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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Romans 8:19-25 offers Christians encouragement from Creation. The non-rational created order has a message for us in the context of the believer's assurance of spiritual security in Jesus Christ.
Last week, we discussed our personal approach and perspective in suffering. Now we will consider our prize, a glory that is beyond our comprehension.
The next portion of Romans 8 compares temporary suffering to eternal glory. All Christians experience suffering in varying degrees: Some faithfully serve despite chronic illness; others grieve over a straying child, unsaved spouse or parent; some persevere after losing a faithful spouse; and many are waiting to see friends they love come to Christ.
At his death in 1902, Cecil Rhodes left 6 million pounds to Oxford University to establish the Rhodes scholarships. As great as a material inheritance can be, Christians value a spiritual heritage more than any earthly treasures (Colossians 3:1-2). The Holy Spirit ensures countless resources for the believer as a result of our adoption.
Romans 8:14-17 describes how God comes to our aid in our greatest time of spiritual need. These verses come in the midst of a passage describing the activities of the Godhead, specifically in keeping the believer eternally secure. The Holy Spirit's activities of giving life and now of adoption give great solace, comfort, and peace in times of personal loss. At every time, we are being kept safe by God.
Human history is filled with stories of empires that attempted to rule as much territory as possible. It is part of our fallen nature to want to rule the world. Romans 5 told us that we used to be ruled by sin, but salvation changes the ruler of our lives. We are now governed by the life-giving Spirit of God.
Christian parents often tell their children, "There is nothing you can do to change my love for you." How much greater is God's infinite love! There is nothing we can do to change God's love for us. God the Father keeps us eternally secure in Jesus Christ, omnipotently held by the Holy Spirit. These truths provide hope for us throughout this earthly journey regardless of our circumstances.
Our human fascination with the science of preservation, mummification, and time travel fiction reveal a deep desire to live beyond our earthly lifespan. Yet no human will ever be able to preserve life for eternity. Romans 8 teaches us how God preserves eternal life for His people.
We cannot be saved by grace and grown by the law. Trying to grow ourselves or others by the law is setting up any external standard of holiness by which to measure one's spiritual growth. Whether the standard is given by God or man, it can never produce spiritual growth.
Romans 6-7 are all about how a Christian becomes more Christ-like after he or she comes to know Jesus. Chapter 6 takes a positive approach, while chapter 7 takes a negative approach.
Sinclair Ferguson compared studying Romans to climbing Mount Everest. We are in the midst of the book's third section discussing how we become more like Christ in our character: sanctification. This chapter will be like a base camp as we prepare to take on the next ascent. The content of Romans 6-7 help us to avoid extremism on two counts: spiritual license and legalism. In Jesus Christ, we have died to both sin and the law. We are free from the power of sin, though not yet of its presence.
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