Simply amazing. I read and reflected on today's passage in The Message* translation. I listed what Romans 8:1-17 (our passage for today) says about our identity and our standing and our condition now in Christ using The Message's phrasing. Absolutely incredible. So much to be jazzed for and about. So much to fill our minds and hearts.
- I no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud of sin.
- A new power (the Spirit) is in operation.
- The Spirit has cleared the air.
- The Spirit has freed me from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
- Instead of redoubling my efforts, I can simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in me.
- I'm not on my own to do what's right; I can simply trust God's action in me by his Spirit.
- I can live free by putting my attention on God.
- God himself has taken up residence in my life.
- Although I still experience the limitations of sin, I experience life on God's terms.
- God makes me alive to himself.
- God lives and breathes in me.
- I am delivered from that dead life.
- Because of God's Spirit living me, I'm as alive as Christ.
- I don't owe this old do-it-yourself life on red cent.
- I have a resurrection life from God.
- God has great plans for me and I can greet him with a childlike, "What's next, Papa?"
- God's Spirit confirms to our spirits who we really are: We are his and we are his children.
- We will receive a great inheritance in Christ.
* Eugene Peterson (one of today's greats in the area of spiritual formation) translated the whole Bible in an idiomatic way from the original languages. The translation is called The Message. Since it was tranlated from the original languages and not paraphrased from a existing translations (as was the Living Bible), it is technically a translation. But it really fits more in the category of "paraphrase" (or it's own category) because it deals in bigger chunks of information and puts them into our language, using our common, everyday idioms. The best translations are done by teams of translators with lots of checks and balances. Peterson didn't write The Message to stand alone, but to serve alongside translations and shed additional light on the text. He meant it as a pastoral endeavor. You can access it at Biblegateway.com.