Romans 8%26-30 Secure in God
Secure in God
Introduction: Romans 8:26-30 It makes a difference just whose hands are in control of the merchandise:
- A $75 basketball in my hands is losing a game of “Horse” in the church gym. A $75 basketball in the hands of Michael Jordan was a world championship and an NBA MVP.
- A $900 set of golf clubs in my hands is spending an afternoon of frustration. In the hands of Tiger Woods it is more than $6,000,000 in annual winnings.
- A hammer and nails in my hands is a misguided home improvement project. A hammer and nails in the hands of Jesus Christ is the glory of God and the salvation of mankind.
It makes a difference whose hands are at work. Having God’s hands on the job ought to give us absolute security, knowing in the words of our text, “all things work together for good”
Webster Defines “SECURITY” – as the freedom from risk or danger, the freedom from anxiety or something that makes us feel safe. SO WHERE DO WE FIND OUR SECURITY? There is only one place – In the arms of God. Warren Wiersbe – “There is no security in things. In fact, things are deceptive: they appear to be satisfying and lasting when they are actually temporary and unable to satisfy the deepest needs of life.” Folks, there is nothing spiritual about sitting grimly in a corner and saying, "These things won’t last anyway! Why enjoy them?" God wants us to enjoy his good gifts, just like we want our children to enjoy what we give them. But God does not want us to depend on things--He wants us to depend on Him. God wants our security to come from Him and not from our surrounding circumstances or the trinkets we use to decorate our lives. I want to speak today on four aspects of a believer’s security in God.
I. We Have Security in God’s Prayers (8:26-27): Did you know God is your prayer partner? Elsewhere scripture teaches Jesus Christ prays for us before the throne of God: 1 John 2:1 “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” The same Son who died for you 2,000 years ago is the one who prays for you every day. Here in Romans Paul is speaking of Jesus Christ but of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:26 “The Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us.” The Son prays for us in heaven – the Holy Spirit prays for us while indwelling our hearts on earth.
A. GOD’S PRAYER IS INTENSELY PERSONAL AND HEART FELT (8:26) – “maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” All of us have times when we feel completely and totally isolated from everyone else and we begin to wonder, “Does anyone really care/know?” During those times when we feel overwhelmed by life’s circumstances the Apostle reminds us in 1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” Do you remember Jesus’ visit to Mary and Martha’s house following the death of Lazarus? Jesus is the Resurrection and Life. He knew that heaven waits for the believer – yet in the face of these two sister’s anguish and sorrow, Jesus wept. When they hurt—he hurt. That is the way it is with the Holy Spirit. Every parent knows the anguish of heart when a child is injured—you wish you could go through the pain for him. Folks, God did that when He sent Jesus to die on the cross. He carried our sin injury and put it on Himself. God knows the present “GOO” we find ourselves in will one day be replaced by glory – but He also knows that we hurt and cry in the here and now. Psalms 56:8 “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” God takes note of our every injury and our every hurt – both the kind that shows on the outside and the kind that is heart deep.
B. GOD’S PRAYER IS ALWAYS FOR WHAT WE REALLY NEED (8:27) E. M. Bounds once wrote, “Prayer goes by faith into the great orchard of God’s exceeding great and precious promises, and with hand and heart picks the ripest and richest fruit.” Q: What do we do though when we walk into God’s orchard and don’t know which piece of fruit to pick? We aren’t good (in ourselves). We aren’t omniscient. We don’t always ask for right/good things. James 4:2b-3 “ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” Most of us end our prayers “in Jesus name” which means “Lord, I’m asking for what Jesus would ask for” – but many times we aren’t sure if Jesus would truly ask for what we’ve prayed for. Aren’t you glad when the Holy Spirit prays He knows exactly what God the Father’s will is? 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.“ Aren’t you also glad when the Holy Spirit groans that God the Father knows exactly what is being asked for? We might not always get our prayers answered with a “YES” – but the Holy Spirit never gets His prayers answered with a “NO” What the Holy Spirit prays for is always for God’s glory and our good. God prayed for you today. He knows you better than you know yourself. He loves you more than you love yourself. He knows what you really need. He always receives from God the Father what He asks for.
II. We Have Security in God’s Promise (Romans 8:28)
A. Certainty of the Promise: The word “know” conveys the idea of absolute certainty. This promise is not something we hope were true or wish were true. We know it to be true. Every believer have had flashes of understanding. We can look back and see God at work bringing certain experiences and circumstances into our life. We’ve all experienced sudden insight of “I know why that happened now!” It is much more difficult to see the process of God’s work in the present.
B. Content of the Promise: The text does not say God causes all things to occur. Scripture nowhere says God causes sin or evil. He does allow sin and evil to occur however, but that is much different from initiating them. The glory of this promise is that God uses everthing that comes into our life—even wicked things and unjust things and unfair things…and things we would never choose for ourselves because they are difficult to accept. Paul says that God works everything together in our lives for good. Our English word synergism comes from the Greek verb used here synergei. The present tense and active voice emphasizes that God is continually at work harmonizing all of the disparate parts of our life to produce “good”. Of course that is “good” from a heavenly perspective.
1. Joseph – It wasn’t pleasant to be betrayed by family & sold as a slave…tossed in prison. God overruled the injustice of men to ultimately bring blessing to Joseph and also his family.
2. Daniel – Was difficult to be taken from family and put into the pressure cooker à “good”
Point: What God did in the lives of Joseph and Daniel He continues to do in your life and mine.
C. Recipients of the Promise: It is for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. This is speaking not just about some believers but all believers. This promise doesn’t apply to an unbeliever. All things don’t work out for good to someone who refuses to accept the gospel. When the unsaved die they go to a place called Hell—that is not all things working together for good. This is for Christians. This verse is the only verse in Romans that speaks of the believer’s love for God. This phrase “called according to His purpose” goes beyond simply invited to accept salvation. It has the idea of those who have had salvation presented and given to them. We have heard God’s voice and responded in faith—we’re “called”. In fact, the word for church = ekklesia = “called out ones”. We are called out to receive salvation… We are also called to be lovers of God. 1 John 4:19: “We love Him because He first loved us.” This promise is for the God-lovers who are here.
- We Have Security in God’s Purpose (Romans 8:29) The “good” in 8:28 is elaborated in 8:29. We are see two new terms which also refer to Christians. We are told that God “foreknew” believers and that he “predestinated” believers. Over the centuries the church has sometimes gotten sidetracked when discussing these terms. Churches have been split and whole new denominations have been started arguing over these words. Folks I want to put these two terms to one side for just a moment. I don’t want to get tangled up in the weeds. I want for us to focus on the big picture. For right now I simply want us to look at what the “good” of 8:28 consists of. This is what the Holy Spirit is praying for in 8:26-27. This is the purpose God has for every believer. God has set the destiny for every believer to be conformed to the image of Christ. God’s purpose goes way beyond simply the forgiveness of sin and our escape from hell. He has purposed that we become Christ like in character (our actions—our attitudes—our behavioral responses—our words. When God first formed man out of the dust of the earth God made us in His image. God’s original design is still in effect. God wants us to be like Him. We don’t become gods. We don’t share in His deity. We do share in His image…the image of Christ. What God allows in our lives is not primarily to make us happy or financially prosperous or to make life easy. It is to further that “good” and make us Christ like. Philippians 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” To know Christ/resurrection power we need to experience the fellowship of his suffering/death. In God’s infinite wisdom God knows just what is needed to bring about that transformation. God knows when to lead us beside the still waters and to take us into green pastures and goes knows when and how to lead us in the valley of the shadow of death. God is in control.
- We Have Security in God’s Plan (Romans 8:30) This is an incredible verse that summarizes the plan of salvation from eternity past to eternity future. Earlier in this chapter Paul deals with a believers sanctification in which we act in cooperative obedience to what the HS is doing in our life. Sanctification is not even mentioned in this process of 8:30 I believe because the foundation for our security is not based on what we do but on what God has done in the past…is doing in the present…and will do in the future. We can have complete security in our salvation because God not only has a plan but God is working that plan without any help from us. We mess things up—God will make things perfect! Each of these terms used in this verse deserves a separate message. As I did with 8:29 I simply want to look at Paul’s main point that he is making and it is this: If we are in any part of this process then we are in the whole thing. It was God that started our salvation and it will be God who finishes our salvation.—He loses nothing in the process.
· It is God who knew us and set us apart for His own before we were even alive.
· It is God who has called us…convicted us…brought us to life in conversion.
· It is God who has justified us…declared us righteous in front of the angels.
· It is God who has glorified us…brought us to perfection. In fact though glorification is yet future, it is spoken of here as in the past because it is so certain to take place in the future that is as good as though it has already been written down in the history books. That is a promise you can take to the bank—even better you’ll take it to the presence of God and cash it in.
Illustration: If you were suffering with a heart condition you wouldn’t come to me with my butter knife and roto-ruter to clean out your blocked veins—you would go to a skilled surgeon. If we want to live our life in a manner that pleases and satisfies the Lord—and one which results in our transformation into the image of Christ then we need to turn our life over to God because our security is found in Him. We have security in God’s Prayer God’s Promise…God’s Purpose…God’s Plan. That is real security.
Paul’s own response to these truths is found in Romans 8:31-39 Like Paul there are times when these truths will make us want to sing and shout with praise.
There are other times when our hearts are so broken and burdened with the hardship and seeming injustices of life we may not be able to sing a single note. These same truths will sustain us. Life is a marathon and not a dash. These truths will help us to stay the course and to take the next step.