Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Churches – Vicar Anand Darla, May 25, 2021

Devotion for May 25, 2021, from Vicar Anand Darla of Good Shepherd South Asian Ministries:

Romans 8: Work of the Jesus Christ and indwelling Holy Spirit makes us more than conquerors

In the epistle to the Romans, Paul has one major theme, and that major theme is justification by grace through faith based on the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is saying, in effect, the only way for men to be right with God is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is God’s plan of salvation. And he outlines that plan all the way through the epistle to the Romans. It is basically his great theme. So, the truth that opens this chapter 8:1, the great declaration that we are not condemned, is so incomprehensible that it’s almost as if Paul can’t just say it, he’s got to spend a whole chapter laying out why this can be true. And the theme of chapter 8 really is that we are not condemned. The verse 1. It begins “no condemnation,” and it ends that way as well. If we go over to verse 34: “Who can condemn us?” And the answer is “no one,” of course, because the highest court, God in Christ, does not condemn. Who is a higher court who would condemn us? So, the chapter flows from the thought of no condemnation in the beginning, to the thought of no condemnation at the end.

Now it is clear that Chapter 8:2 the law of the gospel of life in Christ Jesus that came to us through the Spirit has made us free from the law of sin and death. The reason we can never be condemned is because we’ve been set free from the law and it’s just punishment, which is death. We’re free from that. Because of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the regenerating work of the Spirit of God has set us free from sin’s power, sin’s authority, sin’s dominion, sin’s sovereignty, sin’s mastery and ultimately even sin’s penalty. So, we’ll never know the punishmentof sin because we have been set free from that because of Jesus Christ. Great and marvelous truth. The Holy Spirit helps us how to live right with God by showing God’s righteousness and His obedience on the cross. It is the product of the Holy Spirit on the inside. And when webecome a believer and the Spirit takes up residence, He begins to produce in us the life of holiness.

Paul mentioned the same thing in Ephesians 2:10: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” You see, that is the purpose for redemption. We were created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. We were redeemed to live a holy life. We were redeemed to do that which was right. When we look at Titus 2:14, It says there that Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, then this, “In order that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a people of His own, zealous of good works.” We see, again it says we were redeemed to produce good works; we were redeemed to do that which was right in the sight of God.

I would like to close with Martin Luther quote as below. And May God bless us, Amen!

By Vicar Anand Darla GSSAM Fremont.

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