||How do the errors of antinomianism and legalism both hinder the mortification of sin in a person’s life?||Ps. 70|
|July 19||Rom. 8:14–17||What does Paul mean here when he says that believers are “led by the Spirit of God” (v. 14)? How have you experienced this?||Ps. 141|
|July 20||Rom. 8:14–17||What amazing privileges do you have as an adopted child of God?||Ps. 94|
|July 21||Rom. 8:14–17||Why do believers need to be reminded of their identity as children of God through the witness of the Spirit?||“Blessed Assurance”|
|July 22||Rom. 8:18–25||Why should Christians expect to experience suffering in their life on this earth?||Ps. 153|
|July 23||Rom. 8:18–25||Where can you see the effects of the curse of sin on the creation around you?||Ps. 95|
|July 24||Rom. 8:18–25||What does it mean for you to have the “firstfruits of the Spirit” (v. 23)?||Ps. 31|
|July 25||Rom. 8:18–25||How should you react to/feel about the present state of the world according to these verses?||Ps. 66|
|July 26||Rom. 8:26–27||How does the Holy Spirit help you to pray?||Ps. 426|
|July 27||Rom. 8:26–27||What does it mean that the Spirit intercedes for you “according to the will of God”?||Ps. 1|
|July 28||Rom. 8:28||What is the difference between God working for your good and God working for what makes you feel good? Which one is promised in this verse?||Ps. 16|
|July 29||Rom. 8:28||How does reading this very familiar verse in the context of the rest of the chapter add to your understanding of the promise that is found here?||Ps. 304|
|July 30||Rom. 8:29–30||What did God do for you in eternity past? What does he do for you now? What will he do for you in eternity future?||Ps. 203|
|July 31||Rom. 8:29–30||How does the truth of God’s sovereign and loving work in your life that is described here show the error of Arminianism?||Ps. 269|
|Aug 1||Rom. 8:31–32||How does the truth of “these things” that you read in verses 29–30 give you confidence as you face the trials and temptations of daily life?||Ps. 228|
|Aug 2||Rom. 8:31–32||Why can you be certain that God will graciously give you everything that you need?||“How Great Thou Art”|
|Aug 3||Rom. 8:33–34||What means does the devil use to accuse you from both within and outside yourself?||Ps. 385|
|Aug 4||Rom. 8:33–34||How does contemplating the work of Christ on your behalf help you to challenge the devil’s accusations against you?||Ps. 398|
|Aug 5||Rom. 8:35–39||What does it mean that believers are “more than conquerers” (v. 37)? How is this possible?||Ps. 394|
|Aug 6||Rom. 8:35–39||What truths about God from Romans 8 can you cling to when you face any of the hardships that are listed in these verses?||Ps. 401|
|Aug 7||Reread Rom. 8||How can you use the promises of Romans 8 to encourage and strengthen others who are facing difficult circumstances?||Ps. 407|
Originally published Vol 81, No 7, July 2022