Romans 8:1-17 As A Summary Of Paul's Thoughts

Romans 8:1-17 As A Summary Of Paul's Thoughts

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Throughout passages in Paul's letter to the Romans, there are many themes that we have seen before in his other letters to the Corinthians, Galatians, and Thessalonians. Paul's passage in Romans 8:1-17 is a summary of all of his main thoughts that he wants every Christian to live his or her life according to. Paul uses references of the "Spirit" and the "Flesh" to communicate his ideas.
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death" (Rom 8:1-2). Paul believes if you are in Christ Jesus, then you will be saved. Because of Jesus' selflessness, he has freed us from sin and death. God had created the world through wisdom and with Adam we then were under the reign of sin. Then, with the resurrection of Jesus, He freed us from the law and we entered into a period of grace with God. We are living by the Spirit in an era of grace, so therefore we should be dead to sin. Paul explains this in greater detail in the beginning of Romans in 3:9.
Paul summarizes all this preaching in seventeen stanzas by referring to the "Spirit" and the "Flesh." We are first introduced by Paul of these topics/words in his letter to the Galatians. Paul contrasts the two ways of living in a community in chapter five of Galatians. "Spirit" is the caring of others and builds interpersonal relationships within a community. The "Flesh" is a self centeredness and a natural way to live of only caring for oneself. The "works of the flesh" will break apart a community.
In Romans 8:4-5, "…who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit." If God is equal to Love, then walking in the Spirit is walking with others and bringing one another into the community. Paul's focus is aimed at the building up of a community. Similarly, Paul states in Galatians 5:16 to "walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.

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" One of Paul's themes in Thessalonians is for the community to have hope that the Day would save us. Paul reminds us to "love one another" in Thessalonians 4:9 so we may join together in a community. This theme of "community" is constant throughout Paul's entire letters and he summarizes all this important thoughts through 8 Romans.
In 8:6-7, Paul is telling us to set our minds and make a commitment to what the values of a Christian are. By doing this is living by the Spirit and not of the flesh. The values of a Christian are told to us by Paul in Galatians 5:22: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. "The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, indeed it cannot" (Rom 8:7). The works of the flesh such as enmity, strife, impurity, selfishness, and jealousy were qualities that Paul warned us about in Galatians that "shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal 5:21). The total commitment we make to our values Paul is talking about refers back to his second letter to the Corinthians, "for we walk by faith, not by sight" (5:7). "Walking" is referring to the fundamental choices we make in our lives and the total commitment we give to something. By the giving of self in service to the community we are walking by faith and being changed into his likeness.
In 8:10 Paul refers to his thought about "righteousness" again. "But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness." Paul makes references to "righteousness" in his letter to the Corinthians and in Galatians previously. "No, it is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became by God's action our wisdom and righteousness" (I Cor 1:30). In Paul's letter to the Galatians he makes a reference to Abraham that he " ‘believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness' " (Gal 3:6). With righteousness we are made okay with God and proclaim our faith through Abraham that Jesus was resurrected by God.
In 8:11 Paul refers to the "Spirit" as God. He is saying that if we believe that it was God who raised Jesus from the dead, then we will be given an everlasting life within us. This passage in 8:11 is one of Paul's main points he tries to make throughout all his letters. His central focus on the resurrection of Jesus is what Paul wants us to identify with. Jesus' resurrection marked a change from an era under the wrath of God to an era of grace. In Paul's point of view, this reality changed everything. In I Corinthians 15:21-22 Paul draws our attention to the second Adam in Christ which everybody was made alive through. This is the "good news" and the cornerstone of Christianity that God raised Jesus from the dead and started a new era.
"For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God…we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ…that we may also be glorified with him" (Rom 8:14-17). Paul concludes this section of his letter by reminding us that if we are in the Spirit of God then we will therefore become heirs of the promise. Paul explains through logic how we are heirs and sons through God in Galatians, "heirs according to promise…so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons….So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir" (Gal 3:29-4:7). By becoming identified with Christ, we are all made one by virtue of baptism and then became heirs of the promise made by Abraham.
Evidently, Paul's thoughts in Romans 8:1-17 are a summary of his main preaching that we have seen in his letters to the Thessalonians, Galatians, and Corinthians. Paul's main theme of living in the Spirit and not in the flesh together in a community while living out God's good news that Jesus was resurrected for God is what Paul wants all of us to remember. He concludes all his central points together in seventeen stanzas in a powerful statement to the Romans.
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