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S225-060808 Ro 8c

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Alêtheia Christian Fellowship ~ 060808 ~ Romans 8c

Romans 8:28 ~ 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.


What is good to the true Christian is God’s will because the true Christian trusts God.


The point of these verses is that Christians suffer with sin.

No one knows this like the Christian – only genuine Christians have received the Holy Spirit and it is only this intimacy with God that truly allows us to see how far from the design we are!

†So we groan – but we know who it is we are trusting.

†So we also have a sure and certain hope

The very subject of the next verses as we pivot from a focus on us being Christians to a focus on Him being Christ and from a focus on our loving God to a focus on God loving us…

8:28 ~ is the ultimate verse in the ultimate chapter in the ultimate book in the ultimate collection.

Romans 8:29&30 ~ 29For 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; 30and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

These verses and the verses to come are variously interpreted and there is a temptation to jump in to the minutia and completely miss what the Holy Spirit has to say…

Paul is not going to establish a doctrine of predestination in one or two verses.


Especially where he is in no way addressing that topic!

Many conceive of predestination as some defeatist -fatalistic view of life and God that leaves us as mere puppets on a string.

We are going to skip the stupidity

We will examine the text without a theological/doctrinal pre-position

Basically, everyone agrees on the text

Basically every Greek scholar agrees on the actual meaning of the words

Basically every theologian agrees on the primary meaning

 It’s the possibilities that get tricky

Let’s begin with what’s known… What’s important!

Foreknew, is proginw>skw, used only four other times in the Bible of God’s knowing before.

In Acts 2:23 it is used in the statement “Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.”

This is our key. God holds council and we come to know what He has already decided beforehand.

Because God has decreed a thing it will come to pass in time and so it is said that this is foreknowledge – not that God looks into a crystal ball, but that God has ordered it – that is sovereignty.

Then, “He also predestined,” is proori>zw, marking the boundaries beforehand.

I have a council with my family and we determine to get a horse. Beforehand we build a fence where the horse will be kept thus marking out for the horse the scope of his future life.

What is the boundary? “To become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Predestination is the effective sanctification process.

Conformed is su>mmorfov, an inward change of essence or nature reflected outwardly.

Firstborn - Mormons and JW’s go wrong here because the term translated as firstborn is more accurately described as first in priority and primacy.

Image is eijkw>n, a derived likeness – not making it similar (oJmoi>wma). A child is the image of his parents.

This conformation to the image of Jesus demands that He in turn is the exact derived image of God, i.e. He is God.

God called; “The eternal foreordination appears in time as ‘calling,’ of course effectual calling.

Where salvation is contemplated as the work of God alone (as here), there can be no break-down in its processes.”

God can actually call everyone, but from a theological perspective only those who accept have been effectively called

God can be sovereign if it is His sovereign plan to allow choice – we just have to have a bigger concept of what God is capable of!

Those God called into salvation, He justified, once again Justified = dikaio>w = being made right. Legal term meaning judged righteous, i.e. exonerated.

Glorified is doxa>zw, a future event for us spoken of in past tense because God has decreed it and so it is as certain as if it had already happened.

Romans 8:31-34 ~ 31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He 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? 33Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34who 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.

Verse 31 ~ What then shall we say = this is no mere academic exercise or interesting information – it demands, requires and deserves a response!

Series of rhetorical questions without answer indicating the negative even more strongly.

A fortiori with a definite “if,” meaning since = no one that matters.


Defeat sin through faith in this statement

Verse 32 ~ another a fortiori – He gave what was most precious and difficult to give why would He withhold anything lesser?

Own is i]diov, one’s own particular, peculiar, private and unique to them thing.

This is God’s good, not man’s good!

Verse 33 ~ Rhetorical, unanswered question – charges are filed & pressed by God – He’s the injured party and the state. How can God charge and justify at the same time? It is impossible!

Elect is ejklekto>v, selected out – related to holy/saint a[giov and called kale>w

Verse 34 ~ how can Jesus condemn you and at the exact same time intercede on your behalf?

Romans 8:35-37 ~ 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

Verse 35 ~ is the main question – who/what/which/what sort of (ti>v) can possibly separate Christians from Christ’s love? Who or what can separate the groom from his beloved bride?

Will tribulation (qli~yiv), or distress (stenocwpi>a), or persecution (diwgmo>v), or famine (limo>v)), or nakedness (gumno>thv), or peril (ki>ndunov), or sword (ma>caira)?

None of these, nor all together

Think of what Paul had endured and this is important, but let’s not lose the main context!

We are concerned with suffering through sanctification – suffering as we war against sin and its ugly results!

Psalm 44 ~ is all about pleading with God to deliver His people who love Him. Paul quotes verse 22 but the final verse will keep it in context since we don’t have it memorized… 44:26 Rise up and help us. Save us because of your faithful love.

So Paul can immediately exult and use a word for our situation used only here in the entire Bible – uJpernika>w - complete unalterable victory

How is it possible to be victorious Christians? Only through Him!

Romans 8:38&39 ~ 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor 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.

Bottom line:

       Godhead 31

             Father 32

                    Jesus 34

                           Holy Spirit 26

                                 Supernatural forces

Natural forces

       Any other thing or even all in total

             Cannot take your salvation in Christ

The question is not whether you can lose your salvation – you can’t!!!!

The question is whether you are saved in the first place

The answer is the Holy Spirit who changes you…

Fear to Faith

Selfishness to Selflessness

Negative to Positive

Despair to Hope

Irritation to Patience

Anger to Compassion

Hate to Love

Self-indulgence to Self-sacrifice

Desire for worldly entertainment to Godly instruction

Do you posses the Holy Spirit? Then the question is will you continue in God’s love?

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