Israel was to reap the whirlwind of destruction due to their unfaithful idolatrous worship. The golden calf that they worshipped at Bethel had been made by a human craftsman. It was not God.
God would remember the wickedness of the Israelites and punish them. The people of Judah had fortified many towns but this would not save them. God would send fire upon their cities.
Prophets were the ‘watchmen’ over Israel, yet the people set snares for them on all their paths and were hostile to them in the house of his God (Hosea 9:8).
When God had first made covenants with the Patriarchs of Israel it had been like ‘finding grapes in the desert’ and ‘seeing early fruit on the fig-tree’ (Hosea (9:10). It had been beautifully refreshing to find righteousness and faith.
God would reject his people because they had not obeyed him. They would become wanderers among the nations.
Romans 8 is the climax of the amazing book of Romans – the most intense theological treatise in the Bible.
‘There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Rom.8:1). The Holy Spirit has set us free from the law of sin and death.
God sent his own son to be a sin offering (Rom.8:3). Those who love in accordance with the Spirit have their mind set on what the Spirit desires. We no longer live according to what our former sinful nature desired. When our mind is controlled by the Spirit, we enjoy life and peace.
The sinful mind is death, hostile to God and does not submit to God’s law. If we are controlled by a sinful nature, then we cannot please God (Rom.8:8).
When we have been baptized and have asked Jesus into our lives as our personal saviour we are controlled by the Spirit. The Spirit of God lives in us. We know that the Spirit of God is living in us when we pray in the Spirit / speak in tongues. This proves the Holy Spirit is living within us and, as he raised Christ from the dead, he will also give life to our mortal bodies (Rom.8:11).
In order to live, we have ‘to put to death the misdeeds of the body’ (Rom.8:13). We do this by the power of the Spirit. I was too weak to eliminate my misdeeds when I tried to rely on my own willpower, by handing over control to the Holy Spirit through praying in tongues, he did it for me.
When we are lead by the Spirit of God we become ‘born again’ as we ask Jesus into our lives, we then become sons (and daughters of God) (Rom.8:14).
We are no longer slaves to fear, we have the Spirit of sonship. God is our Father. The Holy Spirit will testify to that. We are God’s children and heirs of God. When we emotionally or physically suffer, we are supernaturally linked to our Lord Jesus Christ and like all bad things in our life, God has designed good to come out of it. ‘We share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory’ (Rom.8:17).
We should pray to the Holy Spirit for wisdom so we will not bring grief and bitterness to our parents (Prov.17:25). ‘The fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook’ (Prov.18:4).
The Holy Spirit gives us self-control so we will use words with restraint and remain even-tempered (Prov.17:27). Keeping silent can make even the foolish appear wise and discerning (Prov.17:27). However, we should never miss an opportunity to proclaim the gospel when we know, through the wisdom imbued in us by the Holy Spirit, that it is an appropriate time.
Christian communities should be noted for their generosity and friendliness. Born-again sons of God should never be hostile (Prov.18:1).
Wicked fools do not want to understand and will show contempt. Foolish words will bring us strife (Prov.18:6).
We need to pursue and fight for justice. We should never be swayed by the wicked or deprive the innocent of justice. We should never unjustly punish those with integrity. God watches all and will judge us for our deeds.