Sermons

Introduction.

The context of the passage is how we have the amazing gift of God’s Holy Spirit given to live the life of Jesus through us. We are especially in need of this “Help from above Who lives within” due to the difficulty of living in a fallen world and to the weakness of our own flesh amid the painful trials and the temptations we face.  The text climbs higher and higher to a climax of powerful confidence available to those in Christ. Then the mood shifts dramatically. Let’s briefly discuss the ascent to security first.

 

SERIES TITLE: Us.....Them - Broken by Blessing

SESSION ONE:  Our Proper Response to the Phenomenal, Faithful Love of God

TEXT: Romans 8:28 - 9:5

INTRODUCTION.

The context of the passage is how we have the amazing gift of God’s Holy Spirit given to live the life of Jesus through us. We are especially in need of this “Help from above Who lives within” due to the difficulty of living in a fallen world and to the weakness of our own flesh amid the painful trials and the temptations we face.  The text climbs higher and higher to a climax of powerful confidence available to those in Christ. Then the mood shifts dramatically. Let’s briefly discuss the ascent to security first.

DISCUSSION

  1. Verse 29 bring up foreknowledge and predestination. These profound topics exceed our full comprehension and so often bring up conflict and controversy among believers. How can we view them – as the Bible does – such that they are the basis of high joy and supreme assurance?
  2. The powerful, forceful, eloquent thrust of verses 29-39 is that in Christ we are securely locked into the exquisitely beneficial purposes of God that extend into eternity. Absolutely nothing in this present world can possibly disconnect us from God, His love and His power to complete His incomparably grand plan for us because we are bound to Christ by faith.
  3. Can you imagine the Apostle Paul dictating these verses in a monotone, detached voice? As a group or individually, allow yourself to feel the emotion and power of those verses. Read them aloud with that expression! Let the sublime force of these words from God Himself impact you. Discuss your responses.
  4. Can you recall a time when some internal failure or sin, or perhaps some external affliction or trial made you feel as if you had been separated from God and his love? Has God’s spirit brought you assurance since then? How do the words of this text help you? As good, as secure, as phenomenally wonderful as these truths are, what words – opposite from those terms and concepts granted us in this text – can you use to describe the state of those are far from God and outside of Christ? Paul says he carried “great sorrow and unceasing grief” in his heart for the lost (in context, the Jews who had such spiritual advantage yet turned away.) Can we simultaneously rejoice in our undeserved, grace-granted, immensely privileged state and still feel agony of soul for the lost? Paul also says that if possible, he would take the curse of eternal punishment on himself if it would suffice to save his people the Jews.   Wow! Let’s admit: probably none of us are ready for such a spiritual, sacrificial “death wish.” However, what steps can we make to take a set of lost people or one of the world’s unreached people groups into our hearts so that we internally identify with their desperate position apart from Christ (whether they recognize it or not), and then move with those emotions into action?
  5. Discuss how you plan to act in passionate prayer, seeking opportunities, reaching out, sharing the gospel (in your neighborhood or school, your office, where you shop or work out, among your social contacts), connecting with a particular missionary and aggressively praying for those in their field of ministry, researching a spiritually needy nation or specific unreached people group and doing something about it.

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