“For All that You’ve Done I will Thank You”

Romans 8 An Expansive Reading

The right-hand column carries the text of Romans 8 as it has been printed in the sermon series
"Embraced by a God of Love" 1-7. Download the full notes for this sermon using the link below.


1 Now, however, nothing can bring condemnation for those who are in Messiah Jesus!











2 For now the law, under the power of the Spirit who gives the life in Messiah Jesus, has itself set you free from


1 The astonishing thing that God has now done in Messiah Jesus is that he has brought the end of all things forward into our present. The past, present, and future come together in Jesus. God’s final righteous verdict on our human life is pronounced – revealed here and now! 
Now I know that asserting such a thing may seem very fearsome indeed. When we look at our own weakness in following God’s commands, we are frustrated and, if we are honest, we are inevitably afraid of condemnation before God’s judgment. 

But amazingly, what we discover is that for those who are in Messiah Jesus, God imposes no verdict of condemnation at all! “No Condemnation!” Do you hear that? Rather, welcome, acceptance, unconquerable love! It is all because of Jesus’ faithfulness! 
By faith we trust in what God has done in Jesus – God’s faithful righteousness in keeping his promises. Our faith simply responds to what Jesus has done, and God by his grace brings us to share in Jesus’ life and identity, in who he is and in all that he did. “No condemnation” defines being in him, participating in all the effects of his faithfulness and sacrifice. 

2 Through Jesus, God has brought the way he works within us humans to a new level. The ancient Law or Torah, which expressed God’s will and intended to give us life, was always frustrated by the sin and brokenness dwelling in us – what I’ve called our “flesh.” But now the Law is under the power of God’s Spirit, who is the very 

"If God is For Us..."

Romans 8:31-39

Learning Who God Is?
The Bible is about God, and humans in relation to God. Paul says his whole proclamation is focused on Who God is. Is God distant, unconcerned, judgmental, condemning, an easy grandfather, an arbitrary tyrant, an impersonal force, nature itself, an abstract idea, an impenetrable mystery, a human projection, nothing, a nagging parent?

We know God only as he opens access by what he does. Paul has taken us through the human predicament and need, what God did through Israel, what God has done in Jesus, what God is doing in the Spirit. Now he wants the meaning of all that to penetrate our heart.
God shows that He is for us! Little words (hyper hemon). The "us" is everyone! All his creatures. Not our side against enemies. Jews, Romans, Greeks, Parthians, Americans, Syrians, French. There's no one he's against. What He has done creates inviting, freedom-giving love for all. The only "against" is the stuff we humans do to destroy & deface our lives -- sin, brokenness.

Shaped to the Image of Jesus

Romans 8:28-30

The Great Vision of God’s Grace
In these verses Rom 8 comes to a climax, leading to the great final exclamation of God’s love. Paul has led us from the distress of human weakness, delusion, and enslavement by sin through God’s astonishing intervention not to condemn us but to destroy sin’s power and free us from it’s deluding slavery. In Jesus and all he did and in the Spirit living in us, God has opened a way back to reality: Not humans on their own with little self-made gods but rather in close relationship with their creator and all the created world. Living freely in full humanity even now in a broken and frustrated world. Living with hope of God’s life-giving renewal of his whole creation in which they share the glory God always intended for them.

The Spirit’s Strength in Our Weakness

Romans 8:22-28

Groaning in Pain, First Taste of Hope vv 22-25
Paul is helping us to learn a way of thinking – seeing / knowing the world, ourselves, and God. It’s shaped by the reality of what God has done in Jesus & the Spirit. A transforming vision.
Paul tells how in Jesus God did what was impossible for humans, even with the best guidance. He broke the power of our imprisonment by sin and of the fear of death’s futility, by taking them on himself. By giving his Spirit, he empowers a new level of life – still deeply meshed with this world, but with the first taste of a world to come seen in Jesus’ resurrection.

Hope in a Frustrated World

Romans 8:15-25

United as God’s Children by the Spirit of God vv 15-17
Paul is announcing the Gospel that has created remarkable communities like the church in Rome – Jews and pagans of all nations, slave and free – the deep brokenness of human beings healed by God. This is God’s great purpose and only God could accomplish it.
In Jesus Messiah, uniquely Son of God, God came bodily among us in self-giving love/grace to bring the story of Israel to a new level of fulfillment, to break grip of sin and death that we in our weakness could not break, to conquer death and create new resurrection life.

The Freedom of “Abba! Father!”

Romans 8:9-17

Seeing Ourselves in the Reality of God (vv 9-11) 
In leading us to grasp what it means to be embraced by God’s love, Paul takes us to amazing expression of intimacy with God expressed by Jesus in calling God “Abba” – a child’s cry of “Papa,” “Daddy.” A sense of belonging/freedom/access with God of the universe. 
Paul wants to help his ancient Roman readers (& us) get our minds / our way of thinking around what has actually happened in God’s actions in Jesus and in giving His Spirit. It’s the climax of his long journey with Israel and opens that history to the whole world. It deals with the sin and brokenness of all human life by bringing God’s own life into it. In human Jesus, God takes our suffering, sin, and death into himself and creates life. For all who trust in him, God gives his Spirit, his ongoing presence and first taste of life. 

If the Spirit of God Lives in You

Romans 8:5-11

Realizing What God has Done
Rom 8 focuses on the new reality brought about by what God has done in faithfulness to his promises long ago, now brought to full reality in Jesus the Messiah and the active work of God's Spirit. It deals with the deep/complex brokenness, sin, & suffering we're caught in.
Good guidance was not enough. Even God's Law could'nt free us from the enslavement, but it made the problem clear and distinct. It led up to God's coming to his people in Jesus.
In him uniquely, God did what no amount of guidance or law for us could do: God brought his own life and reality into the broken human situation. He took on himself our death.
He treated us not just as rebels but as beloved creatures enslaved by sin and death, and condemned sin itself. God stayed with us in his Spirit. God embraced us with his love.