Did you shout about Jesus from any housetop yesterday? Not yet? Maybe you will want to today. We’re getting close to presenting the evidence necessary to summarize all this to answer important questions about the death of an unbeliever. Some have suggested that my approach is Calvinist and look through the lenses at those who may have held on to the doctrine of election but forgot that without love, nothing matters. That’s too bad. First, I would say that many automatically reject the whole idea of predestination out of undeserved bias. Yes, some people may have abused this doctrine, but that’s no different than others giving the OK to sin simply because we have grace. Both are irresponsible.
Furthermore, Calvin didn’t come up with any of this stuff. His ideas weren’t new in and of themselves. He got his stuff from Luther, and Luther got his from the bible. The bible was written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. To eliminate the doctrine of election is to re-write the bible. I don’t think we want to go there. At the end of the day, the bible says LOTS of things that go against our grain. It should, especially when we consider the fact that believers were also once enemies of God. (See, even the idea that I once was God’s enemy is hard to accept, but it’s true.)
Let’s continue on with Romans 8. Today, we’ll see that the first fruits of the Holy Spirit are indeed special. First, we see that he is our advocate.
Romans 8:26-27 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.
This is incredible, folks. Never before, except in a couple of circumstances in the Old Testament, has the Holy Spirit resided in man. Never before have we had something so intimate and divine guiding us. We see the Hebrews swing back and forth between following God and idols. They didn’t have the Holy Spirit. We do. Not only that, but the Holy Spirit is our driving force. Scripture is clear – we are clueless. We don’t know what’s best for us. See for yourself – “we do not know what to pray for as we ought”!
I don’t know about you, but the thought of that is hard for me to swallow. So is this verse:
John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
I like to think that I am the captain of my own destiny, but I am not. Actually, I can’t do much on my own, as we see Romans continue:
Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
God is that one that works all things together for good, not Scott. The sooner and more I can get this straight in my head, the easier my life is. Even great trials are easy compared to when I am trying to manipulate people, places, and things to my own will and desire. Actually, it is quite liberating to release it all to God and let him take care of the details. All I need to do is obey. There is something very satisfying in that. Don’t get me wrong, it is quite contrary to everything I have been taught; but it is true wisdom.
Finally, we see that God has big plans for us in all this, thus the reason he needs to be in charge.
Romans 8:29-30 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.
Notice this is all past tense. We might not realize it now, but one day we shall be glorified. Done deal. We’ll get into this guarantee tomorrow. I’m a banker, so guarantees mean a great deal to me. However, I can assure you that no guarantee, not even that of the United States of America, is as secure as that of God himself. You see the words on the paper, don’t you? That’s his guarantee.
And you still don’t have reason to shout from the rooftop?
Father, wake your church up! We have praises to sing! Amen!
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers