For the first seven chapters of the letter to the Romans Paul has been preparing us for his expose of the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He has detailed the proliferation of sin (Chapters 1-3); he has described the roots of faith in the Scriptures (Chapter 4); he has detailed that it is through the death and resurrection of Jesus that we share in the victory of God over sin (Chapter 5), death (Chapter 6) and the Law (chapter 7). Now he tells us what that victory means insofar as our every day living is concerned (Chapter 8).

Salvation was only a hope until Jesus death and resurrection. The Law of God, even though it is holy cannot save us from our sins. But in Jesus Christ God has done what the Law could not do and we share in that victory through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. This is the way He has chosen to redeem us. The redemption is accomplished and all that remains is to apply it to our lives.

Paul thus exhorts us to be men and women of the Spirit; to put aside the desires of the flesh that scream for our attention and surrender to the will and guidance of the Holy Spirit who ALONE leads us on the path of salvation. This is the Good News that we proclaim to the world. This is what we ought to have experienced in our lives and continue to experience in our ongoing conversion. We are to completely leave behind our old ways that only lead to death and embrace the new life offered to us in the Gospel through the Sacrament of Baptism.

In Baptism we die with Christ on the cross in order to rise with Him from the dead to a new life lived in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the key to new life for without Him there is no hope, no transforming power. It is the desire of God that we all embrace His offer of new life, however, He leaves the decision to us. What is it going to be? Will we choose to live our lives under the Power of Life, the Holy Spirit, or will we remain in the clutches of the Power of Death, sin? The choice is very simple indeed. It is obvious which way we should go!

To see the importance of the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives count the number of times He is mentioned in chapter eight of this letter. How big a role do I allow the Spirit in my life?

Father in Heaven, your will is perfect. Your plan for our salvation is perfect. Help me to co-operate always with your will and thus experience the fullness of the new life you offer me.