Romans 8:18-39 (Conclusion: The Gospel is the Power of God for Salvation)

In the previous chapters Paul has been setting forth a systematic presentation of the gospel in which the righteousness of God has been revealed “from faith to faith” (Rom 1:18).  In particular he has shown the superiority of the gospel to the Law in its ability to effect our salvation.  In these verses he now draws to a conclusion his argument that the gospel—with its forgiveness of sins through Christ’s death, and deliverance from sin through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead—is the mighty power of God for a complete and final salvation to all who believe, and offers us every hope that it is able to accomplish all that it promises.

Rom 8:18-25 Paul suffered many things as an apostle of Christ (see 2 Cor 11:23-28); in light of those sufferings, what do his words in Rom 8:18 teach us about how great the future glory must be that is to be revealed to the children of God?  What is the nature of that glory, and what sort of glorious things does Paul have in mind?  See Rom 8:19-23, Is 11:6-9.  When Adam transgressed God’s commandment, was it only mankind that was affected by his sin?  How was all of creation affected by that sin, including the animals, the environment, and the inanimate earth itself?  See Gen 3:16-18,21, 5:29, Job 12:6-10, Is 24:5-6, Jer 12:4,11, Jer 14:5-6, Hos 4:3, Joel 1:18.  Think: if man had not sinned, would animals have died?  Would there be earthquakes, floods and other “natural” disasters?  Etc…  How should the sanctification process and our gospel hope for the glorious restoration of God’s original creation affect our stewardship of the present creation, such as how we treat animals and the environment?  Is our redemption and adoption of sons complete?  See Rom 8:23-24.  What is necessary to complete it?  What does this teach us about the nature of man?  Is he a complete being apart from his body?  Is his salvation complete possessing only spiritual life?  See Rom 8:10-11.

Rom 8:26-27  How do these verses give us hope that the gospel message is able to accomplish within us all that it promises?  What three ministries of the Holy Spirit to us has Paul mentioned in this chapter?  See also Rom 8:13 & 16.  What does Paul mean that the Spirit helps our weakness?  See Luke 10:40 for the only other occurrence of this word, which means to lend a hand together with and at the same time.  Is it necessary for us to articulate our prayers in order for them to be understood by God?

Rom 8:28-30 Why do all things work together for good to those who love God?  See Rom 8:29-30.  By “all things” does Paul refer primarily to “good” things, or to trials and afflictions; i.e., what sort of things must God often predestine in the lives of those whom He knows ahead of time will love Him in order to conform them to the image of His Son?  See the context of Rom 8:17-18, 22 & 25-26.  Why is that?  See Heb 5:8.  How should these verses encourage us that the gospel is able to accomplish within us all that it promises?  Does the fact that God foreknew those who would love Him and predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Son mean, as Calvinism teaches, that man ultimately has no free will, that it is impossible for a true believer to fall away, and that God also predestines others to damnation?  See Mat 10:22, 1 Tim 2:4, 2 Pet 3:9 (more on this topic in chapter 9!).

Rom 8:31-39 With what five questions does Paul draw his grand conclusion that in the gospel is found the mighty power of God to effect our complete salvation?  What is the answer to each of them?  In Rom 8:35-39 Paul lists first seven, then ten more external things that are unable to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (for another instance of this 7 + 10 pattern see Heb 12:18-24).  Some use this passage to argue that a true Christian can never fall away; however, what is the one internal thing mentioned throughout scripture that does separate us from God?  See Isaiah 59:1-2.

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