INTERCEDING FOR US
Paul reaches a conclusion about salvation after walking through sin, the law, and justification. Condemnation has been removed for those who are in Christ Jesus because he has set them free from the law of sin and death. Paul wants the believer to understand that the Spirit of life liberates the believer from the bondage of sin. The law cannot save, overcome sin, or avoid the penalty of sin which is death. Jesus was sent in the likeness of the creature which is flesh and conquered the power of sin by keeping the righteous requirements of the law. Sin was condemned when the Father poured out his judgment on Jesus. Jesus sets people free from sin's penalty, but he also sets the believer free from sin's power through the Holy Spirit. The Christian becomes a new creation who delights in and longs for spiritual things. The sinful mind is hostile toward God and cannot submit to God's law nor can it please God. The evidence of salvation is the Spirit of God indwelling the believer, and although the mortal body will die, the Spirit that raised Jesus will also raise the Christian giving resurrection life to mortal bodies. People who are dead in their trespasses and sins are under the control of sin, but believers are no longer subject to the power of sin because through the power of the Holy Spirit the deeds of the flesh can be put to death.
The Spirit Of Adoption
The Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ and union with Christ makes one a child of God through adoption. Adoption gives the believer the glorious privilege of calling God their Father. Part of what the Holy Spirit does in the life of the Christian is to give assurance of their right standing before God. Christians are given the right to receive all that God has promised, including eternal life as they share in the privileges of Christ. The suffering endured by the children of God serves as evidence that they belong to God and as such will be glorified with Christ. Any suffering that the Christian faces cannot be compared to the glory that will be realized in the life to come. All of creation anticipates and longs for final redemption when God's family is revealed. Sin affects not only mankind's relationship to God, but all of creation is subjected to futility. Not all of God's creatures are moral, but they fell as a result of man's sin. The Christian lives in the tension of the already, but not yet and the Holy Spirit guarantees redemption and restoration which must be waited for with patience. The Holy Spirit helps the believer in weakness and intercedes for them when they don't know what to pray. The Christian comes by the Spirit, through the Son, to the Father. There is unity and harmony within the Godhead, and Christ knows the mind of the Spirit and the hearts of men. The Spirit knows the mind of the believer and the mind of God, so he will intercede according to the will of God. God is sovereign over suffering, and he will use it for the ultimate good and benefit of his children. There is a restriction that must be noted; God only does this for those who have a genuine affection and love for him which is brought about by the Spirit. All who love God have been called according to his purpose, or they would not love God. God must know someone before predestines them to anything. God saves to the uttermost, so he knows those he predestines, he calls those he predestines, he justifies those he calls, he will glorify those he justifies.
What Shall We Say?
Paul asks the question, "How should someone respond to God's sovereignty in salvation?" The answer is assurance and comfort. The ultimate destiny of the believer is in the hands of omnipotent, sovereign, loving God and so who could possibly oppose the mighty God. The Father who gave the Son for our adoption shows that he will graciously give all things to his children. God is for us. God gave himself for our redemption. Who shall charge or seek to condemn God's elect? Christ, our elder brother is at the right hand of God, and he interceded on our behalf. Is there anything greater than the love of God? What can separate us from the love of God? No, we are more than conquerors because we are in Christ who has conquered all foes, and he is our Lord!
Things To Consider:
- Why are we not under the condemnation of God any longer?
- How did God give us our freedom?
- How is Jesus' fulfillment of the law our fulfillment of the law?
- Why do we sin if we are free?
- What are some of the things that the Holy Spirit does for us?
- How do we put sin to death?
- How does the Spirit help us with assurance?
- How should we think about suffering? Why?
- How marvelous is God's love?
- How should you respond to this truth?