Romans 8:12–17 (ESV)
Heirs with Christ
12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit
you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but
you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children,
then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
The Holy Spirit leads us to trust confidently
that we are heirs, privileged to call God “our Father” and to receive eternal glory at the end of present suffering. The path to glory, however, is not an easy street, for it entails daily rejection of personal sins. When God’s judgment frightens
us, the Spirit assures us that God loves us in Christ.
I pray: Lord, by Your Spirit, comfort us when we are afraid. Lead us to see You as our dear Father and to see ourselves
as Your dear children. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1924.
Romans 8:1–11 (ESV)
Life in the Spirit
8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has
done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk
not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For
to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who
are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus
from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Because Christ justifies
sinners, God’s life-giving Spirit dwells in believers. He frees us from the bondage of sin and death. Those who are preoccupied with satisfying their selfish desires often become angry with God and rebel against Him. God promises release from this deadly
cycle and brings life and peace.
I pray: Father, by Your Spirit, direct our hearts to Christ, where true joys are found. Amen.
A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing
House, 2009), 1924.
Romans 7:7–25 (ESV)
The Law and Sin
7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You
shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from
the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment,
deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For
we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I
do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in
my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I
do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when
I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me
captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself
serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Our struggle with sin is not a past event; it is a present reality. We know God’s will and desire
to serve Him, but we cannot overcome sin. Even if we try, we fail. We cry out, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” There is only one answer: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Jesus rescues us. Though we sin
daily, He continues to forgive and restore us.
I pray: Lord Jesus, I love You. Lead me in daily repentance. Forgive my sin and strengthen my faith. By Your Spirit, deliver
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The
Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1923.
Romans 7:1–6 (ESV)
Released from the Law
7 Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 For
a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband
is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the
flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the
Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
As the Law confronts fallen human nature, it accuses and condemns, revealing sinfulness and the unreachable standard of God’s
holiness. Faithless people may be driven to sin and despair by the Law (v 5). Thanks be to God, in Christ we have died to the Law (v 4). Now we need not live in bondage and fear, but in a new life in the Spirit.
I pray: O Holy Spirit, fill me with faith and new life, so that I may bear the fruit of love for You. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1922.
Romans 6:15–23 (ESV)
Slaves to Righteousness
15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,
you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart
to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural
limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of
which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For
the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Although many people consider freedom to be the ultimate human right, no one is truly
free spiritually. We were slaves to sin and bound to death. Knowing this, Jesus came to serve us by giving His life on the cross and rising for us. Freed from sin, we can now serve God. Only when we are “slaves” to God will we have freedom to be
the people He created us to be.
I pray: My Savior, thank You for serving me. Lead me to serve You and others. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht,
The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1921.