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    21 days of prayer and fasting - Romans 8 

    The law of the Spirit has set us free from the Law of Moses. 

    What is the law of the Spirit?  Another law?  No, Paul is referring to the personal guide who  shows us what to do.

    The law of sin and death includes the Law of Moses and any other set of rules, or trying to follow an example by our own strength: they lead to death because they cannot make us righteous.  They cannot put us in right relationship with God nor can they keep us in right relationship with Him.

    Paul continues to be blunt and to the point: if we are “in the flesh” we cannot please God.  As we saw in Galatians 5, Paul uses “flesh” in this context to mean human ability independent of God.  If we try to do the right thing in our own strength we will fail.  But if we depend on God and are filled with the Spirit then we can live righteously.

    Let’s not get carried away - it is nothing we can boast about because it is Jesus’ righteousness! 

    Because of the supernatural presence of God the Holy Spirit in our lives, we are able to receive heavenly life in our mortal bodies (verse 11) - so we can also pray for healing.  He may answer with miraculous healing or He may answer with a “not yet” so that we have to wait until the resurrection at the end of time, when Jesus returns (see 1 Cor 15:50-58 and 1 Thess 4:13-5:11).  Whichever way, Jesus breathes resurrection life into our mortal, human bodies!

    The chapter continues with an exciting glimpse of the inheritance we have as God’s children  Paul talks of us being sons of God.  In that culture, only males would inherit.  So this is not excluding women but the opposite - we inherit equally. 

    We enjoy some of our inheritance now the fulness is to come.  The kingdom is here but it is not yet.  We experience the Holy Spirit but not yet in fulness.  We receive resurrection life now but have to wait till the last day for the fulness of resurrection.  

    But the certainty we have of God’s love being fully revealed in future gives us hope now.  In fact Paul says we are “more than conquerors!”

    The whole of creation feels the pain of this world being spoilt by sin and longs for release.  In verse 19 we discover how creation will be released - through God’s children reaching maturity and being revealed as who we really are, the Body of Christ.  We have the first fruits of the Spirit, like a deposit that guarantees the full payment.  But when we are “put in place as sons” (which is what the word translated “adoption” really means) then we and the whole of creation will be released into true freedom, eternal freedom. 

    What an amazing hope we have!