Summary: Message 25 in our exposition of Romans focusing on God's marvelous love for us.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“God’s Marvelous Love”
For the past several weeks we have been hearing about Afganis switching sides and defecting to the Northern Army. Why not? Look who is backing them! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who has the most rockets. Paul spent the first two and a half chapters of his letter cataloging crimes against the righteous King whose anger has been stirred.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, Romans 1:18
We have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; Romans 3:9
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23
Until you appreciate the gravity of your sin against God, you will never fully appreciate the absolute wonder of His offer to not only defect from the tyrannical rule of the Taliban but also become a profoundly cherished member of His household. Not only does God forgive our arrogant crimes against Him and expunge our pathetic profile, but he also credits us with deeds we did not even accomplish but were accomplished by His perfect son. Just as Abraham believed that what God promised to do He would do and God credited his belief as righteousness…
…so righteousness will be credited to us as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. (Romans 4:24-25)
This great work is called justification. On the basis of this work, God opens the floodgates of blessing in the life of the believer. Starting in chapter five and running all the way to chapter eight, Paul touches on numerous spiritual blessings as a result of justification. What began in gloom ends in glory. What started out hopeless ends with deep conviction and anticipation of a glorious future! What opened with screams of doom ends with shouts of delight.
Chapter 8 concludes a long series of wonderful blessings resulting from justification.
NEW VICTORY IN JESUS THROUGH THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
1. The Holy Spirit eliminates condemnation for those in Christ
2. The Holy Spirit establishes His new life in our spirit
3. The Holy Spirit ensures our complete deliverance
4. The Holy Spirit enables us to put to death the works of the flesh and emulate the father’s nature.
5. The Holy Spirit echoes our sonship
6. The Holy Spirit encourages us in the midst of misery
The unseen reality becomes the eternal reality. We see now only through a foggy windshield on the road of life. When it comes to experience of the promise, we don’t always see or feel it very distinctly. Yet the Holy Spirit keeps our future hope alive and vital. He encourages us to endure the present fight in light of a glorious future. He provides glimpses today of what we hope and groan for tomorrow. He Himself is a brief present taste of what spiritual life will be in the future. There is an inner groaning now – a longing for what God designed but can’t have till later. There is a groaning and longing to live in unimpeded community with God and each other. Sometimes in our deepest longing, the darkness feels even darker and the silent God becomes even more silent. In the midst of rejection, pain, mystery, confusion, ridicule, broken dreams, Divine silence, relational turbulence, or career collapse we sometimes reach for whatever prescription we have found most quickly numbs the pain. God longs to relate with us on a much deeper level. He wants to be our number one pursuit no matter what it takes. It is in those times of piercing silence that often God accomplishes some of His most profound work both in us and in those around us. Even while Jesus screamed in anguish on the cross because of the silence of heaven, the plan for redeeming you and I was emerging in human history. In the midst of our suffering and confusion the Holy Spirit draws our attention to the reality and wonder of our glorious future so that we, along with Paul, can cry…
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 8:18
Not only does the Holy Spirit provide brief glimpses of a future glorious existence but also He continually intercedes in the present with the Father on our behalf when we are too confused to even know how to pray or what to pray for.
7. The Holy Spirit edits our prayers in the midst of weakness.
How much more can we ask? Paul confirms that Jesus continually intercedes for us. (vs. 34 & Hebrews 7:25) The Holy Spirit continually intercedes for us according to the will of God. He groans along with us. When we pray for physical healing so that we can escape the discomfort of physical infirmity, the Holy Spirit prays for deeper intimacy with God through the illness. When we pray for God to give us a spouse, the Holy Spirit prays that we will deepen our relationship with Him so that we can become the partner God meant us to be. When we pray for happiness, the Holy Spirit prays for the holiness that will bring true happiness. When we pray to win the lottery so that we will never have to struggle financially, the Holy Spirit asks for financial difficulty so that we learn not to trust in the uncertainty of riches rather than Him to supply what we need, no less, no more. We cry for God to answer our pleading for the things we think will bring happiness and the Holy Spirit prays for silence so that we might confront the things that stand in the way of deepening our relationship with Him. The Holy Spirit is committed to intercede according to the will of God. What is God’s will for us? Paul assures us it is good!