8
Escape from Bondage
1 Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior]. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has set you free from the law of sin and of death.3 For what the Law could not do [that is, overcome sin and remove its penalty, its power] being weakened by the flesh [man’s nature without the Holy Spirit], God did: He sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful man as an offering for sin. And He condemned sin in the flesh [subdued it and overcame it in the person of His own Son], 4 so that the [righteous and just] requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not live our lives in the ways of the flesh [guided by worldliness and our sinful nature], but [live our lives] in the ways of the Spirit [guided by His power].5 For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose].6 Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever--because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God--both now and forever];7 the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot,8 and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.
9 However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God]. 10 If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides].11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.
12 So then, #Lit brethren.brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but not to our flesh [our human nature, our worldliness, our sinful capacity], to live according to the [impulses of the] flesh [our nature without the Holy Spirit]--13 for if you are living according to the [impulses of the] flesh, you are going to die. But if [you are living] by the [power of the Holy] Spirit you are habitually putting to death the sinful deeds of the body, you will [really] live forever.14 For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “#An Aramaic word used by young children when addressing their fathers, but not used by Jews in prayer because it implies a sense of familiarity. Jesus’ use of the word emphasized his Father-Son relationship with God.Abba! Father!”16 The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] that we [believers] are children of God.17 And if [we are His] children, [then we are His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His spiritual blessing and inheritance], if indeed we share in His suffering so that we may also share in His glory.
18 For I consider [from the standpoint of faith] that the sufferings of the present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us!19 For [even the whole] creation [all nature] waits eagerly for the children of God to be revealed.20 For the creation was subjected to frustration and futility, not willingly [because of some intentional fault on its part], but by the will of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will also be freed from its bondage to decay [and gain entrance] into the glorious freedom of the children of God.22 For we know that the whole creation has been moaning together as in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only this, but we too, who have the first fruits of the Spirit [a joyful indication of the blessings to come], even we groan inwardly, as we wait eagerly for [the sign of] our adoption as sons--the redemption and transformation of our body [at the resurrection]. 24 For in this hope we were saved [by faith]. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he already sees?25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait eagerly for it with patience and composure.
Our Victory in Christ
26 In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words.27 And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of #Lit the saints.God’s people in accordance with God’s will.
28 And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.29 For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers.30 And those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified [declared free of the guilt of sin]; and those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity].
31 What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us, who can be [successful] against us? 32 He who did not spare [even] His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect (His chosen ones)? It is God who justifies us [declaring us blameless and putting us in a right relationship with Himself].34 Who is the one who condemns us? Christ Jesus is the One who died [to pay our penalty], and more than that, who was raised [from the dead], and who is at the right hand of God interceding [with the Father] for us.35 Who shall ever separate us from the love of #Two early mss read God.Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?36 Just as it is written and forever remains written,
“For Your sake we are put to death all day long;
We are regarded as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us].38 For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced--beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers,39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.