Faithlife
Faithlife

It is well with my Soul

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 153 views
Notes & Transcripts

It is well with my soul

Scripture Text:  Romans 8:18-39

From Suffering to Glory

18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25but if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

26Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. 27Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29for whom He foreknew, He also predestinedto be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

31What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?  It is God who justifies. 34  Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also raised,  who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written:

     “For Your sake we are killed all day long;

     We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38for I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels norprincipalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [1]

Introduction:

     Some have heard the story of Horatio Spafford and know it.  Some do not.  It is a life filled with tragedy and a life filled with the joy of knowing the lord.  Horatio Spafford was a prosperous lawyer and a devout Presbyterian church elder. In 1870 he met his first tragedy with the death of his firstborn son Horatio of scarlet fever. His second tragedy came the following year in 1871. His wife and their four young daughters were living well in the area of Chicago Illinois.  In that year Horatio met with financial ruins when the great Chicago fire broke out.  Spafford had large amounts of real estate investments and he lost nearly all he owned.  Through this all the Spafford’s kept their faith in God strong and it never failed.

     In 1873 Horatio decided to go on a family trip to Europe where he was going to see a friend speak, Dwight L. Moody.  Horatio was delayed due to business and sent his young family ahead without him.  It was on this fateful voyage that the ship the S.S. Ville du Havre was hit by a British vessel and sank.  Horatio’s wife, Anna, was the only family member to survive.  He had lost his four daughters.  While sailing to meet his wife he went pass the area that the ship had sunk and penned these now famous words:

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like the sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
‘It is well with my soul.’

2     Tho’ Satan should buffet, tho’ trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

3     My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious tho’t!—
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

4     And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend,
‘Even so,’ it is well with my soul.

Chorus     It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.[2]

           It is believed that the bible verse that inspired this great hymn was II Kings 4:26 which reads:

 

26 Please run now to meet her, and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?’ ”

And she answered, “It is well.”[3]

 

Spafford’s life does not end with this tragedy.  He would have 2 more daughters and another son.  The son would die in infancy.  He would found an American colony in Jerusalem.  The mission was to serve the poor of the area and spread the gospel of Christ.  Horatio would suffer from mental illness, thinking he was the second messiah, and would die in 1888 of malaria.

Through all his afflictions and trials Horatio Spafford leaned on the Lord.  His Faith never wavered.  He looked the grace of God and the coming Glory.

 

Propositional Statement: 

The trials and afflictions of this life are nothing compared to the glory to come.

 

I.                  First Compliment:  Romans 8:18

18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

With these words Paul opens this section of scripture.  There are many important things to note in this scripture.  First we look at sufferings.  Many of us will suffer in this lifetime.  Christ never said that following Him was going to be easy.  He did say that: 

 

 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 but when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20for it are not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. [4]

It is seen in this scripture that we are all going to face trials and afflictions in this present time or in other words our lifetime.  But, and this is a big point, they are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  Peter admonishes us that we stay “firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” (1 Peter 5:9)  Likewise Paul assured the Corinthian believers that “ if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded knowing that as your are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.” (2 Corinthians 1:6-7)

Christ is the chief example of suffering for righteousness sake.  “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.” (Hebrews 2:10)

Those who do not know Christ have no hope when they suffer.  When they lose a loved they have lost them forever.  There is no hope of the salvation of the soul.  Whatever the affliction, it does not come upon them for Christ’s sake, or righteousness sake, and therefore cannot produce for them any spiritual blessing or glory.  They have no reconciliation for their pain, no hope for their soul.  There is no purpose for their afflictions.

Christians on the other hand have great hope in their Lord.  They have the promise and hope not only that their pains and afflictions will end but will and to their eternal glory.  As followers of Christ our sufferings come from men while our glory comes from God. 

 

II.               Second Compliment – Romans 8:19-27

The Holy Spirit guarantees our glory.

 

19For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25but if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

26Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. 27Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

     

This section has many groaning of the Holy Spirit.  The first is the groaning that comes from the creation.  It is the personified lament coming from the created universe as it now exists in the corrupted condition caused by the fall.    The Jewish people anticipated a glorious time when all pain, oppression, slavery, anxiety, sorrow, and persecution would end and the Lord would establish his own perfect kingdom.  When we look closer at the passage we see that creation is not the angels or Satan or the angels that fell with him.  Believers are not included here either as they are mentioned in Verses 23-25.  Nor was Paul referring to nonbelievers.  This leaves only the part that includes the animals, plants, and all inanimate things such as mountains, rivers, plains, seas and heavenly bodies.  The Son’s of God refers to the time; all believers will be eternally separated from sin and their unredeemed humanness, to be glorified with Christ’s own holiness and splendor.   “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed then [believers] also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:4)

          Before the fall, there were no weeds, poisonous plants, thorns or thistle or anything else existed that could cause man misery. But after the fall, “the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it.” Despite this much of the beauty and grandeur of the natural world remains and is seen today.  Nature is inseparably linked to man.  Because man sinned, the rest of creation was corrupted with him.   Because of this the natural world awaits the coming glory along with man.  The Groans and Pains mentioned will one day end when God delivers His creation.   

  D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote with deep insight:

I wonder whether the phenomenon of the Spring supplies us with a part answer. Nature every year, as it were, makes an effort to renew itself, to produce something permanent; it has come out of the death and the darkness of all that is so true of the Winter. In the Spring it seems to be trying to produce a perfect creation, to be going through some kind of birth-pangs year by year. But unfortunately it does not succeed, for Spring leads only to Summer, whereas Summer leads to Autumn, and Autumn to Winter. Poor old nature tries every year to defeat the “vanity,” the principle of death and decay and disintegration that is in it. But it cannot do so. It fails every time. It still goes on trying, as if it feels things should be different and better; but it never succeeds. So it goes on “groaning and travailing in pain together until now.” It has been doing so for a very long time … but nature still repeats the effort annually. (Romans) [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980], 6:59–60[5]

We must next look at the second groaning, the groaning of believers.  Found in verses 23-25.  These verses show that not only does the natural word groan from the consequences of sin, but also we ourselves, that is, believers.  God’s cosmic regeneration centers around the redemption of the believer.  Every true believer agonizes at times over the appalling manifestations and consequences of sin in his own life, in the lives of others, and even in the natural world.  The Holy Spirit has indwelt us and has given us the first fruits of redemption, His workings through us.  These are a foretaste of the glory that we will see in heaven.   Every believer is indwelt with the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9) and manifests the fruits of the Spirit in some manner. This section speaks directly of or eternal security, which is secured by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  It is so true that we look forward to things that we do not see.  For instance, heaven, we cannot see but it is with perseverance that we await its coming glory.

The third groaning we find in this section is that of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.  What a great feeling knowing that we have a helper to help us in those times.  We do not know how to pray.  Nothing we say can be worthy to go before God.  Because of this the Holy Spirit makes intercessions for us.  He makes groaning for us that cannot be uttered.  God searches the Heart, He knows the mind of the Spirit, because of this he makes intercessions for the saints according to the will of God.

III.           Third Compliment:  Verses 8:28-39

28And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29for whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

31What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?  It is God who justifies. 34  Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also raised,  who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written:

     “For Your sake we are killed all day long;

     We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38for I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [6]

The infallible Guarantee of Glory:

1.     The certainty of Security

Verse 28 – this verse contains perhaps the most glorious promise in scripture.  And we know dictates that the security of glory is eternal.  Our lives are in God’s hands.  We are secure in that.  Though tragedies may come our way it is God’s glory and power that sustain us.  Many today and many in the past question this eternal security that is given to the believer in Christ.  They see their security as a cooperative venture between man and God.  This is of course false.  We can do nothing, God has done everything. 

2.     The Extent of Security – 28b

The extent of the believer’s security is as limitless as its certainty is absolute.  God causes all things to work together for the good.  The death of five children and the loss of a fortune did not stop Horatio Spafford.  It inspired him of the coming Glory.  

3.     The recipients of Security

These are the people that love God.  Do you love God?  Are you a recipient of his security?   Likewise the unregenerate hate God, regardless of any arguments they have to the contrary. 

What is Godly Love?

1.     Godly love longs for personal communion

2.     Genuine love for God trusts His power to protect His own.

3.     Genuine love is characterized by peace that only He can impart.

4.     Genuine love for God is sensitive to His will and honor.

5.     Genuine love for God loves the things God loves.

6.     Genuine love for God loves the People God Loves.

7.     Genuine Love for God hates what God Hates.

8.     Genuine Love for God longs for Christ’s return

9.     The overreaching mark of genuine love is Obedience.

 

Verse 29 calls us to the teaching of the elect.  God foreknew his elect, he also predestined them to the image of Christ.  Christ was the first born of many brothers, the church.  Verse thirty tells us that not only were believer predestine, they are called, justified, and glorified.  Verse 31 calls us to task.  When we face perils what do we have to fear or be upset about? It tells us here in scripture that if God is for us who can be against us?  Who can bring charge against God’s elect?  The next few verses clarify this and spells out the redemptive nature of Christ.  Christ died, Rose again, and is at the right hand of the father.  It is He that makes intercession for us.  It Christ that took our place on Calvary’s cross.  If we are believers we should rejoice in our times of distress.  Scripture asks us what things shall separate us from Christ.  Shall tribulations, distress, persecution, famine nakedness, peril or sword separate us?  We are called conquerors through Him.  These times of bitterness should strengthen us.  They should draw us closer to God.  What can separate us from our Lord?  Verses 38-39 answer this: for I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Conclusion:

Tonight we have looked at a part of scripture that is often quoted.  We have looked deeply in to the life of Horatio Spafford, a man who had his share of tragedy in his lifetime.  Yet he stayed true to God and focused on the coming glory.  We looked at what scripture told us about suffering and that Christ was chief among us in this.  We have seen how the Holy Spirit has guaranteed our glory.  We saw that many a groaning are made in our behalf.  Creation groans because of original sin, man groans because of his separation, and the Holy Spirit groans on our behalf.  Finally we looked at the grace of God, His calling of His elect, His justifying of them, His Glorifying of them.   We saw that with God on our side there is nothing to worry about.  No tragedy or distress should so overtake us that it separates us from God.  True believers are strengthened by these happenings. 

 

Application:

God does not want us to worry.  Scripture tells us this.  Yet when we are faced with adversity we often slip into worry.  We can hold fast to Romans 8 and see that God is truly with us and shaping our lives.  That no matter the happening in our lives, God is there and He is ordaining each step.  I urge you to read and re-read Romans 8: 18-39.  Hold fast to it in times of trial.  Remember Christ went through many trials and sufferings to redeem our souls. 

Direction:

So where do we go from here?  Will you let trials and tribulations damper your Christian spirit.  Will you blame God for these trials or will you hold fast to God and His promise of coming Glory?  I urge you to hold to the coming Glory.  That all things work out for the good for those who love God.  So When Peace like a river attends our way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, take time to read Romans 8 and say “It is well with my soul.”


----

[1] The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Ro 8:18-39

[2] Logos Hymnal. 1st edition. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995

[3] The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. 2 Ki 4:26

[4] The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Mt 10:16-20

[5]MacArthur, John: Romans. Chicago : Moody Press, 1996, c1991, c1994, S. 457

[6] The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Ro 8:18-39

RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →