The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
Someone once asked the British writer G. K. Chesterton, “If you were stranded on a remote island and could have only one book with you, which book would you choose?” Knowing that Chesterton was a Christian, the interviewer likely expected him to say the Bible. Instead, Chesterton answered, “Thomas’ Practical Guide to Shipbuilding.” That was a smart choice!
I want you to imagine that you were sent to a remote island and told that you could choose only one chapter of the Bible to have with you. Which chapter of the Bible would you choose? Some people would choose Genesis 1, which reminds us of God’s creation. Some would choose Psalm 23, which reminds us of God’s care. Some would choose John 3, which tells us how we can be born again. But I imagine many people would choose Romans 8. Romans 8 is a favorite chapter for many Christians. Somebody has said that if the Bible were a ring, then the book of Romans would be the jewel in the ring, and Romans 8 would be the center point of that jewel.
Swiss commentator Frederic Godet once noted that these 39 verses are unsurpassed in literature. In verse 1, we have the promise of no condemnation, and in verse 39 we have the promise of no separation. There is no better place for a Christian to live than between those two verses.
Romans 8 is my favorite chapter of the Bible as well. It has special meaning to me. When I was a high school senior, preparing to go to college, Romans 8 was the first chapter of the Bible I ever memorized. I knew I would be going through some great changes in my life, and I wanted to have God’s Word in my heart. I could not think of a better chapter to memorize than this one. And that chapter has been a great comfort to me through the years. I imagine many of you would also say Romans 8 is a favorite of yours. This week our study of the book of Romans has landed us in this beloved chapter. Not only is this a piece of brilliant literature, but we also find some important truths in this chapter, including how to know if you are really saved.
Romans 6, 7, and 8 all talk about the power of righteousness. They answer the question: “What does it mean to be in a right relationship with God?” The benefits of salvation do not accrue only after you die; there are benefits to being in a right relationship with God right now. Paul said the primary benefit of righteousness is being set free from the law of sin and death. Sin has no more power over your life than you allow it to have if you are in a right relationship with God. In Romans 6, Paul talked about the reality of our freedom from sin. Then, in Romans 7, Paul admitted that even though we do not have to obey our sin nature, sometimes we do. Sometimes in our struggle with sin, sin gets the best of us. Romans 7 tells us how to win that battle. That brings us to the question: “If I do sin as a Christian, does that change God’s attitude toward me?” The answer is the great truth we find in Romans 8.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How to Know If You’re Really Saved” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.