Do you like baseball? I love baseball. Probably because my grandpa loved it. I remember sitting on my grandpa’s lap as he sat in his recliner, watching the Dodgers shortly after they moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Of course, I was too young to know that they were new to LA, and to me the Dodgers had always been here. Grandma and Grandpa lived just a little over 15 miles from the LA Coliseum, where the Dodgers played before Dodger Stadium was built, and the Dodgers were the home team. So my grandpa loved the Dodgers, and I loved my Grandpa, so I loved the Dodgers, and baseball.
Why am I talking about baseball? Because Major League Baseball has a Hall of Fame. In that Hall of Fame are some of the best players the game has ever known. Players who exemplified excellence.
If there were a Hall of Fame of the best chapters in the Bible, I would most certainly nominate Romans 8, with a Best Runner up being chapter 7. Chapter 8 is Sandy Koufax, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Lou Gehrig all rolled into one. And more.
Let me explain. In chapter seven, Paul talks about how the Law pointed out sin to us. It made us aware of sin. Then he showed us that we are slaves to sin. He said, “I want to do what is right but I do not do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate.” Does that sound familiar? If you are a believer, you know it does. If you are not a believer, then there is a good chance it does sound foreign to you. But believers are intimately aware of the struggle between the desires of the flesh and the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the teaching of the Word of God.
We know the feeling of despair when we fail. Paul ended chapter 7 with this: “There is no happiness in me! Who can set me free from my sinful old self? 25 God’s Law has power over my mind, but sin still has power over my sinful old self. I thank God I can be free through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Yes! Yes! A thousand times Yes! I thank God I can be free through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Listen again to Paul’s opening words in chapter 8: “Now, because of this, those who belong to Christ will not suffer the punishment of sin. 2 The power of the Holy Spirit has made me free from the power of sin and death. This power is mine because I belong to Christ Jesus.”
Home Run! Outta the park! “those who belong to Christ will not suffer the punishment of sin”. Them’s shoutin’ words, friends!
Now as long as we’re in this Hall of Fame chapter, let me repeat for you some of the best, most encouraging verses ever written:
He gave Himself to take away sin. By doing that, He took away the power sin had over us.
if the Holy Spirit is the boss over your mind, it leads to life and peace.
All those who are led by the Holy Spirit are sons of God. 15 You should not act like people who are owned by someone. They are always afraid. Instead, the Holy Spirit makes us His sons, and we can call to Him, “My Father.”
If we are children of God, we will receive everything He has promised us. We will share with Christ all the things God has given to Him. But we must share His suffering if we are to share His shining-greatness.
the Holy Spirit helps us where we are weak. We do not know how to pray or what we should pray for, but the Holy Spirit prays to God for us with sounds that cannot be put into words. 27 God knows the hearts of men. He knows what the Holy Spirit is thinking. The Holy Spirit prays for those who belong to Christ the way God wants Him to pray.
We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are chosen to be a part of His plan.
Since God is for us, who can be against us?
God did not keep His own Son for Himself but gave Him for us all.
It is God Who says they are right with Himself. 34 Who then can say we are guilty?
For I know that nothing can keep us from the love of God. Death cannot! Life cannot!