Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 314

Bible text(s)

Life in the Spirit

1There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me free from the law of sin and death. 3What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like sinful human nature, to do away with sin. 4God did this so that the righteous demands of the Law might be fully satisfied in us who live according to the Spirit, and not according to human nature. 5Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants. 6To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace. 7And so people become enemies of God when they are controlled by their human nature; for they do not obey God's law, and in fact they cannot obey it. 8Those who obey their human nature cannot please God.

9But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to — if, in fact, God's Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin. 11If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you.

12So then, my brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it is not to live as our human nature wants us to. 13For if you live according to your human nature, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death your sinful actions, you will live. 14Those who are led by God's Spirit are God's children. 15For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God's children, and by the Spirit's power we cry out to God, “Father! my Father!” 16God's Spirit joins himself to our spirits to declare that we are God's children. 17Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ's suffering, we will also share his glory.

The Future Glory

18I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19All of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his children. 20For creation was condemned to lose its purpose, not of its own will, but because God willed it to be so. Yet there was the hope 21that creation itself would one day be set free from its slavery to decay and would share the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22For we know that up to the present time all of creation groans with pain, like the pain of childbirth. 23But it is not just creation alone which groans; we who have the Spirit as the first of God's gifts also groan within ourselves, as we wait for God to make us his children and set our whole being free. 24For it was by hope that we were saved; but if we see what we hope for, then it is not really hope. For which of us hopes for something we see? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. 27And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will.

28We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose. 29Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son, so that the Son would be the eldest brother in a large family. 30And so those whom God set apart, he called; and those he called, he put right with himself, and he shared his glory with them.

God's Love in Christ Jesus

31In view of all this, what can we say? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32Certainly not God, who did not even keep back his own Son, but offered him for us all! He gave us his Son — will he not also freely give us all things? 33Who will accuse God's chosen people? God himself declares them not guilty! 34Who, then, will condemn them? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right-hand side of God, pleading with him for us! 35Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death? 36As the scripture says,

“For your sake we are in danger of death at all times;

we are treated like sheep that are going to be slaughtered.”

37No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! 38For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, 39neither the world above nor the world below — there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.

God and his People

1I am speaking the truth; I belong to Christ and I do not lie. My conscience, ruled by the Holy Spirit, also assures me that I am not lying 2when I say how great is my sorrow, how endless the pain in my heart 3for my people, my own flesh and blood! For their sake I could wish that I myself were under God's curse and separated from Christ. 4They are God's people; he made them his children and revealed his glory to them; he made his covenants with them and gave them the Law; they have the true worship; they have received God's promises; 5they are descended from the famous Hebrew ancestors; and Christ, as a human being, belongs to their race. May God, who rules over all, be praised for ever! Amen.

6I am not saying that the promise of God has failed; for not all the people of Israel are the people of God. 7Nor are all Abraham's descendants the children of God. God said to Abraham, “It is through Isaac that you will have the descendants I promised you.” 8This means that the children born in the usual way are not the children of God; instead, the children born as a result of God's promise are regarded as the true descendants. 9For God's promise was made in these words: “At the right time I will come back, and Sarah will have a son.”

10And this is not all. For Rebecca's two sons had the same father, our ancestor Isaac. 11-12But in order that the choice of one son might be completely the result of God's own purpose, God said to her, “The elder will serve the younger.” He said this before they were born, before they had done anything either good or bad; so God's choice was based on his call, and not on anything they had done. 13As the scripture says, “I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau.”

14Shall we say, then, that God is unjust? Not at all. 15For he said to Moses, “I will have mercy on anyone I wish; I will take pity on anyone I wish.” 16So then, everything depends, not on what human beings want or do, but only on God's mercy. 17For the scripture says to the king of Egypt, “I made you king in order to use you to show my power and to spread my fame over the whole world.” 18So then, God has mercy on anyone he wishes, and he makes stubborn anyone he wishes.

God's Anger and Mercy

19But one of you will say to me, “If this is so, how can God find fault with anyone? Who can resist God's will?” 20But who are you, my friend, to answer God back? A clay pot does not ask the man who made it, “Why did you make me like this?” 21After all, the man who makes the pots has the right to use the clay as he wishes, and to make two pots from the same lump of clay, one for special occasions and the other for ordinary use.

22And the same is true of what God has done. He wanted to show his anger and to make his power known. But he was very patient in enduring those who were the objects of his anger, who were doomed to destruction. 23And he also wanted to reveal his abundant glory, which was poured out on us who are the objects of his mercy, those of us whom he has prepared to receive his glory. 24For we are the people he called, not only from among the Jews but also from among the Gentiles. 25This is what he says in the book of Hosea:

“The people who were not mine

I will call ‘My People’.

The nation that I did not love

I will call ‘My Beloved’.

26And in the very place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’

there they will be called the children of the living God.”

27And Isaiah exclaims about Israel: “Even if the people of Israel are as many as the grains of sand by the sea, yet only a few of them will be saved; 28for the Lord will quickly settle his full account with the world.” 29It is as Isaiah had said before, “If the Lord Almighty had not left us some descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”

Paul's Prayer for Israel

30So we say that the Gentiles, who were not trying to put themselves right with God, were put right with him through faith; 31while God's people, who were seeking a law that would put them right with God, did not find it. 32And why not? Because they did not depend on faith but on what they did. And so they stumbled over the “stumbling stone” 33that the scripture speaks of:

“Look, I place in Zion a stone

that will make people stumble,

a rock that will make them fall.

But whoever believes in him will not be disappointed.”

Romans 8:1-9:33GNBOpen in Bible reader
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