I can still remember my first visit to Yosemite. Oh wow. I had heard of how beautiful it was, but I had no idea! As I looked at the forest landscape around me, I felt like I was walking through a postcard scene. It is a place of overwhelming beauty.
But what really intrigued about this place was not just the beauty of God’s magnificent creation, but the number of beautiful features packed into the Yosemite Valley.
The tall granite summits of Half Dome and El Capitan. The dense pine forests. The streams and creeks that journey down the mountains. The multitude of waterfalls that spray and crash on the rocks eventually draining through the windy Merced River.
So much to see. So much to enjoy.
I feel much the same way when I read Romans 8. There is so much for us to see and so much for us to enjoy.
Derek Thomas, author of a book on Romans 8 titled, How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home, explains the significance of Romans 8. He writes, “No chapter of Scripture reaches the same sustained levels or covers the same ground as Romans 8. It is a description of the Christian life from death to life, from justification to glorification, from trial and suffering to the peace and tranquility of the new heaven and new earth. It contains exhortations to persevere as well as reassurances of God’s preservation of His people. And no chapter has been cited more than this one in expounding the application of redemption in the life of an individual (the ordo salutis).”
Here are a few highlights from this rich chapter:
- 1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
- 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
- 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
- 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
- 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
- 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
- 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
These are blessed truths for us in Christ!
I wonder, have you spent much time in Romans 8? It is beneficial for your soul; especially right now. As we experience the dread of this pandemic or the dreariness of a stay-at-home order, there can be no better time to think deeply and continually on these truths and realities we have through Christ, and Romans 8 contains so much good gospel truth!
During this season, I want to encourage you to use Romans 8 for the good of your soul. Try this:
- Choose one or a few verses that stand out to you.
- Write them out on a card (i.e. somewhere you can see them).
- Meditate on them (purposefully dwell upon) and remind yourself of their truth during the day.
You will find that as you meditate on these truths, it becomes easy to apply them to your circumstances (much as the picture above did) and they will turn out to be a “tour guide” for your mind and heart during this difficult time.
As I tell you this, I am encouraging you to do what I am doing now. A few of us from HCC are currently memorizing the whole of chapter 8 this year. The sweet solid truths of this chapter have been with me and I have depended on them during this time. That is why I commend Romans 8 to you brothers and sisters. This chapter has so many beautiful features of gospel glory packed into it. As you view the landscape of this chapter, I think you will find that there is so much for you to see and so much for you to enjoy.