Harbor Lights Sermon  Jun 2012

Romans - Christian Life - The Hope of Redemption

Last time we got up to Romans chapter 8 verse 17. Today I'll finish speaking on Romans chapter 8. The rest of this chapter is about the hope of redemption - the anticipation of eternal glory - the eager expectation of the children of God, even despite the sufferings we face in this life. Paul starts off in verse 18 saying, "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Rom 8:18

This era of creation subject to the corruption which we all experience is temporary. He writes, "The creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." Rom 8:19,20 And speaking of our physical resurrection from the dead Paul writes, "We also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body." Rom 8::23 The angel Gabriel told the prophet Daniel of the resurrection saying, "Everyone whose name is found written in the book— will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever." Dan 12:1b-3 But for now we persevere in faith, in the anticipation that our fate will be just as God promised.

And 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 as we intend. And 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.

Paul writes, "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Rom 8:28

That can be challenging to accept when it comes to difficulties in life, whether those difficulties come as a matter of chance in which we are victims of circumstance, or due to mistakes or consequences of sin which were are own fault. Even these things work together for the good of those who love God and are among the called. For where does maturity come from and where do make the most positive and lasting impact on others but in the responding to difficult circumstances. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." And as I said, responding properly to trials impacts not only ourselves but others.

God foreknew you who have come to faith in Christ. In Galatians Paul writes of himself says that God set him apart from birth and called him by grace. And here in Romans 8 he says, "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."
Having responded to the gospel call we enter the elevator of salvation. The door closes and our destiny is secure. We are justified, which means our sins are forgiven having been atoned for by Christ's death and as such sin no longer has an impact on our destiny. And the glory to follow is inevitable. And what is our fate but that we he speaks of in verse 29 that he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Jesus not only set the precedent which we follow, but we are actually being made into his likeness. As such those born of God develop a natural sense of unity, a natural identification with one another insomuch as we are conformed to His image. Though that itself is a function of our spiritual maturity.

Paul goes on to say, "What, then, shall we say in response to this? 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, along with him, graciously give us all things? 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. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"

Back in Rom 5:10 we wrote, "For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life."

Much as we're not perfect, we don't have to defend ourselves. Jesus is our defense attorney. It's written in 1John 2 that "if anybody sins, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense— Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins."