November 16: The Hope of Eternal Life

Read Romans 8:1-11

Four years ago, I read through the Bible cover to cover with a group of other Bible students. It was a great experience. To that point in my life, I had read most of it, or at least I knew of most of it, but there were parts of the text I hadn’t read through. There were parts of the Bible that were fun to read like the life of Jesus and the Pauline epistles, but let’s be honest with each other, there other parts are more challenging and difficult to read. I am somewhat ashamed to say that I fell asleep a few times reading through the Old Testament Law. Knowing the dimensions of the tabernacle and the kind of material that had to be on the priest’s robe wasn’t that fascinating to me.

The Law was a very hot topic in the churches around Asia when the book of Romans was written. The Jewish people held so very tightly to the Old Testament Law that often it clouded their judgment and their spiritual life. They were so fixated on keeping every aspect of the Law that they often operated with tunnel vision, missing out on some truly life-changing content.

Paul wrote Romans 8 to the Church in Rome to assure them they had been delivered from the bondage of the Law. Matthew 5:17 tells us that Jesus fulfilled the Law through his life and subsequent death on the cross. Because of Jesus, we no longer have to be fixated on the Law. We find it in verse 3 — God did what the Law couldn’t do. The Law only went so far. God took it to the next level by sending His only Son to take the punishment for sin.

Ultimately, we could never completely fulfill the Law, there would always be a part of it we couldn’t keep. Verse 10 tells us that, because of sin, we are spiritually dead.  Without Jesus’ payment for sin, we are destined for Hell. However, the very one who fulfilled the Law, hung from the cross for our sins, and raised from the dead, thus conquering death, is the very one who is inside of us.

If we accept Jesus’ free gift of salvation, we are delivered from sin and we know for a fact that we will spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus. That brings us peace. True and eternal peace.

jdl

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