One of the things we will inevitably keep coming back to as we make our way through Romans chapter 8 is the work of the Holy Spirit. Sadly, this is a subject that can be a cause of confusion amongst Christians.
One of the reasons for that is because we separate the Spirit’s work in our lives from Christ’s work for us. We sometimes focus on issues of particular gifts the Spirit gives, or certain experiences we ascribe to the Holy Spirit. But the big picture of the Spirit’s work is that he is all about Christ; making Christ known, conforming us to be like Christ, putting into effect the salvation Christ has won.
This is something we’ve seen even just in the first 11 verses of Romans 8, for example:
Jesus achieves what the law could not achieve (v3) in his death on the cross but this becomes ours through ‘the Spirit of life’ (v2).
Christ died so that we might live a new life of obedience to God, but this new life can only be lived by walking according to the Spirit (v4)
The Spirit is the Spirit of Christ and it is impossible to belong to Christ unless the Spirit dwells in us (v9).
Jesus rose again for our salvation but his resurrection will actually becomes something we share in and experience ourselves because of the Spirit who dwells in us (v11).
In other words, Romans 8 shows us that what Christ has achieved objectively for us in his life, death and resurrection, is applied and made real to us personally by the Spirit.
This blog post is related to the recent sermon on Romans 8v5-11 which you can listen to again to by clicking here.