Romansby David Cook
These chapters represent the trough and peak of human experience. Humanity disobeyed God’s clear instruction (Genesis 2:16–17) and as a result, separation and friction entered our experience.
Adam and Eve sensed a separation between each other; their sense of openness was lost (3:7). The man blamed God (3:12) and the woman blamed the snake (3:13).
The man and woman hid from God; their glad fellowship was gone (3:10).
Their environment was going to be against them. Adam would have to deal with weeds (3:18), and Eve would have to handle pain in giving birth (3:16).
They would both find friction in their relationship. She would seek to assert herself over him, and he would seek to despotically rule her (3:16).
They would both face the inevitability of death (3:19), which is part of God’s curse upon them. They said to God, “We want paradise, we don’t want you”, and God expelled them from paradise (3:23–24). Ever since then, we have all lived in a post-Eden environment. The trough of friction, separation, and condemnation is matched by the peak of no condemnation and no separation of Romans 8.
In Romans 8, we find substantial restoration and fellowship with God, but we still face an antagonistic environment that causes us to groan (8:22–23) as we await the return to the Eden paradise we lost because of sin. We have received the downpayment (here and now, in the person of the Holy Spirit) on all we will receive, there and then (8:23).
Why can this restoration occur? It is all because of the work of Jesus Christ, described in three words in Romans 3:24–25: “Justified”,“redemption”, and “sacrifice of atonement”.
Paul never lets us forget that we are not self-made people. We know substantial restoration and we have the hope of heaven because of the work of Jesus. These blessings cannot be had apart from that work. They are for believers only; they are only for the children of Abraham.
Note how Paul underlines in these verses that what we have, we have because of Jesus: Romans 3:22, 26; 4:24–25; 5:1, 9, 11, 21; 6:23; 7:24–25; 8:1, 34, 39. What are the implications of this truth for your faith?