“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” Romans 8:15
Today I spoke with many church friends over the phone. It was so pleasant to hear how well each seem to be doing. I also went out into town to pick up a few more items I think it will be good for my kids to have during this time at home.
Everyone I spoke to seems to be doing really well, but most did say something like, “But the one thing I am worried about is…” I also saw many empty shelves in many different stores, and I spoke to more than a few people who witnessed some pretty ridiculous behavior.
Romans chapter 8, from which the above quote comes, might be some of the most theologically rich scripture St. Paul wrote. That verse above is somewhat famous in various bible reading circles.
You did not receive a spirit of fear.
You did not receive a spirit of timidity.
You did not receive a spirit of SLAVERY TO FEAR.
I’m sure you get it, but do you know the next part? “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…”
Do you believe that? Do you receive that? Do you hear how incredibly fantastic you are? You are an heir to the most powerful and most wealthy and most amazing royal family in history!
Yeah. I get it. Here is the next part, and it’s a doozy.
“…if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.”
I like that first part. Of course, if that’s true than Paul is right – I have nothing to fear. Then he throws that second part in there, and it’s like – Hold up! I’m not hip on suffering.
Oh, and it gets better. Read what St. Paul says next.
“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as NOTHING compared with the glory to be revealed for us.”
That’s a big “if / then” I’m not so sure I’m comfortable with. I think it’s why just a few sentences later, Paul begins (again) to write extensively about HOPE.
“For in hope, we were saved,” says St. Paul. And later, “What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?...No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
That’s some powerful belief on the part of St. Paul. Reason not to fear.
Did you know the command DO NOT BE AFRAID is found in the bible over 360 times! It’s the most repeated command by God to His people.
So ask yourself… … …