“For in this hope we were saved” – part 2

Following on from Part 1, the obvious proof the Sprit is at work in us is the hope that the Spirit gives us, a hope that enables us to “wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies,” Romans 8:23.

But what does that mean, “adoption as a son of God” and “the redemption of a human body?” Clearly they’re important because Paul tells us it’s our hope in these two things that “saves” us (verse 24). Adoption and redemption are what keep us Christians alive and kicking in this dreadful world, no matter what it chucks at us, so what do they mean?

Paul gives us a couple of clues in Romans 8. The redeeming of a human body, for instance, is crucial because, verse 10, a “body is dead because of sin.” Keeping God’s law doesn’t change that either, for “when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died,” Romans 7:9. The law only makes our sins more obvious. We also have a sinful nature that won’t let us keep the law anyway. So we live in a “body of death,” chapter 7:24.

To redeem our body of death, God did two things: first, he “condemned sin in sinful man” by “sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering,” Romans 8:3. God sent Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sin to rescue our bodies from death. But that was only the first step, because we still have a sinful nature that’s bent on killing us all over again. It doesn’t like our bodies at all. It wants us dead.

But God took care of that, too, in the second thing he did for us, in Romans 8:11. “He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through the Spirit, who lives in us.” God not only rescues our bodies from death, he also gives life to our bodies from that time forward, through the Spirit. And how does the Spirit give us life? By making us sons of God not slaves to our sinful nature. Anyone “led by the Spirit” is a son of God (verse 14), the result being we have the desire and the power to “put to death the misdeeds of the body,” verse 13, because we want to please God. We can now kill off what’s trying to kill us. So God not only redeems our bodies from death caused by sin, he also gives life to our bodies by enabling us to stop sinning…(continued in Part 3)

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