July 4th Everything works for good
18: For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19: For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20: For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21: Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22: For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23: And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24: For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25: But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. 26: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27: And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29: For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30: Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Eternally united to Christ
31: What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32: He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33: Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36: As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37: Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38: For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39: Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Previously Paul said… if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Here he continues with the same theme. He says l reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed to us. That’s very difficult to see when we are going through suffering but when we get the glory all the troubles and persecution with fade into distant memory. Even the creatures (animals, dogs, cats, cattle etc) are waiting for the glorification of us as Children of God. The animals have a pretty empty life but one day they too will become delivered from the bondage of corruption and be set free in the glorious kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. The whole world groans and agonises in pain right up to today. And we also groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption – that is the translation of our mortal bodies to glory. We are saved, to the hope of resurrection and that is future. If it were not future then it would not be a hope. But we hope in God a wait patiently for our resurrection to glory. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses and he intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be put into words. And we know that all things (Good and bad) work together for our good, to those who love God and to those called by God for a purpose. Those that he knew beforehand he also preordained to be conformed to the image of his Son and who he preordained us to service, he also called and who he called, he also declared righteous and who he declared righteous, he also will glorify. If God is for us then who can stand against us? And if God did not spare his Son but delivered to death at the hands of evil men for us, then will he not freely give us everything. So who is going to now lay a charge of sin against those that Christ has chosen? God has declared them righteous - so who is he that can condemn us? The only person who could possibly condemn believers is Christ, but he is the one that died for us and has risen from the dead and is right even now, at this minute, at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. So there is no one that can condemn the sinner that is declared by God forgiven. And who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (even death itself) We are like sheep for the slaughter - we are killed all the day long. No, not even death can separate us from the love of Christ. In all these things we are more than victorious through Christ who loves us. Paul says, l am convinced that neither death or life, nor supernatural beings, nor human authorities, nor anything present, nor anything to come, nor height or depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us who are saved from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. A christians salvation is completely secure.
- How does Paul contrast our present sufferings with the glory that we will come into?
- What is the world waiting for?
- What is preordination about?
- What is the one thing that Paul does not even raise as a reason why a christian might be separated from the Love of Christ?