InTouch.org with Dr. Charles Stanley
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Read | Romans 8:28-29
Deliverance from Bondage
1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies [a]through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh– 13for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18For 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. 19For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, [b]in hope 21that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Our Victory in Christ
26In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28And we know that [c]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. 31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was [d]raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35Who will separate us from the love of [e]Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36Just as it is written,
“FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;
WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”
37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Is God involved in everything that happens throughout the world? How you answer that question is important. What people believe about the Lord’s sovereignty affects both their trust in Him and their reactions to struggles. Moreover, believers’ thoughts on God’s dominion influences their compliance with His requirements. For instance, “in everything give thanks” (1 Thess. 5:18) would be an impossible standard if God were only partially in control of what’s going on.
Believing God is present in the positive aspects of our lives is easy. Reconciling hardship to His promises of provision and love is tougher. But think about this: If the Lord has reason to provide a job promotion, might He not also have reason to orchestrate a job loss? If He gives good health, might He not also allow sickness, as He permitted in Job’s life (Job 2:6-7)?
The Bible says that the Lord’s ways are not like our ways (Isa. 55:8). He has a master purpose for involving Himself in every aspect of believers’ lives—namely, conforming them to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). Jesus’ life was not easy or sweet. He suffered shame, abuse, ill will, and persecution even before He faced the cross. If we are to be like Him, then we must expect that God’s loving hand will sometimes hold a tool for reshaping us.
Every believer is encircled by God’s protection (Psalm 34:7), so nothing touches our lives unless He permits or directs it. Bitterness and blame cannot take root if we accept that every good and bad thing comes with God’s knowledge and permission. We can trust Him to do right by us (Rom. 8:28).