Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Our Victory in Christ Jesus (Rom.8:14-34)

The Lord made you, the Lord loves you, do not be afraid,
the waters will not overflow you, the fire will not scorch you!”


Every Christian has received a measure of Resurrection power. God intends for this power and purity, through the intervention of the Holy Spirit, to provide a balanced life of victory and blessing. A vital Christian utilizes this power from God to control the negative things in his life and to increase spiritual things, so that spiritual growth takes place through both avenues – putting away evil and living in the positive. On this special day, remember that God has Victory for You.


2.1.   We Have Been Adopted: This is the victory of belonging to the family of God. We are all happy for the privilege. Because we have been adopted, we have been given position and possession, prestige and blessing. We have become heirs of all that God has. Adoption is a unique thing. One family with two adopted children told their children that God chose them specially. The daughter, in grade school, used to tell everybody, “You folks had to take what they got, but my folks looked around and got the best.”
2.2.    We are led by the Spirit of God in His family (v.14).
2.3.    We have received an inner witness of belonging to God’s family (v.16).
2.4.   We receive a powerful inheritance because we are adopted into the family of God (v.17). We belong to God as His dear children. There is sonship, fellowship, and heirship in this wonderful family involvement.


3.1.   Christians are caught between two worlds. We live in this world and the world to come, the world where our hearts have already been adopted. There is a terrible tension between the world that we live in and the world that we have already made a commitment to in love. Because we are in God’s family, we don’t belong to this present world. We don’t belong to its values. Its habits, its practices, its attitudes, or its feelings! We are caught in a stretching, tension-filled situation. We literally groan within to be set free from the bondage that this world imposes on those who know Jesus and who are new creations in Him (v.23).
3.2.   In this tension and this groaning we have a hope (v.24).  We are part of God’s process of bringing the new world to pass and making it happen.
3.3.   We have a victory. Suffering is the inevitable experience of belonging to God. A faithful life brings trial, suffering, hardship, persecution. As we look around us, in the world of politics, the world of economics, the world of moral ethics, the world of poverty, the world of pollution, there are so many things that we groan about. We care, we concerned, we feel helpless sometimes to do anything. There is this inward groaning. If we could only live in a positive world.
3.4.   We have a glory (v.18). God reveals His radiance in us. That radiance is comprised of hope, faith, personal belonging, and the gradually increasing likeness to Christ Himself.

       Romans 8 has some very powerful and unique things to say about prayer.
4.1.   We are weak in prayer. That’s one of the places we are powerless.
4.2.   The Spirit helps our weakness (v.26). We have to overcome that weakness of actually getting started and doing something about praying. The Holy Spirit prompts and goads and reminds us. One deeply committed Christian brother shared that the Holy Spirit will not let him read the morning paper until he has read his Bible. The Spirit will not let him talk to someone else until he has talked to God.
This simple priority is a part of the Holy Spirit helping in weakness. This counter-acts the tendency to jump up and jump into the day; to jump into your job and jump into the list that you have made the day before of all the things you are going to get done that day.
There is also the weakness of inadequate words. We don’t know what to say. We have jumbled thoughts. So the Holy Spirit “intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words” (v.26, NASB). When we have a burden for prayer but cannot put it into words, we may be praying more deeply and more effectively that at any other time in our spiritual experience. When your mind is crowded with cares and concerns, prayer may seem like a futile endeavor. That’s when you need to turn to your “Prayer Prompter” whom God has provided to help you pray when words won’t come.
The other day, a friend of mine went to prayer semi-depressed and fatigued but brought his prayer list and a blank which to write prayers and answers.  He got his Bible, knelt at the altar, and said. “Lord, I need a boost; I need a little help; I need a new word from You.” The Lord directed him to the Come Ye Apart magazine devotional for the day. The powerful promises of Isaiah 43 became new and true all over again: “The Lord made you, the Lord loves you, do not be afraid, the waters will not overflow you, the fire will not scorch you!” The Spirit was helping his weakness. The Spirit was leading him to the place in God’s Word where new faith and new hope were available.
4.3.   The Spirit searches our hearts (v.27).  The Holy Spirit knows what’s in there. He looks for it and brings it to our remembrance.
4.4.   The Spirit works mightily in everything (v.28).  There are two conditions for fulfilling this powerful promise. God is able to make all things work together for good to those who love Him and those who are obedient to His call. It does not say that everything turns out for our best, it says that “God makes everything come out for the good.”  Sometimes God considers “the good” a little differently than we do. It is not just physical health, material wealth. Or emotional wholeness that God sees as good. For God, “the good” is being made conformed to the image of His Son (v.29). That’s good! That’s what God is at work trying to do within us.
4.5.   The Spirit brings out the best.  The Holy Spirit is shaping Christ’s image in us (v.29).
4.6.   The Spirit will glorify us, and we will glorify Him (v.30). Our ultimate duty is, to glorify the Triune God.

5.1.   If God is for us, then it doesn’t matter who is against us. It can’t matter because no one can beat the Almighty God (v.31).
5.2.   God spares nothing for us (v.32).  God the Father has not spared His own Son, and He is not going to start now putting us on a pinch-penny program of grace.  He will give us all that we need in order to make us all that He wants us to be.
5.3.   God answers all charges against us (v.32).  Let me bring out the heart-touching testimony of a missionary’s wife. When she was in school, facing economic pressure, instead of trusting God, she had gone the route of selfishness, self-seeking, and solving her own problems. She had taken hundreds of dollars from her employer for her salary, even as she skipped for several months. Then she told how God’s Holy Spirit dealt with her. She went back to her employer and told him exactly what had happened and why, and the exact amount she had taken for her salary, she signed a contract to pay it all back. God began to use a talent she had for art.
God began to pour His Holy Spirit through those pictures that she drew, and they became saleable items. She earned back the money that she needed. After the service someone came up to her and said, “You are a missionary’s wife. You are telling us that you used to be a thief and a cheater. How can you do that?” The missionary’s wife replied, “All is forgiven, and there is no longer anything to hide. If there is nothing to hide, there is nothing to fear.”

At the moment that we are honest before God, we receive His blessings and His power. He answers all charges against us.
5.4.   Christ died for us, and He was raised; He ever lives, and He intercedes for us (v.34).  What do you need to pray in order to have victory? If you knelt at the altar to pray, and you felt that Jesus had come and knelt beside you, and He began to pray for you, what would you overhear Jesus saying to the Father that He wanted to happen in your life? It may be that on this special day you are ready to invite the Holy Spirit to fill your heart!
When John Hyde boarded the ship to go from England to India for his missionary tour, he was handed a telegram. He opened it hurriedly on the desk of the ship. The only words in the telegram were, “John Hyde, are you filled with the Spirit of God?”  The note aroused Hyde’s anger. He crumpled the paper, put it into his pocket, and went to bed.

Unable to sleep, he tossed and turned all night. He arose from bed in the early morning hours, took the piece of paper out of his pocket, and read it again. He thought, “The audacity of somebody to ask me that question, ‘Am I filled with the Holy Spirit?’ Here I am a missionary, sincere, dedicated, leaving my home and going to another country. How dare someone ask me if I am filled with the Spirit.”  

Suddenly, Hyde’s spirit was touched by the challenge of the note. He fell to his knee before the Father. “O God” he cried out, “the audacity of me to think that I could pray or preach or witness or live or serve or do anything in my own strength. Fill me with Your power.”

John Hyde became one of the great missionary states men of all time (Brian L. Harbour, Living Expectantly. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1990).

       Whatever you are praying for this morning, imagine that Jesus is right there beside you. Ask Him to lead you in your prayer. Listen to what Jesus asks the Father for you for He intercedes for us! God has victory in Christ for us! When we hear what Jesus wants for us, and we realize that He has already bought all that is necessary for those prayers to be answered by His own grace and power, something happens in us. We have the victory of divine authority. God’s intervening and interceding begins to make an impact on us for His glory and for our good.  

      Pray with me,
 Merciful and gracious loving Father, thank you that, even when confusion reigns and words won’t come, Your Holy Spirit is there, communicating my human hurts. Though I cannot always speak my mind, thank you that you always hear my heart. That’s part of the joy of being your child. Amen.”



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