A short review is always in order. In chapter 1, after Paul introduces himself, his credentials, and his audience, he begins to speak about the subject that we have now termed in our understanding, RADICAL DEPRAVITY, detailing it in 1:18-32, giving both reasons and examples regarding the terrible and approaching wrath of God.
Chapter 2 becomes a little more specific, addressing a specific target audience – the Jew in their midst – that perhaps had come because of some kind of agreement that Jesus was a man to follow, but still relying on their own Jewish ritual, rite, sign, or even membership of the specific group for their salvation. Paul went on to explain that there is no ritual, rite, sign, place, set of words or actions, or membership of any specific earthly group that has salvific effect. That salvation [soteria] only comes from one source for everyone – from Christ alone, by grace alone through faith alone, as the theologians of the Reformation put it. Romans 3 talks about the straight up gospel, and tells us not only why we need to be saved from that coming wrath, but the hows and the whens and all of that.
Then in Chapter 4. we saw Abraham, the Old Testament example of justification by faith. The chapter discussed in detail that Abraham was not justified by following the Law, which came 430 years after Abraham, or by circumcision, because this covenant was a unilateral covenant that God performed all by Himself before circumcision was ever given as a symbol of the Abrahamic Covenant – and certainly WELL before the Mosaic Covenant. Then in Chapter 5, we saw how that extended to all of us who believe now, and talked about how this “justified” us before God, or “acquitted” us before God of the unrighteousness by our great Substitute that took our place to pay for our sins, having lived a perfect life before God and then knowingly and willingly surrendered it. That’s right, Jesus was no victim – he was an active participant – as was the rest of the Godhead in this plan. However, the chapter briefly spoke about something else that will be the subject of chapter 6 – sanctification – the process whereby God uses the difficulties that He allows (I argue engineers) in our lives to make us more like His son; this will literally take the rest of your life. But we must choose to yield to God and His work in our lives through the Holy Spirit within us, and that is the problem.
Although we have been born again, or redeemed, or saved, or regenerated – whatever term you are comfortable with here – and although we are renewed in our spirit by the indwelling Holy Spirit, we still live in the flesh and in the world system that is controlled by the father of lies. Our own flesh is what we are to consider as dead – but it isn’t easy, because it for now is still alive and it fights us, being still enslaved to sin through death. And that is what the entire subject is in chapter 7, which then breaks into chapter 8, where Paul starts to talk about the implications, but more, the power behind this new life in Christ, the Holy Spirit, also known as the Spirit of Christ, also known as the Comforter, the third person of our Godhead Trinity. Last time, in chapter 8, we talked about how Christ set us free and how the Holy Spirit has assisted in every aspect of our salvation, and how a person’s changed behaviour is the evidence that Christ has saved said individual – that they no longer focus their minds on the things of the world, or the “flesh” according to Paul, but instead they focus on the “Spirit,” or rather pleasing the One that has set them free from the penalty, power, and someday the presence of sin in their lives.
That brings us to where we are in Chapter 8, from verse 26-39.
I broke this section down as follows:
KV37: How God helps His people persevere
26-28: The Spirit helps according to the will of God
29-30: All things working together to bring the saints to Glory
31-39: Nothing will ever separate us from the love of God
You have probably heard me say before that Romans is the absolute best place in Paul’s letters to learn the way the Doctrines of Grace apply to God’s people, aka the Elect, aka, the Saints. This section of chapter 8 talks mostly about the Preservation of the Saints (as opposed to the perseverance of the saints, rather making the emphasis that this is something God does, not something WE do). We see this best expressed in this passage in verse 37 itself.
KV37: How God helps His people persevere
Verse 37 reads, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” Yes, the text says that we overwhelmingly conquer, but we certainly do not do this on our own. We are only conquerors through Him who has saved us and set us apart for Himself for His own glory, just as this verse says.
As you may recall from the our study of the last 25 verses (8:1-25), we talked quite a bit about how the verses of the chapter gave facts, and to ascribe an implication of a choice on our part may be putting more than we should onto the text. If we are going to be absolutely consistent in our study, we must read this portion of text the same way. Let us be warned to read what is there and determine what it actually says, and not commit eisegesis and read more than what is there. The proper thing to do is exegete, that is read out what is there. To “read between the lines,” although not forbidden expressly, I would very much frown on to do myself.
It is clear from this verse that we are in fact involved in the process of sanctification, learning to “walk after the Spirit” as Paul describes. In today’s language, this defines a choice to work against our old natures and do what is right, and not do what is wrong – many times at least to us, a titanic struggle, and many times we fail, though we always get back up again and repent. Sometimes, we do not know what to do, sometimes, we are unable to defeat something big, sometimes, “through Him who loved us,” we win, and more over time. At least that is my experience. This section of chapter 8 talks about why it works that way.
26-28: The Spirit helps according to the will of God
The very first thing we have to acknowledge is that NONE of our walk would be possible without the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit, who according to the last couple of chapters, has come to take up residence in us, and this is the place in Scripture that teaches us about what He does and how. Let’s dig right in.
26: In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;
- The Spirit also helps our weakness. Some things we can say about that – first, unless I misread the rest of the New Testament, this is the Holy Spirit’s task with us – he is the Paraklete, the one that comes alongside to help. Notice that “weakness” is singular as opposed to the plural “weaknesses.” This is a general statement, not a specific one. This is comforting and assuring, because if someone were to ask which weakness the Holy Spirit helps us with, we could simply smile and say, “all of them.”
- For we do not know how to pray as we should. This speaks very much to our bias towards ourselves and our flesh, by the way. I believe James refers to this in his 4th chapter in verse 3: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” Verse 2 precedes this with “you do not have because you do not ask.” The general upshot of what James was talking about is the same as this passage. We have this tremendous love for ourselves to the exclusion of all else. I have prayed like this for years. Lord, I pray for me, me, me. Lord bless me in my endeavour. Lord, keep me safe as I do Your work. Lord protect me from the coronavirus. Anyone notice the persistent reference to self in all the “positive affirmation” type prayers that we have all been taught or encouraged toward? Oh me, oh my, oh my thing…NO! Give me a prayer like Daniel 9 – “I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, 5 we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. 6 “Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land. 7 “Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day–to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You. 8 “Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.”
- Daniel’s prayers are about his nation’s sins. He stood for his entire country and used the term “we” when He confessed. He numbered himself with those needing forgiveness for the idolatry and sin for which he asked for forgiveness. No, beloved, we really DON’T know how to ask or what to say sometimes. But there is good news.
- But the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Now remember, this is the Third person of the Trinity – God Himself – and HE is praying for US! What is He praying? Well, sometimes it is beyond words, but I bet it has something to do with the next verse.
27: and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
- That reference to “He” at the beginning of the verse makes sense to me if I look at that as God the Father. But Ger, that could be any of them. True, except that the Holy Spirit is the object of the sentence, so that rules Him out here. Who then is the object? We only have two choices – the Father or the Son. We know this is the Father’s activity from the Old Testament, and the Son’s activity is not to search but to find and save. I know it seems like nit-picking, but it isn’t I promise. So – the Father knows what the mind of the Spirit.
- The rest of the good news is the next part, and it relates to those groanings too deep for words – because He (that is the Spirit) intercedes for the saints (that’s us) – and here is the phrase we need to hear – according to the will of God. Let me ask a question. How much of your day is spent trying to figure out what is the will of God? If you’re like most people the answer is probably less than you want to admit. But that is the job of the Holy Spirit – to work in us to see us conformed to the will of God for us each individually. What? All at once? YES! And He’s God – He can handle it.
28: And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
- As if Paul is putting a huge exclamation point on his previous statement, he makes one of the greatest promises in the entirety of Scripture! He says we know, that is we understand, that God (nonspecific, and I think a reference to the entirety of the Godhead), causes [sunergeo, co-operates together (with Himself, as per verse 27, “according to the will of God)] so that all things work together [sunergeo, same Greek word, co-operates together (again with Himself)] for good [i.e., benefit] towards those love God [that would be all those that He has regenerated] – toward all those who are called
according to His [understood from the context, not in original] purpose [a setting forth, or figuratively a proposal or intention]. Now as glorious as that is, one must ask what the greater context of that remark is, and it can be found in verse 18 from last time, which reads, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” That’s right, the context of this is our present sufferings. Oh no! We’re all quarantined because of this COVID-19 bug! We can’t go out! We can’t make money to buy food or pay our mortgages or rent! Beloved, God sees and knows in His sovereignty. Remember that there is not one stray subatomic particle that does not obey Him. Even the devil is God’s devil. “ALL THINGS” cooperate with God for the benefit of those He has appointed to His purpose, assuming their love of Him. That’s the straight up facts, Jack.
This very much has to do with our sanctification, it is true, and we will see that it also has to do with much more. In the last part of verse 28, God through Paul talks about “His purpose. What is His purpose? Let’s look at the next paragraph and see, because this is critical to our understanding of Romans 8, to a larger understanding of Romans as a letter, and to the New Testament, and to Scripture as a whole.
29-30: All things working together to bring the saints to Glory
Remembering that “all things” are co-operating together with God for the benefit of those who are called, the very next thing God does through Paul is explain exactly who all of those “called” are, and all in the past tense, which we will say more about momentarily.
In the original, this is one sentence, but we will break it into smaller parts for better analysis.
29: For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
- We begin with the word “for,” a word that is meant to join this concept with what is being discussed in the previous verse. We have been saying it repeatedly, but because it cannot be said enough, we will say it again, this is referred to “those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” That is all believers from all of time if you had any questions, and certainly contains us, or at least a subset of us. So who are we?
- Those he foreknew. The Greek word is proginosko, to know beforehand. Think about this for a moment. This tells us that God knows everything there is to know from the very beginning. There is nothing that He does not know. He is omniscient, an attribute that can be described to God alone. He knows every individual he will have ever created. He knows them deeply and intimately, even if he doesn’t like what we do. He knows us all. That should both frighten and comfort you, and I’ll let you decide which is better for you in the now.
- He also predestined
(or foreordained) to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He
would be the firstborn among many brethren. Predestination is a word that sadly many
preachers avoid today because they do not wish to be involved in the
controversy of Calvinism versus Arminianism. There is a lot here, so let’s dig into
- The Greek word is proorizo, literally meaning to determine in advance. The ancient imagery is that of being pro or in front of orizo the horizon, or as we would say in modern English, over the horizon. This is a kind of knowledge that comes with the ability for someone (in this case God) to determine how things will form and be afterward. It is completed in advance.
- There are a group of people that have tried to suggest that God knew in advance who He would predestine to be His children because he “looked down the corridor of time to see how we would respond.” To these individuals I must say that you have a very low view of God if that is what you believe. Do you really believe there was a point in time where God had to learn anything? He who is as you say, omniscient, needed to learn about OUR response to a question? Seems kind of man-centered to me.
- God foreordained those whom He foreknew for a purpose, and Paul states that purpose in-line here: so that we would be conformed to the image of His Son. How? Well, through the sufferings that we go through in the here and now, because that is the greater context of this entire passage. Why? So that His Son would be the first [in rank, not creation order, that’s a heresy] born of many brothers and sisters. That’s the short version. If you have questions or comments, let’s deal with those later.
- In Bible College, I had a brother who referred to himself as a Cal-Minian. He figured that it wasn’t worth fighting over. Although it does seem kind of cowardly, I can see his point. I don’t agree, but I see his point. This doctrine is clearly taught throughout Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, and those who ignore it do so at their own peril. I would rather tell you what the Scriptures say and then let you make your own choices than avoid the topic and make little pharisees. And isn’t it funny how these non-Calvinists all love to quote Spurgeon, Ryle, Owen, Edwards, Whitfield, and other puritan preachers of the past – all of whom were Calvinist in their theology?
30: and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
- And those whom He predestined, He also called. The Greek is kaleo, to call forth. There are two ways of seeing this call, sadly. The first of those is that when called, you can actually say no. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would refuse the living God when He called, but I’m no the other side of that particular call. This view is usually held by people that really think humans are something and have something they can say and do about their own salvation. They have been around for a while, and whether they know it or not, they are following in the steps of a man named Arminius, who first aired out these ideas in late 1606 I think. He said it was a remonstrance against the current thinking, and it was. It became such a serious argument that the Dutch Parliament convened an international council known as a canon, and in response came up with five answers to deal with the objections of the Remonstrants. These became known as the Doctrines of Grace, and they mark a very sharp divide among Christians, with men of renown on both sides of the issue. George Whitefield was a Calvinist, John Wesley was a contemporary that held the opposing view, as an example.
- The divide as far as this calling goes is whether or not one can say no when it is presented. I am of the opinion that this is a deep calling from the Holy Spirit, and when an individual hears and understands it, they will yield to that call. Before that, man may have made that gospel call, and was not the time for you – but when the Holy Spirit calls your name, you WILL answer in the affirmative. It is an irresistible call from an irresistible God. Again, if you have questions, let’s hold those until later.
- Those whom He called, He also justified. From the Greek dikaioo, it means to render innocent or blameless. This was the entire purpose for which Jesus came – to make those foreknown, predestined, called ones blameless by his own willing and knowing sacrifice on the cross. And if you are one of those who are actually called and actually justified, you will live differently – your current suffering (v.18) has a very different effect than what the world, flesh, or devil actually intends in that it sets you apart (make you holy is a synonymous phrase) when you are justified. As I said earlier, justification and sanctification go together. And there is even more to the story.
- And these whom He justified, he also glorified [to render glorious]. What does that mean, Ger? I don’t know. But I know it will be…glorious. John said in 1 John 3:2b recall, “We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.” Like Him. Oh for that wonderful, wonderful day – day I will never forget.
- Now this is the true Ordo Saludus, the order of salvation from the Spirit of God Himself, through the mouth of Paul to the pen of his scribe and to the page for all of us to read. Add to it at your peril, it is from the Lord.
- And all of this is in the past tense, beloved! This is a done deal from before the beginning of time! Now – we do need to make sure we don’t come across like we belong to some special club and that we are trying to figure out reasons that as few people as possible can belong to it. It isn’t up to us, and apart from ourselves, we cannot truly know who is one of these glorified saints while here on earth, and that is a legitimate criticism of the Calvinist view of Scripture. We call those folks “Hyper-Calvinists” and they by themselves form a kind of cult.
I took this section all by itself because there is a lot here and it MUST be properly understood, or we will be missing some of the best that God has for us. This section reveals the very plan of Almighty God from before the beginning of time. All of the members of the Godhead worked and planned together to see that it would work itself out in time, and it is in process of doing that right now in the middle of the trial we are in, whatever that trial may be. Right now, it’s COVID-19. After this it will be something else. Whatever it is, it is giving us the opportunity to be different in whatever the world is going through. I don’t know about you, but I am not impressed with everyone acting like the sky is falling in. The Church needs to meet to be the corporate person that Christ is making us into. According to 1 Peter 2:5, we are living stones being built into a spiritual house, for a spiritual priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ – and we frankly cannot do that hiding in our basements. You may have guessed I was not in favour of our church boarding up the windows during this crisis, but we are where we are. Make the best of it, beloved – figure out ways to be different and share the gospel where YOU are.
And that isn’t all I have to say on the matter.
31-39: Nothing will ever separate us from the love of God
Can we not agree as slaves (doulos is the word used by Paul) of the master that no matter WHAT happens to us here, that it is working together with God for our benefit? That IS what that last couple of paragraphs said. Pay attention in this paragraph to how Paul uses language. He makes Question-Answer statements like a catechism of sorts to teach us the right answers. See here.
31: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
- It is like Paul is saying here, “If these things that we have been discussing are true, what are we supposed to do? How are we supposed to respond?” He gives the answer at the very same time – “With boldness.” He is saying, “Beloved, God is on our side. Can anyone stand against our performing of what God tells us to perform? NO! Even the Devil is GOD’S Devil!” Whatever happens to us is immaterial in a sense. I once heard a brother put it this way – “Until they are finished the task that the Lord has appointed to them, the Lord’s servants are IMMORTAL.” I don’t know how true that really is, but it makes sense. And if God decides that it is time for us to die, we will die. What does the manner matter? Burned by flames, shot through with bullets, sawn in half like Isaiah, crucified upside down like Peter, by COVID-19 – a little suffering and then home forever!
32: He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
- God is not going to put His own Son to death on our behalf just to beat the tar out of senselessly. He gave Him up to pay for our sins to redeem us to Himself – how is he not going to also freely give us all things? Really, that would be high hypocrisy, and we know God is not like that.
33: Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;
- Can anyone lay a real charge against us? Well, not really. God has pronounced us clean before Him, that is He justified us. Because He, the Supreme Ruler of the universe has made that pronouncement, nobody can justly say otherwise, although people try all the time. I would be referring to all of our friendly neighbourhood atheists here at a minimum.
34: who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
- We should know too that we are NOT perfect, though we are pronounced blameless by the Most High. We can do things wrong, that contravene God’s law (and truth be told we do these things many times a day without realizing it). But Christ died to pay for that, and more, He rose from the grave and ascended to the right hand of God, AND is praying for us to change and ultimately get it right – wait – He is praying for us in our trials, too! So, the Father loves us, the Son loves us, and the Spirit loves us – and all of them are working in our lives to make us like the Son!
35: Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
- Now we
get into a longer question, but it follows the same kind of question –
answer method, it just spans a couple of verses. Here is the question part, and it
essentially asks if anything can separate us from the love of Christ. See what it asks about:
- Tribulation – the usual day-to-day suffering that we go through as Christians in just trying to be self-controlled and disciplined about walking worthily of our calling in Christ
- Distress – extraordinary suffering that we go through when we try to walk with the Lord. One of the burdens I bear is a busy schedule, and there are days that I just don’t have the time to talk, and then I get a call or an email or a message from somebody – or I get sick and that steals my time too. Things that are outside of normal.
- Persecution – some of us know this word, at least a little bit. This is the kind of suffering we go through for our faith in Jesus Christ. People don’t like it and therefore us, and they are obvious and open about it. Some have been killed this way.
- Famine – lack of food, but also any kind of needed survival resource. Many of us are now learning what that means because of COVID-19. Personally, I have lost my part-time job and it is leaving me short of cash to by food or pay bills. It is here that God’s servants really learn to trust the Lord.
- Nakedness – this literally means nudity, as in nothing to wear, but may also be used in the figurative sense of “exposed.” Beloved, we live in a fishbowl at times, and I think that is by design. People will condemn us too, all the while telling us not to judge them. It’s funny, really.
- Peril – Literally, this means “danger.” COVID-19 would at least currently fit into this category, so we are all learning about it. Do you know who has it? I don’t. Do you want to catch it? I don’t. If you get it, do you want to give it to anyone else? I don’t. You get the idea.
- Sword – this literally means violence on the level of armed combat (war), but figuratively can be used of judicial punishment. Here’s an example – A Pentecostal pastor (who in my opinion is actually worthy of the name) this past week has been charged with 6 separate class 2 misdemeanors that each carry 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine – one for each time he has defied the Governor’s “close-your-church-or-else” order. I actually saw the guy interviewed quite favourably on the Dr. Phil show this week, and he responded evenly and with a great deal of self-control and kindness to railing accusations, even praying for the officers that were there to arrest him. (Of course, the Pastor was ready with his constitutional lawyers for this, so…) This is complex issue, but it is a case where a servant of Christ is danger of judicial punishment for being a shepherd and making decision for his flock.
- These are the kinds of things that we can face as Christians. We are literally open to all this and more at times – and the question Paul is asking is, “Can any of this separate us from the Love of Christ?”
36: Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”
- As if to add to the emphasis that we may simply expect this kind of trouble as a matter of course, Paul quotes Psalm 44:22, which in that thought unit at least was lamenting the tribulation that God was visiting upon His own people because of their sins.
37: But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
- Here is the answer portion of this question – answer couplet. His answer? None of these things can be used by anybody to separate us from the love of Christ, through whom we literally overwhelmingly conquer, or “gain an overwhelming victory” through Him who loved us? Him, in this case can be any member of the Godhead, but I suggest that it is all three at once. It doesn’t matter what is thrown in our direction, or by whom, or what the price may be here on earth. No one and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ – and Paul is about to say so in great detail.
38: For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
are all things that cannot separate us from the love of Christ, and I for
one do not think it an exhaustive list.
- Death – death cannot separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. In fact, for the Christian, it means you get to go home early, and with pay!
- Life – this is the Greek zoe, meaning “this life” in its application in this verse. The mundane or the extreme cannot succeed in severing the ties we have through Christ to God
- Angels – this is a spiritual messenger of God, and not all of these have our best in mind. It is speaking of a being of a superior order to man, who are greater in ability and intelligence. Angels can’t do it either.
- Principalities – this is a reference to those archae (Archons) that rule whole sections or nations, also spiritual beings, but specially appointed heavenly magistrates. I almost get the feeling of an increasing order of authority in this part of the list.
- Things present – events or things associated with the here and now
- Things to come – events or things that are about to be (carries an element of uncertainty)
- Powers – this is the Greek dunamis, meaning miraculous power or strength, from which we get the English word dynamite, which adds the connotation of explosive force. It is not able to blast us away from the love of God in Christ.
- Now this was originally one sentence, so I’m just going to continue into our last verse.
39: nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- We will
continue to define those things on the list:
- Height – literally an elevated place; figuratively, this is used to represent a barrier that can impede or prevent progress in a given direction.
- Depth – from the Greek bathos, meaning “profundity.” Things that provoke deep thought, or mysterious things. There is no mystery that God has not revealed in Christ, and as such it cannot separate us from His love through Christ.
- Any created thing – the phrase in Greek is that of original formation. It can represent any being, building, or even ordinance.
- NONE of these things will ever be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Not one. “Not Ever.”
Reading this, and acknowledging the joy that it puts in my heart to realize the truths that God has spoken through it defies description for me at times. It is simply amazing in its transcendence and beauty. I normally shy away from using that word “transcendence” because people can confuse it with Transcendental Meditation, but as long as I say this is not about the emptying of the mind with some nonsense syllable or word or phrase, that should suffice. No, instead, this is the result of clear and directed thought on this text, the subject matter of this study this evening.
Doctor John MacArthur has rightly named Romans 8 as a whole the “Gospel of the Holy Spirit,” and no other chapter describes His work in as much detail as here. No other passage tells us as much about how the three Persons of the Trinity relate to each other and work together to provide our salvation, all in the past tense, meaning it is all already finished, all we need to do is go through the experiences to get there. No other chapter is truly as uplifting as Romans 8 for the Christian that really reads through it and thinks about it as I have had the privilege of doing in preparation for this study. This evening has been the most blessed of considerations for me, and I hope you have all been likewise as blessed.
You will have no doubt been aware that we have met for this study through the internet for everyone’s safety this evening. This is because a “super flu” we have named COVID-19 is striking fear into the hearts of people all around us, including all leaders in all levels of government. All we can do at this time is dig in and meet the way we are in the hope that God has mercy on us and that we will be able to meet in person soon. I am in fact in an elevated risk category that can be very frightening – I am a diabetic heart patient with high blood pressure and liver issues. I am in a category that if I were to contract this illness, I would have a 48% chance of not living through it. I will say that after learning all of that, I am not afraid of the virus. If I were to contract it while serving my Lord, and if it were to end my life, it means I get to go home early – with pay. Paul, in his own isolations, came to a similar conclusion, because he knew He was in God’s care – just like we all are.
So friends and beloved saints of the Most High, keep walking with Him in a worthy manner. If you don’t know how to do that, get in touch with one of us and we can walk you through it. I have witnessed to people the power of Christ over the phone as well. Stick around after the study and I’ll give you my phone number.
And that’s chapter 8! Next study, we will be in Romans chapter 9, and I hope to see you there!