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 Romans Chapter 8 – Part Three

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Male Number of posts : 250
Age : 68
Location : Northern Arizona
Registration date : 2009-01-12

PostSubject: Romans Chapter 8 – Part Three   Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:09 am

Romans 8:26-27

These verses point out that believers are not left to their own resources in their sufferings (Rom_8:18) and groaning (Rom_8:23). The Spirit helps (pres. tense, “keeps on helping”) us in (the Gr. here does not have the words rendered “us in”) our weakness. It is not that the Spirit helps in those occasional times when Christians are weak; their state is one of weakness and the Spirit continually helps them. The Greek word for weakness (astheneia) may include physical, emotional, and spiritual disability evidenced by inward “groaning” (Rom_8:23). “Helps” translates synantilambanetai, a rich word that pictures someone helping another carry a heavy load. (It is used elsewhere in the NT only in Luk_10:40.)
One evidence of their weakness is the fact that believers do not know what they ought to pray (lit., “what we should pray as it is necessary”). In their weakness both the content and the manner of proper prayer eludes them, but the Spirit Himself comes to their rescue and intercedes (pres. tense, “keeps on interceding”) for us with groans that words cannot express. We see the problem that many Christians face when they are praying for others. We all pray to the very best of our ability, and still we do not always know what to pray for, or how to pray for a particular thing. This is when the Spirit takes over for us and prays for us. God's Spirit knows exactly what the needs are.
The Spirit also groans along with creation and the believer. The reference is to the Spirit’s interpretation of the believer’s innermost feelings, which cannot be put into words as the Spirit knows what’s in the heart of man.
Natural Creation groans (Rom_8:22) and believers groan (Rom_8:23), and so does the Holy Spirit. This has nothing to do with praying in tongues, as some suggest. The groaning is done by the Holy Spirit, not believers, and is not stated in words. The help the Spirit gives (Rom_8:26) is His interceding. “Intercedes” translates hyperentynchanei, which occurs only here in the New Testament; it means “approaches or appeals to someone.” The One who searches our hearts is God (1Sa_16:7; Heb_4:13), and He knows (oiden, “knows perceptively or intuitively”) the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes (entynchanei; cf. Rom_8:26) for the saints in accordance with God’s will. This is speaking of the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) praying for the saints. The Spirit of God knows the will of God. He prays for us according to God's will. God knows the desires of our heart, even before we pray.
No words are necessary because the Father understands and agrees with what the Spirit thinks.
Jude 1:20“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.”
Even though the Spirit’s words are not expressed, the Father knows what the Spirit is thinking. This is an interesting statement about the Father’s omniscience and the intimacy within the Trinity. The Lord Jesus continually intercedes for believers in God’s presence (Rom_8:34; Heb_7:25) and the Holy Spirit also intercedes on their behalf! Though believers are ignorant of what to pray for and how to voice those requests, the Spirit voices their requests for them.

Romans 8:28

Certainty of sanctification

This section on the doctrine of a believer’s sanctification (Rom_8:28-39) logically follows the discussion of its goal or end (Rom_8:18-27). To discuss the goal of sanctification — a believer’s hope, which he awaits eagerly and steadfastly — is pointless unless realizing that goal is certain. God provided that certainty and confirms the believer’s hope, since sanctification from its beginning in regeneration to its completion in glorification is ultimately God’s work, which believers appropriate by faith (cf. Php_1:6).
Believers, Paul began, know of sanctification’s certainty, and that knowledge is gained by spiritual perception. Christians know intuitively (oidamen) — though they may not always fully understand and sense it experientially — that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him (lit., “to the ones who love God He works all things together unto good”). The things themselves may not be good, but God harmonizes them together for believers’ ultimate good, because His goal is to bring them to perfection in His presence (cf. Eph_1:4; Eph_5:27; Col_1:22; Jud_1:24). Even adversities and afflictions contribute to that end. The active voice present tense of the verb synergei (“He works together”) emphasizes that this is a continuing activity of God. And His working is on behalf of “those who love Him,” who are further identified as the ones who have been called according to His purpose. This is another Scripture that is many times misunderstood, because most people stop reading when it says to them that love God. It truly says much more than that though. Are we fulfilling God's purpose in our lives? If you are, then all things work together for good to you. The key is (them that are called according to His purpose).
People in all types of ministry forget that God has called them to a particular ministry and they hurry to get into something of their own choosing. The ministry that God will bless you in is the one He called you to. Sometimes we do not realize exactly what God would have us to do. If we would get alone with God and pray and ask Him, He will reveal unto us what He would have us to do.
“To them that love God”, is the human perspective. God is working all things together for good, but those who love God are best able to appreciate that fact because they love Him no matter what. “To them who are the called” is the divine perspective. Scripture often refers to believers as “the called” or “the elect”.
It is significant that a believer’s love for God follows God’s calling of him and is undoubtedly the product of the indwelling Holy Spirit (cf. Rom_5:5; 1Jn_4:19). The word for “purpose” is prothesin, God’s plan (Paul used the same word in Rom_9:11; Eph_1:11; Eph_3:11). “Called” means more than being invited to receive Christ; it means to be summoned to and given salvation (cf. Rom_1:6; Rom_8:30).

Romans 8:29-30

These verses give Paul’s explanation of what it means to be one who has “been called according to His purpose” and why God keeps on working all their experiences together to their benefit (Rom_8:28). Believers are those God foreknew. This does not mean simply that God foreknows what believers will do, but that God foreknows them. Nor does divine foreknowledge merely mean an awareness of or acquaintance with an individual. Instead it means a meaningful relationship with a person based on God’s choice (cf. Jer_1:4-5; Amo_3:2) in eternity before Creation. “He chose us in Him before the Creation of the world” (Eph_1:4).
This eternal choice and foreknowledge involves more than establishing a relationship between God and believers. It also involves the goal or end of that relationship: Those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son (cf. 1Jn_3:2). The entire group that is brought into relationship with God in His eternal plan by divine foreknowledge and choice is predestined (proōrisen, “predetermined”; cf. Eph_1:5, Eph_1:11). God determined beforehand the believers’ destiny, namely, conformity to the image of Jesus Christ. By all saints being made like Christ (ultimate and complete sanctification), Christ will be exalted as the Firstborn among many brothers. “Foreknow” is God’s determination from eternity to bring certain ones into a special relationship with Himself. This is not simple advance knowledge. This knowledge should also not be understood in the sense of “being acquainted with,” but in the sense of “bringing into a special relation with”. Foreknowledge is God’s determination from eternity to bring certain ones into a special relationship with Himself.
“Predestinate” literally means “to mark off or choose before.” God chooses those He knows will participate in His plan of salvation and extends it to all who respond in faith. The doctrine of predestination in Scripture relates to the foreknowledge of God.
Eph. 1:5: “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his Will”.
Predestination is especially noticeable in the conversion of the apostle Paul. Since he was a blasphemer and persecutor of the church, some Christians had a difficult time believing Paul could be saved even after he so testified. Still, knowing what was ahead and how Paul would respond, God chose him as Apostle to the Gentiles.
When we understand that God has chosen and predestined us, we should also realize we have been ordained to good works, to bear fruit and to become like Jesus.
We see from this scripture, that this predestination did not overrule our will. What this is really saying, is that God knew from even before you were born, how you would choose. God has foreknowledge of all happenings, not only in my life and yours, but he knows everything from the beginning of time to the end of time.
This is because of His foreknowledge. It is predestined, because He foreknew your decision. Jesus' crucifixion was planned from the foundation of the earth. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus paid for you and me to be adopted into the family with His precious blood at Calvary. We are part of the family of God, because our elder brother (God's only begotten Son) purchased our right to be called God's sons.
The resurrected and glorified Lord Jesus Christ will become the Head of a new race of humanity purified from all contact with sin and prepared to live eternally in His presence (cf. 1Co_15:42-49). As the “Firstborn” He is in the highest position among others (cf. Col_1:18).
Between the start and finish of God’s plan are three steps: being called (cf. Rom_1:6; Rom_8:28), being justified (cf. Rom_3:24, Rom_3:28; Rom_4:2; Rom_5:1, Rom_5:9), and being glorified (cf. Rom_8:17; Col_1:27; Col_3:4), and in the process not a single person is lost. God completes His plan without slippage. “Glorified” is in the past tense because this final step is so certain that in God’s eyes it is as good as done. In 2nd Timothy Chapter 1 verse 9 we read, II Timothy 1:9 "Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,"
“Called”: The calling of 8:28 is pre-temporal; it occurred before the creation of the world (Eph. 1:4). The calling here is temporal and refers to the effectual communication of the gospel, resulting in salvation.
“Justified” indicates being declared righteous. It signifies the believer’s judicial standing before God. There is no just cause in man to warrant justification. This unmerited favor is bestowed through the redemption paid by Jesus Christ on the cross. The redeemed sinner is released on the basis of the ransom’s having been paid.
“Glorified”: Glorification is God’s doing. While God’s foreknowledge and predestination take place in eternity, and while God’s calling and justification are realized in history, God’s glorifying is yet future. It is as certain, however, as the previous works. Hence glorified is in the past tense. From God’s point of view it is already accomplished.
The plan was set at the foundation of the world. Man could not be saved by his own deeds, he must have a Savior. That Savior we must have is Jesus Christ our Lord. We do know that God's call for many of His ministers was a call before they were even born, like John the Baptist.
John the Baptist's entire life (even before birth) was planned of God. Read the account of John the Baptist's birth in Luke chapter 1. This does not mean that John had no Choice. He could have refused, but he didn't. God knew he would carry out God's purpose in his life. Obedience to God's will in our life will bring peace in our life too.
Most people today take their call to serve God far too lightly. It is serious business to answer God's call and serve God. We must first be able to say (not my will be done, but thine O Lord) and then say, Here am I Lord, send me.
To be glorified is another way of saying that God’s children will be “conformed” to His Son; and that is God’s ultimate “purpose.” No longer will they “fall short of the glory of God” (Rom_3:23).

Romans 8:31-32

It is astounding to realize that God’s plan of salvation for people is a program that reaches from eternity past to eternity future which God will carry out perfectly. Recognizing this, Paul asked and answered (in Rom_8:31-39) seven questions to drive home the truth that a believer’s eternal salvation is completely secure in God’s hands. The first question is general, What, then, shall we say in response to this? (cf. Rom_4:1; Rom_6:1; Rom_9:14, Rom_9:30) The obvious response to Rom_8:28-30 would be to say “Hallelujah,” or to stand in open-mouthed amazement.
This leads to a series of six more specific questions. The first is, If God is for us, who can be against us? The Greek construction is better translated “Since God is for us.”
We read in 1 Corinthians chapter 8 verse 12, "But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ."
God fights for us and gives us the victory. God causes even our enemies to live at peace with us, if we are Christians. Those who are opposed to God's people are really opposed to God.
Obviously, Satan and his demonic hosts are against believers (cf. Eph_6:11-13; 1Pe_5:Cool, but they cannot ultimately prevail and triumph over believers. God is the self-existent One and the sovereign Creator and, since He is for believers, no one can oppose believers successfully. He is for believers to the extent that He… did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all. The word “spare” (epheisato, from pheidomai) is the same word used in the Septuagint in Gen_22:12 where the NIV translates it “withheld.” God said to Abraham, “You have not withheld your son.” Then God directed Abraham to spare Isaac and to offer a ram as a substitute (Gen_22:2-14), whereas God offered His own Son as the Sacrifice for sin (Joh_1:29). In view of this supreme act of God’s grace, How will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? The hardest thing for the carnal mind to understand is why God would sacrifice His Son for a bunch of sinners. We read in Romans Chapter 5 verse 8,
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Paul’s point was, would God do less for His children than He did for His enemies?
The amazing thing is that God loves the worst sinner. God provided through His Son a way out for all. Jesus died for all sin. The way out is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The problem is that many will not accept this way out and therefore will die in their sin. The beautiful story in Genesis in the O.T. of Abraham about to sacrifice his son Isaac, is a type and shadow of God sacrificing His Son for all of mankind.
A type or shadow is not exact in every detail, but makes you think of the happening it is shadowing. Both Abraham and God were about to sacrifice the one who meant the very most to them. In the case of Abraham, God stopped him and gave him a substitute. In God's case, there was no one greater than Himself to stop him.
Jesus Christ (the only begotten of the Father) was the substitute for all mankind. The greatest gift of love in all time was God loving us enough to give His Son to save us. We deserved to die on that cross, but God the Son took our place for us. He was our substitute.
We read earlier in Romans Ch. 6 verse 23 "For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
In Corinthians chapter 15 verse 45 "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit."
God has given us life in Jesus Christ. What more can we ask?
Since God gave the greatest Sacrifice of all, His own Son, He will certainly not hesitate to give believers all other things pertaining to and leading to their ultimate sanctification (cf. 2Pe_1:3).

Romans 8:33-34

The next two questions Paul raised and answered are forensic or legal in nature. Who will bring any charge (enkalesei, “make a formal accusation in court; press charges”; cf. Act_19:40; Act_23:29; Act_26:2) against those whom God has chosen? Satan is identified as “the accuser” of God’s people (Rev_12:10; cf. Zec_3:1). His accusations are valid, because they are based on the believer’s sinfulness and defilement. But Satan’s accusations will be thrown out of court, because it is God who justifies. No charge is admissible, because the Father justifies, in that the Son died, was raised and now intercedes for us. Who can successfully accuse someone whom God has declared righteous?
Some young children learned the hard way not to insult God's elect in 2 kings Chapter 2 verses 23-24. They had made fun of Elisha's bald head. Elisha cursed them in the name of the Lord and 42 of them were torn of she bears. It is a very dangerous thing to say bad things about God's elect.
Another example of how God will not allow this is when Miriam spoke against Moses and became leprous. She was cleansed when Moses prayed for her. Numbers chapter 12:10.
These 2 instances remind us not to come against God's elect. God fights their battles for them. We who are God's are not justified by our own deeds but we are justified because we have been cleansed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We are justified, because we have taken on the righteousness of Christ.
The Judge Himself declares the accused person righteous on the basis of his faith in Jesus Christ (Rom_3:24; Rom_5:1). As a result all accusations are dismissed and no one can bring an accusation that will stand.
The related question is, Who is He that condemns? The Greek participle ho katakrinōn can have a future sense, “will condemn,” which seems preferable here. (Cf. katakrima, “condemnation, punishment” in Rom_8:1.) Jesus Christ is God’s appointed Judge (Joh_5:22, Joh_5:27; Act_17:31), so Paul answered this question by stating, Christ Jesus. But Jesus is the very One whom the believer has trusted for salvation. Furthermore, He is the One who died — more than that (lit., “but more”) who was raised to life — who is at the right hand of God (cf. Luk_22:69; Act_2:33; Act_5:31; Eph_1:20; Col_3:1; Heb_1:3, Heb_1:13; Heb_8:1; Heb_10:12; Heb_12:2; 1Pe_3:22) and is also interceding for us. There are four reasons the believer can never be found guilty. Take note of what verse 34 says as it gets into real specifics.
1. Christ died for our sins.
2. He rose again.
3. He sits at the right hand of the Father.
4. He is constantly reminding God that He died to pay the cost for our sins (intercessor).
Hebrews 7:24-25 “But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.” “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
The Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the Judge, but He is also the One with whom each believer is identified by faith. As a result he is a believer’s Sacrifice for sin (cf. Rom_5:8; Rom_8:32), his new life (a believer shares in Christ’s resurrection life; Rom_6:4, Rom_6:8, Rom_6:11; Eph_2:5-6; Col_2:13), his Intercessor (cf. Heb_7:25; also the Holy Spirit intercedes, Rom_8:26-27) and his Defense (1Jn_2:1). Certainly the Judge will not condemn His own who are in Him by faith! (cf. Rom_8:1)

Romans 8:35-37

Paul’s final questions are in Rom_8:35 : Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? The context (Rom_8:37, Rom_8:39) shows that “the love of Christ” is His love for believers (not their love for Him; cf. Rom_5:5). The apostle suggested seven things a believer might experience (Paul experienced all of them; 2Co_11:23-28) that some might think could come between a believer and Christ’s love — trouble (thlipsis, “pressure or distress”; mentioned frequently by Paul in 2 Cor.) or hardship (stenochōria, lit., “narrowness,” i.e., being pressed in, hemmed in, crowded) or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword. This list of experiences that can’t separate the believer from God’s love in Christ was not just theory to Paul. It was rather personal testimony from one who had personally survived assaults from these entities and emerged triumphant.
This scripture isn’t speaking of our love for Christ, but His love for us which He demonstrated in our salvation.
“Persecution” is indicative of suffering that is inflicted upon us by mankind because of our relationship with Christ.
This scripture asks a very interesting question. In the parable of the sower in Matthew the 13th chapter, beginning with the third verse, we read about how different people were affected by the cares of the world and turned aside from the love of God. One did not understand the Word (love) he had received, and the evil one immediately took it away.
In verse 21 of Matthew 13, we read of another who was slightly stronger than the one mentioned, but in the face of tribulation and persecution lost out.
Verse 22 of Matthew 13 tells of someone who the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches caused to fail.
Out of all of the seed (word or love) sown, there was one who received it and nothing or no one could take it away. This person was not only “not shaken” by all the problems that came, but actually went out and brought others to the Lord. Problems did not stop this person; it just made him stronger and more determined to do the will of God.
These things — stated in increasing intensity — do not separate Christians from Christ; instead they are part of the “all things” (Rom_8:28) God uses to bring them to conformity to His Son. Then Paul quoted Psa_44:22 to remind his readers that in this life the people of God must face much affliction (cf. Joh_16:33) including even martyrdom for some. In the early days of the church one or more Christians were martyred every day, or faced the possibility of it. Their persecutors valued Christians’ lives as nothing more than animals to be butchered. Since Jesus was crucified, there have been men and women who were willing to be martyred (killed) to bring the true message of God. Paul in writing this could be speaking of himself. He was stoned, ship-wrecked, beaten and left for dead, but he never gave up the cause of Jesus Christ. We are sheep, if we are followers of Jesus Christ (the great Shepherd.) The sheep will follow the Shepherd even to death of his body.
Here is what Psalm 44:22 says: “Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.”

In all these adversities (cf. “all things” in Rom_8:28 and “all things” in Rom_8:32 with all these things in Rom_8:37), rather than being separated from Christ’s love, believers are more than conquerors (pres. tense, hypernikōmen, “keep on being conquerors to a greater degree” or “keep on winning a glorious victory”) through Him who loved us. “More than conquerors” is a compound Greek word, which means to over conquer, to conquer completely without any real threat to personal life or health.
A true follower of Jesus Christ will not turn back from those problems listed in verse 35. We know that Jesus has won the victory. These little battles are nothing. Jesus won the war at Calvary. Our strength is in Jesus.
Jesus Christ and His love for believers enable them to triumph (cf. 2Co_2:14).

Romans 8:38-39

Paul then ended his discussion on believers’ safety in Jesus Christ and the certainty of their sanctification with a positive declaration — For I am convinced (perf. tense, “I stand convinced”; cf. Rom_15:14) that nothing can separate believers from the love of God (God’s love for them, not their love for God; cf. Rom_8:35). Paul’s list of 10 items begins with death, where the list of 7 items in Rom_8:35 ended. These elements in God’s universe include the extremes of existence: (1) death and (2) life (in either death [2Co_5:8-9] or life, believers are in God’s presence); the extremes of created spiritual armies: (3) angels and (4) demons (angels would not and demons could not undo God’s relationship with His redeemed ones); the extremes in time: (5) the present and (6) the future (nothing known now, e.g., the hardships listed in Rom_8:35, or in the unknown time to come); spiritual enemies: (7) powers (perhaps Satan and his demons; cf. Eph_6:12; or possibly human governments); the extremes in space: (Cool height and (9) depth (nothing overhead or underneath can suddenly come swooping down or up to sever believers from God’s love); and (10) everything in the entire created realm. Absolutely nothing in His Creation can thwart His purpose for believers in Christ. What a climactic way to affirm the certainty of believers’ salvation! Principalities are fallen angels or demons. Powers: the plural form of this common word for “power” is used to refer to either miracles or to persons in positions of authority. We can not be separated from God’s love, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Savior. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose.

I think the book of Ephesians chapter 2 verses 18-22 says it all.

"For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;" "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];" "In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:" "In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
We are in Him and He is in us. How can you separate that?
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Romans Chapter 8 – Part Three
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