Sunday, July 3, 2011

Romans 8: Isn't this great, Dad?

I said at the beginning of Romans that I wouldn’t pretend to play the deep thinker. Well – if Romans is deep water, then Romans 8 is its Marianas Trench. A great thinker, scholar and preacher like Jim Stewart (the new pastor at North Avenue Alliance Church, where Joe and I visited this morning) could spend weeks in Romans 8 alone and never come up for air.  Me – I’m content to splash around in it like a toddler in an inflatable pool.

In fact I remember Imani’s first time in such a pool. She was less than two, just splashing around and dripping water on my head, talking nonsense and jus’ lovin’ it. If she could talk, she would have been saying: “isn’t this great, Dad? Isn’t this great?”

And on this warm, slow summer night so much like that blessed evening about 15 years ago, that is how I will read Romans 8.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, `Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

 “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

Isn’t this great, Dad? Isn’t this great?

“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

“If God is for us, who can be against us?”

“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies – who is he that condemns?”

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”

“I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Isn’t this great, Dad? Isn’t this great?

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