The Letter to the Romans
COLLEEN MOORE TINKER
28. Nothing Can Separate Us
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose
29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.
34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In verses 18-27 Paul expounded on the reality of our hope in Jesus and on the fact that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. He concludes this chapter with a discussion of our certain victory and of the fact that nothing in all creation can separate us from God's love.
1. Two translations besides that in the NIV are possible for verse 28: 1) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, and 2) in all things God works together with those who love him to bring about what is good-with those who have been calledWhat is the "good" for which God works all things? (see verse 29; Genesis 50:20; Isaiah 38:17; Jeremiah 29:11)
2. What does it mean to be "called"? (see verse 30; Romans 11:28-29; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Galatians 1:6; 15-17; Ephesians 4:1, 4-6; 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12; 2 Timothy 1:8-9; Hebrews 9:15; 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 1:10)
3. What does Paul mean when he says God "foreknew" us? (see Psalm 139:15-16; Romans 11:2; 1 Peter 1:1-2; Ephesians 1:3-4; 2 Timothy 1:8-10)
4. What does it mean to be "predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son"? (see. Ephesians 1:4-6; 11-12; Matthew 25:34; Revelation 17:8)
5. Verse 29 says that God predestined us to be "conformed to the likeness of his Son" so He could be "the firstborn among many brothers". What is the significance of Jesus' being the "firstborn" among many brothers? (see Psalm 89:19, 26-29; John 3:16; Colossians 1:15, 18; Hebrews 1:6;
6. What does it mean to be "justified"? (see Isaiah 53:11; Romans 3:22-24; 4:25; 5:1, 9, 16; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
7. What does it mean that God glorified those He foreknew, and why does Paul put "glorified" in the past tense instead of future? (see Romans 8:22-23; 9:23; Ephesians 1:13-14; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:3; 1:19b-20; 2:6-7)
8. Paul affirms that no one can bring any charge against God's elect. See verse 34 for the three reasons why those in Christ cannot be condemned. Given the understanding many of us had that Jesus ascended to the "holy Place" and did not enter the "Most Holy Place" until 1844, what is significant about Christ's being "at the right hand of God," and what did this exaltation equip Him to do? (see Mark 16:19; Psalm 110:1; Job 16:19; Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 26:64; Acts 2:33; 5:31; Ephesians 1:18-20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3; 7:25; 9:24; 12:2; 1 John 2:1-2)
9. In verses 35-39 Paul demonstrates that suffering cannot separate us from God but instead serves as part of the means of our becoming increasingly intimate with Him. How do these reassurances confirm the security of our salvation? (see John 10:27-30; 6:39-40; Isaiah 27:2-3; Ephesians 2:6-7)
10. How does the promise that not even death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus counter the belief that at death we experience non-existence? (see John 11:25-26; 2 Corinthians 5:6-9; Philippians 1:21-24)
11. In what ways is God conforming you into the likeness of His Son?
12. What suffering are you experiencing in your life right now which
God is asking you to trust to Him for resolution?
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CA USA. All rights reserved. Posted September 18, 2004.