Life in the Spirit
Romans 8:1-11

In today’s scripture reading, St. Paul speaks of the ministry of God’s Spirit. While we are fallible humans who continue to slip and fall into sin, we are not condemned to the hell we deserve if we believe and abide in Christ Jesus. Because we are guided and inspired by God’s Spirit, we are freed from the strictures of the Mosaic Law. What an awesome thought! Christ’s atoning death on the cross for our sins sets us free, giving us a right standing before God, and God’s Spirit assists us to live now, today, into His kingdom, in anticipation of our own bodily resurrection and eternal life when Christ comes again. Verse 11 tells us that all three persons of the Trinity are at work here. Bishop N.T. Wright writes that resurrection life for us will be active, with “new work to do and new tasks to stretch our ability and imagination.”

As I think about today’s scripture, I’m reminded of two things. First, as much as I look forward to the season of Advent and Christmas in the church, we are decidedly Easter people. Easter largely defines us as Christians. Second and more importantly, the passage pushes me to ask what I should be doing to better live into the kingdom. We pray every day “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” How should my life be shaped day by day? Does the way I live my life truly reflect that I am a Christian as I profess to be? This is a process, rather than an event, and it’s called sanctification. Our sin is not eradicated, but with God’s grace and the help of the Holy Spirit, we move away from sin and live to become more Christ-like; we grow in grace.

Stepping Out in Lent – I pray that we all may be empowered by the Spirit to live into His kingdom.

Author – John Dombroski is a retired naval officer. He participates in the adult formation ministry at St. Peter’s, leading a weekly men’s Bible study group and teaching in the Wednesday evening program.