Today’s Reading: Jer 35:1–36:32, Rom 8:18–39, Prov 22:17–23:18
Today’s Theme: God’s Everlasting Love
There are two great themes in our reading from Romans today; one is the future glory and grace promised in the gospel of God, and the second looks at the eternal nature of God’s love for His elect, and so in turn, our assurance and security in Him.
But they answered, “We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, ‘You shall not drink wine, neither you nor your sons forever.(Jeremiah 35:6, ESV)
These men had integrity under trial, we must be resolute like this as believers.
therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man to stand before me.”(Jeremiah 35:19, ESV)
This promise was because of their stand, faithfulness and resolution to obey their father in the midst of a very individualistic and rebellious culture. Again we can learn from their example.
Fear the Lord
Yet neither the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words was afraid, nor did they tear their garments.(Jeremiah 36:24, ESV)
These men despised the word of the Lord and foolishly did not fear the coming judgement. We should honour the Lord and tremble at His word.
The indestructible book
“Take another scroll and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned.(Jeremiah 36:28, ESV)
The enemy cannot destroy God’s word. He always tried and always fails. God has always preserved His word and we should be grateful that we now have a number of English translations (KJV, AMP, ESV, NASB, HSCB etc.), which are faithful to the originals.
Thank God for the sacrifice of those like William Tyndale, who made it his mission to translate the bible into English. Also pray that the work of modern day translators, who are producing bibles for the unreached and constantly improving our understanding of the original writings of the bible through translation.
Encouraged by future glory
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.(Romans 8:18, ESV)
The future Glory that will be ours in Christ is so great, that the sufferings of this life are not worthy of comparison or weighing against.
This should encourage us through every trial and suffering. There is great glory coming, so don’t give up, instead look up.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope(Romans 8:20, ESV)
The ‘Him’ spoken of here is God. The creation was subject to the curse in the hope of glory and redemption.
that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.(Romans 8:21, ESV)
Paul teaches, not the annihilation of this visible world, but its transformation.
God created the world and it was good. Salvation and redemption is not just for man but for God’s creation, which is why in the end there will be a renewed earth and heaven.
The glory of resurrection
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.(Romans 8:22, ESV)
This makes clear we are talking about the glorious reality of resurrection.
We will be transformed in our resurrection, the earth too will go through a type of resurrection.
The best bits
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?(Romans 8:24, ESV)
Part of the message of salvation is regarding the resurrection for the dead and the glory of eternal life, this is one of the best bits so we should remember to share it.
The Spirit groans
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.(Romans 8:26, ESV)
It is an error to say that this is tongues because the groanings are too deep for words, but tongues is just another word for languages, languages are words.
This is a deep groaning of the Spirit of God in our heart, compelling us to praise, prayer and even action.
It goes beyond our understanding and thoughts, we need this intercession of the Spirit to empower our prayers and it helps us pray for and say the things we would not think of saying ourselves.
The Spirit prays
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.(Romans 8:27, ESV)
We should appeal to the Spirit of God when we pray for the saints, so that we can pray according to God’s will. Let the Holy Spirit pray through you.
Things working out
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.(Romans 8:28, ESV)
Not for everyone, just the elect who love God, all things work together for good for us because we are called to fulfil God’s purpose. This truth is tied up in the sovereignty, providence and elective love of God.
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.(Romans 8:29, ESV)
This is personal foreknowledge in a loving sense, not in the sense of knowledge, although God knows all things. The meaning of this word makes the anti-reformed (anti Calvinist) view unsuitable.
God foreknew the elect in Love, which gives us the purpose of election… Love!
We have been elected by God, not by our decision but by God in His love, which we do not fully comprehend.
The Christian experience, summarised
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 8:30, ESV)
This speaks to the entire trajectory of the Christian life, we were pre-loved, chosen, called, justified and glorified.
From election through perseverance to glory.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?(Romans 8:31, ESV)
We have eternal and firm security in God.
Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.(Romans 8:33, ESV)
Clearly election is a teaching of God’s word, even though secular, western ideals reel at the thought.
God justifies His elect and it is before Him they ultimately stand or fall.
Jesus intercedes for us
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, ESV)
One of the reasons for our eternal security is not only what Christ has already done, but what He is doing now, He is interceding for us at God’s right hand.
The whole Trinity is involved, The Spirit groans, the Father justifies and Jesus intercedes.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.(Romans 8:37, ESV)
The important answer to the questions leading to this verse is No.
We are more than just conquerors, it is not that we have conquered sin and death, Jesus conquered sin and death. We are the recipients of the deed of His love, we are the beneficiaries, we have the guarantee of His finished work, we did not earn it so we are not conquerors, we are so much more… we, by the Spirit of adoption, have become righteousness imputed sons, with an entitlement to that which we could not possibly conquer and achieve for ourselves.
We are kept in security for all eternity by the love of God, He has overcome.
Incline your heart
Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge,(Proverbs 22:17, ESV)
Inclining your ear takes effort, the root words give some indication of the type of effort involved (to stretch, spread, lengthen; to bend down; to turn aside; to entice).
To apply our heart means to firmly set our heart in resolution, on the knowledge given.
for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips.(Proverbs 22:18, ESV)
Inclining our ears and applying our hearts brings us pleasure.
Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.(Proverbs 23:13, ESV)
This is not just training and teaching, this is a physical strike, administered in self control and love.
Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.(Proverbs 23:18, ESV)
This is encouraging when you look around and see the ungodly prospering.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Romans 8