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Romans  ◦   Chapter 8

1Therefore, those who trust in Christ Jesus are no longer destined to die,2because through Christ Jesus the law of love has cleansed and healed them from the law of selfishness and death.3The written law was powerless to restore trust, as it could merely diagnose the infection of distrust and selfishness pervading us all. God accomplished this restoration of his character of love in humans by sending his own Son in human flesh to eradicate selfishness from humanity, reveal the truth about God, expose the lies of Satan, and reveal what happens when the infection of sin is not cured. And so he condemned the infection of selfishness as the destroying element in sinful humanity4in order that the law of love–the principle upon which life is based–might be fully restored in us, who no longer live according to selfish desires, but in harmony with the Spirit of love and truth.

5Those who live with the selfish nature in charge have their minds bent on self-indulgence and selfish pursuits; but those who live in harmony with the Spirit of truth and love have their minds focused on living in harmony with God's principles of truth, love, and liberty.6The mind of the selfish person is filled with death, but the mind governed by the principles of the Spirit of truth and love is filled with life and peace.7The selfish mind operates on the survival-of-the-fittest principle, which says, "I love myself so much that I will kill you in order that I may live;" and such a mind is at war with the God of love, who says, "I love you so much that I will give my life in order that you might live." The mind of the selfish person does not surrender to the principle of love–which requires death to self-interest–nor can it do so;8those controlled by the selfish nature cannot please God, because everything they do is opposed to all that God is.

9If God's Spirit has recreated within you his methods, principles and character, then you are no longer controlled by the desires of the selfish nature, but operate by the principles of love and truth. But if anyone does not have a Christlike character and attitude renewed within, they do not belong to the family of Christ.10But if trust in God and Christlike character have been recreated in your mind, yet your physical body remains defective and dying, don't be distressed, for your mind and character are alive, as the principles of life have been renewed in you.11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living within you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give you the power to live victoriously here and now in your mortal bodies. This is accomplished by living in trust and receiving the power of the Spirit.

12Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have a responsibility–and it's not to our old, selfish desires: We are not to live selfishly.13For if you live a life that indulges your selfish desires, you will destroy yourself, and the only result is death. But if by the enlightenment of the Spirit you make the choice to say No to selfish desires, the Spirit will provide divine power to successfully put to death the selfish desires within you, and you will be transformed and live forever.14You will live because those who follow the Spirit of God are the sons and daughters of God.15For the new heart and mind that you received is not riddled and consumed with fear and doubt — No! Trust has been restored and you received the mind, heart and attitude of Christ himself–the mind of God's very own child. And now we are not afraid to cry out to him, "Daddy, Papa, Father."16The Spirit himself confirms in our hearts and minds that we are God's children.17Now, understand this incredible good news that if we are God's children, then we are heirs–heirs of God himself and joint-heirs with Christ–to all the goodness in the universe! This is true if indeed we have died to self and share in his character of love.

18The present struggles and discomforts are inconsequential when we consider the magnitude of transformation being accomplished in us. We are privileged to reveal the very power of God's healing principles in the transformation of our minds.19This entire planet eagerly waits for wicked, sinful, selfish humanity to be gloriously transformed back into perfect sons and daughters of God.20For this entire creation was infected–not by its own choice, but by the choice of Adam–with the principle of the survival-of-the-fittest.21It longs for the day when this destructive, selfish, fear-based, survival-of-the-fittest principle will be completely eradicated and all nature will be healed and restored into God's original ideal.

22We know that the entire creation has been agonizing as in the pains of childbirth, longing for delivery from Adam's fall, right up to the present time.23Not only this, but we–who have been restored to trust, and have the outpouring of the Spirit renewing our minds–ache in our hearts and long for the culmination of our adoption as children of God in new bodies, free from the damage of sin.24Our minds have been healed, and trust in God has been restored, yet we still hope for the day we will receive new bodies, free from disease and defect. But hope that has been realized is no longer hope, for who hopes for what they already have?25But since we hope for what we have not yet received, we wait patiently.

26This is exactly what the Spirit is doing: He is interceding in our minds, bringing the truth, convicting of right and wrong, and leading us to a higher plane of existence. Even when we don't know what to pray, the Spirit is there, leading our minds and turning our thoughts in a higher and nobler direction.27And he who knows how the infection of selfishness has invaded the deepest levels of our hearts, also knows the mind and desire of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for us by bringing his healing power, and cleansing and restoring the saints in accordance with the will of God.

28And we know that in all things, at all times, in all circumstances, God works for the good of his creation and for the good of all who love him. Those who have accepted God's call–to work with him according to his purpose–experience the good things that God has for them.29For God foreknew who would accept and value his methods of love, and who would reject him and his methods of love. And God predetermined that all who accept the truth about him and trust in him would be fully healed and transformed in character to be like his Son, so that Jesus would be the prototype of all who are fashioned in his likeness.30And he called all humanity–whom he predetermined should be healed and restored–to repentance and reconciliation. Those who accept the truth and respond to the call, he sets right with himself and trust is restored; and those whom he sets right in trust, he also transforms in character to his glorious ideal as revealed in Jesus.

31What, then, can we possibly say in response to this? Don't you realize that God is on our side? And if God is for us, who can be against us? God does not need convincing to be good to us; No! It is we who need convincing that God is good to us!32If he did not withhold his own Son–but gave him up for us all–don't you realize that he will withhold nothing good from us? But along with his Son, he will give us all things that are for our good!33Who is it, then, that brings charges against those whom God has chosen? Stop believing Satan's lies about God — it is not God who brings charges against us! It is God who sets us right with himself. It is God who heals and transforms us.34Then who condemns? It is not Jesus, oh no! Christ Jesus, who died–and more importantly, who was raised from death to life–is sitting at God's right hand and is working hand in hand with his Father. Together they are interceding with the malignancy of sin in our minds and holding in check the power of the evil one, while providing the Remedy for our deliverance, healing and restoration.35Who, then, shall ever separate us from the love of Christ? Shall problems, or hardships, or criticism, or persecution, or hunger, or disease, or homelessness, or nakedness, or imprisonment, or financial ruin, or terrorists, or war?36As it is written: "For no matter what we face, including death, we will not doubt you; even if we are treated as sheep led to the slaughter–our confidence in you will not waver."

37In all things — no matter what we face — we are more than conquerors through trust in him who loved us.38For I am absolutely convinced that God is totally on our side and nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the past nor present nor future, nor any power in the universe;39neither things exalted nor things debased, nor anything else in all creation–nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.