“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.” Romans 8:15-30, NLT

Notes from the Wayfinding Bible

Paul certainly doesn’t hold back on the topic of sin and its consequences, but he doesn’t leave the Romans to despair over their sinfulness either. He reminds them that, through Christ, God has dealt decisively with sin. Paul brings them to a point of celebration by focusing on the joy that comes with faith and the peace that comes with life in the Holy Spirit.

When Paul talks about our sinful nature, he is referring to the inclination of our natural desires toward sin. All humans are born with a sinful nature. God, however, did not create people this way. He created them perfect, without sin; but sin came into the world through Adam and Eve, who disobeyed God. Humans are sinful and God is perfect; we need Jesus to make us sinless again in God’s eyes.

Paul’s message to the Romans contains one of the most comforting passages in the Bible. He clearly states, in different ways, that nothing can separate us from God’s love. He gives us comfort and assurance that no matter what we do, where we go, or what happens to us, absolutely nothing will come between us and God’s love for us. We are super glued to God, and nothing can rip us out of his loving arms.

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