Romans 8 - Under Clear Bright Skies
by Dina Sleiman
1-2With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. (The Message Version)
All last month I meditated on one chapter of scripture: Romans 8 in the Message version. Some days I would read the whole passage, sometimes half, others only a few verses. I meditated and mulled over those words until they really became alive to me. So I thought I’d do a series about Romans 8 to share with all of you. It’s rich with truth and light that will set you free.
Let’s begin today with verses 1-2. Plenty to chew on there. I will break it down piece by piece.
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved.
What dilemma is this? Perhaps the very dilemma of fate? Chance? Or is it our ultimate fate as fallen human beings. A fate separated from our glorious maker. Perhaps even eternal separation, which would be the appropriate result of our sinful state. But with the arrival of Jesus, the slate is wiped clean. We are reconciled to our heavenly father. No longer pawns of fate—of Satan, the enemy of our soul—but beloved children. A royal priesthood, ambassadors of Christ to the dark world around us.
Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.
I know I’ve lived too much of my life under a low-lying black cloud. Even as a believer. What about you? Do you ever feel oppressed, depressed? But that’s not the plan. Christ has set us free from that. We no longer have to live under that darkness. But what is the condition? We must enter into Christ. The light of the world lives in us, shines through us. He is more than capable of dispelling that darkness. As we soak in His presence the darkness dissipates. As we speak His name and declare His word the darkness must flee.
A new power is in operation.
At the cross Jesus conquered the enemy. Satan lost his power. Death was defeated. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law being made a curse for us. And He’s given us the keys to the kingdom. As His ambassadors, His children, He’s given us the power. Yet too often we feel powerless, defeated, and broken down. We must put on the full armor of God that we might stand against the assaults of the enemy. We must fill ourselves with the word of God so that we can not only withstand any attack, but even be on the offensive for the kingdom of God.
The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
And here’s the best part. The Spirit of life in Christ blows in like a strong wind, clearing the air of that black cloud. Can you see it? Can you feel it blowing crisp and clean across your skin. Take a moment to close your eyes and picture this scene. Picture the black cloud in your life. Name it. Then watch the Spirit of life blow it away and clear the air. We are free from our original fate. Free of the brutal tyranny we were born under. Free from a life as slaves to sin and death. Free to serve Christ in all His liberty and grace in clean air under bright skies. Why don’t you take a moment to dance in spin in that freedom. I know I will.
Thanks for joining me today for this foray through the first two verses of Romans 8. Come again in two weeks when I’ll continue with this study. And please take a moment to share your thoughts, impressions, and experiences from these first two verses.
Dina Sleiman writes lyrical stories that dance with light. Most of the time you will find this Virginia Beach resident reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with her husband and three children, preferably at the oceanfront. Since finishing her Professional Writing MA in 1994, she has enjoyed many opportunities to teach literature, writing, and the arts. She was the Overall Winner in the 2009 Touched by Love contest for unpublished authors. Her debut novel, Dance of the Dandelion with Whitefire Publishing, is now available at amazon and other online and ebook distributors. Her latest novel, Love in Three Quarter Time, will be the launch title for the new Zondervan First imprint. Dina is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. She has recently become an acquisitions editor for WhiteFire as well. Join her as she discovers the unforced rhythms of grace. For more info visit her at http://dinasleiman.com/