Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Romans Chapter 8
Metaphysically Interpreting Romans 8:1-17
8:1There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. 8:2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death. 8:3For 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: 8:4that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 8:5For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 8:6For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace: 8:7because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be: 8:8and they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
8:9But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 8:10And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness.8:11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
8:12So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh: 8:13for if ye live after the flesh, ye must die; but if by the Spirit ye put to death the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 8:14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 8:15For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 8:16The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: 8:17and 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 with him.
May 31, 1903: Romans 8:1-14
Christ Jesus represents a state of mind. Christ is the ideal man in Principle, and Jesus is the personality redeemed and saved, conforming in all its ways to that Principle. Jesus, the man of Nazareth, demonstrated that this attainment was possible to man, and he is the type-man, in consequence. Yet we are exhorted to "let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus," which implies that all may “demonstrate as he did.
To make this attainment requires careful training of the thoughts. The mind that was in Christ Jesus was the mind of God, so we know that we must be perfect, even as the Father in heaven is perfect. This seems an almost superhuman attainment, and so it is. The human is to he put away and the Divine established in its place. The human is transient and fallible, the Divine is permanent and infallible. When we let the mind of God into our consciousness, we must view all things according to that mind. We know that perfection has nothing in common with imperfection.
God's Mind may be compared to an electric light flooding a room. Some objects in that room cast shadows, but the light is not concerned about, nor conscious of, the shadows; its whole being is to shine. So the Supreme Mind does not take into account the shortcomings, or sins, of the human family to the point of condemnation. If man ignores the light of the One Mind and turns his back upon it, he casts the shadow of self, but it is visible to himself only. When he turns about, the light begins to shine through him and the shadow of self disappears.
If the Christ Mind does not condemn, the man mind must be careful to follow its light and see right through mortal error into Spirit. “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Stop that fault-finding, if you want the Light to shine. Stop condemning yourself, if you wish to grow confident and fearless in spirit. One who has invoked the Christ Spirit, and is in process of body redemption, should daily train the thoughts to ignore the mortal law of sin and death. Whenever the mortal rises up and tries to make you believe that these conditions are real, say with all your might, “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and death.”
This invocation, or affirmation, of Christ Jesus brings into consciousness a mental energy that is stronger than mortal thought, and through it a higher law of body building is put into operation. Ideas are the moving energies within everything, and the character of the idea determines the character of the structure. For instance, Napoleon believed that he was invincible and that he could overcome all the enemies of France. He infected the minds of his soldiers with the idea of the invincible, and they became the wonder and terror of Europe.
In a similar way Jesus of Nazareth infected his followers with his power to overcome sin, sickness and death in the human body, and his demonstrations carried such conviction, that they could not doubt his promises and works. These ideas have accumulated in thought waves for generation after generation of faithful believers, until now they are a mighty ocean of spiritual and mental power. Sceptics are incredulous, yet it is now almost universally admitted that one mind can influence another. Mental Scientists also rail against those in the New Thought, who work in the name of Jesus Christ. A little reflection, it would seem, should show them that a great principle is involved in the school of thought and work which Jesus inaugurated. It is founded deep in the essence of Being, and will be the standard when the many ephemeral fads of ambitious leaders are entirely forgotten.
“They that are after the things of the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” Are you minding the flesh or the Spirit? When the flesh says, “I am weak and tired, I am sick or discouraged, I am under condemnation and unlucky,” etc., do you mind it? Or do you mind the Spirit, and invoke the power of Christ Jesus? One brings death, the other life and peace. The cry goes up from millions daily, “What shall I do to be saved” from these pains of body and mind?” The answer is: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and seek out the law of right thought and right living which he taught and demonstrated.
The promise in this lesson, and all through the New Testament, is that he “shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” If your minister is not teaching you this law of God through Christ to save you from sin and its consequences in sickness and physical death, he is not a safe guide, and he is not applying the law as the Master intended his followers should.
- UNITY magazine
January 27, 1929: Romans 8:12-17
To what goal does righteousness always lead? Righteousness leads to life; by the power of the Holy Spirit within, man is enabled to change his whole manner of living and so enter into eternal life. “If ye live after the flesh, ye must die; but if by the Spirit ye put to death the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”
How is man led into an abiding consciousness of his divine sonship? The Holy Spirit leads man into a consciousness of his divine sonship and inheritance. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God ... The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: and, if children, then heirs – heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ – if so be that we suffer with him”, that is, if we go all the way with Him to the full crossing out of the mortal, personal self, "that we may be also glorified with him."
Sunday, January 18, 1948: Romans 8:12-17
Through what avenue does disease and death enter into the experience of the human race? Through sense consciousness, which is not capable of comprehending the eternal nature of life in Christ.
How can we escape sense consciousness and its consequences? Through the spirit of adoption; that is, by adopting as our own the Christ way of life, health, and perfection.
Why is it not our fate to remain in sense consciousness, even though we were born in it? Because our true nature is spiritual, not material. “We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh ... as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” To rise out of sense and live in spiritual consciousness is our privilege.
How does the Spirit “put to death the deeds of the body”? It makes us conscious of spiritual values, which are so transcendent that material values seem unimportant in comparison, and we lose sight of them.
Why must we suffer with the Christ? We must go all the Christ way to cross out fully the mortal, personal self, if we would know the glory of final victory over the self.
Metaphysically Interpreting Romans 8:18-30
8:18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward. 8:19For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. 8:20For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope 8:21that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. 8:22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 8:23And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 8:24For in hope were we saved: but hope that is seen is not hope: for who hopeth for that which he seeth? 8:25But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
8:26And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered; 8:27and 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.
8:28And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose. 8:29For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren: 8:30and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
June 9, 1935: Romans 8:26-27
How does the Holy Spirit work through prayer? Every prayer in line with Truth (“according to the will of God”) is an intercession of the Holy Spirit within man, which makes perfect connection with Divine Mind (the Father), and is heard and answered.
October 19, 1941: Romans 8:26-27
Everyone who depends upon the enabling power of the Holy Spirit finds his strength reinforced beyond his natural expectations. He learns through prayer that he gains what he seeks, when his desire is toward God and the direction of his thought is inclined toward what is right. “The Spirit himself maketh intercession for us.” Every prayer that is in harmony with Truth (“according to the will of God”) is an intercession of the Holy Spirit become active in man. As one element of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit makes union with Divine Mind (The Father), and is heard.
Our chief need is the power to bear witness to the Christ in daily life. We gain this power by concentrating all our thoughts on the Christ mind. Ordinarily, thought leaps from one theme to another with little attempt on man’s part to concentrate it on a chosen subject. He gains little from his mental processes because of this failure. To receive the power of the Holy Spirit, one must first “repent”, or change one's habits of thinking. Random thinking must give place to thinking to some purpose.
Metaphysically Interpreting Romans 8:31-39
8:31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 8:32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things? 8:33Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth; 8:34who is he that condemneth? It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 8:35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 8:36Even as it is written,
For thy sake we are killed all the day long;
We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
8:37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 8:38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 8:39nor 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.
December 27, 1925: Romans 8:31-39
The International Sunday School lessons give a review for today, but we have decided to use the special reading, given in the 8th chapter of Romans, as the [end?] of our lesson. It would be well, however, for the student to look over the lessons for the quarter, as they are explained in the October, November, and December numbers of Unity magazine; this review will help him to appreciate more highly the writings of Paul, that we have taken for today’s lesson.
Once there was a good Scottish minister, who loved to read the 8th chapter of Romans. When he read this text his face would light up with a great spiritual joy and he would remark: “This is a grand chapter; it begins with 'no condemnation’ and ends with ‘no separation.’”
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” Or, as it is interpreted in the authorized version, “who can be against us?” This sentence reveals anew the truth that God is the one and only power in the universe; it denies the error belief held by so many, that there is a power in opposition to God and to the highest good of man. All things must be working together for our good, and we cannot be subject to any opposing power, since God – the one power, intelligence, energy, love, substance, and truth, the all and in all – is ever active in and through and for us. And what is true of us is true of all mankind.
Romans 8:31, the opening verse of our lesson, is an excellent thought for all persons who have the least belief in evil, or in any power aside from the one Good – God. He who gave his Son – the Christ – to be their true self and savior of every individual, who sent Jesus to express and demonstrate the Christ in its fullness, that we might see and understand – will he not with his greatest of all gifts freely impart to us all good? He was already given all good to us; all that the Father is and has is open to man's use. To prove this statement true, we have but to lay hold of our good by faith and by the word of affirmation, to conform our lives to the divine law of right thinking, speaking, and doing.
Verses 33 and 34 deal with the subject of condemnation and justification: “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?” “Who is he that condemneth?” God is the justifier; his eyes are so pure, that he cannot behold iniquity; he sees his offspring, man, only and always as spiritual and perfect. In Christ Jesus also, are only uplift and salvation. There is no reality in any thought of condemnation or in any sense of depression. “Jesus plainly stated that he did not come into the world to condemn it, but to save it." We have his freeing, forgiving, cleansing, healing word: "Neither do I condemn thee: go thy way; from henceforth sin no more.” We are safe then in saying that all condemnation is of the adversary and that no individual has any right to condemn himself or another, in thought or in word.
Verses 35, 38, and 39 of our lesson are devoted to the teaching of eternal unity with Christ, to the truth that nothing can possibly separate us from God and his love. Verse 36 refers to the fact that we daily die to the lesser self in us, that we may enter consciously and fully into the higher spiritual life, power, wholeness, and perfection, that Jesus attained and demonstrated. May we, like Jesus, completely surrender the lesser self to the Divine; may we display the conquered, yet jubilant spirit that will make us “more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
The errors that Paul enumerates in verse 35 are simply the changing sensations and ignorant beliefs of the mortal part of us, the error thoughts that arise at times and apparently hide from us the presence of our good. But there is no reality in any of them. They are not of God, and so are not enduring. They will pass away at our denial of error, and we shall consciously be one with the Father of all life, joy, wholeness, and perfection when we believe in and affirm these divine attributes and our oneness with them.
- UNITY magazine
January 18, 1948: Romans 8:31-39
Is There a power in opposition to God at work in us? Only in so far as we believe in negation and frustration. God is the one real power in the universe.
Since God has freely given all good to us, why do we not have all good? Because we have not fitted ourselves to receive it. We must place our faith in all good, before we can accept or appropriate the substance of God's gifts. The “spirit of bondage … unto fear” must be denied out of our thoughts, before we can receive what is rightfully our own.
What else is necessary before we can have all good? We must conform to the divine law of right thinking, speaking, and doing.
Can anything prevent us from knowing the love of God? No external thing can prevent us. We alone decide by our will and our high resolve, whether we shall know the love of God or not.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 10-29-2013