Summary: Summary plus questions on ending of Romans 8
Chapter 1- Paul’s declaration of faith and desire to come to Rome, followed by his explanation of the world’s rebellion against God, who clearly exists from looking at creation
Chapter 2- God is right to judge everyone as we all know from our consciences and when we condemn others. The Jews are as guilty as the gentiles- just knowing the law does not make you free from its obligations!
Chapter 3- So everyone has sinned, no one can boast, all will be silenced on the day of judgement. God has found a way to make us right with him that does not depend on our ’goodness’. This way is "the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood" (24,25).
Chapter 4- Even in the OT, people were justified by faith, such as Abraham and David. The covenant of circumcision came after the promise made to Abraham, and this promise was salvation through faith t many nations.
Chapter 5- We are now put right with God through faith and have peace with Him, because of the righteous work of the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, who dealt with the consequences of the sinful deeds of the first Adam and us, his descendents.
Chapter 6- We should now live as we are, which is dead to sin and alive to Christ, counting ourselves as slaves to Him and not to our sinful desires any more.
Chapter 7- We have been freed from the law, in its powerless to subdue sin, and the death that was the penalty for breaking it. All the law can do is convince our consciences and minds: it cannot give us a new nature that desires to please God.
Chapter 8- It is the Spirit of Jesus Christ living within us that enables us to keep the law of God and please Him. In fact, this is the only way we can please God. We are sons, and as such are identified by suffering just as Jesus did, but this suffering will inevitably lead to glory, because God has predestined us to become just like Jesus.
Romans 8 v 31-39 (refresher)- God should be our enemy and judge, but instead He is our ally and defender
v31- "Divine sovereignty is the ultimate source of comfort for the Christian believer, because it means God is in control of his destiny" (RC Sproul).
On what grounds is God for us?
v32- Felix’ favourite verse, I think. What is the significance of the word ’own’?
v33,34- "What God says you are is what you are" (the man, the legend: Tom Forryan). If God is the only one who can judge us, and when we look into our Judge’s eyes, we see a Saviour there, who is left to condemn us? Cf. John 8:1-12. Rather than storing up judgement for us, Jesus died so we could escape it, and is busy praying that we will stand (cf Luke 22:31). When we think we may have totally lost God’s favour, what can we say to ourselves in the light of these verses?
v35-39- The world says, "Look at all this bad stuff happening to me. God obviously doesn’t care about me." Paul does not say that bad stuff will stop happening, indeed he assumes that all kinds of woe will befall Christians, who are "sheep for the slaughter" (36). So if Christ’s love does not manifest itself in freedom from these adversities, how does it manifest itself? On what basis can we be sure that (despite the bad stuff), Jesus hasn’t stopped loving us? These verses are very reassuring. How can we avoid complacency in responding?