Paraphrase of the Book of Romans
by E.H. “Jack” Sequeira

Chapter 8

Cbristís Righteousness is Imparted by the Spirit

1 Therefore, the good news of the gospel is not salvation through self-righteousness but through faith in Christ. Hence, there is no condemnation resting upon us who have accepted by faith our union with Christ Jesus in spite of the fact that we still possess sinful natures. 2 This is because the principle or power of sin and death dwelling in our sinful natures was defeated and dealt the death blow by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in the humanity of Christ Jesus; thus in Him we were set free.

3 For while God’s law was incapable of saving us from sin and death, seeing our sinful natures made it impossible for the law to produce righteousness in us, God, in Christ, did it; He did it by uniting the divine nature of His Son, at the incarnation, to our corporate sinful human nature that needed redeeming and in that humanity Christ assumed, which was identical to ours, the principle or power of sin was both defeated and executed. 4 In this way God not only saved all humanity but also proved that the righteous requirements of the law may be fulfilled in us born-again Christians if we, like Christ, learn to walk in the power of the Spirit and not depend on our own sinful nature.

5 For those who allow themselves to be controlled by their own sinful nature find that their thoughts are continually dominated by the sinful desires of the flesh; while those who walk in the power of Godís Spirit find that their minds are dwelling on spiritual things. 6 And let me make this clear; to allow your minds to be dominated by your sinful nature is asking for trouble, for it means you are allowing yourselves to head down the road that leads to death. But, on the other hand, to allow your minds to be controlled by the Spirit is what true Christian living is all ahout and this brings inner joy and ultimate salvation.

7 Besides, you must realize that the sinful nature with all its desires belongs to the realm of Satan and therefore is in complete opposition to God. In fact, our sinful nature will never truly obey Godís law and cannot, even if it tries, because it is enslaved to the principle of self which contradicts Godís agape love [1 Cor. 13:5]; that which fulfills the law [Rom. 13:10]. 8 Consequently, those who allow their sinful nature to control them cannot really please God. 9 But you dear Christians, I trust, are not living that way, but are being controlled by Godís Spirit who dwells in you through the new birth experience. And, incidentally, if there be any among you who has not experienced this new birth, I am afraid you are not truly converted and therefore do not really belong to Christ.

10 But if Christís Spirit dwells in you, please remember that your sinful bodies must still die, but spiritually you are alive because you have by faith surrendered your sinful self to His cross in exchange for Christís righteous life [Gal. 2:20]; this in turn has brought about the renewal of the Spirit which must now bccome the source of your Christian living. 11 For if Godís Holy Spirit was able to defeat sin and death in Christís humanity and proved it by raising Him from the dead, you can be absolutely sure this same Spirit, now dwelling in you, is able to conquer the power of sin that dominates your sinful bodies and reproduce in you the character of Christ.

Christian Duty is to Walk in the Spirit

12 So, dear brothers and sisters in Chnst, we have a negative obligation as Christians and that is not to live according to the dictates of our sinful nature; we have by faith surrendered it to death on Christís cross and therefore it has no claims on us. 13 However, should any deliberately or willfully live according to the yearnings of his sinful nature, this indicates such a one is unconverted and consequently is still under the sentence of condemnation and death. On the other hand, if through the power of the indwelling Spirit you are denying the clamors of your sinful nature, this is clear evidence that you are converted and stand justified in Christ and your blessed hope is eternal life.

14 Because all who, by a faith-obedience to the gospel [i.e., surrender of the will to the truth in Christ], are allowing the Holy Spirit to control their thoughts and actions, show that they are truly the children of God. 15 For when you accepted Christ as your personal Saviour, you were liberated from the fear of eternal death [the wages of sin, Rom. 6:23] that has all unbelievers in its grip [Heb. 2:14, 15] and you became a child of God, having received the Spirit of sonship, so that now you can actually address God as “dear Father.” 16 Further, the Holy Spirit Himself convinces you, through the truth of the gospel, that you are a child of God fully reconciled to Him in Christ.

Our Future Glory

17 Do you realize what this means? If we are God’s children, then naturally we will one day inherit all that belongs to God; for we have become co-heirs with Christ our Lord. What a tremendous privilege this is going to be, provided, of course, we are willing to suffer for the time being, as Christ did when He lived in this wicked world. 18 But personally, I am convinced that all the suffering we have to endure in this present sinful world is nothing compared with the splendor and glory that is in store for us in Christ which we will receive at the second advent.

19 In fact, all of creation is waiting patiently for this deliverance when it will be liberated from the curse that sin has brought to it. 20 For since the fall, this whole world came under the curse of sin [Gen. 3:17-19], not because of its own choice but because Adam, who was given dominion over all creation [Gen. 1:28] sinned, and his sin affected all of nature so that death and decay began to reign over all creation and will do so until Christ brings deliverance. 21 And so we may say all of nature is anxiously waiting for the blessed hope when death will be done away with and all of Godís creation set free from the curse.

22 For I am sure you all are aware that all of nature has been groaning in agony, even as it is at the present time, waiting for deliverance just as a woman does when she is giving birth to a child. 23 But it is not only nature that is groaning; we too, who have been given the blessed hope through the experience of regeneration, are yearning and groaning within ourselves, waiting eagerly for the day when our very bodies will be redeemed from sin and its curse. 24 For while we have been saved, or justified, our present salvation is only in hope guaranteed in Christ. Obviously, had we already experienced the full reality of salvation we would not be waiting for it. 25 But since we are presently saved only by hope, then naturally we anxiously and patiently wait for the full reality of salvation.

Godís Spirit Constantly Helps Us

26 In the meanwhile, the Holy Spirit who gives us endurance also helps us in our weaknesses and makes our prayers meaningful. For we often find ourselves unable to express our needs in prayer but the Spirit intercedes on our behalf through our groanings and yearnings which cannot be expressed in words. 27 And God Himself, who is able to read our very thoughts, understands our needs that are expressed by the Spirit, who intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

28 Whatís more, we know that everything that happens to us, good or bad, is used of God to work together His purpose in our lives, as we in turn put our confidence in His agape love, knowing that He cares for us. 29 For in God’s foreknowledge [those whom He knew beforehand would accept His salvation gift in Christ], He predetermined that we Christians would one day be transformed to the very likeness of His glorified Son who is the prototype of the saved and in whom He has obtained salvation full and complete. 30 That is why, according to His plan of salvation formulated before this world was even created, Godís purpose was not only to extend the invitation of salvation and to declare the believers justified or righteous, but also to ultimately glorify them as He did Christ.

God’s Agape Love Is the Rock of Our Salvation

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these wonderful facts? Since God is on our side, should it really matter if any one is against us? 32 Seeing that for our sakes, God refused to spare His own beloved Son the full wages of sin on the cross, the equivalent of the second death, don’t you think He will freely and willingly glve us everything else promised through His Son?

33 In view of these facts, who will dare to accuse us believers? Yes, Satan may [Rev. 12:10], but certainly not God, seeing He has justified us in Christ. 34 Who will condemn us? Definitely not Christ, for He died to deliver us from our condemnation and now, since His resurrection and ascension, He has been sitting at the right hand of God to defend and vindicate our justification.

35 Can anything then really separate us from Godís infinite agape love, revealed in Christís holy history? When we face trials of all kinds or hardships or persecution or danger or hunger or nakedness or even the sentence of death, does this mean God has forsaken us or no longer loves or cares about us? Certainly not! 36 As it is clearly stated in the Old Testament: “Because a Great Controversy exists between God and Satan, and we believers are presently living in Satanís territory, we constantly face danger and death; we are considered just like sheep who have been herded into the slaughterhouse” [Ps. 44.22].

37 And yet, in spite of all these experiences, overwhelming victory is ours through faith in Him whose love for us never fails [Jer. 31:3]. 38 For I am absolutely convinced that there is nothing in this whole wide universe of ours, whether it be death or life, Satan or supernatural powers, this present world or the world that shall be, the forces of this universe or that of height or depth, 39 absolutely nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from Godís agape love towards us which was manifested in the life and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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