Romans 8:28-39 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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The Victorious Life
Comments for Study 8

Romans 8:28-39
Memory Verse: 38-39

BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.

I. If God is For Us... (28-34)

>1. Read verse 28.

* Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

>Meditate on the meaning of each phrase "in all things", "God works for the good", "for those who have been called according to his purpose".

* "we" -all who accept Jesus as Savior and LORD, who confess his name and live for his glory, all who have repented of a sinful life, not just a person who believed he or she is a Christian, but one who actually is by faith. William Blackstone wrote in his book Jesus is Coming, "The true church is a persecuted, suffering, cross-bearing people. This is its calling, as the Scripture says, 'all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.' (2 Tim. 3:12) And this will continue until Christ comes, which precludes any Millennium until after His coming."

* "know" -We know, with teaching we understand the truth that Paul is explaining here. This is definitely a basic truth of believers in Jesus.

* "that in all things" -not all things are good, but they become good with God's help.

* "God works for the good" -God works in the lives for his children as a good father works for the good of his children.

* "for those who have been called according to his purpose" -not for all the people in the world, but definitely for all of this children. His children here is described as those who have been called (called by God for a purpose. See study 1.)

* "his purpose" -not our purpose; not the churches' purpose; not the leaders' purpose; not the sheep's purpose; not worldly good works purpose, but for God's purpose. (Jer. 29:11)

>2. Think about a few examples of how God displayed his goodness in history (Gen. 45:4-7, 50:19-20, Ruth 1:11-19, 4:16-22, Job 2:7-10, 42:12-17; Jer. 9:10-14; Acts 2:36).

* Genesis 45:4-7 and Genesis 50:19-20 talk about how God worked in Joseph's life.

* Ruth 1:11-19 and Ruth 4:16-22 talks about how God worked in Ruth and Naomi's life.

* Job 2:7-10 and Job 42:12-17 talks about how God worked in Job's life.

* Jeremiah 29:10-14 talks how God worked in Israel's history.

* Acts 2:36 talks how God worked in Jesus' life.

Similarities

    all believed God's goodness
    all loss something close to them
    something bad happened in each of their lives
    they all ended up better than before the bad event happened
    people suffered without cause, the didn't deserve what happened to them
    the bad event was beyond their control
    in the midst of it there didn't look like a way out or any hope
    they stayed in God's history

Differences

    time
    place
    event
    people
    gender
    circumstances
    in human blessing
    social status
    age

>Why does God display his goodness in such ways? (Ps. 100:5, 119:68; Rom. 11:33-36)

* Psalm 100:5 "For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."

* Psalm 119:68 "You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees."

* Romans 11:33-36 "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen."

* They are processes so that we grow spiritually.

* It is important to understand what God considers good; that is that we grow in the image of Jesus. We have a lot of sinful habits to take out including pride and stubbornness. Note: before the fall God did not show his goodness in the way for Adam was already in the image of God.

* We are unspiritual, but changing. God is spiritual. So for us to understand the soul/spirit (which is unseen) is hard for us. How much harder is it to understand what makes us grow spiritually-that is conform to the image of God, as children of God.

>What is the ultimate good God brings for us? (29)

* Romans 8:29 "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers."

* "For those God foreknew"-before the creation of the world. See first lesson.

* "he also predestined" -God has a plan for us. According to this verse it is to grow in the image of Jesus. See next question and Eph. 1:5.

* "to be conformed to the likeness of his Son"-this is the ultimate good God brings for us. Jesus is the mold we are to conform to.

>What is the process of God's plan for us? (30)

* Romans 8:30 "And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."

* "predestined" -God marked out our life so that at any point a Christian can look back and say, "God had worked in my life and for my favor to bring that about. God's plan is absolute, not abstract or arbitrary.

* "called" -according to lesson 1.

* "justified" -Just as if I had not sinned.

* "glorified" -through Jesus we will be completely in the image of Jess. This is in the past tense because he started the work in our past, when we accepted him as Savior and LORD and he is continuing it to this day.

* The point made here is that it is certain that God's plan for those who are in Jesus to grow in the image of Jesus.

* We can be sure of the outcome.

>3. What then would be our response to God? (31)

* Romans 8:31 "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?"

* "to this" -the knowledge of the previous truth.

* "if... then" -implied that no one will stop God's plan for us.

* "God is for us" -when we see our life without this understanding we could conclude, "God is against us". But when we see our life in totality, we will say, "God is for us".

* "who can be against us"-Paul will bring out the extremes of those who, it would appear, to be against us.

* "against us"-meaning to destroy us, to make it that we will not be in the image of Christ.

>How can Christians absolutely be certain about God's provision in all things? (32)

* Romans 8:32 "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?"

* Jesus was God's most valuable possession.

* In saving us, God did not spare his own Son, Jesus. So then we can conclude that God loves us and will do anything to do what is good for us.

* "graciously give us all things" -is there anything excluded from this? We are co-heirs of the kingdom of God, the Millennium age, and all eternity.

>4. Why can no one bring charge against God's children in regard to God's plan? (33-34)

* Romans 8:33-34 "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us."

* "any charge" -this does not mean that we are free from correction. This is a continuation of the previous sentences. So this is in regard for God working and saving us and growing us in the image of Jesus. "Charge" here refers to a charge against our salvation.

* "God...justifies" -God is the judge. God will decide who will be saved and how. He will not be influence by any other.

>What is the work of Christ for us?

* "Who...condemns? Christ Jesus" -Jesus will condemn. He is the judge. He will say whether a man or woman has faith in him or not. No one else will be able to stand as a prosecutor.

* "and is also interceding for us" -Jesus defends us. He loves us and makes atonement for us.

* Heb. 4:14-15

* All will be judged, but not at the same time, nor with the same outcome. Jesus' loved ones will meet their Lord face-to-face. We will see him with our own eyes and he will judge our deeds done in this life. As we approach his radiant glory, glory of staggering proportions, his light will burn away all that is not pleasing. As we approach him all that will be left in us is the good deeds we did in this life.

The Day of Atonement is described by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians. “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” (1 Cor. 3:11-15)

What does gold, silver and costly stones represent? What will survive? Later in his first letter to the Corinthians Paul tells us, “And now these remain faith, hope and love.” (1 Cor. 13:13a)

II. Who Shall Separate Us From the Love of Christ? (35-36)

>5. In what ways is our conviction in God's goodness tested? (35-36, 2 Cor. 11:23-29; Ps. 44:22)

* Romans 8:35-36 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

* 2 Corinthians 11:23-29 "Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?"

* Psalm 44:22 "Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

>How does absolute trust in God's love make us victors in life? (35-36)

* Romans 8:35-36 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

* In the end of the "refining" event we recognize that we grew through them. so in christ we are victors.

>6. Read verses 37-39.

* Romans 8:37-39 "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

>List the obstacles that would hinder people to believe the love of God.

* These are absolute extremes which make us conclude that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

>7. To what extent do God's people believe the love of God? (37-39)

* Romans 8:37-39 "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

* "we are more than conquerors" -conquerors fight great battles and gain land and goods. For us we fight the spiritual fight, great battles of the soul and gain the image of Jesus.

>From this lesson what do you lean about the nature of faith?

* Faith transcends the situation that God has put me in, not that I am above it, but that I trust God's love for me.

>About the love of God?

* It is wise and good.

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