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August 7, 2016
PDF Lesson Print Out is now Located at the Bottom of the Lesson. Please Scroll Down, Click and Enjoy! Blessings.
Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2010 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original tounless properly quoted/cited. As always you are encouraged to do your own studies as well. Blessings!)
Just about this whole lesson this week is full of what I deem our Christian champion verses and they all point unanimously to our position in Christ: SECURED!
There is a lot of mess and messy circumstances that people deal with day to day. Over and over again horrid situations take over headlines and the message of hope seems to be lost. But, God wants His people to know that He is for them. The message of their hope is still alive and well and His name is Jesus. In Him the Christian is forever secured.
Romans 8 is a beautiful chapter in and of itself. In it the apostle Paul really hones in on teaching the results of living in the flesh as opposed to living in the Spirit. The really beautiful thing that stands out for us who walk according to the Spirit is the measure of love, blessings, and protection the Father has over them that are His.
In the Spirit is freedom from sin and death (vs. 2). In the Spirit the presence of God dwells in us (vs. 9). In the Spirit we have life (vss. 10-11). In the Spirit we are considered His children (vss. 14-16) and we have a relationship with the Father. In the Spirit we are heirs and joint-heirs with Christ (vs. 17). In the Spirit we have the hope of redemption (vss. 23-25). In the Spirit we have help in times of weakness (vs. 26a). And, the Spirit intercedes on our behalf (vss. 26b-27).
Wow! How awesome is that! We are such a blessed people. And if all the above verse quotations are not convincing enough, Paul moves into the portion of Scripture spelling out emphatically that everything points to the fact that we are SECURED!
“Secured in His Purpose”
Romans 2:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Verse 28 opens up and lets us know that we are secured in His “purpose.” Don’t you know that God has a special plan in mind for each and every one of us? You and I are uniquely designed by the Father with heavenly intent. Whether or not an individual chooses to get on board with His plan for their life is up to them. But, the plan is there.
When one is operating under the Spirit of God they are promoting His work. They are living a life that is pleasing to God showing love and devotion to Him. In exchange, God brings about favorable results making, “all things work together for good.”
Keep in mind, how we view something as working out for good and how God views it could look very different. Something that may bring you sadness now God may see a better benefit down the road. After all, He did say in Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD,” (55:8).
When God looks into the meat of our lives He’s looking beyond the here and now. He often operates with one’s future in mind; in a realm we cannot yet see. Therefore, faith compels us to hold on and believe that something will come out of the current messiness of life. That something beautiful will rise even out of the ashes. We are assured of and “know” that what God has spoken in His word concerning His people and His plan will always come to pass, and in His eyes, it is “good.”
Remember, in that day, there were Christians that were enduring harsh persecutions and the like (and many still are in our day). They probably couldn’t see the suffering they were enduring as working out for good (who can?). Most likely their reaction was quite different hence the need for Paul to write such encouraging words. But, their hope is never in current circumstances; rather, in the great God who’s “purpose” will never fail.
Secured in Calling
Romans 8:29-30 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
Not only are we secured in purpose, but that purpose, in Him, is not a fly-by-the-night plan.
Jesus Christ has always been God’s only plan of salvation for man from before the foundation of the world (see 1 Peter 1:18-21). Those who are now in Christ Jesus having been “justified” (made righteous by His blood), they have a planned future according to God’s foreknowledge/foreordained plan. They are predestined in their calling through Him, “to be conformed to the image of his Son,” because they accepted that original call.
Let us remember that all of this is written to the church in Rome (people who were already saved; believers) and that this is written also in the same chapter comparing those who walk in the Spirit as opposed to those who are walking in the flesh. In this continuation, Paul speaking to those who are in Christ already gives them this assurance of their security in Him now leading up to their glorification.
When speaking of “foreknow” it simply means that God already knows before that present time. Too many get hung up on this one word and misconstrue it. God is simply infinite in wisdom and knowledge of all. He has no boundaries, no limits, and cannot be understood or chained by the realm of time, as we see it in our finite human capacity. He just knows.
When viewing this, we must also keep in mind God’s love for the whole entire world; past, present, and future (see John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:4; Revelation 22:17). When we see verses that bid “every one that thirsteth come ye to the waters,” (Isaiah 55:1) and “If any man thirst, let him come unto me,” (John 7:37) we can strongly state that God calls and gives everyone and anyone opportunity to be saved. He is just, He is fair, He is loving, and He is “longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” (2 Peter 3:9; emphasis mine).
Everybody has a chance to choose the path of salvation for their life (not just a few select). For those who responded to the call of Christ they can rest assured that they are eternally secured in that calling and are being changed day by day “to the image of His Son;” to be made like Christ.
As benefactors of all those wonderful things the Spirit affords, in His power, we are daily being remade from the sinful man that we were born in, to the sinless Man by which He gave us to be reborn in. Thus, changing our old nature to the newness of His (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).
To be like Christ should be the ultimate goal of every believer. 1 John 2:6 reminds us, “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so walk, even as he walked.” There’s more to Christianity than professing one’s faith. The life of the believer should mimic the Christ in whom they believe.
Secured, and He Freely Gives
Romans 8:31-32 “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Our position in Christ emphatically declares that all past sins have been dealt with. The very fact that Romans 8 opens up with our declaration of this secured hope, stating, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” (8:1; emphasis mine). Everything that was wrong; everything that would and could be judged against us has been nailed to the cross under grace.
Knowing this, and being assured of the Spirit’s work in the lives of true followers of Christ, Paul asked, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Adversaries are plenty for the children of God. Simply put, our lifestyle contradicts the world and its system making us prime targets for retaliation surely spawned on by the enemy.
God is our strong defense. He stays the hand of the enemy’s power. No one can even look in the direction of a child of God without express permission from Him, and even that is limited (see Job’s story). Isaiah says, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him,” (59:19). God deals justly with those who try to deal wrongly with us.
God is like a mighty wall that stands between all opposition and us. No wonder David penned, “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my hightower,” (Psalms 18:2). Everything in that verse proclaims He is our solid security and protection. We are safe in Him!
How can we trust this to be true?
Simply put. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” God already performed the hardest thing ever: allowing His innocent Son to die for us not-so-innocent people. If He did that, what could possibly prevent Him from being our defense now? Our King is not too high that He cannot hear and help.
And, God “freely gives us all things.” If God already gave His best, how will He fail in giving the rest?
The Bible says, “No good thing will he without from them that walk uprightly,” (Psalms 84:11). Anything we NEED (not our wants) for our Christian journey, God is our unfailing provider. God is for His people – Always! “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:19).
Secured, and Not Condemned
Romans 8:33-36 “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
God stands as judge in the spiritual courtroom of this life and in the time to come. But here’s the blessed thing, He is also our defense lawyer against the prosecutors of our soul.
When God declared, as verse 31 states, that He is for us, He really means it. That means whatever we are dealing with He has our back, even against those who seek to “lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect.”
God deals with our spiritual accusers who testify against and say we’re not good enough. God shuts the mouth of the enemies that declare shame on us.
But then, God looks at His child who has been made righteous by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, and He grants pardon. “It is God that justifieth.” No man. No enemies. No spiritual accusers have any type of spiritual destiny, up or down, to place anybody in. Nor can they coerce or change God’s mind about the salvation of the believers found in Him.
And we know that Christ is on our side as well. He is the one that “died” specifically for the reason to redeem us from our sins. Speaking of His own life and death situation, He says, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself,” (John 10:18). He did that for our benefit; that we would have a chance to be free from the chains of sin and spiritual bondage. SECURED!
Here’s another beautiful point in this whole story, with us on His mind He didn’t stay in the grave. Rather, He is “risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us,” (see also Acts 7:55-56).
Though in heaven, Jesus is still working and pleading on our behalf. He is our “advocate with the Father,” (1 John 2:1). Make no bones about it – Jesus Christ is the biggest supporter and champion of your soul!
Previously I wrote:
“How oft have we felt alone and unfought for in this world? Times come when we are at our wits end and there is no one to speak up for you; no voice to be heard that will defend your cause, or no one who can sympathize with your predicament.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were someone close enough to God to be able to speak up for a hurting and confused people; someone, whom when our faith is being challenged and slipping, will step in and be out go-between; our mediator with God?
The good news is there is! His name is Jesus and He is still alive, in heaven, working and interceding on behalf of His people.” (Word For Life Says/Jesus Intercedes for Us).
The whole idea behind our security in Him is that we are never fighting this battle alone. He’s not condemning us (see Romans 8:1). He’s pleading for us!
His love for us goes beyond anything we can fathom. Every believer is secured and forever held in the grip of His grace. Who is big and bad enough or what trial is strong enough to pry us out of His hands of love?
NONE! Not one “tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword” can “separate us from the love of Christ.” Afflictions are real and they are felt, deeply so at times. But, they have no bearing on your solid relationship in Him. When they start lying to you and saying you have nothing left and nobody is there for you – remember, by His “love” He’s holding on to His own and He’s not letting go.
Here’s a promise from God: “You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; They shall be as nothing, And those who strive with you shall perish. You shall seek them and not find them – Those who contended with you. Those who war against you shall be as nothing, As a nonexistent thing. For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, Fear not, I will help you,” (Isaiah 41:9b-13, NKJV).
What’s that spell? S-E-C-U-R-E-D, SECURED!
Secured, and Victorious
Romans 8:37 “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
The afflictions Christians deal with may appear to the world as if they are “sheep” being led away for the “slaughter.” Au contraire. God’s people are the spiritual victors in this fight!
“The problem with us is that when we are faced with our personal trials and tribulations, it blocks the focus of that which is better. It impedes our progress from trying to reach that greater thing that God has in store for us and it makes us feel that we are not going to win at all. If anything, it begins to have the reverse effect of pulling us down with a “never to succeed” attitude.
“In all these things we are more than conquerors!” We want to win in our Christian life! When we get into those moments of feeling like we are being pulled down, moments that try to block the better focus, we need to take a time out to see what God says about us. “We are more than conquerors!
Think about it, a conqueror’s goal is to defeat obstacles in their life. They go into battle with a winning attitude believing in the end victory will be theirs.
We are more! There is an expectation with God’s people that we can do more. We can be more! We are victorious! We are overcomers!. We can see this through to the end! It will turn out to our favor! God wants you to triumph over everything that tries to get in the way of you obtaining the greatness that He has in store for you. Jesus said, “But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33, KJV). Everything in this world that could possibly try to stop you, Jesus said it’s under foot. Just begin to stomp it down because He has already secured the victory for you over it. If you are in Christ, and Christ has already won, “I have overcome the world,” then that means, you have already won, also.” (Word For Life Says/Win).
Secured in Love
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Have you ever met a mama bear? I haven’t and I don’t want to. There’s truth to the reason the term is used for even human mothers. The love between that mother and her child is inseparable and for the one who tries to come between them – well . . .
A mama bear is relentless in the care of her cubs and she will fight against anyone and anything that even looks at her babies in a wrong way. God’s love holds us in such a way that we are relentlessly guarded. Daily we face seen and unseen dangers, people, and powers that seek to do us harm. While in the physical we may feel that tug-of-war of the fight we are in, but God says I got you. Battles can get very real and very scary at times but they will never tear you from His love. He is relentlessly in love with you and you are SECURED. “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing,” (Zephaniah 3:17).
There is no safer place to be than in a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Click here for PDF: SECURED Sunday School Lesson, or simply click the print button below. Enjoy!)
Below are activities to support this lesson. Enjoy!
Memory Verse: Romans 8 31 Memory Verse Coloring Page
Mobile Craft: Cut out and tape this topper to a clothes hanger or dowel rod: Romans 8 31 Mobile Topper (I suggest using cardstock for this). Next, using the same memory verse pdf from above (Romans 8 31 Memory Verse Coloring Page), I simply cut out each picture and glued them onto cut out rectangle shaped (or any shape you like) construction paper. I punched a hole in each and strung them through and tie or tape into place. This is an easy craft project that’s very affordable to throw together. I hope you enjoy!
Below are Resources/Activities/Links to support this lesson. Enjoy!
“God Turns Us Inside Out” (Popcorn object lesson)
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