In Romans Eight we get the believer escaped from sin as a master, and the Law as a husband (concerning the Jew), in his new place in the Lord Jesus Christ. Being in Him, the believer is a spiritual person, no longer in the flesh (Ro 8:9), and the flesh is discharged as well as sin and the Law; that is, we are no longer under the old master, the old Adamic life and nature (“dominion”; Ro 6:14)! The flesh (old man), thus condemned in the death of the Cross, could never have yielded any fruit of allegiance to God (Rom 8:7), so that we say, it was “bad rubbish” in itself and to be free of it is “good riddance.” In looking at the believer in his new position in the Lord Jesus, Paul with delight traces the holy prerogatives of such a one:
• He is nothing less than a son, having the Spirit of adoption, not the Spirit of bondage as a servant.
• Bring thus a son, the Spirit is in him as at home.
• Being thus a son, he is also an heir, co-heirship of God with Jesus Christ.
• As the great principle of this co-heirship, he is to shine in the same personal glory by-and-by as the Lord Jesus (the glory of union with the Father as the Son is - Jhn 17:21, 22), in the hope (not a hopeful-hope but a knowing-hope we enjoy in advance—NC) of the manifestation of which glory in us the whole creation waits.
All this condition of the believer may cause him to groan under the sense of his present condition of the body, and that he is still in hope, like the whole creation (Rom 8:22, 23). Yet the Spirit given to him and being in him, groans also, and groans with so pure a groan that the Father has entire fellowship with it (Rom 8:26). Even more than this: He in His sovereign rule of all things constrains them all to work together for the believer’s good, that without as well as within us He will be for us (Rom 8:28).
Finally, the one great original purpose of conforming the believer to the pattern of the glorified Son is that which has been the spring, and is the everlasting and abiding source of all divine procedure and action. This is the train of glorious privileges which flow forth from the believer’s union with the Lord Jesus. Nothing is too excellent for the Father to do or to devise for such a one; all the joy that the fullest love can inspire, all the dignity that the highest glories can put on us, are ours thus according to the counsel of the Father in the Son. Our Father is for us—that can easily account for all this stream of joys and glories.
If He is for us, who can be against us (growth can be effected but not redemption—NC)? Who can do anything to harm us (spiritually—NC)? Is there an accuser, a judge, or an executioner stull standing out? The first may go away rebuked by this—that our Father has justified us; the second may go away rebuked by this—that our Savior has died, has already suffered the judgment, and His work has been accepted to the full in heaven itself; the third may go away rebuke by this—that all the malice of earth and hell together shall never drag us away from the embraces, the firm and eternal embraces of our Father in Christ Jesus our Lord. If there be now neither accuser to charge, nor judge to condemn, nor executioner to punish, the court is cleared!
We have left the scene, to which as sinners we had been righteously dragged, to meet Him who has delivered us in other scenes altogether; not as the Judge but as the Bridegroom, to enjoy a Husband in a Savior for all eternity.
—J G Bellett (1795-1864)