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Last week we brought our study of Romans to a close for now. We’ll resume with the remainder of the book after the new year.

We began our last week with Romans 8:5-8 with a look at the flesh and the Spirit.

Paul makes it pretty clear we are either living according to our flesh (our old man) or by the Spirit (our new man). There is no middle ground. No sitting on the fence.

The flesh is what and who we are apart from God and the work of the Holy Spirit.

When we live by the Spirit, it has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with the righteousness that has been given to us through Christ.

The study asks: How does Roman 8:1-8 urge us to examine our hearts while also giving believers assurance?

“The believer will not live a perfect and sinless life, but the lives of the people of God will be characterized by a desire to love, serve, and obey.”

(from Romans: The Gospel of Grace, page 171)

I don’t know about you, but I found such relief and peace in this. We do not need to be perfect. We don’t need to get it all right.

Our patient, loving, merciful, and gracious Father just wants us to progress, to change, to grow more like His Son. He wants our desires to be changed to love, serve and obey Him.

That sound you hear? It’s me breathing a huge sigh of relief!


This day of study was a good one – one I will need to read and read again!

In Romans 8:12-13,  Paul teaches that we are to put the sin within us to death.

In our daily lives, we will forever be engaged in a battle within us. Till the day the Lord calls us home, we need to be waging the war.

Read verses 12 and 13 a few times till it really sinks in. This battle is not passive, it is an active war. We will not win this by chance. We must intentionally make the choice.

The study shares this John Stott quote:

“There is a kind of life that leads to death, and there is a kind of death that leads to life.”

(from Romans: The Gospel of Grace, page 178)

We want to choose to die to self so that we may live the life we have been called to – a gospel centered life.

The enemy is after our thoughts and our affections. He is after our minds and our hearts.

Our problem is we get comfortable with our sins, sometimes not even recognizing them as such. We must come to the point where we love God more than we love anything else.

The study asks: The battle of sin is often the battle for our minds and for our affections. How can we love God more than we love our sin?

What of our time, our money, or our pleasures do we love more than God?

It can be so subtle, often seeming harmless – shopping, alcohol, food, our kids, our grandkids, our husbands, our jobs, our church positions even.

Another wonderful thought from the study:

“We don’t muster up enough strength to change ourselves, but we cooperate with the Spirit as He transforms us into the image of Christ. We grow in godliness and we grow in grace.”

(from Romans: The Gospel of Grace, page 178)

Let’s cooperate. Let’s wage the war. Let’s change. Let’s grow.


We closed with reading Romans 8:16-17. Here we get a glimpse of the wonderful family we inherit as believers – we are children of God, fellow heirs with Christ.

This position changes the way we go through suffering:

  • We know anything we go through will change us, and mold us into more of His image.
  • We know our suffering will never be in vain or without purpose.
  • We know there will come a day when we will rejoice.
  • We know that one day we will be able to say, “It was worth it all!”

As we are coming closer to the Advent season, it was this quote from the study which I want to share in closing:

“God is near to us because of the Cross, and because of the new covenant we call to Him as Abba.”

(from Romans: The Gospel of Grace, page 185)

Jesus – Emmanuel – Christ with us and near us.
In this we have hope!  


Photo 1: by Luke van Zyl on Unsplash
Photo 2: by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay
Photo 3:  by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash

Today I may be joining … Tell His Story and InstaEncouragements .