Romans Week 7, part 2

There’s no good place to break Romans 8:31–39, really. My last post only covered the questions that Paul was asking as he built to his magnificent conclusion. If this entire passage is, as James Boice declares, “the Everest of the letter, and thus the highest peak in the highest Himalayan range of Scripture,”[1] then we merely paused in our ascent at one of the camps on our way to the summit. Let’s continue our climb, shall we?

Remember the questions that went before, asking, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” If God unsparingly gave us his Son, how will he not also with him give us all things? If God justified us, who could possibly bring any charge against us? If Christ died in our place, taking our condemnation upon himself; and was raised and ascended to his Father’s right hand as proof that his substitutionary atonement was accepted; and, furthermore, if he is even now interceding for us— Continue reading “Romans Week 7, part 2”

Romans, Week 7, Part 1

The recent weeks have been so fully-packed that I haven’t been able to get this final post written to wrap-up our study of Romans chapter 8. But now that I am self-isolating, and many of the things that occupied my time are now cancelled, I figure it’s the perfect time to reflect on God being for me in the face of everything that is arrayed against me.

Paul asks in Romans 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things?” What are “these things” to which Paul seeks an answer? In broad terms they are everything that Paul has written in the letter to this point pertaining to what God has done for us in Christ. But more specifically he is pointing toward the immediate context of what he has just written—that before the creation of the world, God himself set his love upon us and predestined us to be conformed to the image of Christ. To this end even now he is orchestrating all things to work together for our good, which ultimately is to bear Christ’s image perfectly. And then, in time, God called, justified, and glorified all those whom he so predestined (8:28-30). Continue reading “Romans, Week 7, Part 1”

Romans, Week 6

We now come in our study to what is probably the most well-known and readily-quoted verse in Romans chapter 8: “And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (28). This is near the top of the list, if not at the top, of passages to reach for in times of suffering and trials. But for the deepest comfort it must not sit in isolation from the following verses, because together they give us not only the purpose toward which “all things” are working, but an ironclad assurance of salvation for all who are “called according to his purpose.” Continue reading “Romans, Week 6”

Romans, Week 5

The passage we studied last week, Romans 8:18-27, opens with a verse that always tugs at my heart, and often brings me to tears. Building on his previous thought, that we suffer with Christ in order to be glorified with him, Paul declares “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18). When Paul wrote this, he wasn’t making light of our present suffering. Paul knew what it was to suffer. When he wrote this, he was making much of the glory that is to come for all who are in Christ. This is even more evident in the parallel passage he wrote in 2 Corinthians:

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Cor. 4:17-18, emphasis mine.) Continue reading “Romans, Week 5”