As I look at the Bible as a whole and see the progress of redemption laid out from God’s creative work at the onset of humanity, the account found in Genesis, to the triumphant second coming of Christ, written in Revelation, I am blown away. There is a scarlet thread of salvation woven throughout Scripture, leading to each and every one of us. This is a beautiful reality we call the gospel, the good news.
When Paul wrote Romans 1-8, he laid out the gospel in great detail. God inspired him to write of the first facet of salvation, justification (being made right with God), in chapters 1-4. Then, in Romans 5-8, Paul writes of the second facet of salvation, sanctification (becoming more and more like Christ). In the second half of Romans 8, Paul writes of the third facet of salvation, glorification. Glorification is the final act of God in salvation. Occurring at Christ’s return, when the believer receives a glorified, imperishable body (never to wear out or become sick), glorious (beautiful, perhaps radiant), powerful (not superhuman but at full strength), and spiritual (dominated by God’s Spirit). This is a wonderful future reality for all of us in Christ. In the second half of Romans 8, Paul teaches us how to live as those being sanctified, yet to be glorified, and does so wrapped in sure hope and glory.
Paul declares in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Think about it. No suffering amounts to anything compared to the Way who is Christ (I was lost, but now I am found). No sufferings amount to anything compared to the Truth, who is Christ (I was seeking truth, but now I know the One who is the Truth). No sufferings amount to anything compared to the Life who is Christ (I was dead, but now I live) (see: John 14:6). Here is the good news. No amount of suffering can compare to what I have in Christ, or what I will have in Christ when He returns, and I leave this world of suffering behind and spend eternity with Him in Glory. How do we endure present sufferings? We do so by placing our hope in future glory. We are to live by faith right up to the gates of paradise.
We discover in Romans 8:18-21 that those in Christ place their hope on the Spirit for a future complete release. In fact, we are told in Romans 8:22-27 that those in Christ are actually helped by the Spirit to overcome our weaknesses. The Spirit who makes us holy, more and more like Christ, gives us what we need, even intercedes on our behalf, to lead us through this fallen world to the finish line, where we see Christ face-to-face. We even receive this precious promise: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). We can be confident that nothing can hurt God’s people so deeply that God cannot turn it around for His glory and our good.
In Roans 8:29-30, we learn what God has done for us. We can be sure of this. If we have placed our faith in God, we have been called. If we have been called, he has predestined us for complete salvation. He has justified us. Right now, our Lord is sanctifying us, making us more and more like Christ. If God is sanctifying us, He will one day complete the work He has begun and will glorify us.
In Romans 8:30-31, Paul concludes by declaring that we in Christ are more than conquerors. We learn that those in Christ respond reasonably to God’s love. Along with the previous seven, these two verses provide a conclusion of God’s plan for His people. It is a summary of sorts of Romans 1-8. The final nine verses of Romans 8 are so wonderful that every Christian should be thoroughly familiar with them. Paul declares that God is for us and that no one can succeed against us. Paul didn’t simply ask, “Who can be against us?” The answer to this question would be many. Paul asks, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” God is for us in Christ, and we will share in His victory. Paul declares, “nothing can separate us from God’s love” (Rom 8:39).
Yes, we will face hardship. God’s people have always faced hardship. However, nothing will separate us from God’s love. Not only can no one or anything alienate us from our God, but we are actually more than conquerors through Christ who loves us. Nothing can separate us from God’s love and the ultimate victory we will share in Him!
I pray you have decided to receive Christ as your Savior and Lord. I hope you have chosen as a believer to focus on Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to make you more like Jesus. I implore you to find hope in future glory. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!