God’s spirit lives in us
The important thing that I want to say now is this. If we belong to Jesus Christ, God will never say we are guilty. His spirit is in us, and he gives us new life, and he makes us strong so that we can say no to that bad part of us that tries to make us go wrong. That is the new way that we live, because we belong to Jesus, and it makes us free from the old way of doing bad things and ending up dead.
You see, the law that came from Moses couldn’t help us. We were too weak. If we thought about some bad thing that we wanted to do, then we couldn’t help ourselves, we just did it. That law just made us think about those bad things, and then we wanted to do them. But God set us free from all that. He sent his own son to us. Jesus had the same sort of body that we bad people have. Then God punished him instead of us. Jesus died instead of us. If we listen to his spirit in us, and if we do whatever he says, we will not listen any more to that old part of us that tells us to do bad things. We will do good things, like the things in his law.
Some people just think about themselves, so they only do whatever makes them feel good. They let that bad part inside them be their boss, and they do whatever it tells them to do. But other people think about God and his spirit, and they do whatever the Holy Spirit tells them to do. If we let that bad part inside us be our boss, and if we only do whatever makes us feel good, we will die. But if we do the things the Holy Spirit tells us, and if we let him control us, we will live happy and quiet inside ourselves. 7-8 That bad part inside us fights against God, so if we do whatever it says, we don’t do the things that God wants us to do. If we are like that, we can never follow God’s laws. If we live like that, we can never make God happy.
But I know that you aren’t like that any more. You haven’t let that bad part of you be your boss, but you have joined up with the Holy Spirit, and now he lives inside you. Thats right. If people don’t have the spirit of Jesus Christ in them, they don’t belong to him. 10 But Jesus Christ does live inside you. Yes, you did bad things, so your bodies will die, but God says that you are all right now, so his spirit makes you alive. 11 Remember that Jesus died, but God made him alive again. And God will do that for you too. Your bodies will die, but after that, God will make them alive again. His spirit will do that. He lives inside you.*
12 So, my friends, you don’t have to do bad things any more. You don’t have to do whatever that bad part of you tells you to do. 13 If you keep on doing those bad things, you will die. But if God’s spirit is in you, he can help you block that bad part of you, like you kill it, and then you will not do those bad things, and you will live with God for ever. 14 It is like this. God’s kids are those people that listen to his spirit and follow him.
15 God didn’t give you his Holy Spirit to make you frightened of him. No, he gave you his spirit to make you his kids. You are not like a prisoner that has to work for a cheeky boss, and that boss makes him frightened all the time. No way. You have God’s spirit in you, so you can talk to God and say, “Dad, you are my own good father.”*
16 And his spirit in us talks to our own spirits, and he tells us, “That is right, you really are God’s kids.” 17 We joined up with Jesus Christ, God’s son, so we are part of God’s family now, and we will get some of the good things that God gives to his son. But people gave Jesus a lot of trouble, and they will give us a lot of trouble too, because we belong to him. Yes, we will get trouble, and we will get good things too.
God will make everything really good later
18 But don’t worry about the trouble we get now. Later God will make everything so good for us that we will not even think about the trouble we get now. 19 It is like this, everything in the world is waiting for that time when God will set everything right and show everyone who his kids really are. 20 Think about Adam and Eve. They went wrong, and after that, God let everything in the world get messed up. It was people that went wrong, not the other things in the world, but everything else went wrong anyway, from the things that the people did.* 21 So now everything in the world is waiting for God to fix things up, so that nothing will go bad and rot away like it does now. And one day, God will fix it all, and at the same time he will show everyone that we are his family. 22 We know that everything in the world now just dies and rots away. Everything has got that problem. Think about a woman. At the time she has a baby, she gets trouble and has a lot of pain. Well, that is a picture of the way everything in the world is now. There is a lot of trouble and a lot of pain. 23 And we get trouble too. We are Christians, and we have the Holy Spirit in us, but we still get trouble. God gave us that Holy Spirit to show us a little bit of the good that will come later. But right now, we get pain and problems too. So we just wait for God to fix everything up and to really make us his family. Then he will give us new bodies, just like he promised us.* 24-25 We are really sure that he will save us and fix everything up for us even though he hasn’t done it yet. We know he will do it one day, so we just have to keep on waiting for it.
26 And we can be sure too that the Holy Spirit will always help us. We know that we are weak, and we don’t understand very much, so sometimes we don’t know what to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays with us and talks to our father for us. He even groans with words that nobody can properly say. 27 And our father understands the Holy Spirit. God already knows everything that everybody thinks and the way everybody feels, so the Holy Spirit always prays for God’s people and asks for the things that God already wants. 28 And we know too that God picked us out to be his people, to love him and to do whatever he wants, so he makes everything work out good for us. 29 A long time ago, God knew about each of us, and he knew which of us will believe in him, so he planned to make us like his son. He sent Jesus to us. He is God’s son, and he is like the older brother to all of us. 30 So, after he picked us out, he called to us to come to him, and after we came to him, he said that we are all right now, and he will make us really great too.
31 So as we think about all of this, what do we learn? It is this. We are on God’s side. He is with us, so it doesn’t matter who is against us, they cant win against God. 32 He really did a lot for us. He sent his own son to die instead of us. And that’s not all. He will give us everything else that we need too. 33 God himself is the one that says, “You are good,” so nobody can blame us and tell God, “They are no good.” 34 God picked us out to be his own people, so nobody can tell him to punish us. You see, Jesus Christ died for us, and God made him come back to life, and now he sits up there with God in heaven and asks God to help us. He will not turn around and tell God to punish us. No way.
We can win every time
35 But sometimes things go wrong for us, and sometimes we get trouble. Does that mean that Jesus Christ has stopped loving us? No way. He will keep on loving us. Some people don’t want us to follow Jesus, so maybe they will hit us, and maybe they will be hard on us. Then can we think that Jesus has stopped loving us? No way. Or if we get too cold from not enough clothes, or if we go hungry, or if people hurt us or kill us, then does that mean that Jesus has stopped loving us? No way. Nothing will ever stop him from loving us. 36 It is like God says in his book,
Some people find out that we belong to God, and they kill us.
They reckon we are weak like sheep and they can kill us whenever they want to.”*
37 Don’t worry about any of these things. We win every time. Jesus loves us all the time, so he helps us get through it all, and we win in the end.
38-39 I’m really sure that nothing at all can make God stop loving us. Even if they kill us, it doesn’t matter, God still loves us. Those good spirits, the angels, they will not stop him. And those bad spirits, they can’t make him stop loving us. Things that happen now will not stop him, and things that will happen later will not stop him either. No strong spirit anywhere can stop him from loving us. Nothing anywhere. Nothing way up in the sky, nothing way down in the sea, nothing anywhere can stop him loving us. You see, God showed us that he loves us. He sent Jesus Christ, our leader, to die for us.
(The next part, 9:1—10:4, mainly talks to the Jewish people, so we have not translated it yet.)
* 8:11 1 Corinthians 3:16 * 8:15 Mark 14:36; Galatians 4:6 * 8:20 Genesis 3:17-19 * 8:23 2 Corinthians 5:2-4 * 8:36 Psalm 44:22