The trial is over, the jury has given it’s verdict, and now the judge slams his gavel and pronounces………….. “Not Guilty!” As sinners before God (which is ALL of us) who are in trouble, these words are AWESOME: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” When you & I put our faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins we are declared (justification) “not guilty” by God! How? “God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering…” In other words, Jesus took my place (substitution). And then He calls us to not “live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” (sanctification)
So how does His Holy Spirit work in us? He changes our nature (5-11), He gives resurrection life (12-13), He leads confirms we are God’s kids (14), He gives us a relationship with Him (15) and He gives assurance (16-17).
The rest of the chapter has to do with hope for the future. We live in a fallen world, cursed by pain & suffering and God knows we need hope! There can be days when the suffering we face seems overwhelming. Verses 17-18 remind us that sufferings always precede glory. But the great news is that they are temporary (2 Corinthians 4:17) and “are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Until then we “groan.” Ha – that sounds like an old person with aches! The idea here is that we can’t wait for these sufferings to be over (so true). Until then we PRAY, and when we are down and don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit in us prays for us!
Then comes even more encouragement: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…………….For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son…” Through the tough times we face, God is changing us each day to be more like Jesus! And ”who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” No one and no thing – whoohooo!!!
*When told you are not guilty before God because of your belief in Jesus, how do you respond? Grateful? Excited? Or feelings of unworthyness? Don’t let the enemy give you an improper guilt trip. You & I have been totally forgiven! Let’s rejoice and let others know!
*Ever feel prompted by God’s spirit to do something and not do it? Yeah, me too. Let’s ask God to help us obey His Spirit in us so we can live the resurrection, abundant, full life He wants us to live!
*What are you going through right now that feels overwhelming? Remember that God is the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) and wants to come alongside. Let Him today. Grab a friend, pray together and maybe memorize verses 35-39. God knows and He cares (1 Peter 5:7).