The Book of Romans – Nothing can Separate Us

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“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 Paul begins his list of ten of the most feared things, with death. That’s a big one for most people. With certainty and finality, we will all face death. Not one of us will escape it. We fear death because it is cloaked in mystery. No one knows exactly when it will happen, how it will happen, or what will happen to us after death. If we belong to Jesus Christ, this one thing we do know with all assurance, God will be there with us in all of his great love. He will take our hand and walk with us through whatever we must face. “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) It may seem odd that life is the next item on Paul’s list. But if you think about, anything else that we may fear except for death happens in life. Paul could have listed thousands of things we fear in life, and in every case, he could say, “This will not be able to separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.” Nothing can separate us from God’s love. A friend once asked a father of four, “why do you love your children?” […]

The Book of Romans – Freedom from Fear

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“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Romans 8:35-37 We wonder sometimes, when it seems that nothing can or will go right in our life has God abandoned us. Has He left us to go it alone with no help from Him? I feel that way at times. It is hard at times in the world that we live in to always feel that God is with us. We accept that God is with us by faith; knowing that God has promised that He will always be with us. There is no condemnation because we share the righteousness of God and the law cannot condemn us. There is no obligation because we have the Spirit of God who enables us to overcome the flesh and live for God. There should be no frustration because we share the glory of God and the blessed hope of Christ’s return. We do not need to fear the past, present, or the future because we are secure in the love of Christ. We need to enter each new day realizing that God is for His children, even if we must go through trials to receive His best. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Because of Jesus Christ, we have freedom from fear. Satan wants to tell us that […]

The Book of Romans – The Holy Spirit Groans

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“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.” Romans 8:26-30 God is concerned about every area of our life. He is concerned about our suffering and what happens to us each and every day. When Jesus was ministering on earth, He groaned when He saw what sin was doing to mankind. The Holy Spirit groans with us and feels the burden of our weakness and suffering. The Holy Spirit prays for us so that we might be led into the will of God. We do not always know what to pray for so the Holy Spirit intercedes so that we might do the will of God in our suffering. This is so true in my life. It seems that I never know what to pray about and how to pray. At times all I know to do is pray “God help me”. I know at that time the Holy Spirit will give me the peace to continue […]

The Book of Romans – Believers Groan

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“And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)” Romans 8:23-25 In a related verse, Paul also includes us in his thought, “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven” (II Corinthians 5:2). These verses not only reflect the joy of what lies before us but also the sorrow of living each day with the burden of the world, our flesh, and our mind that so easily lead us into sins we have no desire to commit. The reason we groan is because we have experienced a foretaste of the glory to come. Just as the nation of Israel tasted the first fruits of Canaan when the spies returned, so we Christian have tasted of the blessings of heaven through the ministry of the Spirit. This makes us home sick for heaven. Where we will see our Lord and Savior, receive a new body and serve Him forever. We are waiting for the adoption, which is the redemption of the body when Jesus returns. “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious […]

The Book of Romans – Creation Groans

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“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Romans 8:18-22 Paul was not ignorant or blind to the suffering of man and creation. He experienced more of them than most of us. Yet he still considered that the future glory far out weighted the present suffering. This section talks about our freedom from discouragement. It deals with the problem of pain and suffering. It deals with our groaning. Creation is groaning looking for the coming of Jesus Christ to redeem the earth. Groaning is a prolonged, low, inarticulate sound uttered from or as if from physical or mental suffering. Creation is suffering just as we are from the sins of Adam and Eve. “Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31) Everything God created was good, but when Adam and Eve sinned it all changed. The earth is under the same condemnation as man. The glorious freedom that the children of God will experience will also be the same for the earth. Creation is not undergoing death pain, but birth pain waiting on the return of Jesus. “In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. […]

The Book of Romans – God Our Father

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“So, you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.  And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.” Romans 8:15-17 In Scripture there are many different names used to describe God. While all the names of God are important in many ways, the name “Abba Father” is one of the most significant names of God in understanding how He relates to people. The word Abba is an Aramaic word that means “Father.” It was a common term that expressed affection and confidence and trust. Abba signifies the close, intimate relationship of a father and his child, as well as the childlike trust that a young child puts in his “daddy.” As I read this scripture I think of my earthly father. He was a good man and I knew that he loved me dearly. He has been gone for many years, but I think about him often. I think about his love and the things that he did for me when he was here on earth. I know that some of you did not have that kind of father and it is hard to see that God is a loving Father. But God loves us so much more than our earthly fathers could ever love us. I feel that to call God my Father a great honor. Not just to call Him Father, but to call Him daddy. Becoming a child of God is the highest and most […]