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Romans 8:26-39

The chapter started with "no condemnation" and ends with "no separation", and in between "all things God works for the good". Pretty good stuff!

The Power of the Holy Spirit

Paul transitions from other's (perhaps creation) high expectations of God's work, to our expectations of redemption as we groan inwardly, to the Holy Spirit who also groans - but it seems for a different reason.

We have a weakness. As a beginning Christian and even a mature Christian, we do not and will not ever know on this earth how to pray perfectly in the "Will of God". Whether you forget someone, or you are asking for something that is not in God's purposes, etc - we don't pray perfectly.

(Forgetting "tongues" - as that is a peripheral issue.) To me the important thing here is two fold: Holy Spirit is our intercessor in us, the Holy Spirit DOES PRAY in the Perfect Will of God. And why not, The Holy Spirit is God, and is part of the Trinity, and they have been in perfect communication and perfect accord from before time.

It is kind of neat to have God representing us and petitioning for us to God. You know his prayers are answered!
======================================================Our New Purpose

Verse 28) A statement where Paul "knows" and assumes the Roman readers know which is explained in the next verse.

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." NIV

I think we have covered in the past - "in all things God works for the good". It is done for the good of those who love him. "those who love him" is a wonderful way to describe "believers".

1Cor2:9
"However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him." NIV

True Christians love God: their hearts' desire is to know Him, glorify Him, commune with Him, and obey Him. We don't obey as completely as we ought, but that's our desire....Those who are Christians don't love God as much as they should, but their hearts' desire is to love and obey Him. How can people who are dead in sin--who hate God--ever be turned around to love God? http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/sg45-65.htm

Those who love Him, who have been called - that is either invited or divinely appointed. Which is it? From vs. 29 it seems to be "divinely appointed" like Paul was to be an apostle.

according to his purpose - ok God had a reason,what was it? ===>
======================================================
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." NIV

foreknew - Gk. "proginosko" 1) to have knowledge before hand 2) to foreknow a) of those whom God elected to salvation 3) to predestinate

predestined - Gk. "proorizo" 1) to predetermine, decide beforehand 2) in the NT of God decreeing from eternity 3) to foreordain, appoint beforehand.

I had some problems with these words in the past. To my knowledge, there is no variations in any Greek transcripts. The words mean what they mean, and those who oppose "election" usually use other verses to defend their position. If I am incorrect in this - please post or email.

As it is - like Ramona, while I may not understand - I accept. God is sovereign, and He can do what He wants.

Some want to call it foresight not "foreknew" but that doesn't wash if you read Ephesians.

Eph1:4-5
"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will

[Holy and blameless is "sanctified", and we know you cannot be sanctified unless you are justified.]

Back to God's purpose for the believer: It is to take the "believers" and make them into the same form as Christ - inside and out. Outwardly with a glorified body, inwardly as holy and blameless. The completion of this process will be in heaven. So that Christ may be the pre-eminent among many brothers. Why?

This is just my thoughts: God from before creation is making a love gift to His Son. And in return the Son will use the gift to "glorify" the Father.

Paul then presents a type of math equation of vs. 28-29.

#predestined=#called=#justified=#glorified

None will be lost. Personally, I liken it to a father taking a young child to a big-time football game. 100,000+ people. When the game is over, Father takes son's hand and they head to exit. The crowd swarms and the father/son are jostled. There is no way the Father is going to let go of his son's hand.

How much more so with God? When we are in the Father's hands we will not be separated from Him!
======================================================
No Separation

When God looks at us after "justification" He sees Christ. That is His Word. As co-heirs what would God not do for us?

God protects us, God loves us, will give us all things - if not here than in heaven.

If God justifies, who dares to say He is wrong?

Christ is at his right hand and in God's eyes we already are there with Him.

Eph 2:6
"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus," NIV

[Note: raised up is in aorist active - completed action done by the subject - God.]

"In 2:6 the believer is conceived as already seated with
Christ. Heaven is the real abode of the citizen of Christ's
kingdom" http://www.ccel.org/r/robertson_at/wordpictures/htm/EPH1.RWP.html

In addition to all this Holy Spirit and Christ are both interceding for us.

It seems to me that if all the above is true - to think one could lose salvation would not just denigrate God, but the Trinity.

In fact Paul closes saying, 'No act, No entity, will be able to separate us from God's love that is in Christ Jesus' - and if it is in Christ Jesus it is in us.


I LOVE THIS WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT IN TODAY'S READING. WHAT EVER YOU FACE IN LIFE IF YOU KEEP THESE WORDS IN MIND, YOU CAN DEAL WITH ANYTHING.

31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

2 Chronicles 12 (NKJV)
3
“Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying,
4
‘Thus says the LORD: “You shall not go up or fight against your brethren! Let every man return to his house, for this thing is from Me.”’” Therefore they obeyed the words of the LORD, and turned back from attacking Jeroboam.

11
And he [Rehoboam] fortified the strongholds, and put captains in them, and stores of food, oil, and wine.
12
Also in every city he put shields and spears, and made them very strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side.

14
And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the LORD.

NOTE:
We can, and we must, set prepare our hearts to seek the Lord.

We can, and we must—especially in today’s age of constant interruption, distraction, and heightened temptations—prepare to FIX our hearts on the Lord.

Rehoboam initially did this—and he listened to and obeyed the Lord. God opened up the blessings He had prepared for Rehoboam because of this.

Then, he did evil because he did not keep on preparing his heart to be fixed on the Lord.
~~~

This is an excellent lesson for us.

Proverbs 4 (NKJV)
4
HE ALSO TAUGHT ME, AND SAID TO ME: “ LET YOUR HEART RETAIN MY WORDS; KEEP MY COMMANDS, AND LIVE.
5
Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
6
DO NOT FORSAKE HER, AND SHE WILL PRESERVE YOU; LOVE HER, AND SHE WILL KEEP YOU.
7
WISDOM IS THE PRINCIPAL THING; THEREFORE GET WISDOM. AND IN ALL YOUR GETTING, GET UNDERSTANDING.
8
Exalt her, and she will promote you; she will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
9
She will place on your head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory she will deliver to you.”

Colossians 3 (NKJV)
1
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
2
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
3
For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4
When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Hebrews 12 (NKJV)
1
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2
looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3
For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
4
You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

Romans 8 (Amplified Bible)
17
And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.
18
[But what of that?] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us and conferred on us!
~~~

20
For the creation (nature) was subjected to frailty (to futility, condemned to frustration), not because of some intentional fault on its part, but by the will of Him Who so subjected it--[YET] WITH THE HOPE

24
FOR IN [THIS] HOPE WE WERE SAVED. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For how can one hope for what he already sees?

26
SO TOO THE [HOLY] SPIRIT COMES TO OUR AID AND BEARS US UP IN OUR WEAKNESS; FOR WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT PRAYER TO OFFER NOR HOW TO OFFER IT WORTHILY as we ought,

but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.
27
And He Who searches the hearts of men KNOWS WHAT IS IN THE MIND OF THE [HOLY] SPIRIT [WHAT HIS INTENT IS],
because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will.
28
We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.

NOTE:
Verse 17 is one of my favorite verses in Scripture. Do we truly know for certain—through surrender, prayer, and meditation, and spending time in the Presence of the Father—that Christ has invested in us His very own inheritance and authority?

Thus, our prayers—led by the Spirit borne out of intimacy with the Lord Jesus—can literally change the world. Even if the changes are “behind the scenes” where people cannot see them, yet God answers our prayers!

THANK GOD FOR THE CERTAIN, GUARANTEED HOPE of the Gospel. The hope of the Gospel is nothing at all—not one bit—like the “hope” of the world. People in the world people say with a sense of having no hope: “I don’t know—but I hope so”.

No... God always chooses to remember His covenant. God Himself—in theophany—cut blood covenant with Abraham to show that if His promise to Abraham failed, then God would have to be killed just like the animals in Genesis 15:9-17.

(Compare the verses below from Jeremiah to Genesis 15)

Jeremiah 34 (Amplified Bible)
18
And the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not kept the terms of the covenant or solemn pledge which they had made before Me, I WILL MAKE THEM [LIKE] THE [SACRIFICIAL] CALF WHICH THEY CUT IN TWO AND THEN PASSED BETWEEN ITS SEPARATED PARTS [SOLEMNIZING THEIR PLEDGE TO ME]--I WILL MAKE THOSE MEN THE CALF!
~~~

Then, Jesus—the supreme Lord of heaven—cut blood covenant guaranteeing the New Covenant.
~~~

We really need to depend on the personal relationship we have with the Holy Spirit. We have access to the Father in Jesus’ Name through the Spirit.

Our intimacy with the Lord is key. When we spend time with Him, we can ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us what He is praying for us, and He will show us.

“So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought”

In our weakness, we do not know what to pray, but the Holy Spirit can teach us what He is praying if we ask Him.

Then we can pray what He is praying. And, of course, we can be assured that what the Holy Spirit is praying is always in line with the perfect will of the Father and the Son.

The Holy Spirit has a mind, just like we do—for He is a Person.

“And He Who searches the hearts of men knows WHAT IS IN THE MIND OF THE [HOLY] SPIRIT [what His intent is]”

“If two or three agree, then it will be done.” If we listen, then we can pray in agreement with the mind of the Holy Spirit who always prays in agreement with the Father and the Son.

We can agree with the Holy Spirit, who Himself prays in agreement with the Father and the Son.”

Proverbs 19 (NKJV)
27
Cease listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

NOTE:
May we always listen to the Lord in our personal relationship with Jesus through the Spirit and the Word.

As we learn to pray in agreement with what God is doing, then we know that all things will work together for good for us.

In everything--no matter what comes at us in life, whether good or bad--we can know God's goodness as we wait and listen to the Holy Spirit.

Vance

II Chronicles 11-13:22


The sum total of Rehoboam’s life was evil (12:14). What a testament to leave for the next generation. Despite following after the commands of the Lord for three years, despite humbling himself and returning back (repenting) to God’s commands after being attacked by King Shishak the sum total of the man’s life was morally bad. Despite there being some “goodness” still in the land of Judah—In God’s eyes—the man was evil.

This speaks to me of having the appearance of something and not being that something. Just like the bronze shields the Temple guards carried may in the right light give the appearance of gold, they were not gold and thus had no value as gold.

Do I put on an appearance of like Rhoboam. One can hang out in a church, one can flash a shield and call in faith and march in formation reciting the verse of the day, but just as the mouse that falls into the cookie jar ain’t a cookie, so marching, speaking holding up a kinda-sorta -looks like gold to me shield, the appearance and living in a cookie jar doesn’t make you a cookie. You’ll just wind up eating all the cookies and defiling the jar and whatever remains.

A lot for me to think about.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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