Thought for the Week 15 - 28th June 2020 by Rev Peter Baxandall

(15)   28th June           Romans 8:28-39       More than conquerors

Today, our focus Bible passage is Romans 8:28-39, and we consider this passage under the title of ‘More than conquerors’

Before we come to that study, we first of all recognise that Romans 8 is a chapter that is full of significance to the believer in so many ways.

In preparation for our study we turn to God in prayer as we look to read His word together.

We will then sing a Hymn, but we will come to that after this opening prayer.


Almighty God, You have broken the tyranny of sin and have sent the Spirit of Your Son into our hearts whereby we call You ‘Abba’ Father.

Give us grace to dedicate our freedom to Your service, and help us to be ready to serve You in our day by day life

Help us as we look together at Your word and by Your Holy Spirit teach us what we need to learn from our study.

We pray for our parishes at this difficult time and we pray the You will over-rule any decision that is against Your will and purpose for us.

We pray for all the members of the church family to which You call us to belong that we may be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

And so, we turn to our Song for us to sing together – I don’t know how well know it is, but we will be able to listen to the song or sing along to it – so let’s see how we get on.

 

Song  Rejoice, rejoice, Christ is in you

     Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is in you -

     the hope of glory in our hearts.

     He lives, He lives!

     His breath is in you.

     Arise! a mighty army we arise!

 

Now is the time for us

to march upon this land -

into our hands He will give

the ground we claim;

He rides in majesty to lead us into victory,

the world shall see that Christ is Lord.

     Chorus

God is at work in us, His purpose to perform -

building a kingdom of power not of words;

where things impossible

by faith shall be made possible:

let’s give the glory to Him now.

     Chorus

Though we are weak,

His grace is everything we need -

we’re made of clay, but this treasure is within;

He turns our weaknesses

into His opportunities,

so that the glory goes to Him.

     Chorus

And now as we move on in this week’s study you will recall that last week we looked at Romans 8:1-17 under the heading of ‘No condemnation’.

Today we move to the end of chapter 8 to the theme of ‘more than conquerors’ recognising that we have not looked together at Romans 8:18-27.

However, for the sake of completeness we pick up a couple of thoughts from that section.

As we studied Romans 8:1-17 we had the first two of four major headings for this chapter which were:

(A)    Freedom from Judgment - No Condemnation (Rom. 8:1–4)

(B)    Freedom from Defeat - No Obligation (Rom. 8:5–17)

Later today, in our study we have a fourth heading, which is:

(D)    Freedom from Fear - No Separation (Rom. 8:31–39)

In the middle section of Romans 8 which we are not looking at together we would have come across heading number three which is:

(C)    Freedom from   Discouragement - No Frustration

With the thought of the possibility of frustration creeping into our lives, the other thought that I would like to pick up is to take just one verse from this middle section and look at Romans 8:26 which is a verse that can be of great help to us when there is the danger of frustration,

Here we read: ‘In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express’.

Today the Holy Spirit groans with us and feels the burdens of our weaknesses and suffering.

But the Spirit does more than groan - He prays for us in His groaning so that we might be led into the will of God.

We do not always know God’s will and we do not always know how to pray, but the Spirit intercedes so that we might live in the will of God.

I find it encouraging, and in some ways refreshing, to realise that the Holy Spirit comes to our aid when we do not know what to pray in a certain situation.

I love the phrase ‘sighs too deep for words’ – I guess we have all been there ….

So, having made that brief detour into Romans 8:18-27 we turn now to focus on our passage from Romans 8:28-39, and we begin with that ‘fourth’ major heading from this chapter:

          Freedom from Fear - No Separation (Rom. 8:31–39)

 

  • There is no condemnation because we share the righteousness of God and the Law cannot condemn us.
  • There is no obligation because we have the Spirit of God who enables us to overcome the flesh and live for God.
  • There is no frustration because we share the glory of God.
  • There is no separation because we experience the love of God: “What shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rom. 8:35)

The emphasis in this final section is on the security of the believer.

We do not need to fear the past, present, or future because we are secure in the love of Christ.

Paul presented five arguments to prove that there could be no separation between the believer and the Lord.

(1)     God is for us (v. 31)

The Father is for us and proved it by giving His Son (Rom. 8:32), the Son is for us (Rom. 8:34) and so is the Spirit (Rom. 8:26).

God is making all things work for us (Rom. 8:28).

In His person and His providence, God is for us.

Sometimes, like Jacob, we lament, “All these things are against me” (Gen. 42:36), when actually everything is working for us.

The conclusion is obvious: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

The believer needs to enter into each new day realizing that God is both with him and for him.

There is no need to fear, for the loving Father desires only the best for His children.

We read in Jeremiah 29:11: ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’

(2)     Christ died for us (v. 32)

The argument here is from the lesser to the greater.

If when we were sinners, God gave us His best, now that we are His children, will He not give us all that we need?

Jesus used this same argument when He tried to convince people that it was foolish to worry and fear.

God cares for the birds and sheep, and even for the lilies; surely He will care for you!

God is dealing with His own on the basis of Calvary grace, not on the basis of Law.

Grace is a fantastic word and it means ‘God’s unmerited favour’ – and I sometimes write it like this:

          G – God’s

          R – riches

          A – at

          C – Christ’s

          E - expense

God freely gives all things to His own!

(3)     God has justified us (v. 33)

This means that He has declared us righteous in Christ.

Satan would like to accuse us, but we stand righteous in Jesus Christ.

We are God’s elect - chosen in Christ and accepted in Christ.

God will certainly not accuse us since it is He who has justified us.

For Him to accuse us would mean that His salvation was a failure and we are still in our sins.

Understanding the meaning of justification brings peace to our hearts – and this understanding is crucial to out assurance and faith.

‘Just as if I’d never sinned’ (Justified) comes about not because in some way I was good enough.

In fact it is just the opposite - it relies entirely upon the greatness of the Almighty God as His gift to us – and that is awesome!

When God declares the believing sinner righteous in Christ, that declaration never changes.

Our Christian experience changes from day to day as we grow and develop, but justification never changes.

We may accuse ourselves, and men may accuse us; but God will never take us to court and accuse us.

Jesus has already paid the penalty and we are secure in Him.

(4)     Christ intercedes for us (v. 34)

A dual intercession keeps the believer secure in Christ: the Spirit intercedes (Rom. 8:26–27) and the Son of God intercedes (Rom. 8:34).

The same Saviour who died for us is now interceding for us in heaven.

As our High Priest, He can give us the grace we need to overcome temptation and defeat the enemy (Heb. 4:14–16).

As our Advocate, He can forgive our sins and restore our fellowship with God (1 John 1:9–2:2).

Intercession means that Jesus Christ represents us before the throne of God and we do not have to represent ourselves.

Paul hinted at this ministry of intercession in Romans 5:9–10.

We are not only saved by His death, but we are also saved by His life.

‘Therefore, He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them” (Heb. 7:25, niv).

Peter sinned against the Lord, but he was forgiven and restored to fellowship because of Jesus Christ.

“Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has asked permission to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed especially for you that your own faith may not utterly fail” (Luke 22:31–32).

He is interceding for each of us, a ministry that assures us that we are secure.

(5)     Christ loves us (vv. 35–39)

In Romans 8:31-34 Paul proved that God cannot fail us, but is it possible that we can fail Him?

Suppose some great trial or temptation comes, and we fail? Then what?

Paul deals with that problem in this final section and explains that nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus Christ.

To begin with, God does not shelter us from the difficulties of life because we need them for our spiritual growth (Rom. 5:3–5).

In Romans 8:28 God assures us that the difficulties of life are working for us and not against us.

God permits trials to come that we might use them for our good and His glory.

We endure trials for His sake (Rom. 8:36), and since we do, do you think that He will desert us?

Of course not! Instead, He is closer to us when we go through the difficulties of life.

Furthermore, He gives us the power to conquer (Rom. 8:37).

When we read that we are “more than conquerors,” it literally means, “we are super-conquerors” through Jesus Christ!

He gives us victory and more victory!

We need not fear life or death, things present or things to come, because Jesus Christ loves us and gives us the victory.

This is not a promise with conditions attached: “If you do this, God will do that.”

This security in Christ is an established fact, and we claim it for ourselves because we are in Christ.

Nothing can separate you from His love! Believe it - and rejoice in it!

A review of this wonderful chapter shows that the Christian is completely victorious.

  • We are free from judgment because Christ died for us and we have His righteousness.
  • We are free from defeat because Christ lives in us by His Spirit and we share His life.
  • We are free from discouragement because Christ is coming for us and we shall share His glory.
  • We are free from fear because Christ intercedes for us and we cannot be separated from His love.

No condemnation!

No obligation!

No frustration!

No separation!

If God is for us, who can be against us

Prayer time

Holy God, you have given us your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin. Help us each day to seek to live to your glory and to show your love in all our words and actions.

(Short Silence)

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Everlasting God, we pray for the Church, both here in The Parishes of Corton, Hopton and Gunton, and throughout the world.

Help us to respect one another and to have a constant prayerful concern for the needs of our fellow church members.

(Short Silence)

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

God our Father, we pray for people in parts of the world where life is precarious, whether through disaster, poverty, disease, war or this Coronavirus pandemic.

We pray that the time may be soon when there is an affordable and available cure for Covid-19.

(Short Silence)

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Father God, we pray today for our friends, our families and our Christian community, that we may always be ready to welcome the newcomer, the stranger and all who are vulnerable. 

(Short Silence)

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Gracious God, we pray for all who suffer in body, mind or spirit and for those who care for them.

We pray for the sick; for those who mourn; for those without faith, hope or love. We especially pray for all who are offering help and care – especially in our health services.

(Short Silence)

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Merciful God, we continue to pray for our Prime Minister and the government as they seek to guide and direct this nation through these difficult days 

(Short Silence)

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Faithful God in the week that lies before us may we reflect on your word that we have studied together and seek to learn the lesson you would teach us from your word.

Merciful Father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen

 

Hymn             Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Blessed be the name of the Lord

Blessed be the name of the Lord

Blessed be the name of the Lord most high

Blessed be the name of the Lord

Blessed be the name of the Lord

Blessed be the name of the Lord most high

     The name of the Lord is a strong tower

     the righteous run into it and they are saved

     The name of the Lord is a strong tower

     the righteous run into it and they are saved

Glory to the name of the Lord

Glory to the name of the Lord

Glory to the name of the Lord most high

Glory to the name of the Lord

Glory to the name of the Lord

Glory to the name of the Lord most high

     Chorus

Holy is the name of the Lord

Holy is the name of the Lord

Holy is the name of the Lord most high

Holy is the name of the Lord

Holy is the name of the Lord

Holy is the name of the Lord most high

     Chorus

 

 

 


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