Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 5 Study # 1
Thesis: God is "for" us.
Introduction: As we begin our study of the last paragraph in Romans 8, we are approaching the conclusion of Paul's teaching on sanctification. A quick perusal of the paragraph reveals a rather rapid-fire set of seven questions within an overall setting of "the love of God" that is focused upon the death of Christ, His resurrection, and His post-resurrection establishment at the right hand of God where He makes intercession for us.
This evening we are going to look into the first two of these seven questions.
June 25, 2017
- I. The First Question Seeks a Firm Theological Conclusion.
- A. Paul used the literary form of the first question in seven of eleven texts in Romans where we find him always seeking to get his readers to draw "life-conclusions".
- 1. In 3:5, the issue is whether there is unrighteousness in God Who takes vengeance even though He makes use of the wickedness to further His purposes.
- 2. In 4:1, the issue is the discovery of Abraham in regard to justification by works.
- 3. In 6:1, the issue is the question of our response to God's extension of grace in the face of significant sin.
- 4. In 7:7, the issue is whether "The Law" is "Sin" because it is an instrument of the production of sin in the hands of "The Sin".
- 5. In 8:31, the issue is the focus of our current focus of study: how shall we respond to the clear intentionality of God in regard to His purpose of "good" for us.
- 6. In 9:14, the issue is a return to 3:5 and the question of whether God is, in any sense, unrighteous.
- 7. In 9:30, Paul's last use of this literary technique in this letter, the issue is God's imposition of "faith" as opposed to "works" (9:32).
- B. In another two of the eleven he uses the technique to challenge his opponents by saying, in effect, "you will draw this conclusion without warrant".
- 1. In 9:19 he challenges their "fatalism".
- 2. In 11:19 he challenges their "sense of superiority".
- C. Some conclusions we can draw.
- 1. This literary device seems to be his way of insisting that we draw some legitimate, and firm, conclusions about God and our relationship with Him.
- 2. The issues are most fundamentally "T"heological and then a matter of "significance".
- II. The Second Question Answers the First.
- A. God is "for" us.
- 1. The issue of "for" is developed in Romans by 18 uses.
- a. In almost every case, "for the sake of" can be a legitimate expanded translation.
- b. The issue is either "in view of a specific purpose" (1:5), or "in view of a critical need" (5:8).
- c. The outcome is always that God's purpose will come to pass or that our need is met.
- 2. The point is that Paul asked what we should conclude in the light of the prior paragraph and gives at least a portion of the answer here: God is "for" us in spite of the often made charge that our God is "unrighteous" in some way.
- 3. The following declaration of God's deliverance of Christ "for" us stands as his evidence for his conclusion.
- B. None can effectively stand "against" us.
- 1. The idea of "against us" is revealed by the above mentioned pattern of explaining how God is "for" us: "against" is indicated in the next question; "who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?"
- 2. The larger question is that of 8:28 and its reality/integrity: is God applying omnipotence and wisdom to our situations?
- 3. The answer is obvious: no one can stand against omnipotent wisdom.