Chapter 8 can perhaps be described as the most important chapter of the Book of Romans. Through the several themes that are present in this chapter, Paul reveals to us just how wondrous the work of the righteousness of God is.
The first theme is: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). This means that regardless of how vulgar and degraded we may be in our flesh; the righteousness of God has freed us from all our sins.
The second theme is: “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did” (Romans 8:3). This means that because people in their flesh could not follow the Law given by God, Jesus Christ, by taking all their sins upon Himself with His baptism and His death on the Cross, saved them from their sins and judgments. It is because Jesus came to this earth and took upon all the sins of the mankind at once with His baptism by John that He could carry all the sins of the world on His Cross, be crucified on it, and arise from death to save all those who believe in this truth. All these works of our Lord were meant to fulfill the righteousness of God to save the sinners from their sins, in obedience to the will of our God the Father.
The third theme is: “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5). This means that when we decide to believe in God, we should believe in Him not by following our own thoughts, but by following the Word of God.
The fourth theme is: “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you” (Romans 8:9). Those who believe in the righteousness of God have received the Holy Spirit in their heart and become the children of God. This also means that you cannot become God’s child just because you attend church diligently.
The fifth theme is: “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh” (Romans 8:12). This theme tells us that those who have been saved from all their sins by believing in the gospel of our Lord that has fulfilled the righteousness of God cannot be debtors to their flesh and slaves to it.
The sixth theme is: “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Romans 8:15). Because those who believe in God have received the Holy Spirit, they now call God the Father, “Abba, Father.”
The seventh theme is: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16-17). Those who believe in the righteousness of God are those who have received the Holy Spirit, and those who have received the Holy Spirit are those who will become, together with Christ, heirs to His Kingdom of Heaven.
The eighth theme is: “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (Romans 8:22). This tells us that even the believers in the righteousness of God face suffering in this earthly world, along with all other creatures, but it also tells us that in their next world there will be neither groans nor pain.
The ninth theme is: “Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:30). This tells us that God has called the sinners in His Son Jesus Christ, and that He has made them His children by taking away all their sins at once with His righteousness.
Finally, the tenth and last theme is: “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:33). No one can judge God’s children who have received the Holy Spirit as their gifts for their deliverance from sin by believing in the righteousness of God.
These ten themes are then the basic outlines of Romans chapter 8. We will now turn to examine them in detail with our main discussion.