Faithlife
Faithlife

God's Horizons

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God's eternal purpose, displayed both in the creation and redemption of man, is certain and trustworthy. He desires that we trust in His faithfulness, even inthe midst of seeming reversals or difficulties, because He is faithful in all His ways.

Notes & Transcripts

Seeing the Horizons

On a clear day Rise and look around you And you see who you are On a clear day How it will astound you That the glow of your being Outshines every star You'll feel part of Every mountain, sea, and shore You can hear from far and near A world you've never, never heard before And on a clear day On that clear day You can see forever, and ever, and ever And ever more

Recap

Two weeks ago - Our Identity as God’s Children
Romans 8:12 ESV
So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
Last week - Confidence in God’s Promises, not our circumstances
Romans 8:18 ESV
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Today - Seeing God’s Horizon 8:28-39
Pt. 1 - I can see clearly now
Romans 8:28–30 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
προορίζω 1 aor. προώρισα, pass. προωρίσθην: decide upon beforehand, predetermine, of God (Iren. 2, 33, 5 [Harv. I 380, 5]) τινά someone . Related noun: ὅριον, ου, τό (ὅρος; Soph., Thu. et al.; ins, pap, LXX; TestJud, JosAs) marker of division between two areas, boundary mostly, in our lit. exclusively, pl. boundaries = region, district (; , al. in LXX; TestJud 2:6; JosAs) ; ; ; . [1]
English derivative: Horizon
[1] Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 723). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
God set His boundary for His purpose. Just as surely as He set the boundaries of the heaven, to “separate the waters from the waters” (), so He set the boundaries that separate you from the efforts of Satan to rob you of your inheritance.
Genesis 1:7–8 ESV
And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
Two can be a figure both of unity and of division. Man and woman form the basic family unit (; , ). Animals associate in pairs and enter the ark in twos (). Two people often work together in companionship, e.g. Joshua’s spies (), and the Twelve and Seventy disciples were sent out in pairs (; ). In addition, at Sinai there were two stone tablets, and animals were often offered for sacrifice in pairs. By contrast two is used with separating force in , as it is also implied in the two ‘ways’ of .
There is a relationship between our position as God’s beloved children and our experience in our vocations. It isn’t one of ease, however, as some proclaim, but one of vigilance.
Romans 8:31–36 ESV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
The world wants the Kingdom without the Cross, love without incarnation, justification without sanctification. it seeks a God who is not our Father, but our granddad. It hates the truth as it is in Christ, as does its father, the Devil. Since it hates Christ, it hates those who love Him. In fact, one accurate measure of your love for Christ and the closeness of your walk with Him is how much the words despises and tries to push away from you. Jesus said, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” ().
The purpose of God for redeemed humanity is that it be conformed to the image of His Son (), but many church-folk seem to be a little too eager to fit in with the world. In last week’s parable of the Sower, the enemy sowed weeds that looked like wheat. Today, we spend too much time, talent and treasure trying to look like weeds.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
The world values size, because size seems to reflect power. In the world, the small bow to the big, the big to the bigger, and everyone to the biggest. If you listen to that lie long enough, you’ll begin to think like it. You’ll “despise the day of small things.” The bible tells me that God sees things differently. When we appear to be our weakest, we can cling to God, Who chooses the weak to confound the wise.
God valued Israel, not for its size, but because of His promise to the fathers.
Deuteronomy 7:7–8 ESV
It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
God is not looking for a big church to fulfill His purpose. God is looking for a church that takes His Word seriously. God is not looking to work through a famous preacher. He’s looking to work through a trusting preacher. God is not looking for success stories - He turns sinners into saints, failures into phenomenons, and corpses into conquerors, when His Word is exalted above everything else.
When His Word means more than the world’s admiration, you’ll keep His Word even when the world rejects it. When the Gospel means more than the world’s praise, you’ll proclaim the Gospel even when the world says it’s old fashioned and out of date. When you long for the kingdom of God more than you do the power of the world, you’ll seek the Kingdom even as the world looks everywhere else.
Romans 8:37–39 ESV
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:37-39
Christ didn’t just talk about it - He did it for 6 hours on Passover day, after being beaten, mocked and cursed all night. He took every blow, accepted every insult, and drank every drop of the cup His Father gave Him. Not to shame you, nor to win your approval, but to save you from your sins. Whether you receive it, or reject it; whether you “Stand Up,” or stay in your seats. Jesus died for you. His blood was shed for you. His life was laid down for yours. His body was placed in a tomb for you. He tasted death for you.
Christ didn’t just talk about it - He did it for 6 hours on Passover day, after being beaten, mocked and cursed all night. He took every blow, accepted every insult, and drank every drop of the cup His Father gave Him. Not to shame you, nor to win your approval, but to save you from your sins. Whether you receive it, or reject it; whether you “Stand Up,” or stay in your seats. Jesus died for you. His blood was shed for you. His life was laid down for yours. His body was placed in a tomb for you. He tasted death for you.
And then He rose again for you!
If that means little to you now, it’s because you’re still walking in your flesh. Maybe you’ve forgotten your baptism, or maybe you’ve never been buried with Him. Maybe the passing pleasures of sin just seem to sweet right now, but unless you repent, like that rich man, in Hell, you’ll lift up your eyes....
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