Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (Rom. 8:2)
IN MOST GOOD STORIES, the situation gets a lot worse before things finally turn around and the hero comes through for the win. There are tragedies, of course, where the story does not turn out well. In a tragedy, no hero pulls through. The story ends in defeat.
God’s story for us is not a tragedy. There is a happy ending. Many Christians get stuck in the early part of the story (Rom. 7) and never read through to the hero’s triumph (Rom. 8). It’s like leaving a movie at intermission, when it seems impossible that the hero could prevail. They give up on the idea that the redemption of the human condition is truly possible.
Of course, there were no chapter divisions in the original letter to the Romans. The ideas in chapter 8 follows directly on the train of thought in the previous chapter. Romans 8 provides the solution to the grave problem identified in chapter 7. That solution is the Holy Spirit. The law of the Holy Spirit is more powerful than the law of sin and death. What was previously impossible is no longer impossible because of the power of God. It is He who works in and through us to achieve a better outcome. God wants to free us from the slavery to sin we endured before we knew Christ!
When you feel defeated, remember that God has written the end of your story.
Ken Schenck is dean of the School of Theology and Ministry and professor of New Testament and ancient languages at Indiana Wesleyan University. His publications include The Early Church: Reaching the World (WPH) and more.
© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.