In whatever change we seek, God seeks to change us.
Tonight we begin an Evening Worship Series on the book of Acts.
In one sentence, this is a summary of Romans 9: God has always sought to redeem those whose sin has taken them away from Him.
We began our study of Romans last year using an outline from Alva J. McClain. We studied Condemnation and Salvation in chapters 1-8. Now we begin the section on Vindication in chapters 9-11. The key question for this section is "Why was Israel set aside?" The answer we will find in Romans 11:30-32 is that God might show mercy to all.
The author of Hebrews was waging war against the authorities in his culture. Culture is always a powerful force that shapes people as people shape it. Those on the fringes of popular culture are perhaps the most honest in applying culture to their lives, living in harmony with the ideals they are being taught.
Is there any reason to question culture's place in our life? If so, who can we trust? Hebrews 1:1-3 tells us that Jesus Christ has the authority to speak with pointed help as we evaluate the proper place of culture in our lives.
Knowing our history and considering the future both bring us closer to each other and the Lord.
Psalm 3 and 4 show us David's struggle to find peace in threatening circumstances. Psalm 3 is his prayer about the physical threat of his son Absalom's coup. Psalm 4 is likely connected and addresses the threat of permanent harm to David's reputation. David's prayer, perspective, and poise are an example of how we can find peace regardless of our circumstances.
A Look Back: God Is Loyal to His People.
Using proper names is very important at announcements of significant life events. When the angels announced Jesus' birth to the shepherds in Luke 2:10-14, the titles they used had intentional significance.
Romans 8 was written to believers who lived in a society experiencing relative peace and security, similar to what we experience in our day. Often this sense of security gives way to moral relativism. Regardless of society's views, Jesus is always the exclusive way to spiritual peace.
God responds to thankfulness because giving thanks is in line with what God seeks. The Psalms we will study today are imprecatory psalms and laments which show a mix of confidence and concern. They reflect a desire of the righteous for God to destroy His enemies and to vindicate His name. God still pursues these goals, but He does so differently in the church era. The paradox of a thankful heart in the midst of life difficulties is what pleases God no matter what time we live in.
Romans 8 concludes with a strong emphasis on the truth that God's children can experience no separation from the love of Christ. If God's love is enough to hold the whole body together, how much more so will it hold individual believers eternally secure! There are no people or circumstances that can separate us from God's love.
Prayer is essential for physical protection and spiritual safety (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2). Our safety is not to be taken for granted. We have been investigating layers of spiritual protection from Romans 8 for those who are in Christ. Verses 33-34 ask two more questions without an immediate answer.
We continue to study the hymn of security and assurance in Romans 8:31-39.
Should believers still struggle with fear? What purpose does fear play in our life? How should we handle fear when it creeps in? What a relief to know that both David and Paul feared at times, as we see in Romans and Psalms. Part of God's work in our lives is allowing circumstances that cause fear.
In a time when our news is dominated by natural disasters and tragedies of all kinds, the glorious conclusion of Romans 8 is a comfort to our souls. This passage has been called a Christian hymn of security and assurance by many. Singing God's Word brings assurance and security to our hearts no matter what the circumstances may be.
Romans 8:28-30 is a text of comfort and reassurance along with the entire chapter of Romans 8. In these verses, we find:
All these are discovered in the light of being in Christ.
A desire to do God's will is another assurance for a child of God.
If God is providentially in control of all things working out everything to the end of keeping His promises, then what part to I play? What does providence expect of me?
Romans 8:26 is another often-quoted verse from this chapter. Remember that its truth must be understood in the context of the spiritual security and assurance of the believer.
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