What four gifts do those with faith in Christ get to experience now which radically change how we think and live? Paul’s argument summarized in Romans 5-8.
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This section of Scripture is personal to me. John Stott, who ministered at All Saints Church in London in the 20th century, did a four part lecture series at a conference on these four chapters of Romans. It was later published in a little book called Men Made New. John Piper, writer and retired pastor from Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, said this book is one of the books that changed his life when he read it at Wheaton College, where I graduated too. Stott shows how Scripture argues. He moves beyond showing what a verse means to tracing Scripture’s logical flow of thought showing how each argument connects to the ones around it. This changed Piper’s life and thinking who inspired me to read it about 15 years ago. Then it was the first book I grabbed when Jackson died at 16 in 2013 to read it slowly again. These are the notes I took as I spent months of healing “steeping” in the only drink that would soothe my scorched soul after losing my son. God has not given up on mankind. He is making all things new through his Son, through whom we have intimate communication with God now and one day see the bad undone.
Key Question: Romans 5-8 answers really one question: Since everyone is found guilty before God (Romans 1-3), and the sinner is made clean or “justified” by faith alone in the work of Christ for him (Romans 4), what benefits do they now receive?
Answer: The justified receive the following (outline above):
1. Peace with God (5:1-29);
II. Union with Christ (5:20-6:23);
III. Freedom from the law (7:1-8:4);
IV. Life in the Spirit (8:5-8:39)