Romans 8 – Life in the Spirit & Invasion

Finger Pointing Up

1 Gaul
Gaul is a historical name used in the context of Ancient Rome in references to the region of Western Europe approximating present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, but also sometimes including the Po Valley, western Switzerland, and the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine.
In English, the word Gaul may also refer to an inhabitant of that region, although the expression may be used more generally for all ancient speakers of the Gaulish language.

Tomorrow, still in the war zone area, we’ll look at…

Romans 8
Life in the Spirit

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

“Condemnation” – the law brings condemnation because it points out, stimulates and condemns sin.  But the Christian is no longer “under the law” (6:14).

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

“”The law of the Spirit of life” – the controlling power of the Holy Ghost, who is life-giving. 

Paul uses the word “law” in several different ways in Romans – to mean, e.g., a controlling power (here); God’s law (2:17-29; 9:31; 10:3-5); the Pentateuch (3:21); the Old Testament as a whole (3:19); a principle (3:27).

“Law of sin and death” – the controlling power of sin, which ultimately produces death, death from God.

3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

2 Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
51 BCE: The conquest of Gaul effectively completed, Caesar set up an efficient provincial administration to govern the vast territories; he published his history The Gallic Wars.

The Optimates in Rome attempted to cut short Caesar’s term as governor of Gaul and made it clear that he would be immediately prosecuted if he returned to Rome as a private citizen (Caesar wanted to run for the consulship in absentia so that he could not be prosecuted).

Pompey and Caesar were maneuvered into a public split; neither could yield to the other without a loss of honor, dignity, and power.

“Could not do” – the law was not able to overcome sin.  It could point out, condemn and even stimulate sin, but it could not remove it.

“It is the likeness of sinful flesh” – Christ in His incarnation became truly a man, but, unlike all other men, was sinless.

4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

“Righteousness of the law” – the law still plays a role in the life of a believer – however, not as a means of salvation but as a moral and ethical guide, obeyed out of love for God and by the power that the Spirit provides.

This is the fulfillment of Jer 31:33-34 (a prophecy of the new covenant).

5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

5:5-8 – two mind-sets are described here: that of the sinful nature and that of the Spirit.  The former leads to death, the latter to life and peace. 

The sinful nature is bound up with death, hostility to God, insubordination and unacceptability to God (and these are not just acts of violence, but also acts of greed, selfishness, and the like).

6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

“He is none of his own” – if a person does not possess the indwelling Holy Ghost, he does not possess Christ either.  The Christian is indwelt by the Spirit as a result of his justification.

10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

3 Emperor Claudius
Emperor Claudius
The Roman conquest of Britain was a gradual process, beginning effectively in 43 A.D. under Emperor Claudius, whose general Aulus Plautius served as first governor of Roman Britain (Latin: Britannia).

Great Britain had already frequently been the target of invasions, planned and actual, by forces of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire.

In common with other regions on the edge of the empire, Britain had enjoyed diplomatic and trading links with the Romans in the century since Julius Caesar’s expeditions in 55 and 54 BC, and Roman economic and cultural influence was a significant part of the British late pre-Roman Iron Age, especially in the south.

13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

“Son’s of God” – God is the Father of all in the sense that He created all and His love and providential care are extended to all.  But not all are His children. 

Jesus said to the unbelieving Jews of His day, “Ye are of your father the devil (Jn 78:44).

People become children of God through faith in God’s unique Son (see Jn 1:12-13) and being led by God’s Spirit is the hallmark of this relationship.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

4 Clent King Cogidubnus
Clent King Cogidubnus,
A Client King is typically used of non-Roman rulers who enjoyed Roman patronage, but were not treated as equals.

Romans called such rulers rex sociusque et amicus ‘king, ally, and friend’ when the Senate formally recognized them.

Braund emphasizes that there is little authority for the actual term “client king.”

21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

“First fruits of the Spirit” – the Christian’s possession of the Holy Ghost is not only evidence of his present salvation but is also a pledge of his future inheritance – and not only a pledge but also the down payment on that inheritance.

“Adoption” – Christian’s are already God’s children, but this is a referenced to the full realization of our inheritance in Christ.

24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

“By hope” – we are saved by faith, not hope; but hope accompanies salvation.

“With groanings which cannot be uttered” – in v. 23 it is the believer who groan’s; here it is the Holy Spirit.  Whether Paul means words that are unspoken or words that cannot be expressed in human language is not clear – probably the former.

There are some things in life that no one can understand without experiencing them, for example, only a:

pregnant woman truly understands child birth,

prisoner understands incarceration,

5 The Atrebates
The Atrebates (singular Atrebas) were a Belgic tribe of Gaul and Britain before the Roman conquests.
Atrebates comes from proto-Celtic ad-treb-a-t-es, ‘inhabitants. The Celtic root is treb- ‘building’, ‘home’ (cf. Old Irish treb ‘building’, ‘farm’, Welsh tref ‘town’, Middle Breton treff ‘city’, toponyms in Tre-, Provençal trevar ‘to live in a house or in a village’), which has been linked to the root of English thorpe, ‘village’.

Edith Wightman suggested that their name may be intended to mean the people of the (inland) earth to contrast with that of the neighboring coastal Morini, “people of the sea.”

drug addict understands the power that drugs have over them (it’s not quite the same as your average addiction), etc.

This is the same as the groanings of the Holy Ghost, only a believer that is close to God can understand.

25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

6 Fishbourne Roman Palace
Fishbourne Roman Palace is in the village of Fishbourne, Chichester in West Sussex.
The large palace was built in the 1st century A.D., around thirty years after the Roman conquest of Britain on the site of a Roman army supply base established at the Claudian invasion in 43 A.D.

The rectangular palace surrounded formal gardens, the northern half of which have been reconstructed.

There were extensive alterations in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, with many of the original black and white mosaics being overlaid with more sophisticated coloured work, including the perfectly preserved dolphin mosaic in the north wing.

More alterations were in progress when the palace burnt down in around 270, after which it was abandoned.

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

33 Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature”if you truly love God, nothing can take you away from Him.  That does not mean you will not sin and do things that you know He doesn’t want you to do. 

The power of sin (Satan) is tremendous and it attacks our desires and we do fail and of course, we feel horrible afterwards. 

Why God allows that is not for us to question, all we need to know is that God still loves us and forgives us.  As Paul ad stated in 7:15-25 to 8:1).


7 Roman Britain about 410
Roman Britain about 410

What was Britain like before the Romans?

Before the Romans invaded, Celts lived in Britain. There were lots of different tribes ruled by kings or chiefs. Chiefs often fought one another.

A chief would lead his warriors into battle in chariots pulled by horses. For defense against enemies, they built forts on hilltops. These hill-forts had earth banks and wooden walls.

In Celtic Britain there were no towns. Most people were farmers living in villages. They made round houses from wood and mud, with Thatched roofs.

There were no roads. People travelled by boats on rivers, or along muddy paths. Some British Celts crossed the sea to trade with other Celts in the Roman Empire.

Why did the Romans invade?

The Romans ruled Gaul (Gallia they called it). Today it’s France. In 55 B.C. the Roman General Julius Caesar led his army across the sea from Gaul to Britain.

He wanted to make Britain part of Rome’s empire. The British Celts fought bravely, and Caesar soon went back to Gaul.

8 A Celtic shield
A Celtic shield, found in the River Thames (London). It’s too fine for use in battle.
Perhaps it was thrown in the river as a gift to the gods.

Celtic Britain (The Iron Age – 600 BC – 50 AD)

The Iron Age is the age of the “Celt” in Britain.

Over the 500 or so years leading up to the first Roman invasion a Celtic culture established itself throughout the British Isles. Who were these Celts?

For a start, the concept of a “Celtic” people is a modern and somewhat romantic reinterpretation of history. The “Celts” were warring tribes who certainly wouldn’t have seen themselves as one people at the time.

The “Celts” as we traditionaly regard them exist largely in the magnificence of their art and the words of the Romans who fought them.

The trouble with the reports of the Romans is that they were a mix of reportage and political propaganda.

It was politically expedient for the Celtic peoples to be coloured as barbarians and the Romans as a great civilizing force. And history written by the winners is always suspect.

Next year, in 54 B.C. the Romans came back. This time Caesar had 30,000 soldiers. They were surprised to see chariots.

The Romans had stopped using chariots in battles. Caesar captured a Celtic hill-fort. Then, again, he went away. He did not think Britain was worth a long war, and he wanted to get back to Rome.

Nearly a hundred years later, in 43 A.D., the Romans returned. Emperor Claudius sent an army to invade Britain. The army had four legions.

This time the Romans conquered the southern half of Britain, and made it part of the Roman Empire.

How did the British fight back?

Some Celts made friends with the Romans, in return for keeping their kingdoms. Their leaders were called “client kings”. They agreed to obey Roman laws, and pay Roman taxes.

One client king was Cogidumnus, the ruler of the Atrebates of southern Britain. The Roman palace at Fishbourne (West Sussex) was probably built for him. He was a “Roman Briton”.

Other British leaders fought the Romans. At Maiden Castle (a hill-fort near Dorchester in Dorset) archaeologists found evidence of a battle which the Romans had won.

Buried on the site were the skeletons of young men, some of which had cut marks of Roman swords on the bones.

The best British leader was Caratacus, but he was beaten in 51 A.D. The Romans took him as a prisoner to Rome, but treated him well.

Fun Facts:

After winning a battle the Celts would chop off the heads of their enemies, and take them home.

The palace at Fishbourne had about 100 rooms. Most rooms had floors made of mosaics, with pictures and patterns made of hundreds of tiny stones.

When the Romans arrived, they found some Britons kept sacred geese. Nobody was allowed to eat the birds.

The Romans had their own favorite story about geese saving the city of Rome. The geese cackled when enemies tried to climb the city walls, and warned the Roman guards.

…Roman defense of Britain.

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