NEW TESTAMENT CONTEXTUAL COMMENTARY
Dr. Robert R. Seyda
EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS
PREVIEW OF CHAPTER EIGHT
This is without a doubt one of the, if not the, most monumental chapters written by the Apostle Paul. Its brilliance of thought is overwhelming. It is a real masterpiece of Christian theology. It takes us from the starting point of being set free from sin’s dominion over our lives, which guarantees had we not been freed by God’s act of love our death sentence of eternal separation from God would have been carried out. However, to the point that as long as we hold on to that love, God will never allow it to be removed so that sin can reimpose that sentence of condemnation.
Paul touches on the consequence and association of man’s tripartite existence (body, soul, and spirit) and the effects of sin as opposed to the forces of righteousness. Man’s body, this is the seat of our carnal nature and its warring members. The soul, this is the core of our spiritual longings, for which the supreme sacrifice was given. And the spirit, the center of our expressions which provides life to the soul,1 and animates the body. All of these have all been tainted by Adam’s sin and our own sins; all of which are groaning for redemption through Christ. That redemption offers the paradox of eternal life through death, the death of our sinful nature, and freedom through submission to the Holy Spirit. This helps fashion a hope by faith that this is the fulfillment of God’s destiny for all those who believe.
There are many times when verse 1 is misused to denote the absence of any condemnation in our hearts and conscience about our past sins because they have been washed away. Who, after being saved, have not thought of some sinful deed they committed in the past and felt sorry or grieved for having done it? So on the surface, we can see this interpretation as questionable. If our conscience is now unresponsive to condemnation, how will the Holy Spirit convict us when we do wrong or step out of God’s will and purpose for our lives; or when we dabble in the works of the flesh as Paul outlines in Galatians 6? But the Apostle Paul uses the correct word to explain what the condemnation is and it gives the chapter a whole new meaning.
To all my precious, faithful readers who take the 15 minutes each day to read the lesson, may God bless you. And to all those who take the extra time to look up the Scripture verses that are cited but not printed in the text, may even more of His blessings be on you. And any of you who consult the works in the footnotes to see what else these great scholars had to say on the subject, may God’s Spirit shower you with understanding. You don’t know how proud your heavenly Father is of your dedication and desire to know more about His Word. And from a human standpoint, you make me happy that the time was taken for research so that you could have these tools to work with.
We will begin Chapter 8 tomorrow. If you have any friends, know any pastors or Bible teachers that may enjoy these expositions of Romans. Even if they do not have a Facebook page, they can follow it right here on my blog. May God bless you and keep you and anoint you for His service. Dr. Robert R Seyda
1 See Genesis 2:7