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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Romans 8

Verses 1-11

  1. Intro: Title: No Condo!
    1. We have all benefited from the chemist Elbert Botts. Worked for Cal Trans. Botts Dots.
      1. Driving over them produces a ka-thump! ka-thump! ka-thump! That swiftly captures our attention when drifting out of our lane or off the highway.
        1. Well, the Holy Spirit works even better then Botts Dots when we start to do a mental lane change.
        2. He ka-thump ka-thump ka-thumps upon our heart, warning us to get back in our Spirit lane, when we start crossing over into the flesh lane!
    2. Isn’t it frustrating, we want to be spiritual champions, but our old nature seems to laugh at it every chance it gets!
      1. Remember that feel of the pull of the riptide at the beach when you were younger.
        1. Swindoll said, “We’ve felt the subtle yet almost irresistible riptide of temptation drawing us out to sea of pleasure & then drowning us in its consequences.”
      2. But what we learn in ch.8 is that we don’t have to kill a giant or slay a dragon. It’s not about performance but about faith and in Whom we place that faith!
    3. So in ch.7 was Paul saying we must as believers spend our whole life on earth frustrated by ongoing defeats of indwelling sin? (no!) And, is there power provided to achieve victory? (yes!)
      1. It is the indwelling Holy Spirit who is the source of divine power for sanctification.
      2. It is the indwelling Holy Spirit who is the secret for spiritual victory in daily living.
    4. Now in ch.8 – Paul uses Spirit/spirit 21x’s. (At least 18 refer to the Holy Spirit)
      1. Thus more references here to the Spirit then in any of his writings.
      2. We have here Paul’s fullest discussion of the new life of the Spirit.
    5. Outline: Eternally Secure; Internally Free; Positionally Perfect; Life According to the Flesh; Life According to the Spirit. [Then a short story]
  2. NO CONDO! (1-11)
    1. ETERNALLY SECURE! (1)
    2. To Who? To those in Christ Jesus.
      1. In 7:25 Paul revealed that we can be set free from the power of sin by only one thing...the atoning work of Jesus Christ!
      2. So, those who are in union with Him. Those who have their faith in Him. Those who have their identification w/Him. Those who are justified, declared righteous, stand in His grace, are no longer under his wrath, possess eternal life,… all of our sphere of safety is in Christ Jesus!
    3. So, we will continue to struggle against our sin nature - & sometimes even lose some battles - Yet, we will never receive everlasting punishment for our failures!
      1. That’s the 1st benefit of the atoning work of Christ...Eternal Security!
      2. So No Condo (Condemnation) (MSG) Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.
        1. ​​​​​​​So this is a new teaching? Nope! David knew back in Ps.34:22, The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.
    4. INTERNALLY FREE! (2)
    5. Our 2nd benefit is Internal Freedom (vs.2 made me free from).
    6. Like a cruel slave-owner, the law of sin & death rules every unregenerate person.
      1. It permeates everything they do, even helpful & virtuous deeds.
      2. But when they trust in Jesus Christ, the shackles fall off & believers are emancipated from their bondage.
        1. And can finally say “no” to the flesh & “yes” to the Grace of God!
      3. Every one of us, in Christ, has the ability to reject sin. We can resist temptation & choose to live righteously.
      4. This Internal Freedom is the 2nd benefit of the atoning work of Christ.
    7. POSITIONALLY PERFECT! (3,4)
    8. Our 3rd benefit is Positional Perfection (vs.3 God did by sending His own Son).
    9. The Law spelled out perfect righteousness, but as sinful humans we couldn’t obey it. But what we couldn’t do, God did by sending His own Son.
      1. ​​​​​​​Did that make us perfect in every way? Obviously not!
        1. But it did make us Positionally Perfect.
        2. Our standing before God is that of someone who lived a perfect life.
        3. When the Lord looks at us, He looks through lenses colored by Jesus’ blood!
          1. I guess God wears Rose Colored Glasses!
    10. Now with these foundational truths on how to live a victorious Christian life, he moves on to contrast that victorious life to the old life dominated by the flesh.
    11. LIFE ACCORDING TO THE FLESH! (5a,6a,7-8)
    12. As the Children of Israel while in the wilderness continued to be reminded of how bad Egypt was, so we believers need to continually be reminded of the evil of our old life.
    13. Living in the Flesh!
      1. We had a fleshly frame of mind! – a mental orientation toward sin.
        1. They are drawn to it like metal filings to a magnet or like a bug to light!
      2. We had a fatal future! – a road leading straight to eternal separation from God.
      3. We had hostility toward God! – They proudly answered to no one but themselves!
      4. We had an inability to obey or please God! – They had no power to change their sinful orientation, & as a result, they lack the ability to please God.
    14. Slide#8 LIFE ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT! (5b,6b,9-11)
    15. God’s design for us now is to live in a manner worthy of our new calling:
      1. We now have a fresh frame of mind! – A new course toward righteousness. A desire to conform to Christ!
      2. We now have a peaceful existence! - We went from enemies to adopted children! We have a lasting sense of peace. We know we are loved by Him.
      3. We now have become Spirit-Powered! – Yep, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead kind-a-power! (11)
    16. (9) We are no longer under the control of our sinful nature.
      1. To the contrary, our lives are under the influence(direction) of the indwelling Spirit of God.
      2. When a toddler begins to walk he may revert back to crawling because it is still most natural to him. Walking is scary/risky. But there is some serious issues if your teenager keeps reverting back to crawling!!!
  3. ​​​​​​​2 Roads, 2 Rooms! (Two Roads, Two Rooms. Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, & John Lynch.) (a short story; an allegory) [TY, Nephew Jason]
    1. Tell me if you can’t relate to this: does your Christianity whisper in your ear, or scream in your mind, “put on a good face, try harder, fix yourself, keep up the appearances, do more, be better, or a least...act like you are.”
      1. ​​​​​​​Or, it’s Sunday morning, you go to your closest to pick out...which mask you’re going to wear!
      2. You think, “If I could just sell out, care more, get on fire, buck up, shape up, & tighten up, then...I can be like the other Christians. Then I’ll please God.”
      3. Have you run out of answers, run out of breath, run out of ability?
      4. Are you tired of insecurity & duplicity?
      5. Are you tired, guilty, lonely, depressed, sad, can’t make your life work? Finances are a joke. Your thoughts are like trying to herd cats. And your thought life could be described as wild monkeys swinging through trees, which you can’t capture.
      6. Are you tired of Santa Claus Theology? Every day wondering if He considers you naughty or nice. Or, hoping your nice out weighs your naughty.
    2. This booklet beautifully laid out 2 Roads & 2 Rooms.
    3. Walking down life’s road the christian comes to a fork w/a road sign that read: To the left Pleasing God. To the right Trusting God.
      1. ​​​​​​​Both sound good. Both feel good.
      2. You choose left, because trusting God sounds too passive. Too “Christianity Lite!”
    4. So you set out on this road called Pleasing God.
    5. PLEASING GOD!
    6. At the end of this road is a Room of Good Intentions.
      1. Above the door is a sign that reads, Striving to be all God wants you to be”.
      2. Here you quickly find out from the others in the room, everyone says they’re fine, & I quickly realize I must be fine too. I’m fine! The hostess at the door handed my a mask, you’ll want to wear this. See its a phony life. It’s a life of hiding who you really are [Adam began this whole hiding game]
      3. On the back wall a banner reads, “Working on My Sin to Achieve an Intimate Relationship with God.”
        1. ​​​​​​​See here, your sin lies in a pile between you & God.
      4. You want that relationship with God bad, so you start investing more effort into sinning less. And you feel better...for a while.
      5. You notice the road of Pleasing God has turned into What Must I Do To Keep God Pleased With Me?
    7. You mask starts getting tight, you’re breathing heavy, its feeling claustrophobic in the room. You head for the door. Maybe that other road is better.
    8. TRUSTING GOD!
    9. You start walking on the life’s path with the motive of Trusting God.
    10. You get to the 2nd Room, The Room of Grace. It also has a sign above its door, but this one reads, “Living Out of Who God Says I Am.”
      1. ​​​​​​​This one also has a banner on the back wall. This one reads, “Standing with God, with My Sin in Front of Me, Working On It Together.”
        1. ​​​​​​​Here, your sin lies in a pile in front of both you & God.
      2. See we have already been changed. We have received a new heart. We have a brand new core identity. We have already been changed, & now get to mature into who we already are!
        1. Consider the caterpillar. If we asked a biologist to analyze our caterpillar & describe his DNA, he would tell us, “I know this looks like a caterpillar to you, but scientifically, according to every test, including DNA, this is fully & completely a butterfly.”
        2. God has wired this creature that looks nothing like a butterfly, a perfect complete butterfly “identity.” And because the caterpillar is a butterfly in essence, it will one day display the behavior & attributes of a butterfly.
        3. The caterpillar matures into what is already true about it. In the meantime, berating the caterpillar for not being more like a butterfly is not only futile, it will probably hurt his tiny ears!
          1. God has given us the DNA of godliness. We are saints. Righteous. Nothing will make you more righteous than we already are.
          2. Gal.6:15(msg) Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do - submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life!
    11. But wait “Pleasing God” is a good thing! [Yes it is!]
      1. But there’s a timeless sequence. Motives -> Values -> Actions
        1. Motives direct what we value & how we act. [God designed us this way]
        2. Eg. If we’re motivated by money, we will value lucrative careers & people who can help us make money. That value will shape how we act.
        3. A key lies in Heb.11:6 it declares, without faith it is impossible to please Him.
          1. Notice the 2 paths? Trusting God(faith) pleases God!
          2. If our primary motive is Pleasing God, we never please Him enough & we never learn trust.
          3. But, if our primary motive is Trusting God, we will please Him, the writer of Hebrews says.
        4. More right behavior + less wrong behavior = Godliness is a bad theology; & sets us up to fail; & causes us to wear a mask & hide.
          1. Pleasing God is an incredibly good longing. It always will be. But it can’t be our primary motivation, or it will imprison our hearts.
            1. Pleasing God becomes the fruit of our godliness!
      2. If my motive is Pleasing God, then my value will be Striving to be all God wants me to be, and my action will be Working on My Sin to Achieve an Intimate Relationship with God.
      3. But...If my motive is Trusting God, then my value will be Living Out of Who God Says I Am, and my action will be Standing with God, with My Sin in Front of Me, Working On It Together.

Verses 12-17

  1. Intro:
    1. Here Paul closes this section proving sanctification (The life-long process of the H.S. making us holy) is an evidence of justification. And that, this regenerate & renewed life will be ruled & guided in all things by the H.S. of God.
    2. The the H.S. of God has been prominent in this section in relation to the spiritual life of the Christian. To wrap up this segment listen for 3 facets of the Holy Spirits Relationship to His children.
      1. The Spirit of Sonship; or Children; or Intimacy.
      2. The Spirit of Fellowship; or Sons; or Responsibility.
      3. The Spirit of Heirship; or Heirs; or Blessings.
        1. By the Spirit is how the believer is to be regenerated, renewed daily, & end up victorious!
    3. Read Text: Rom.8:12-17.
    4. Adoption: the giving to any one the name & place & privileges of a son who is not a son by birth. 3 Biblical ways it’s used:
      1. Natural - Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses, Ex.2:10; Mordecai adopted Esther Es.2:7
      2. National - God adopted Israel, Thus says the Lord: Israel is My son, My firstborn Ex4:22
      3. Spiritual - (our text) An act of God’s grace by which he brings men into the # of his redeemed family & makes them partakers of all the blessings He has provided for them
        1. Adoption represents the new relations into which the believer is introduced by justification, and the privileges connected therewith.
  2. THE SPIRIT OF SONSHIP! [Children - Intimacy]
    1. This is where it begins. Spiritual babes, just born, & calling upon their Father in heaven.
    2. Under Roman law a Father could disown his biological child. However: A Father could adopt a child and under the authority of Roman law a child who had been adopted could not be disowned.
      1. And the father in order to adopt was responsible to pay all debts and this new member of the family would all rights and privileges of son ship.
    3. Abba, Father – “An intimate & endearing term used in both prayer & in the family circle.” (Linguistic Key to the Greek N.T., pg.365,366.)
      1. Opps wrong Abba!
      2. Abba is the Greek & English transliteration of the Aramaic word for father.
      3. Only used 2 other times in scripture:
        1. The H.S. uses it in Gal.4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” [intimacy, not infancy]
        2. Jesus used it in Gethsemane, Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will. Mrk.14:36
    4. Notice he doesn’t have us cry out, “I am God’s child!” but instead cry out, “Abba, Father!” – What’s the difference?
      1. He calls us to look away from ourselves & cry to Him who established the relationship!
      2. Not, “Do you know who I am?” but, “Do you know who my Dad is?”
    5. (12) Debtors! - How are we in debt? (one who owes a moral debt)
      1. If someone saved your life you would feel indebted to them. Yet, it would be a debt of gratitude.
      2. It would not be a have to, but a want to! – It would come from the heart!
        1. That is the kind of indebtedness that we have as Christians.
      3. We don’t “owe God!” (we could never repay Him) but we want to please Him!
        1. Not to make us right w/Him, but because He has made us right w/Himself!
      4. So, we are not indebted to the flesh, we are under no obligation to it!
    6. (13) You put to death - Pres. Tense, “you are putting to death”.
      1. The flesh cannot be destroyed in this life, but the deeds which proceed from it can be mortified.2
    7. (13) For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die. So it’s Your choice…
      1. ​​​​​​​Slide#13 It’s either death unto sin, or sin unto death! It’s either you die to sin, or die for sin! It’s either slay your sin, or sin will slay you!
        1. The key is to cooperate w/the H.S. as he is working in & thru us!
    8. Stifler said, “The man in Christ is not in the flesh, but it is in him, and the problem of salvation is not how to transmute the flesh into something good, but how to live with this thing every day without being overcome by it.” (The Epistle to the Romans, pg.148.)
    9. Paul contrasts the ideas of slavery & adoption as children. (15)
    10. Spirit of Slavery!
      1. Christians listen up! - You are no longer enslaved to “fear”!
        1. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power & of love & of a sound mind 2Tim1:7
    11. Spirit of Adoption!
      1. On the contrary, what we received was the realization that we are adopted kids!
        1. Adoption = indicates a new family relation w/all the rights, privileges & responsibilities. (Linguistic Key to the Greek N.T., pg.365.)
        2. And thus have the privilege of addressing God as Abba, Father.
  3. THE SPIRIT OF FELLOWSHIP! [Sons - Responsibility]
    1. Sons represents a full-grown son, adopted into God’s family as an adult member of the household.
    2. Usually 1st century adoption wasn’t a cute little baby. In the 1st century Roman world they didn’t adopt an infant because infant mortality rate was very high.
      1. Nor was it the norm to adopt toddlers, as you were not sure what they were going to turn out like. It was usually when they were older.
    3. A chief mark of this full-grown sonship is being led by the Spirit of God.
    4. (14) Led – “to lead by laying hold of, & this way to bring to the point of destination.” James Strong
      1. It was used as an animal is led by a harness.
      2. So, the H.S. takes hold of us & guides us in our Christian journey.
      3. Ps.139:7-10 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.
      4. We follow the one to whom we belong!
      5. Our day-to-day response to the H.S. will indicate we belong to Him!
        1. “This is a more dependable measure than our emotional highs & lows.” (Shepherds Notes, pg.50.)
    5. Who handles our sanctification process?
      1. Many have bought into the idea that God saved me, now it’s my job to become godly! - No!!! it is a work of God!
      2. If, as some bumper stickers say, “God is my Co-Pilot”, then I like to say, “your in the wrong seat little buckaroo!”
        1. A Copilot is defined as: a second pilot in an aircraft, who shares the flying but is not in command.
      3. Ever take a dog through Dog Obedience Class? Imagine your dog after class boasting to your neighbors dog, “Look what I can do” as he sits, or downs, or heals
        1. You as the Master kind of had a lot to do in that process; and thus, God has had a lot to do w/our obedience!
        2. God, superintends our sanctification!
        3. 1 Thes.5:23,24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
          1. “Given humanity’s track record, do you think it would be wise of God to leave that task up to us?” (Chuck Swindoll, pg.35.)
    6. So, this full-grown sonship implies a conscious responsiveness on our part to the teaching & guidance of the Spirit.
    7. (16) The Spirit Himself Bear witness - “to testify in support of someone”.
      1. Used in the papyri where the signature of each attesting witness is accompanied by the words “I bear witness with & I seal with”.
    8. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
      1. Not to our spirit but with our spirit. [The Spirit of God is alongside us in crying out]
      2. Gal.4:6 says And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
        1. This double testimony (His Spirit & ours) holds to the absolute fact, independent of our emotions or sentiments, one of the most precious realities & assurances of our special familial relation to God...that we are children of God!
  4. THE SPIRIT OF HEIRSHIP! [Heirs - Blessing]
    1. Not every son is an heir in things temporal, but it is not so in things spiritual.
      1. We actually possess in & with Christ everything that God has for us.
      2. It is for us to accept, to enter upon, & to enjoy this marvelous wealth of privilege.
      3. No wonder Paul is so certain that we shall be save & kept to the very end.
    2. Inheritance: In many families, children inherit their parents’ estates; each child is an heir and the children together are co-heirs.
      1. Similarly, since Christians are God’s children, they are His heirs and they are co-heirs with Christ.
      2. Usually an heir is one who has not yet received his inheritance!
        1. But the Biblical idea is much more than this. It implies actual possession in part here & now, with the promise of complete possession & enjoyment in the future.
          1. So the Spirit not only bears witness with us that we are children, but that we are heirs, & marvel of marvels, joint heirs with Christ.
        2. Sharing with Jesus Christ as joint-heirs, involves more than anticipating the glories of heaven. For Jesus Christ it involved suffering and abuse and crucifixion; therefore being co-heirs with Christ requires that believers share in His sufferings.
          1. Then after the suffering we will share in His glory.
    3. Paul demonstrates if we are heirs of God, then our inheritance is secure!
    4. Suffering accompanies membership in the body of Christ.
      1. These sufferings are ones that often come with following Christ!
      2. This is expanded in the next section to be all sufferings we face in this present life!
    5. So, the 3 facets of the Holy Spirits Relationship to His children, in relation to the spiritual life of the Christian are…
      1. ​​​​​​​The Spirit of Sonship; we are His Children; Intimacy.
      2. The Spirit of Fellowship; we are His Sons; Responsibility.
      3. The Spirit of Heirship; we are Heirs; Blessings.
        1. By the Spirit is how we are to be not only regenerated, but renewed daily & in the end victorious!

Verses 18-27

  1. Intro: Title: From Groans to Glory!
    1. Though many of us have seen pictures of a huge eagle’s nest high in the branches of a tree or in the crag of a cliff, few of us have gotten a glimpse inside. When a mother eagle builds her nest she starts with thorns, broken branches, sharp rocks, and a number of other items that seem entirely unsuitable for the project. But then she lines the nest with a thick padding of wool, feathers, and fur from animals she has killed, making it soft and comfortable for the eggs. By the time the growing birds reach flying age, the comfort of the nest and the luxury of free meals make them quite reluctant to leave. That’s when the mother eagle begins “stirring up the nest.” With her strong talons she begins pulling up the thick carpet of fur and feathers, bringing the sharp rocks and branches to the surface. As more of the bedding gets plucked up, the nest becomes more uncomfortable for the young eagles. Eventually, this and other urgings prompt the growing eagles to leave their once-comfortable abode & move on to more mature behavior.
  2. GLORY! (18)
    1. God has a plan of redemptive suffering moving to its fulfillment at the end of the age!
      1. Suffering is Certain; Suffering is purposeful; Suffering doesn’t compare.
    2. [1] Suffering is Certain (last week16,17) – To all fellow heirs.
      1. At the Nicene Council, an important church meeting in the 4th century a.d., of the 318 delegates attending, fewer than 12 had not lost an eye or lost a hand or did not limp on a leg lamed by torture for their Christian faith. Vance Havner
      2. Suffering is a certainty in the Christian life! [not always physical suffering, could be emotional suffering, soulish-suffering, or spiritual suffering]
        1. Have you experienced rejection because of your faith because you became too serious about religion? (family, friend, co-worker?)
    3. [2] Suffering is Purposeful (17b) – To lead us to Glory!
      1. Do you think God has ever once thrown a pain or suffering your way…just to watch you squirm?
      2. C.S.Lewis developed an analogy in his work The Problem w/Pain.
        1. A mold/cast of a key will look strange if you’ve never see a key. And, a key will look strange if you’ve never see a lock.
      3. If we look at the mold/cast of the key to be our sufferings in our present state; then it will look awful strange if we don’t understand there is a key…i.e. Glory!
        1. Then, we can start to understand that every notch cut into our lives in this present world is very purposeful!
          1. Matter of fact, one day our special key will spring a lock no other key will be able to open (Our Own Mansion Door!)
      4. If you go down to Home Depot/Lowes to get a key cut – it is a terrible sound when they place the blank key against the grinder!
        1. But, is the key-cutter nicer if he just slips the blank key into your bag, because he doesn’t want to cause it any pain?
        2. No! every cut is strategically placed & purposeful in the hands of its maker!
        3. Like custom grips for a set of golf clubs, or a custom made wedding dress! So every trial, tribulation, suffering, pain, & disease, is custom fit for our life.
    4. [3] Suffering Doesn’t Compare (18) - To our future Glory!
      1. It works like child birth. Read John 16:21,22.
      2. In this world we will have “birth pains” in our Christian life!
      3. I remember taking Lamaze classes w/Kel at Fallbrook Hospital.
        1. The goal? To keep the mommy focused [focal point, focused breathing technique, encouragement “he/she’s almost here!”]
    5. Paul also said this to the Corinth church, For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2Cor.4:17
      1. So if we place on Gods heavenly scales: Earthly hardships on one side, & Heavenly inheritance on the other. The scales would be so far tipped!
      2. It would be easier to compare: A sapling in your front yard to the forests of Brazil. A thimble of water to the Pacific Ocean.
  3. CREATION GROANS! (19-22)
    1. ​​​​​​​Earnest expectation - “watching eagerly w/outstretched head. There is a diversion from all other things & concentration on a single object” (LKGNT)
    2. Eagerly awaits – to await expectantly but patiently…with the idea of readiness & preparedness. (LKGNT)
      1. Eagerly awaits is used 7 x’s in the NT, each time to refer to Christ’s return. We will then share His glory, and be transformed.
    3. (20) Creation was subject to futility (or frustration) – Here we have creation (animate & inanimate objects) personified!
      1. Tornados, Hurricane, Floods, Earthquakes, Forest Fires, Blizzards, heat waves, locust plagues, are just a few imbalances of nature. All a consequence to man’s fall!
      2. We also learn from creation’s decay-death-birth-growth-decay-death cycle, of our own fleeting lives here.
    4. (22) Are you as eager as the rest of creation to see your final & complete redemption? Do you dream about heaven? Are you waiting for Jesus on your tiptoes w/a craned neck?
      1. Oh to be like the caged bird that will beat its wings against it prison cage hoping to one day escape to fly free in heavens sky!
  4. WE GROAN! (23-25)
    1. ​​​​​​​Groaning – God hears groaning! Ex.2:23-25 Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.
    2. Firstfruits – (i.e.) both a 1st installment & a pledge for the final delivery of the whole (LKGNT); and it is also a guarantee.
      1. 2 Cor.5:5(NIV) Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
      2. This is God’s pledge of our complete triumph w/Christ at the end.
      3. The Spirit Himself is evidence that at the present time we are the sons of God(14,16)
        1. He who has the Spirit shall in the end be saved!
    3. Eagerly waiting for the adoption It hasn’t happened yet? Not fully!
      1. Believers yearn for the full adoption as sons/daughters.
      2. Many of our friends here at CM have been through the process of International Adoptions. (many through International Christian Adoption)
      3. So it’s a Process? Yep, a child is chosen. There is a meeting & time spent with the child (often a month, they come & live w/them).
        1. If the family seeks to Adopt, then there’s the paperwork to fill out; & a pledge or a guarantee is made(a deposit).
        2. Then the child returns eagerly waiting for their adoption.
        3. He/she can return to their orphanage & tell their friends they are adopted, they have a family!
          1. ​​​​​​​A child in the orphanage might say, “No, your not you’re still here!”
          2. They could respond, “Yes I am. I have a promise, I have a guarantee!”
            1. Oh, & what a terrible wait for the child! Oh, & what a terrible wait for the new parents!
    4. Slide#13 And so with Us & our Adoptive Process!
      1. We have been chosen by God (before we even knew he was looking at our picture!)
      2. Then, there was a meeting (our salvation)
      3. Then, there was a pledge/guarantee/deposit (the H.S.)
      4. Now, we eagerly await for our adoptive parent to return!
      5. And, our Adoptive Parent(Jesus) eagerly waits for us!
      6. And when Jesus returns He will take us to His house!
      7. And when we get to His house we will be a partaker of ALL of His inheritance!
      8. But most importantly, we are no longer orphans. We will finally have One to call our own…Abba!
  5. Hope to the rescue! (24,25)
    1. Hope will carry us through our times of sufferings.
    2. Heb.6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,
    3. Hope prevents us from clinging to what we have and frees us to move away from the safe place and enter unknown and fearful territory.” (Henri J. Nouwen in the Wounded Healer. Christianity Today, Vol.40, no.12.)
  6. THE HOLY SPIRIT GROANS! (26-27)
    1. ​​​​​​​Holy Spirit to the rescue!
    2. Help – To lend a hand. To come to the aid of someone.
    3. God the Father understands what the Spirit desires even though it is inexpressible in human terms.
      1. *No passage in Scripture provides greater encouragement for prayer! (Shepherds Notes, pg.53.)
        1. Listen to the intensity by which the Spirit brings his prayers!
    4. Wow, that God would not only answer our prayers when they are made, but also make them for us!
      1. Spurgeon describes a king & a petitioner: “Bring your case before me, & I will grant your desire,” is kindness. But for him to say, “I will be your secretary. I will write out your petition for you. I will put it into proper words so that your petition shall be framed acceptably” this is goodness at its utmost stretch.
      2. There are times we can’t even pray!
        1. I remember back in 2004 when I had my neck surgery. Laying on the carpet for 13 days, I couldn’t lift my head to read the first 4 days. I didn’t even feel like praying. Then I was able to read a little devotional quoting Hudson Taylor that read, “I am too weak to work, I cannot read the bible, I cannot even pray. I will lie in the big arms of my heavenly Father, like a child, & trust!”
          1. Will you let the Holy Spirit come to your rescue?

Verses 28-30

  1. Intro:
    1. Is God involved in every circumstance in my life? The little & the big one’s? The good & the bad one’s? The prosperous & the unsuccessful business ventures? My health & my sicknesses?
    2. Intro Story: Auguste Bartholdi went from France to Egypt in 1856. He was awestruck by the grandeur of the pyramids, the magnitude of the mighty Nile, and the beauty of the stately Sphinx of the desert. His artistic mind was stimulated. While on this trip he met another visitor to Egypt, Ferdinand de Lesseps. Ferdinand was there to sell an idea. An idea to cut a canal from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea that would save merchant ships the long journey around the tip of the African continent.

      Auguste was taken by the concept. He decided to design a lighthouse to stand at the entrance to this canal. It wouldn’t be an ordinary lighthouse. It would symbolize the light of the Western civilization flowing to the East. It took 10 years to build the Suez Canal. For 10 years Auguste worked on his idea. He drew plans, made clay models. He scrapped plan after plan. Then he had the right one. It was the perfect design. Only one problem remained. Who would pay for it? He looked everywhere, but no one was interested. The Suez Canal was opened - without a lighthouse!Auguste went back to France defeated. Ten years of toil and effort wasted. You would have liked his idea. It was a colossal robed lady that stood taller than the Sphinx in the desert. She held the books of justice in one hand and a torch lifted high in the other to light the entrance to the canal. - After Auguste returned to France, the French government sought his artistic services. His planning and designing culminated in the Statue of Liberty lighting the New York harbor. Slide#5b His disappointment had turned to delight. (Joseph Stowell, Through The Fire, Victor Books, 1988, p. 48)
      1. God is at work in every circumstance of our life!!!
    3. After talking last week about “certain & purposeful suffering” for Christians… What do we have to rejoice in if the world, our flesh, & the devil is against us???
      1. Let us count the ways! – Read vs.28-30.
      2. This ch. culminates with the truth, nothing can separate us from the Love of God.
        1. These 3 verses explain why!
    4. Title: A Providence-Minded Man!
    5. Outline: A Packed Promise! - Our Primary Purpose! - God’s Perfect Providence!
  2. A PACKED PROMISE! (28)
    1. And we know that all things work together for good – Wait! Let’s remind ourselves...Who is saying this…an arm chair theologian? Some hermit in a monastery? Nope! The Apostle Paul… Let’s read “The Life of Paul” Cliff Notes Style, 2 Cor.11:22-31 I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged 5 times with the Jews’ 39 lashes, beaten by Roman rods 3 times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked 3 times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather. And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches.
      1. Swindoll says, “Paul was a pain magnet if there ever was one!”
        1. Now go back & read the text again! Wow!
      2. If anyone could justifiable resist & resent life’s pain…it would have been Paul!
        1. Many of us would have responded w/anger & bitterness; but, somehow Paul learned to receive & rejoice in what God placed in his path!
        2. Can you & I learn how to be able to live life like that, rather than just enduring it?
          1. Paul says, YES! – How? By recognizing God’s providence. His control over all events!
        3. * Saints, if you do not grasp this, you will always see hardships as enemies rather than your friend!
      3. Everyone in here this morning is old enough to look back on life & see that things that we thought were disastrous worked out to our good; things that we thought were disappointments worked out to greater blessings. (William Barclay, pg.117 my loose paraphrase.)
    2. Lets’ unpack this Promise:
      1. We know…not guess!
        1. ​​​​​​​It is a fact, not a based on a feeling!
        2. “It is something we have unshakeable confidence in, despite our circumstances or feelings.” (James D. G. Dunn)
      2. God works...not us!
        1. ​​​​​​​NASB says, And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.
        2. He controls everything! Not us, not Mother Nature, not chance, not Donald trump.
        3. The Lord is at the helm of history, steering the ship toward his divine purpose. (Chuck Swindoll, pg.53.)
          1. If He wasn’t, he would have never been able to prophesy the future in Scripture; but He did, & it has a 100% accuracy thus far!
          2. Slide#9 Remember the analogy God told Jeremiah? – Read Jer.18:2-8.
      3. All things...not some things!
        1. ​​​​​​​Be honest, do you think Paul meant to say, “some things” or “most things”?
        2. Now, this doesn’t mean that everything we do works together for good. (i.e. “marital unfaithfulness, rape, murder”) As if, we could just do every sin, & then just blame it on, “hey, it’s God’s providence.”
          1. But what He does promise saints, is that when we give them to the Lord, he can turn even those together for good!
            1. God hates sin...but once it is committed, He can use it for good!
        3. And, it’s not just the “good” things that come our way!
          1. Spurgeon asks, “Did you ever hear of a man who got his health by being sick? That is a Christian. He gets rich by his losses, he rises by his falls, he goes on by being pushed back, he lives by dying, he grows by being diminished, & becomes full by being emptied. Well, if the bad things work for him so much good, what must His best things do? If he can sing in a dungeon, how sweetly will he sing in heaven?”
      4. Work for good...not evil!
        1. ​​​​​​​Although, unpleasant or even painful things may come our way!
          1. (i.e.) If an oncologist prescribes cutting out the tumor, it will be unpleasant & even painful. But if you trust the wisdom & skill of your physician, you will take the treatment knowing it is what is best for you.
        2. Best & clearest Scriptural example: Joseph!
          1. Joseph was seized by his bro’s, thrown into a pit, sold into slavery. Forced to live as a foreigner (in Egypt) about 2 dozen years. He rose to a place of prominence, but then was thrown in jail for 2 years on trumped up charges. Got out, & rose again to a place of prominence. Then providence brought his brothers down to Egypt because of a famine. He had grounds & opportunity to destroy his brothers. Instead he was able to respond like only a providence-minded man could…& responded in love! Gen.50:20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.
          2. He lived in a constant state of confidence that God was in control!!!
      5. Slide#10c To God lovers...not everybody!
        1. ​​​​​​​This isn’t some superficial optimism that everything tends to everybody's good in the end.
        2. Work together for good, not necessarily “feel” good; not necessarily “seem” good; and, not necessarily that they “are” good!
          1. But it does tell us that they will work together for His children’s good.
        3. If a man loves God, trusts God, & accepts God; If a man feels & knows & is convinced that God is the all-wise & all loving Father; Then he can humbly accept all that God sends to him.
        4. To not believe what I’ve been sharing is to word the scripture this way then “And we think (not know) that WE cause (not God) some (not all) things to work together for good to anybody (not those who love God)”
  3. OUR PRIMARY PURPOSE! (29)
    1. Foreknew It does not mean simply that God foreknows “what” believers will do, but that God foreknows them. (Walvoord & Zuck) [The term also speaks of love & warmth]
      1. Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose & foreknowledge of God
      2. 1 Pet.1:1 To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.
      3. Rom.11:2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.
        1. It refers to a meaningful relationship w/a person based on God’s choice in eternity before creation! (Walvoord & Zuck)
    2. So why does God orchestrate all these events in our life & in our world? - In order to conform us to the image of His Son(29).
      1. God’s purpose is to make His children like His Son…And He will succeed!
      2. Conformed (LKGNT) Having the same form. It denotes an inward & not merely superficial conformity.
        1. ​​​​​​​Conformity to Christ’s image…That’s sanctification!
        2. How will he accomplish this?
          1. The Spirit will intercede for us & guide us as we pray. And,
          2. The Circumstances in life will work for our good/betterment, no matter how painful they may be.
            1. ​​​​​​​When Pain comes your way, just see it as another blow of the sculptor’s chisel, another knocking away of sin & hard edges from your life, in order for you to be made…in his image!
  4. GOD’S PERFECT PROVIDENCE! (30)
    1. ​​​​​​​Providence! (pro/videre = before/see)
    2. Though this isn’t a word in our text, its concept is encapsulated here!
      1. This teaches that the events in our life are not ruled by chance or fate but by our Sovereign Lord. Who works out His plan & purpose in the lives of all his children.
    3. People don’t like this because: (4 things)
      1. Distrust! - They have trouble reconciling God is love”, w/God guides & governs all events (i.e. even the painful, hard, & unjust one’s)
      2. Control! They want to be in control themselves. I mean, what if God wants to send me to Indonesia, Brazil, or Spain as a missionary or something?
      3. Selfishness! They say, “Why me Lord?” when tragedy strikes, but really don’t want to know His reasons or how they can glorify Him in it. Their question is really a complaint w/the emphasis not on the WHY…but on the ME! (Why me Lord?)
      4. Pride! Pride says, “I’m not a puppet on a string, I’m no robot!”
        1. All of these basically just doubt that “God is Good”, and, that He can’t be Trusted!
        2. True we are not a robot programmed to do His bidding; but we are sheep who need the guidance of a Shepherd!
          1. That Shepherd will lead us in the way best for us & for His purposes!
        3. Jesus didn’t say, (use Robotic voice) My robots hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. But instead, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
    4. Predestined! (LKGNT) To mark out w/a boundary beforehand.
      1. Eph.1:4,5,11 Just as He chose us in Him (when?) before the foundation of the world, (why?) that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, (how will this happen?) having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,…In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,”
        1. “The predestined certainty of God’s gracious work in Christ was not meant to perplex men, but to encourage and reassure all who trust in His grace!” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.)
        2. God is just and wise in His exercise of free grace, even when His doings are most perplexing to us.
    5. Called! - Or chosen, or elected.
    6. Justified! - To declare to be right.
    7. Glorified! - This is the “consummation” of salvation! (conclusion/finale)
      1. We will be finished w/the process of sanctification!
      2. We will finally be free from the presence of sin.
      3. We will be given our new eternal incorruptible bodies.
      4. We will be with Jesus.
        1. “It is in the past tense because the final step is so certain in God’s eyes, it is as good as done!” (Walvoord & Zuck)
        2. God possess providential control over our lives from start to finish. He knew us before we were born, He accompanies us each step of the way,…all the way to heaven. (Chuck Swindoll, pg.56.)
          1. ​​​​​​​Rest secure in His sovereign hands!
    8. So…

      Our Predestination is God’s Grace at work before the foundation of the world.
      Our Calling
      is God’s Grace confronting us.
      Our Justification is God’s Grace making us right w/Himself in the midst of history.
      Our Glorification
      is God’s Grace in the consummation of this age. (Shepherd’s Notes, pg.54.)
    9. Is Christ likeness your goal? - Then remember, & rely, on God’s providence in all your life situations, everyday, today,...this Fathers Day!
    10. In a small pub in the highlands of Scotland a group of fishermen gathered one afternoon and were enjoying a round of ale. Just as one was showing, with his hands, how big one fish was that had gotten away, a waitress passed. His hand hit a glass of ale she was carrying on a tray and some of the dark brew spilled on the white wall of the pub. It began to run down. The waitress hastily took a cloth from her apron and began to wipe, but the ale had left an ugly dark stain. At another table, a man rose and came over. He took a crayon from his pocket and as all in the pub watched, began to sketch around the stain. In a few moments, he had drawn the head of a magnificent stag with spreading antlers. Under his hand, the mistake had become a thing of beauty. The artist was Sir Edwin Landseer. At that time he was England’s foremost painter of animals.
      1. Will you let God do the same in your life, to your dark stains of your past?

Verses 31-39

  1. Intro:
    1. Story: Steve Winger from Lubbock, Texas, writes about his last college test a final in a logic class known for its difficult exams: To help us on our test, the professor told us we could bring as much information to the exam as we could fit on a piece of notebook paper. Most students crammed as many facts as possible on their 8-1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper. But one student walked into class, put a piece of notebook paper on the floor, and had an advanced logic student stand on the paper. The advanced logic student told him everything he needed to know.He was the only student to receive an "A."
      1. The ultimate final exam will come when we stand before God and he asks, "Why should I let you in?" - On our own we cannot pass that exam.
      2. Our creative attempts to earn eternal life fall far short. - But we have Someone who will stand in for us! :) Jesus Christ!
        1. Pray:
    2. Title: A Love That Keeps On Giving!
    3. Outline: Paul’s 5 Questions to drive home our Security in Christ:​​​​​​​ What Shall We Then Say? Who Shall Oppose Us? Who Shall Accuse Us? Who ShallCondemn Us? Who Shall Separate Us?
      1. Secure sheep; Advantaged sheep; Acquitted sheep; Conquering sheep; Loved sheep!
  2. WHAT SHALL WE SAY THEN? (31a)
    1. ​​​​​​​To what things? – Well, to His ability to “make all things to work together for good”. To the things listed in vs.30 “predestined, called, justified, glorified”. To His Providence!
      1. What shall we say then in response to this awesome redemptive purpose of God?
        1. His answer provides the most strikingly impressive, majestic, passage on Christian Assurance…in the bible!
      2. What follows forms the solid foundation for our confidence!
    2. So, what shall we say then? - We are Secure Sheep!
  3. WHO SHALL OPPOSE US? (31b,32)
    1. ​​​​​​​If God is for us – “If” means “since or because”.
      1. It isn’t a question mark, it is an exclamation mark!!!
    2. The Father is “for us”(31); The Jesus is “for us”(34); The H.S. is “for us”(26).
      1. Is the opposite true? “If God is against you…who can be for you?”
        1. And, if they are for you…what does it matter?
      2. Please think that through if you don’t know this morning that God is for you.
        1. If He is against you…what then? What will become of you? How will you face Him? What will become of you in eternity?
    3. Who can be against us? –We really don’t have anything to fear saints!
      1. Ps.27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
      2. Ps.56:4 In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
    4. (32) Believer, do you wrongly fear God is against you or angry with you?
      1. He not only isn’t angry with you, He is so “for you”! :) (32a)
      2. He didn’t even hold back His own Son for you! - Did you hear that?
    5. Give us all things - Would God give us the greater thing but not the lesser? - Would He sacrifice His Son but withhold His possessions from us?
      1. God is committed to freely lavish on us His continuing, unfailing generosity!
    6. So, who can Oppose us? No one! We are Advantaged Sheep!
  4. WHO SHALL ACCUSE US? (33)
    1. ​​​​​​​A charge = To bring a legal charge against someone.
    2. Who accuses Christians? – Excuse me, who doesn’t?
      1. ​​​​​​​Satan surely does the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, Rev.12:10
      2. The World does If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. Jn.15:18
      3. We Christians accuse each other if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! Gal.5:15
      4. We even accuse ourselves – Carrying around a sense of guilt & shame.
        1. But God doesn’t & won’t accuse us…in fact...He has declared us justified!
          1. ​​​​​​​The judge has spoken! – The gavel has fallen! “Not Guilty!”
          2. Imagine saying, “wait judge”, “wait!”...after the gavel came down...“Too late”!
    3. So, who can Accuse us? No one! Because we are Acquitted Sheep!
  5. WHO SHALL CONDEMN US? (34)
    1. ​​​​​​​Well, if no one has the authority to accuse us, then they surely don’t have the power to condemn us.
    2. How do you shut down Satan’s condemnations?
      1. I remember from a Clint Eastwood movie long ago, a man said, “I’m going to hit you 3 ways: hard, fast, & continuous!”
      2. We need to hit our “would-be condemners4 ways: [1] Christ died [2] Christ is risen [3] Christ has ascended [4] Christ makes intercession.
      3. Remember, Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good; He came to bring dead people back to life!
        1. This He had to first do Himself!
    3. Only Jesus has been given the authority to judge humankind!
      1. Jn.5:22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.
      2. To the unbeliever He is Judge.
      3. To the believer He is our advocate, our defense attorney.
        1. He would never condemn those, for whom He died!
      4. So, Christian don’t be afraid of Him, nor try to avoid Him.
    4. It is Christ that died! – Let not your confidence be in anything else!
      1. I was dedicated as a baby! – No! It is Christ that died!
      2. I was baptized! – No! It is Christ that died!
      3. I was confirmed! – No! It is Christ that died!
      4. I tithe! – No! It is Christ that died!
      5. I was raised in the church! – No! It is Christ that died!
      6. I go on missions trips! – No! It is Christ that died!
      7. I speak in tongues! – No! It is Christ that died!
      8. I go to CM! (hmmm!) - No! It is Christ that died!
        1. Whatever your confidence…“Put them all away!”
        2. Keep to this one declaration! – “It is Christ who died!”
    5. So, who can Condemn us? No one! Not even God! Because we are Conquering Sheep!
  6. WHO SHALL SEPARATE US? (35-39)
    1. ​​​​​​​Notice the progression bad to worse! (35)
      1. Nothing can drive a wedge between God & His people, no matter how painful or hard!
      2. Weird, we often see things on this list as reasons to believe God is displeased w/us. (these aren’t love separators!)
    2. But we’ve seen every type of relationship on earth separate/break up!
      1. Marital Separations; Ugly Divorces; Company Splits; even Church splits!
      2. We live in a society of: Dads separating from their families, to go start new one’s.Moms separating from their families, because they’ve found someone else. Business partners separating over different philosophies of business. Friends separating because of other friends.
        1. It seems like most relationships we know are “Italian Dressing relationships” – You can keep everything together for a time(shake)…give it a little while & sure enough, everything separates!
      3. But the relationship Christ offers is a “Butter on a warm toasted English Muffin relationship”! - Try as you may, there’s no separating those two.
      4. Who might separate Christians from their Lord?
        1. The day the Father stops loving His Son…is the day we have to worry, about Him stopping loving us!
    3. (37) More than conquerors = “keep on being conquerors to a greater degree.” Or, keep on winning a glorious victory.”
      1. As I mentioned...Conquering Sheep!(36) There’s a picture!
      2. Ps.100:3 We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
    4. For I am persuaded - If someone asks “your persuasion” – tell them, “I am persuaded”quote 38,39.
      1. Seriously…did Paul think he could loose his salvation?
      2. Persuaded = “I stand convinced.” (RWP)
      3. The items mentioned are those that people dread!
        1. He picks up where he left off from v.35 w/death.
      4. Paul chooses the extremes of elements in God’s universe:
        1. The extremes of existence: death & life.
          1. 2 Cor.5:9 We make it our aim, whether present or absent to be well pleasing unto Him.
        2. The extremes of created spiritual armies: angels & supernatural powers (or demons)
          1. Angels would not, demons could not, undo God’s relationship w/His redeemed ones!
        3. The extremes in time: present & future
          1. i.e. nothing now...like the list in v.35 & nothing in the upcoming.
        4. The extremes in space: height & depth
          1. Nothing swooping down, nothing coming up!
        5. The extremes in creation: any other created thing.
          1. Nothing in the entire created realm can thwart God’s purpose for believers in Christ!
    5. So, who can Separate us? No one! Because we are Loved Sheep!
      1. Secure sheep; Advantaged sheep; Acquitted sheep; Conquering sheep; & Loved sheep!
    6. Let me end w/something penned by Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990).

      Muggeridge was a British journalist who, later in life, became an incredible defender of the Christian faith. Muggeridge’s unique journalistic perspective on 20th century world history (he lived it and wrote about it) and the preeminence of Christ is both true and poetic. He wrote this in the 1970’s.

      We look back upon history, and what do we see? Empires rising and falling, revolutions and counterrevolutions, wealth accumulated and wealth disbursed. Shakespeare has written of the rise and fall of great ones, that ebb and flow with the moon.

      I look back upon my own fellow countrymen (Great Britain ), once upon a time dominating a quarter of the world, most of them convinced, in the words of what is still a popular song, that ‘the God who made them mighty, shall make them mightier yet.

      I’ve heard a crazed, cracked Austrian (Hitler) announce to the world the establishment of a Reich that would last a thousand years.

      I have seen an Italian clown (Mussolini) say he was going to stop and restart the calendar with his own ascension to power.

      I’ve heard a murderous Georgian brigand in the Kremlin (Stalin), acclaimed by the intellectual elite of the world as being wiser than Solomon, more humane than Marcus Aurelius, more enlightened than Ashoka (Ashok).

      I have seen America wealthier and, in terms of military weaponry, more powerful than the rest of the world put Together - so that had the American people so desired, they could have outdone a Caesar, or an Alexander in the range and scale of their conquests.

      All in one lifetime, all in one lifetime, all gone. Gone with the wind.

      England, now part of a tiny island off the coast of Europe, threatened with dismemberment and even bankruptcy. Hitler and Mussolini dead, remembered only in infamy. Stalin a forbidden name in the regime he helped found and dominate for some three decades. America haunted by fears of running out of those precious fluids that keeps their motorways roaring, and the smog settling, with troubled memories of a disastrous campaign in Vietnam, and the victories of the Don Quixotes of the media as they charged the windmills of Watergate.

      All in one lifetime, all in one lifetime, all gone. Gone with the wind.

      Behind the debris of these solemn supermen, and self-styled imperial diplomatists, there stands the gigantic figure of One, because of whom, by whom, in whom and through whom alone, mankind may still have peace: the person of Jesus Christ. - I present him as the way, the truth, and the life. (The gospel Coalition, Tullian Tchividjian. http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2009/11/02/the-supremacy-of-christ/)
    7. Prayer: Lord, help us to remember we are secure sheep, & that You are for us. That no charges are against us; & we no longer live under condemnation. Help us to live as conquerors!
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Romans 8". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/romans-8.html. 2017.