O The Depths of the Riches of God

What a blessing it is to sit under the preaching of the word of God, especially these last several weeks, as we have heard about the power of the gospel that saves God’s people. Paul’s letter to the Romans is not easy to understand; and so, much of the riches of God’s wisdom and knowledge are lost. But, I have come to the end of chapter 11 with a better understanding than I had before hearing it preached.

At the same time we are studying this book we are continuing through the Shorter Catechism. This week’s question asks how God’s word is an effectual means to salvation. The answer is, “The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the word an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith unto salvation.”

 The preaching of the word rooted in the new heart brings us to new awareness and desire to know; and the Spirit leads us to plunge into the depths of that which He still wants us to know. If all we experience is a “tickling of the ears” we will never know, or grow. It is when our own beliefs are challenged that we seek more of the riches of God’s wisdom and knowledge.

My purpose in these last several weeks is to document a little of what has impressed me in the preaching of Paul’s writing; to challenge you the reader to go deeper in your own study and meditation of God’s word, and to seek the preaching of the “whole counsel of God.”

 The Mystery of Salvation
Paul’s presentation of the power of God in the gospel to save His people is brought to an end in Romans 11. He has made known this wisdom of how God planned to save and does save His people of every nation. His explanation and exclamation end with all glory to God.

Beginning in chapter 12 we will see the response of all people who are brought under the power of the gospel through faith unto salvation ~ the obedience of faith.

Briefly summing up, Paul has shown us how God at first chose a people, the people of Israel, through which He would save His elect from all nations. He could have chosen any other nationality, but He chose and made the Jews a special people for the purpose of revealing Himself and executing His plan of salvation.

We see from Paul’s writing ~ himself being a Jew ~ that there is a remnant of the nation of Israel that are elect; just as there are some of every nation who are elect.  He makes it very clear that not all of the nation of Israel will be saved. Whether we understand his meaning to be contemporary or for all time, we must let the text explain his meaning.

Romans 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.”   In Romans 8:29 Paul speaks of those whom God “forknew.” The Jews are not set apart, but included in this category.

They are included in the “election of grace.” “

“Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” Romans 11:5

What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” Romans 11:7

As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes.” Romans 11:28

 All Men’s Disobedience and God’s Mercy
“For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. 

“For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.” Romans 11:30-32

Paul sums up the whole plan in these verses. Salvation came through the nation of Israel. Through all the years of their rebellion, finally to the coming of Christ, their rejection and hand in the death of Christ; and their continued rejection of the gospel, salvation has been made known to all nations (the Gentiles). Christ’s death and resurrection put the nation of Israel in the same boat with the whole world. They need mercy as much as all other people. They are included in the covenant of grace ~ not all, but like all other nations, as many as are of the “election of grace.”

Scan 143450000Gracious Father in heaven, we are not able in our own power to approach your throne of grace, nor do we merit your mercy, but we come at the invitation and initiation of your Son, Jesus Christ, on the authority of your word and the power of your Spirit, as sinners saved by your grace.  We thank you and praise you for the riches of your wisdom, the knowledge that is bestowed upon us, in us and through us, that brings us to you and keeps us until the day of redemption.  What a glorious day that will be to see the height of your glory revealed to us who are in Christ.  In His name we thank you and praise you.  Amen.

No Separation ~~~~~~

God sent His Son
God’s Son sent His Spirit
God’s Spirit lives in us

We find these truths throughout the Word of God, and Romans 8 expounds on the work of the Trinity. From the planning to the inception God is sovereign; in control; and bringing to pass His plans for our salvation; made before the foundation of the world.

The power of the gospel that brings about the obedience of faith in all nations (1:5; 16:26) is the working of the Holy Spirit since the completion of Christ’s work (1:4); and will be finished as He has planned.

Connecting the Dots
The Holy Bible is a precious book; a canon; a volume of many books; but more than anything else, it is a workbook, which we must use for all time and endurance of life. It identifies the author, His work, and His workers. We go through, looking for God. He permeates the whole book. We find Him in the beginning and the end. We find Him in Jesus Christ. We find Him in the Holy Spirit. We see Him working in His creatures; in His creation and His redemption. All is His.

Sarah Roap Romans 8-26When we come to the book of Romans we go a little deeper in our understanding of truth that has been hidden from some because of the change in the teaching and preaching of the gospel in the last century.

It is only as we see that God has full control to work what He has planned from the foundation of the world; before the world began (Ephesians 1:4; 2 Timothy 1:9) that we can be assured of “no condemnation” and “no separation.” We cannot save ourselves from God’s wrath; or keep ourselves through the suffering and temptation of this world.

This chapter connects these truths to each of the Trinity. They are united in this great plan for the power of the gospel for our salvation. As we meditate we look for the work of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In all study of the Bible we find Christ at the center; all things connecting to and pointing from and to Him for all things.

Treasure, Impact, Assurance
In the halfway mark in Paul’s letter to Romans we need to stop; take a breather; and sit down with this letter that is included in God’s word. I cannot in these notes unpack what has been recorded here for His people. If we take the time to read, meditate, saturate, and absorb what is here we find a treasure box from which God, by His Spirit, brings us to understand the fullness of the truth which we have been given in and through Christ Jesus, our Lord. To understood predestination we need to let God lead us to see the truth of His own work and glory in us.  To get the full impact of the whole book of Romans we must allow the Holy Spirit, that intercedes for us, to lead us and teach us here and through the remainder of Paul’s letter.

In Romans 8:19-39 we can look for these words; meditate on the verses from which these come; experience the impact; and be assured of the power of the gospel and the Holy Spirit to accomplish all His work within us ~ for His glory and our joy.

Expectation
Delivered
Liberty
Waiting
Saved
Hope
Patience
Spirit
Intercession
Saints
Everything
Know
Good
Purpose
Foreknow
Predestined
Conformed
Image
Called
Justified
Glorified
Intercession
Conquerors
Elect
Persuaded
Love
God
Christ
Lord

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Dear Father, we are helpless, except for your life that is given us in Christ. I pray for the authority of your word to be commanded in us by the power of your Holy Spirit; to accomplish all that you have planned for each of us today. In Jesus name I thank you and praise you. Amen.

Grace Crowned With Glory

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“By the grace of God I am what I am.”
1 Corinthians 15:10

“Be this my motto, both as to my natural and spiritual life:  how else could I have existed at all.  Had not foreknowledge planned, and wisdom contrived, and power put every atom together, and fixed my scene of action, I had never been here.  Nor is this God of grace less to be seen in every motion of my soul towards him; had not every spring been in him, this table on which I lean had felt as much bias towards him as I. The first check of conscience, the first thrill of fear, the first view of guilt, the first tear of penitence, were all his own; the first drawings of the Spirit, the first sight of Christ, the first dawn of hope, were all his own; every succeeding step in the path of duty, every attainment in grace, every victory over the world and sin, every evidence and token of the safety of my everlasting state, and every sweet interval of communion I have had with him,  were still all his own; and the last labor of love, the last act of faith, and conquest over sin, death, and hell, together with an admission into eternal glory, must and shall be all his own likewise.  The spring is love; the means is Christ; the footing firm, the headstone “shall be brought forth with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it;” and grace shall be crowned with everlasting glory.

Whate’er I am, whate’er I hope,
Proceeds from bounty of rich grace;
Grace makes and holds my body up,
And heals my spirit’s sickly face.
_________
(A Golden Treasury ~ March 10)

Related Post:  Grace and Grace Alone