28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 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? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 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. (Romans 8 28-33; 35-39)
I’m reading through Romans right now, and so many things about it is hitting me. My reading this morning, a chapter that I have read countless times in my own life, awakened something in me as I read it. It was like an electric shock ran through my body as I read the words. Remember how I told you a few blogs ago about God speaking to me and saying that if we are going to tell His Gospel, we need to tell it all?
We often quote the verse 28. That is the one that we use a mantra for life, especially when things get hard for us, but for me, the verses that come after that are even more powerful! I mean , think about it, God will cause all things to work out for the good of those who love him and have been called according to His purpose.
But wait….there’s more!
The next few verses go one to tell us how God predestined us to be changed (conformed) into the image of his son, Jesus, our brother, so that Jesus would be the firstborn among many children. Not only were we adopted and changed, but called, and justified, and glorified!
Listen, I don’t know where you are in your life right now, but I can tell you that these verses are talking about YOU!!! Because of Jesus, our brother, God’s son, we have been invited into a life that is much more magnificent than any that we could have ever imagined! No longer do you have to worry about justifying yourself before God. We don’t have a leg to stand on by ourselves, which is why big brother Jesus steps in and covers us! And now, because of the blood of Christ, and not simply that he died, but was raised back to life, when God looks at us, he sees JESUS!!! He doesn’t see that sin that you committed this morning or last night. He sees JESUS, the spotless lamb of God. That is GRACE!!!
Now, for those who might look at grace as a green light to sin, because God has already forgiven our sins, you don’t have a real understanding of what grace is. Back in chapter 6, Paul poses the question of whether we should continue to sin so that grace might increase. He asks this question in a joking manner, because after his discussion in Chapter 5, it would take a great deal of false argumentation to justify any answer to that question that does not end in NO! He even says in Verse 2, that WE (those who have the Spirit of Christ in them) have died to sin, and therefore we can’t live in it any longer (it is quite simply a foreign land to us). For the Israelites, Egypt was a foreign land, and God decided that they could not stay there any longer, and even the people were looking for a way out. Egypt was a cruel master to them.
Sin is a cruel master to us. It is a foreign land to us, but because God’s love is infinite and everlasting, HE sent Jesus to bring us out! Jesus was our Moses! The second Adam brought life, where the first Adam brought death! And I know this, but right now I’m so excited about GRACE!! But, let’s get back to Romans 8 for a few minutes more!
Now, after Paul tells us that we are predestined, called, justified, and glorified because of Christ, he goes on to tell us in verses 31 and 32 that there is nothing that can stop us in this life, because
And because God is for us, His love is inseparable from us. We are quite literally bonded in our spirits by His love. We are branded and sealed. Nothing can rip it away from us, because of Jesus Christ!
Paul gives us all of these jewels from God right after spending the last half of Chapter 7 talking about how he doesn’t do the things that he wants to do, because his mind is in line with Christ, but his flesh is in line with sin. And after asking who will save us from that wickedness, he tells us that only Christ can do it. Then in Chapter 8, he lays out, brick by brick, the key to our victory! Verse 1 says that there is no condemnation for any who are IN CHRIST!
I’m having a hard time stopping this morning, because there is so much more that I can say about this chapter. It feels like I’m reading it for the first time, and I like it!
Here’s the truth. If you aren’t in Christ, GET IN CHRIST! That is the only way to live! If you ARE in Christ, make sure that you understand what grace is. Grace causes us to not want to sin, because we recognize the cost, and the intimacy that it creates with one who is greater than ourselves. Read the word of God. Seek understanding. Ask for wisdom.
God loves you! God has justified you. God has made you righteous! God has glorified you. God has called you! Doesn’t matter where you are in life. Doesn’t matter how deep you find yourself in sin! God is higher than the deepest hole we can dig ourselves. His love is more powerful, and He has turned the full measure of that love on us! We simply have to believe and accept that the sacrifice that Christ made ACCOMPLISHED EVERYTHING THAT WOULD EVER NEED TO BE ACCOMPLISHED!!
Let me go, before I get my praise on and disturb my fellow teachers!
You all be blessed today! God loves you! I do too!