Scripture: Romans 8:1-13
Observation: Paul begins by sharing that those who believe in Jesus won’t be condemned for their sins. He focuses on the power that’s in us as followers of Jesus, telling us that we’re no longer dominated by our sinful nature but by the Holy Spirit living within us. Christ lives in us. The Spirit of God, the very one who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in us. We are no longer obligated to live lives filled with sin but through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Application: While reading through today’s passage, all I want to do is find my ‘90s boombox, throw in a cassette tap, and cue Snap’s “I’ve got the power.” (Also, I don’t know why we’re talking about the ‘90s so much this week. But I can tell you it makes me want to watch Full House reruns while simultaneously eating Dunk-a-roo’s, reading BOP magazine, and writing notes to my BFFLs with a gel pen. Who’s with me?!)
I love this passage because Paul is telling us: If you believe in Jesus, you’ve got the power. Power to overcome your past. Power to push forward. Power to live a life of love and joy and peace.
“And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” (verse 2)
Life can be so hard sometimes, right? We can feel victimized, alone, powerless. There are so many things happening around us or to us or to people to we love. It can all feel like too much. But the truth is that if we belong to Jesus, his Spirit lives within us. And it’s that Spirit that gives us the power to overcome anything. Look at verse 6:
“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
And then my favorite verse of all is verse 10:
“And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been right with God.”
Let’s just be real for a minute. The idea of having someone else “living within you” sounds super strange, doesn’t it? So, what does that even mean? Jesus just sets up camp somewhere inside of your body and says “Yo! I’m here. Sup?” (That’s the 90s version of Jesus, obviously.) It sounds pretty weird.
But it’s also pretty powerful. Think about it. When you put your faith in Jesus, he takes up residence in you. That means that the same Jesus who literally defied death (best resume builder ever) is with you. He can help you overcome anything. He can guide you, direct you, fill you with the same wisdom and knowledge and power that he had.
I grew up hearing about Jesus my whole life, but honestly, Jesus was this mythical creature I heard about and knew enough about to know I should respect him. But he wasn’t real to me. He felt foreign. But the truth is Jesus was human – just like me and just like you. He felt what we felt. He experienced what we experience. He felt happiness and hurt and elation and despair. He knew firsthand just how hard life could be.
But he didn’t let it deter him, discourage him, destroy him. No, he lived with the power of the Holy Spirit. He lived boldly and courageously and generously.
And, we can too. Remember, you’ve got the power. The same power that our Lord Jesus Christ possessed when he walked this earth is the same power you’re filled with everyday.
Live courageously today. You’ve got the power to overcome anything.
Prayer: God, thank you for filling me with your incredible spirit of power. I pray you’ll help me rest in and embrace that power today, that I’ll be able to overcome anything. Thank you for the gift of your Son, for allowing him to live in me and work through me. Amen.