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Pastor Brant Seacrist

May 13, 2018

"CALLED ACCORDING TO PURPOSE"

TEXT: Romans 8: 26 - 30
READING:  Psalm 119: 81 - 96

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SUBJ: Concluding realizations of the work of the Spirit in revealing His personal activity and thus the connection to the divine purpose and the fact that such is all in the eternal purpose of God.

AIM: That we might draw fully upon what the Spirit provides and be assured by the declaration of the divine purpose.

INTR: In v. 25 we were reminded that the things hoped for remain unseen, but we are encouraged to patiently wait in view of all the assurances given us in this chapter and elsewhere.
1. We have been assured of “no condemnation” and declared to be free from the law of sin and death.
2. We have the further witness of the indwelling Spirit who bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God and assures us by that of the resurrection of our bodies.
3. We are made to be assured by our inward groanings along with the groanings of creation as we await the fulness of adoption and the “glorious liberty of the children of God.”

THESIS: As if all that has gone before was not enough, we are now made aware of the personal groanings of the Holy Spirit with the aim of bringing us into the fulness of hope in understanding the connection to the divine purpose in it all.

I. The Spirit and our infirmities (vv. 26-27)
1. The mention here of infirmities does not see us in the same way as those not born again in that there are abilities given us through God-given faith and leadership of the Spirit of God.
2. It is rather those things wherein we, being still burdened by the old nature, struggle against sin, temptations, and all hindrances to our faith.
3. This is above that already mentioned of the Spirit’s work in us and addresses the higher things of God in that He as God knows full well.
1) This does not negate the necessity of fervent prayer in us – we are directed to pray
2) Neither does it mean that He, the Holy Spirit, is making us pray apart from a sense of duty.
3) It is rather He personally and having an interest in that moves Him to intercede
4) Christ intercedes for us in Heaven and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us on earth.
4. He that searches the hearts – 1 O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. 2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Psalms 139:1-2:
1) Certainly, could be understood of all the Godhead
2) But, here the Spirit is characterized as having both the mind of God and perfect knowledge of our hearts.

II. The promise to those who love God (v. 28)
1. The original has the order reversed to identify those loving God and being called first.
2. This is a particular application to the saints having been so identified throughout this section.
1) It is to them exclusively that this statement is made in that reciprocal identity is here stated.
2) It must be understood in the context of the Spirit’s work and it points to the verse following that declare the sovereign purpose of God.
3. The identifying factors are:
1) They love God – We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
2) They are those called of God – having experience that divine operation wherein we are made to now His voice and follow Him. See: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 AND But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 2 Thessalonians 2:13
4. The work is that all things are made to work for the good of those so identified:
1) God is not the author of sin and yet He is able to make it turn to accomplish His purpose
2) All those things which cause us to groan now look to an eternal purpose and good.

III. The Golden Chain of Salvation (vv. 29-30)
1. Having seen what the operations of the Spirit are within us, we are now brought to the reason of it all in the light of God’s purpose in Grace. The word “for” are “because” ties this to things preceding.
2. This is called a chain because the thing pointed to in each statement becomes the subject of the next statement. It is to be noted that all these are God’s doing and all are spoken of as already accomplished!
1) Foreknowledge – is not God being able to see what a person will do and then act according as has been the idea of many – it is the declaration of His eternal love for a people and we are reminded of According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Ephesians 1:4.
2) Predestination – “That effective exercise of God’s will whereby things before determined by Him are brought to pass.” C. I. Scofield. It is important that the aim is conformation to the image of Christ and that both as a present work and the final result.
3) Called – with which we move into the realm of time in which the call of God is experienced as the work of regeneration enabling a response to the call to be saints.
4) Justified – Accomplished by Christ on the Cross and claimed by the faith of God’s elect and thus declares them innocent and enables a life confirming that they are His.
5) Glorified – See v. 17 along with: Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2. See further If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1 (a present reality) and But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (A work in progress wherein we have foretastes of glory).