The eighth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans has been variously called the acropolis, the apex, and the summit of the New Testament. It has been likened to the tree of life in the Garden of Eden and an inner sanctum of the cathedral of Christian faith. This reverence for Romans chapter eight makes perfect sense. It is filled with the most glorious truths of the Christian life. It reveals some of God’s most precious promises to his people both in the present life and in the life to come. The great promises of Romans 8 encompass the entirety of the Christian life. From our liberation from the condemnation of sin, to the comfort that is ours in suffering, to the promise of future glory, the Christian is held secure within the love of God in Christ Jesus.
One interesting detail that emerges is that there are no commandments in Romans eight. It is all promise. It is all about what God has done and will bring about to final completion for his adopted sons and daughters. One writer summarizes the promises of Romans eight with three “no’s”: No Condemnation, No Defeat, and No Separation. It is a portrait of life in the Spirit which is in stark contrast to life under sin’s power and the law’s condemnation highlighted in the previous chapter. The life in the Spirit that Paul describes in Romans eight is not a special or elite category of Christianity only to be experienced by a few. Rather, life in the Spirit is the ordinary Christian life which begins at the moment of new birth, endures through life in a “groaning” world, and proceeds into eternity inseparable from the love God.
In this relatively brief series of messages from Romans eight, we will examine the heights and depths of the Christian life. We will see why Paul places such great emphasis on the working of the Holy Spirit. There is no flinching on the part of the apostle concerning life’s sufferings and sorrows under which the entire created order groans. Neither is there any reticence assuring the Christian that even the worst of the world’s maledictions cannot compare to the glory that is to be revealed in Christ Jesus to all who belong to him.