Life in the Spirit

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Romans 8-10

What a contrast between Romans 7 and 8. The seventh chapter is one of spiritual defeat. The word “I” is mentioned again and again, but the Spirit is not mentioned. In Romans 8, there is little mention of “I,” but note how the Spirit is mentioned again and again. The chapter begins with no condemnation and ends with no separation from Christ. In between we are given the conviction that in all things God is at work for our good—we who love him, whom he has called.

Paul faces the fact that many Jews have not believed. He is deeply concerned for them, but they do not respond. The conclusion is that those only are saved whom God has chosen. If this is so, we realize a startling fact that he has evidently not chosen many Jews, to open the door to the Gentiles.

This emphasis on the sovereignty of God in salvation in no way dampens Paul’s enthusiasm for evangelism. He is deeply concerned for his own people, the Jews. “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved” (10:1). Oh that we might be so filled with love for people that we would give our very best to the task of evangelizing the world. God chooses whom he will save, but he uses one method to do this: we must proclaim the gospel and those who hear must respond with a faith in their hearts which they express by a confession of that faith with their lips. Have you done that?

PRAYER

Father, as your Word goes forth, work in the hearts of the hearers by your Spirit that many may be saved. Amen.