Faithlife
Faithlife

31st July 2005 - ALSO! AM

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ALSO

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.
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.
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 this? 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.
34 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.

                                                                        Romans 8 28-34

There is a special poignancy to this Sunday’s ministry. I come to the end of a fairly protracted involvement here at Bristol Road.  I want to conclude my pulpit ministry here with two sermons on the great chapter eight of Romans.

This morning I want to look at verses 28 to 34 which are the first part of the paragraph titled “More than conquerors” in the NIV.  This passage begins with the ever popular reference Romans eight twenty-eight. It sets out the basis for our confidence in the work of God’s grace.

This evening I hope to look at the remaining verses 35-39 in which the statement about our confidence in Christ comes to it’s glorious conclusion – NO SEPARATION.



ROMANS 8 28 is often quoted as if it meant “everything works out ok in the end” – but the textual problems in the verse and the context in which it is placed require us to do a little digging to establish its true force.

The AV:

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.

gives the force of the text with which we are most familiar. But who is at work here is of greater importance than the “all things”.

This is not a fatalistic statement about everything working out in the end – it is a statement about God’s sovereign plan for us and for all of His people.

For that reason I want you to focus this morning on the repeated word which appears in the NIV – also – for it draws us along until we appreciate what a wonderful purpose God has, how full of promise it is; and that it is guaranteed by the work of Christ in interceding for us.

Too often we contemplate the supreme plan of our Sovereign Lord in terms of our own comfort and relief. We do not see beyond the present difficulties and we hardly ever have any real regard for the Great Scheme of Things as God has described it.

We see Romans eight twenty eight almost like a talisman – some kind of often repeated refrain to offset the trials and tribulations of our mortality.   So we are deeply troubled if God does not answer our specific prayer – finding that we have to make excuses for God, seeing as how He has not given us what we asked for! To say that such a view is mistaken is a gross travesty.   What we have here in these wonderful verses is a statement of our undeserved involvement in a plan so great and so marvellous that the angels who stand in His presence would give anything to know what it is.    But we see it “through a glass darkly”.   We focus on the material “all things” and not on the “good” – and we are so blinkered by the influence of a godless society that we think that the plan is only about the here and the now.

If your life and mine does not seem to be “working for good” just now are we to assume that there is a mistake?  Are we to search for alternative hopes and more accessible expectations?  No!   There is no plan so great as God’s plan – no process so wonderful in its completeness, no promise so full of hope, and no ministry like that of our interceding Lord Jesus!

So let us try to catch a glimpse this morning of the wonder of what Paul is saying. Let us try to stand beside him as he peers expectantly into the vision framed by these verses. Let us try to capture a better understanding of what it means to have God on our side!     The ALSO's of the passage draw us inexorably to the Central Figure of our Faith – the One who intercedes for us.

This is GOD’S MASTER PLAN

·        The Process                       29,30        “the likeness of His Son”

·        The Provision                     32             “not sparing His Son”

·        The Personal Saviour          34             “Christ who died..risen..is interceding”

God’s master plan is set out in the familiar wording of v28

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.

It is expanded:-

The Process                     vv 29 & 30

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.
30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Four “also”s  emphasise the process:


Foreknew

Predestined

Called

Justified

Glorified

The work of God centres in the Son – the overruling purpose is for us to be LIKE HIM so that His family will grow.

ALL of these processes, some of them arousing curiosity and controversy reinforce God’s intent to mould us – like the Potter we were considering earlier – make us again – make us TO BE CONFORMED TO THE LIKENESS OF HIS SON.

At last we see what God intends – and the “good” of which verse 28 spoke.

It presents a balanced and rounded combination of God’s actions in eternity and today and in the future.


Foreknew                                  In the mind of God

Predestined                               In the will of God

Called                                        In the Gospel of God

Justified                                     In the work of Christ’s death

Glorified                                     In the work of Christ’s final triumph.

We are too easily made short-sighted by the patterns of thought in our world. We too easily interpret the wonder of the Gospel in terms of how we experience it and how it changes us locally – we need to see the LARGER PICTURE of a Great Plan being worked out from eternity.

We too easily see the work of Salvation as something which we experience – when the Lord would have us see it is at the heart of the Great Design of the universe and the world of mankind and everything.

His grand design gives us comfort in a world of shifting views, of changing circumstances and of constant threats.

As Paul says elsewhere – what He has begun in us he will complete!

It has to do with us being made LIKE CHRIST!   Nothing less.

The Provision  vv 31,32      “not sparing His Son”

31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? 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?

The fifth also brings us to the foot of the cross.

The wonder of God’s purpose being worked out in us provokes the question:

“How shall we respond?”

For such a plan is unstoppable and this introduces the second great strand here:

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?

Paul loves to state things in the negative so that the emphasis is clear:

If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?                     THE MESSAGE

There is absolutely nothing meagre or half-hearted about this provision for us.

1.               It is breathtaking in its scope

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

If you place the reality of Christ’s work and God’s amazing grace against any background whatsoever you are left with the incredible conclusion :

With God on our side – invincible!

If God did that – then there is nothing He cannot provide for us.

2.               It is amazingly costly

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all

 

Did God withhold anything?

Did God give Him in part only?

Did the Lord Jesus enter into human experience partially?

Did He suffer only a little?

If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?

                                                                                 

Everything on the line for us….

3.               It is altogether sufficient

along with him, graciously give us all things?

This is a favourite phrase of Paul  ALL THINGS

NO half measures

NO limit

A Personal Intercessor       33,34      “Christ who died”

33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.
34 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.

 

The final also homes in on Jesus Himself.

Paul, having paused at the foot of the cross moves on to place our confidence in CHRIST HIMSELF

He returns to one of his other favourite words JUSTIFY – to the one used in v30

And declares the restatement of the opening verse of the chapter in this verse 33

8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies

It is God who justifies

There is no charge to be faced

There is no condemnation to dread

How can this be?

It is all in JESUS

Paul steps into the COURTROOM

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.

God’s Great Plan is to make us like His Son – to declare us publicly where all can see the evidence.

Who is the accuser that can stand against us?

What charge can be brought when God has Himself made righteous?

Who could possibly accuse – when Christ has DONE IT ALL?

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.

What a glorious conclusion to the paragraph before us – we are the subject of Gods Great Plan – and the object of the Lord Jesus’ intercession

Christ –     who died

                More than that who was raised to life

                Is at the right hand of God

                IS ALSO INTERCEDING FOR US

It is not a static plan – but a gracious dynamic in which my Lord Jesus constantly

Speaks on my behalf.

This is the GREAT PLAN

And it focuses throughout upon the Person of Christ

To be in His LIKENESS

To be provided out of the UNSPARING GENEROSITY of God who spared not His Son

To be represented by the One who DIED, LIVES and IS INTERCEDING.

Do I need anything else?

we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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