We can live by God's Spirit
1Now we know this: God has forgiven those people who are united with Christ Jesus. God will never say that they are guilty. 2If you belong to Christ Jesus, God's Spirit has given you a new life. God's Spirit now rules in your life and he has made you free. Sin and death no longer have authority over you.
3The Law that God gave to Moses could not make us free like that. We human people were too weak to obey them. But God has done what his Law could not do. He sent his own Son to become a human person like us. His body was like the body of human people who do wrong things. God's Son died as a sacrifice to take away the punishment for our sins. In that way, God destroyed the power of sin over human people. #8:3 Or: By the death of his Son's body, God destroyed the power of sin. 4God did this so that we could become right with him. God's Law showed us how to be right with him. And now we can be right with God, if we live with God's Spirit as our guide. We do not do what our weak human thoughts want us to do.
5Some people do what their weak human thoughts want them to do. They think about the things that will make themselves happy. But people who live with God's Spirit as their guide think about what will make God's Spirit happy. 6People who let their human thoughts rule them will die. But people who think about what God's Spirit wants will have life with God. They will have peace inside themselves. 7If our weak human thoughts rule us, we become God's enemies. People like that do not want to obey God's laws. They are not even able to obey them. 8People who let their human thoughts rule them cannot make God happy.
9But you are not like that. You no longer obey your weak human thoughts. Instead, you obey God's Spirit as your guide. That is true if God's Spirit is really living in you. But if anyone does not have Christ's Spirit in them, that person does not belong to Christ. 10But, if Christ lives in you, you have a new life because of his Spirit. Your body will die one day because of the power of sin. But your spirit lives because Christ has made you right with God. 11God raised Jesus, to make him alive again after his death. Now God's Spirit lives in you. So God, who raised Christ from death, will also cause your human bodies to live again. He will do that by his Spirit who lives in you.
12So, my Christian friends, we must not obey what our weak human thoughts tell us to do. We no longer have to live like that. 13If you agree to live in that way, you will die. Instead, you should let God's Spirit help you with his power. Then you can stop doing the wrong things that your bodies want to do. As a result, you will have life with God.
14All those people who live with God's Spirit as their guide are God's children. 15The Spirit that you have received from God does not make you serve him like slaves. That would make you afraid again. No. The Spirit that God has given to you causes you to become God's children. Now he takes care of you. God's Spirit makes us able to say to God: ‘You are my Father.’ 16God's Spirit himself causes us to know that we are God's children. God's Spirit and our own spirits agree that this is true. 17Because we are God's children, we also know that we will receive good things from him. Those are the things that he has promised to give to his children. Together with Christ, we will receive the things that God has kept for him. That is true if we agree to have troubles like Christ did. Then we will also enjoy life in heaven like Christ does.
God has prepared great things for his people
18During this time now, we have troubles and pain. But I am sure that these troubles are not really very great. One day God will show us all the great things he has prepared for us. That will make the troubles that we have now seem very small. 19The whole universe that God has made now waits for something great to happen. Everything is waiting with hope to find out who God's children really are.
20God has caused everything in the universe to lose its purpose. It did not choose to be like that. It was God who decided that it should be like that. Then it could hope for something better in a future time. 21At that time, the universe will not continue to become worse and worse, as it does now. It will become free from that power. It will be free to enjoy great things from God, as God's children are also free.
22We know that everything in the universe is still in great pain now. Everything cries together in pain, like a woman who is ready to have a baby. 23It is the same for us who are believers. We have received God's Spirit as the first of his gifts to us, but we are also crying in pain. We are waiting for the time when God will finish his great work. Then we will belong to him completely as his children. Our bodies will be free from the power of sin.
24Ever since God saved us, we have continued to wait for this to happen. One day, we will receive what we have hoped for. Then we will not need to hope for it any more. Nobody continues to hope for something that he has already. 25But we continue to hope for what we do not yet see. And so, we wait for it patiently.
26God's Spirit also helps us to do this. Because we are weak, we do not know how we ought to pray. But God's Spirit himself prays for us. He cries to God on our behalf in a way that nobody could say with words. 27God sees deep inside us, and he knows our thoughts. He understands what is in the mind of his Spirit. When the Holy Spirit prays on behalf of God's people, he prays as God wants him to pray.
28We know that God works to help those people who love him. He uses everything that happens to them to bring something good. He does this for those people that he has chosen to serve him. 29God already had those people in his thoughts from the beginning. He decided that they should become like his Son. So then, his Son would have many younger brothers and sisters. 30God had already chosen those people to be his children. Because of that, he called them to come to him. He accepted those people as right with himself. And those that he accepted, he also caused them to become great.
God loves us very much
31So, because of all the things that God does for us, we can say this: If God is working on our behalf, nobody can really do anything against us. 32God did not even keep his own Son safe. Instead, he gave his Son to die on behalf of all of us. So certainly, God will continue to be kind to us. As well as his Son, he will give to us all things that we need. 33Nobody can say that God's people are guilty. God himself has accepted us as right with him. 34So, nobody can say that God should still punish us. Nobody can say that, because Christ Jesus himself died on our behalf. And God raised him so that he became alive again after his death. Now Christ is sitting at God's right side in heaven. He himself is praying to God on our behalf. #8:34 Jesus sits at God's right side. The right side is the most important place. This means that Jesus rules with the same power and authority as God himself.
35Christ will always continue to love us. Nothing can stop that! We may have troubles. Things may make us sad or afraid. People may do bad things to us. We may have no food or no clothes. There may be great danger. People may even try to kill us. But none of these things can stop Christ from loving us. 36As it says in the Bible:
‘Because we are your people, God,
people try to kill us all the time.
They think that we are like sheep
and we are ready to be killed.’ #8:36 See Psalms 44:22.
37Because God loves us, none of these troubles can ever beat us. He makes us win against them. 38-39I am sure of this. Nothing can stop God from loving us. Death cannot do that. Life cannot do that. Angels cannot do that, nor can demons do that. Nothing that happens to us now, or that will happen in a future time can do that. No powerful spirits can do that. Nothing that is high above the world can do that, nor anything that is deep down below the ground. Nothing else in the whole universe can stop God from loving us. Because of our Lord Christ Jesus, we know how much God loves us.