For and Against

Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 4:22 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Before the Throne of God Above.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Romans 8:26-39 (NASB).

To whom are these words addressed? They are addressed to those of us who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin and who have been resurrected with Christ to newness of life (born again), created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Sin is no longer our master, because Jesus Christ put sin to death on our behalf, and because he delivered us out of slavery (addiction) to sin. So, now we are free to become bond-servants of his righteousness. We are now those who walk (in lifestyle), no longer according to our sinful flesh, but according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God. We aren’t perfect people, but we don’t make sin our practice. For, if we live according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, not have the hope of eternal life with God (Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

Our Weaknesses (vv. 26-27)

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

So, we no longer live according to the flesh, but by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, for all who are being LED BY the Spirit of God are the children (sons and daughters) of God. If children, then heirs of God and fellow heirs with Jesus Christ, IF INDEED we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Yet, in our sufferings there is hope, first of all the hope we have of eternal life with God, which includes the promise that one day we will shed these earthly bodies, and we will have heavenly bodies free from even temptation to sin, sadness, pain and suffering. Then, we have the hope that, in our sufferings, when we have no strength to endure or to carry on, that the Holy Spirit will help us (See: Ro. 8:12-27).

So, what are some of these weaknesses he helps us with? Well, we don’t always know the right words to pray or even what to pray for, so the Holy Spirit intercedes for us according to the will of God. Sometimes we don’t know the right things to do, because they are things not clearly defined in scripture. But, we want to make certain we are walking in the ways of the Lord and on the path he has marked out for us, and so we ask for help to know his will and to follow him in the direction he is leading us, and he gives us the guidance and direction we need, as well as he gives us the mental and physical strength and spiritual endurance necessary to complete the assignment (task) before us. Sometimes he just fills us with his peace, which is especially needed if Satan is attacking us with doubts and fears.

For Good (vv. 28-30)

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

This is another wonderful encouragement for us when we are going through times of great suffering for Christ, or when we are being harassed by Satan’s lies, which we are needing to put off so that we can put on the truth. And, that is that God causes ALL things to work together for GOOD to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.

So, what is this saying? Well, it is saying that our God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is absolutely sovereign over all that he has made. There is nothing which we go through on this earth which escapes his notice or what he did not allow in our lives for a purpose. And, he will work it all out, not only according to his will, but for good (for what is best, as it ought to be). But, for whom? For those who love him. And, how do we love him? We love him by surrendering our lives to him, by dying with him to sin, and by following (obeying) his instructions to us. If we say we love him, but we don’t practice obedience, godliness, holiness and righteousness, then we don’t really love him. Again, this is not to say we will never sin, but that sin no longer rules our lives. God does!

He also works together for good all things to those called according to his purpose. And, what it is his purpose for us? It is that we are being conformed to the image (likeness) of Jesus Christ.

For Us (vv. 31-36)

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written,

“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

So, when Satan throws his fiery darts at us, and he tries to plant in our minds doubts and fears, we can be encouraged by these words. We will have enemies, for certain, because the Bible tells us we will be hated and persecuted for righteousness’ sake when we follow Jesus Christ with our lives. As well, Satan is definitely against us and he is working hard to try to trip us up, to get us to give up, or to try to persuade us to come to his way of thinking. Yet, Jesus Christ is on our side, he and the Holy Spirit are interceding for us, and God is not going to short-change us, but he will fulfill all his promises to us. We can take that to the bank (be assured of it).

So, if we are in Christ Jesus, by genuine faith in him, we died with Christ to sin, were resurrected with Christ to new life in him, and we are now walking according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, we can be at peace with God even when the enemy is coming strongly against us, in knowing we are in the center of God’s will. No fiery darts from our enemy and no false accusations or persecutions from other human beings will ever be able to separate us from the love of Christ. He is there watching over us, helping us, giving us strength and endurance, and working his will and purposes in our hearts and lives, even when we can’t see him working.

All Things (vv. 37-39)

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, we never have to be afraid, because our Lord will never leave us or forsake us. And, we don’t have to get the point to where we are ready to give up because we lack the strength or endurance to keep pressing on, because God will give us all we need, if we will just rest in him and trust him fully with our lives, and with our circumstances, and if we will let him lead and we will follow his lead. We can be CONQUERORS through HIM who loves us, not in our own wisdom, scheming, power and strength, but in the wisdom, strength and power of God who is living within us. Amen!

Before the Throne of God Above
Charitie L. Bancroft

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea,
A great High Priest whose name is “Love,”
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart,
I know that while in heav’n He stands,
No tongue can bed me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.

Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free,
For God, the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there! The risen Lamb,
My perfect, spotless Righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace!

One with Himself I cannot die,
My soul is purchased with His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, My Savior and my God.

@Public Domain

 

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