As a Believer, how can you be so confident that all the pain and sacrifices that you endure for Jesus is really worth it? Why wouldn’t you, a Believer, choose to accept everything that’s considered normal by people who are not Believers? There are some great answers to those two questions found in Romans 8:9-11.
In Romans 8:9-11 I believe that Paul reveals Four New Normals Assuring Your Eternity
Here are my summary notes from my personal inductive study on this passage.
i. Lets start by talking about “normal”
8:9, “in the realm of” NIV
Paul uses the word “realm.” It’s helpful to read the word “realm” as a reference to what is considered “normal” (the laws and rules we are bound by). For a Christian, it is normal to expect eternity. For someone who has not yet chosen Jesus, it is normal to expect judgment and eternal separation from God. Faith in Jesus changes what is normal.
ii. Because of our faith in Jesus, we have a new normal
8:9, “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh” NIV
Remember that old life that you used to live before choosing to believe in Jesus? All that sin and bondage no longer applies to you. You have moved on to bigger and better things. Your new normal has nothing to do with breaking God’s heart and expecting judgment.
iii. Because of our faith in Jesus, friendship with God is now normal
8:9, “but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you” NIV
Paul shares with us that we have been removed from the realm of sin (which is his way of talking about our dominant sinful nature leading us and the judgement we were expecting). We have moved into a new normal called the realm of the Spirit. It is now normal for us to please God with our choices, and move closer in fellowship with God.
iv. Because of our faith in Jesus, it is normal to be in God’s presence all the time
8:11, “the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you” NIV
Everyone who choses faith in Jesus receives the Holy Spirit. It’s the Holy Spirit that gives us life (right now, the ability to live in fellowship with God). It’s the Holy Spirit that gives us hope (the promise of the resurrection).
v. Because of our faith in Jesus, the expectation of resurrection and eternal, physical life is normal
8:11, “he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you” NIV
The realm of the Spirit that Paul describes is our second chance at life – it is now normal for us to live in a way that pleases God. Additionally, we now have the hope of the resurrection – it is normal for us to expect that Jesus will come back and give us eternal life. Even though our bodies continue to age, the Spirit within us reminds us of God’s promise to resurrect us.
vi. Because of our faith in Jesus, assurance of salvation is normal
Here’s the loudest thing I’m hearing from today’s text: I have assurance of salvation! My Christianity isn’t based on public opinion, it’s based on the presence of the Spirit due to my faith in Jesus and my active pursuit of growing in love for God and others. I have assurance of faith because I’m no longer within the realm of sin. I have a new “normal” that I live within. My normal includes the freedom to love God instead of being dominated by sin living within me. My normal includes the Spirit living within me.
If you believe in Jesus, all of that is true for you, too.
Here are the Four New Normals Assuring Your Eternity
1) If you believe in Jesus then you are no longer under the realm of sin
2) If you believe in Jesus then sin no longer lives inside of you and dominating you
3) If you believe in Jesus then the Spirit lives within you and enables you to express your love for God and others
4) If you believe in Jesus then the presence of the Spirit is your current hope for eternity
What about you?
Is this encouraging to you? Are you happily moving forward in your fellowship with God because you know that you’re guaranteed a great eternity? Or, did you come up with something different when you studied this text yourself?
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