READ – Romans 8:1-11
In the previous chapter, the Apostle Paul laments that he is unable to do what he wants to do. The Jewish Law, which Paul desperately tried to follow, required perfection. And when that perfection was violated, it required sacrifice in order to repair one’s relationship to God. Try to be good in order to be one with God… fail … offer a sacrifice … repeat. It was a discouraging cycle leading Paul to declare, “what a miserable person I am!”
That’s what makes the opening words of chapter 8 so amazing:
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
Christ’s sacrifice on the cross – his once for all time, life-giving sacrifice – reconciles each Christian with their heavenly Father. It purchases forgiveness, and ensures access to God. Access that is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit living within each follower of Jesus.
Not only that, but the Holy Spirit enables every believer to resist temptation. Paul writes that, “…you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do … through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature.” When your willpower to resist sin runs out, you have access to God’s. He lives inside you, after all!