Commentary on "Freedom in Christ"
Day 7: Friday, August 27, 2010 - Further Study
Since today’s lesson author is focused primarily on the works of Ellen White with the intention of passing over the rest of this chapter, we are going to ignore the quarterly suggested reading and present a brief outline of the treasures to be found in the remaining half of Romans chapter eight.
Romans 8:17 states that those who are children of God are the assured heirs of God. In verses 18 through 30 Paul outlines what this inheritance consists of:
IT IS OURS
- Our present suffering is not worth comparing to the riches God has ready for us, verse 18.
- In verses 19-22 we find the phrase ‘the revealing of the sons of God’. This is in direct reference to when we receive the hope of our salvation, our glorified bodies and when sin and death are no more. All of creation is in pains of ‘childbirth’ awaiting the time when it is made new and ready for our occupancy.
- Not just creation, but we also who have the ‘first fruits of the Spirit’, wait with the same eagerness, verse 23. This is an ‘assurance of our eternal salvation’ verse. We can know this now.
- In verses 24 & 25 we come to the statement “we were saved”. This is more assurance of our salvation.
- When we realize we have no control over what is happening in our lives or even how to pray, the Holy Spirit will intercede for us with groanings to deep for our understanding, verse 26. Many a person has turned to this promise when in desperate situations and has found God to be eternally true.
- Those who are “called”, those called and elected by God before creation (Eph. 1:3-4), are assured that all things work for their good, verses 27 & 28.
- In verses 29 & 30 we see this: Those who God foreknew he predestined. Those who were predestined were the called of God. Those who God called are also justified (past tense…done). Those who God has justified he will also glorify. As children of God we can know we are justified now and we will be glorified. Here again, we find assurance of our eternal salvation.
GOD’S LOVE FOR THOSE HE HAS JUSTIFIED
- Who can prevail against us when God is our protector, verse 31?
- Having already given us his Son, will God not also lovingly give us “all things”, verse 32?
- Who is it who can bring a charge against God’s elect and condemn them, verse 33-34?
- Is there anything that can separate God’s elect from the love of God, verse 35?
- Romans 8:36 is a very special verse which quotes Ps. 44:22. Those who were the original recipients of this epistle would naturally have turned to Psalm 44 and studied the whole context of Paul’s quote found in this verse. The Hebrew people would have read and prayed this psalm when pleading for God’s help in times of trouble. Ps. 44:4-6 (ESV) says: “You are my King, O God; ordain salvation for Jacob! Through you we push down our foes; through your name we tread down those who rise up against us. For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me”. In verse 22 of this psalm they acknowledge that without God’s help, they are as “sheep to be slaughtered”. At the end of the Psalm they express hope for the one who can redeem them, their longed for Messiah. In effect, Paul in the epistle of Romans declares that the Messiah, Jesus Christ has come and you have been redeemed. The longed for redemption asked for in Psalm 44 has been fulfilled. Redemption is ours. This is fulfilled assurance of our salvation.
- Because of God’s love for us, the children of God, we are more than conquerors in all things, verse 37.
- There is nothing that can separate God’s elect from the love of God, verses 38 and 39. What more can you ask of God knowing nothing can separate you from his love?
- The struggles and sufferings of God’s elect are not worth comparing with the assured hope that has been promised to them.
- All of creation eagerly awaits the time when all things are made new and becomes part of our inheritance.
- The Holy Spirit will intercede for us; God’s elect, even when we don’t know what to ask for.
- God foreknew his elect from before creation. He is not and never was shifting through the Book of Life to determine who he will glorify upon his return to earth and claim as his ‘Bride’, also known in Scripture as ‘The Body of Christ’.
- There is no one who can bring a charge, condemn or separate God’s elect from the love of God. For those who have accepted the gospel message of Jesus Christ and have had their spirit born through the indwelling and sealing of the Holy Spirit are God’s foreknown ‘elect’ who know the future hope promised by their loving Savior.
- Respond in faith to the gospel message of Jesus Christ and receive his promised life giving seal of the Holy Spirit. Then, in joy become part of God’s elect. Having done so, claim all that is promised in these verses we have just covered.
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