Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Even If No One Else Does

We were wandering through Romans chapter 8 tonight in Bible study, and for me - it was one of those nights. Now remember, my wife, who has heard almost every sermon I have ever preached, including some several times, has threatened to put "Rambling Man" as my ringtone. There's a rumor going around that at times, occasionally, I might tend, or seem to be, just that. A Rambling Man.

Well, I knew going in that the passage was going to be tough, because it has some of those words that cause the normal Baptist's ears to tingle - "foreknew" and "predestination." I studied ahead into Chapter 9, where the real fireworks begin, and was grateful that we'd only cover these few verses. Sure there were some words in there I needed to be careful in defining, but I was sure I'd handle it well.

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8 NIV

If you stray into the whole predestination argument from this passage, you've gone off course.

Well, that guy was me tonight.

And I was at times like the guy who is backing the car up and watching to make sure he doesn't hit the mailbox. In fact he is so intent on missing the mailbox that he gets fixated on the mailbox and winds up hitting it. Well, I didn't just back over it, I pulled up and did it about three times.

If confession is so good for the soul, why do I still feel bad? :)

I do so love the folks at New Hope. There's never been a more generous group of people when you are doing well, and never a more kind hearted group when you are struggling. But friends, let me back up one last time and see if I can deliver the goods.

What you need to know about this passage is this.

Even if you don't believe you can become more like Jesus, even if you can't see any way the old you will ever fade away, even if your family and friends don't believe this Christianity deal is anything more than a passing fad with you and that you will fail...

Even if no one else believes in you...

God does.

In fact, He can already see you changing, already picture you becoming more like Jesus.

"...those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son..."

He knows you can do it. And he's planning on your seeing it through - walking with Him, relying on His Holy Spirit to guide and direct your paths while he is working everything together for your good.

See the thing is - He's planning a BIG family reunion.

"...that he (meaning Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brothers."

That's us folks. We're part of those many brothers who God knew would be reborn in Jesus Christ. We're part of the people from every nation who will gather around the throne having been made pure through the blood of the Lamb. That's us! We win!!!!!!

So we shouldn't end this passage doing anything but praising God.

Because God will see us through to completion through the power of His Holy Spirit.

God believes in you, beloved. Even if no one else does.

Grace and peace,


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