I think it could be said that Romans 8 may well be the most glorious, joy-inspiring, hope-giving chapter in the book containing the clearest and most comprehensive treatment of the Christian gospel message in the entire Bible. It’s hard to choose favourites, and of course we must let all of scripture speak rather than honing in on one chapter or book in isolation, but I have certainly found in my own walk with God that the truths contained in Romans 8 and 9 in particular have been a balm that breaks through the difficulties and sorrows of life, shining a light that causes our sufferings to pale in comparison to the glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18, 2 Corinthians 4:17), and helping us to face them in faith and with joy and hope.
In this wonderful book by Australian pastor and author Ray Galea, the reader is taken on a journey through this chapter, section by section, beginning with our life in the Spirit as believers (including the incredible declaration of ‘no condemnation’ for those who are in Christ), our status as heirs with Christ as a result of our adoption as children of God, the way in which God works through and in the midst of our suffering – with the Spirit interceding for us in our darkest moments – for our good and for God’s glory, to the assurance we can have thanks to God’s unbroken chain of redemption, and concluding with the amazing reminder that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God.
I have heard this passage described as a journey up a mountain. Each step throughout the passage takes you higher on your way up to the summit where we see God’s promise of our glorification (which follows our predestination, calling and justification) and the declaration of His love for us and our security in that love, which cannot be broken by anything we face in this life. The mountain metaphor is in many ways quite apt, and Ray is a most excellent guide, helping the reader to enjoy the journey and take in the view along the way to the summit. Ray also uses personal examples from his own life, and stories from the lives of others, to apply the truths of this passage to real-life situations.
In short, I highly commend Romans 8 as a chapter which all believers should drink from deeply and return to regularly, and I also commend this book as a wonderful companion to help open up the truths of this amazing passage in a relatable way. I was reading Ray’s book as my local church was working through a sermon series on Romans 8 and I am thankful for his insights which complemented the sermon series and helped me unpack the subject matter between each sermon by causing me to consider more closely the incredible treasures of this most excellent chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Romans.