Romans 8:12-20 Paraphrase

We owe no debt of gratitude to the flesh that is intent on destroying us, but to God who sacrificed so much for us and who is determined to raise us up to eternal life.

Be careful: the flesh will kill you if you keep on indulging its desires, but if by depending on the Spirit’s power you resist temptation and stop sinning then eternal life awaits you!

We’re God’s children – the proof of that is God’s Spirit leading us. Why go back to a life of slavery to sin with its accompanying fear of the consequences when we’re now God’s free children — free to love and obey him because of the liberating power that God’s Spirit (who is in us) provides? His residing within us is proof that we are indeed God’s children (in fact, he testifies to us, in the depths of our hearts, of this fact). God’s children, God’s heirs, heirs together with Christ! (He’s only begotten, we’re adopted, but we share equally in the inheritance.) But if we’re going to share in the inheritance we should also be ready to suffer just as he did.

Whatever we’re bound to suffer in this life it’s nothing compared to what’s waiting for us: glory beyond words! In fact, the natural universe can’t wait for our resurrection. To be sure, the natural universe is in the grip of decay; not that it’s how it wanted things to be, but because that’s how God planned it. But it’s only temporary. When God’s children come into their own there will be freedom even for the natural universe, freedom from decay.

 

Happy New Year!

I hope to blog more often this year. God willing, I hope to reread Calvin’s Institutes, this time in the Beveridge translation. Also, I plan to read the ESV Study Bible (I gave away my hard bound copy to my pastor and bought a leather bound copy instead) including the notes – hopefully!

Here are some ESV Bible reading plans. And here’s a reading plan for Calvin’s Institutes.

Year of the Bible

This year for me is the year of the Bible. I plan to read other books less and the Bible more – much much more! Last night I read the whole of Mark, II Corinthians and Ecclesiastes straight through into the wee hours of the morning, and I really enjoyed it! Incidentally, I’m shifting to the Holman Christian Standard Bible; I gave my English Standard Version to my wife. Click here for Bible reading plans you might want to use for 2009. (I’m using the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan.)