God’s Hand in Salvation

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Romans

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:26–30)

On Monday we saw that creation itself “groans”, and that since we are part of that creation we groan too. Paul goes on here to develop that theme, and demonstrate how we can find deep comfort in the midst of suffering.

Have you ever had the experience when things seem so desperate you are stuck for words? Nothing seems to express the deep emotion building up within you. You have a gut instinct to cry out to God, to pray, but you can’t even think where to begin. The Apostle here assures us that in these cases, the very Spirit of God helps us. He prays for us in way too deep even for words. Because of this, we can be assured that “for those that love God all things work together for good”. It might take time, it might not be obvious, but it remains the fact.

To underline this Paul goes on to spell out what has been called the “golden chain”, showing how God has his hand in every part of our salvation. God predestines, calls, justifies and glorifies us. It is his doing, and so we should have confidence. Our emotions, our moods are not an indicator of how we are with God, simply an indicator of how we are with ourselves. The more we realise our reliance upon God, the more we can trust out futures to him.

The Vision at the Bridge

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1) - 1,708 ago, to this day, a young man had a vision. He was leading a great army, one of the greatest assembled at that time, and was awaiting the battle which would surely take place the next day.

Who Can Condemn?

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. (Romans 8:34) - It is this ‘givenness’ which gives Paul such a strong assurance and hope. Rather than relying on his own frailties, he is relying God. The more we acknowledge God is sovereign, the more peace we will find.

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