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Sermon #95[i] — Romans Series
Title: Five Bold
Challenges of Faith
Text: Romans 8:31-39
Subject: Assurance Based upon GodÕs Purpose
What is the basis of your assurance and confidence before God? Many, when they think about assurance, recall their past experience of grace, the time when they first believed on Christ, or some climactic event in their lives. Many base their assurance upon their inward graces, their feelings, and even their works. Many even base their confidence upon the opinions others have about them. If you find comfort, assurance, and confidence before God concerning your soul and eternity upon any of these things, your house is built upon sand and will surely fall when contrary winds begin to blow upon it.
The believerÕs confidence and assurance arises from and is based upon the purpose of God and the accomplished work of Christ as revealed in Holy Scripture. That is what I want to talk to you about in this message.
The title of my message is — Five Bold Challenges of Faith. Our text will be Romans 8:31-39. In this great, delightful, soul cheering portion of Holy Scripture God the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to raise and answer five questions, five bold challenges of faith, by which he teaches us that the blessed Òfull assurance of hopeÓ (Hebrews 6:11) and Òfull assurance of faithÓ in Christ (Hebrews 10:22) is assurance that arises from and is based upon the purpose of God revealed and accomplished in the person and work of our Lord Jeus Christ. I like what Martin Luther saidÉ
ÒFeelings come and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving.
I trust the written Word of God ―
Naught else is worth believing.Ó
We will begin in verse 31, where Paul raises the question ― ÒWhat shall we then say to these things?Ó
Our confidence and assurance regarding our everlasting salvation does not depend upon our outward circumstances, our inward feelings, or our personal obedience. Our assurance rests entirely upon purpose of God and the person and finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ, as these things are set forth in the Word of God.
How we rejoice in the blessed declaration of GodÕs providential rule of the universe, in knowing that our heavenly Father rules all things, all the time, everywhere for our good and his glory Òaccording to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our LordÓ (Ephesians 3:11). That is what we read in Romans 8:28-30.
(Romans 8:28-30) ÒAnd we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. 29 ¦ 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. 30 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.Ó
In Romans 8:31-39 the Apostle Paul breaks out into exultant praise. Having established the great truths of GodÕs rich, free, abundant grace in Christ, he seems unable to restrain himself. Waving the palm branches of victory through Christ in his soul, this redeemed sinner defies all his enemies and glories in salvation by Christ, raising these five bold challenges of confident faith. LetÕs look at them together.
(Romans 8:28-30) ÒAnd we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. 29 ¦ 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. 30 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 —— 31 What shall we then say to these things?Ó
If God be for usÉ
First, IÕll say this ― (v. 31) ÒIf God be for us, who can be against us?Ó
(Psalms 56:9) ÒWhen I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.Ó
The God of all power, sovereign dominion, and eternal love is for us.
á He is for us in his sovereign providence, working all things together for our good.
á God is for us in his saving purpose, in electing love, predestinating grace, effectual calling, perfect justification, and eternal glorification.
á He is for us in his substitutionary provision, sparing not his only Son.
Let earth and hell unite in their rage against GodÕs elect, we will not fear, for God is for us! ― ÒThe Lord is with us. Fear them notÓ (Numbers 14:9).
(Psalms 118:4-9) ÒLet them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth forever. (5) I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. (6) The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? (7) The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. (8) It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. (9) It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.Ó
(Psalms 118:14-17) ÒThe LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation. (15) The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. (16) The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. (17) I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.Ó
How shall he notÉ
Second, I have to say this — ÒHe that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things?Ó (v. 32) — That is heavenly logic, and thatÕs the only kind of logic that can be trusted.
The Lord God almighty spared not his own Son.
á The Humiliation of the Incarnation (2 Corinthians 8:9)
á The Temptations of the Devil
á The Slanders of Men
á The Betrayal of His Friend
á The Agony of Gethsemane
á The Painful, Shameful, Ignominious Death of the Cross
á The Tortures of Cruel Men
á The Transfer of Sin
á The Abandonment of His Father
á The Curse of the Law
God our Father, because of his great love for us delivered Christ up to the hands of justice and death for the redemption and salvation of our poor souls.
Be assured, my brother, my sister, he will with his Son freely give us all things. If he has done the greater, he will not leave the less undone.
á Christ is GodÕs free grace gift to his elect (1 Corinthians 9:15).
á The gift of Christ includes all other gifts.
á If God so loved his elect that he gave his Son for us, he will certainly give the Holy Spirit to each on purchased by the blood of his dear Son, to make that gift effectual (John 16:7-11).
This is our confidence before God. We are assured of salvation, not because we are assured of our own constancy, but simply because we are assured of the immutability of GodÕs mercy, love, and grace in Christ. We are assured of its immutability because we are assured of its greatness. Infinite love cannot change. That great love that spared not the eternal Son of God, but freely gave him up, cannot fail any of its objects.
Illustration: My Gifts to Doug
HereÕs the third thing I have to say to these things. — ÒWho shall lay anything to the charge of GodÕs elect?Ó
(Romans 8:33) ÒWho shall lay anything to the charge of GodÕs elect? It is God that justifieth.Ó
ÒWho shall lay anything to the charge of GodÕs elect?Ó
á Many would.
á No one can!
á Nothing can! — Satan cannot, he is defeated and judged. The world cannot, it is condemned. The law cannot, it is honored. God in justice cannot, Òit is God that justifieth.Ó
Notice that here the word ÒjustifiethÓ is in the present tense, not because justification is continually being accomplished, but because it is forever efficacious and continually revealed and applied to our hearts as we look to Christ (1 John 1:9). God declares that we are perfectly righteous in Christ continually. He will never charge us with sin. — ÒBlessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin!Ó
Fourth, trusting Christ, believing God, having God as my Father, Christ as my Savior, and God the Spirit as my Comforter, I issue this confident challenge: — ÒWho is he that condemneth?Ó
(Romans 8:34) ÒWho 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.Ó
It is impossible that one of ChristÕs sheep should ever perish, because Christ died in our place. He was raised again for our justification. He finished the work of our redemption, and sat down in heaven. Christ himself intercedes for us in glory.
(1 John 2:1-2) ÒMy little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (2) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.Ó
Illustration: The Woman Taken in Adultery
HereÕs the fifth bold challenge of faith with which God the Holy Ghost teaches believing sinners to rejoice and exult before him. — ÒWho shall separate us from the love of Christ?Ó — No power, no being, and no act of men, of Satan, or of the demons of hell, can separate us from the SaviorÕs love. Read verses 35-39 with me and rejoice!
(Romans 8:35-39) ÒWho shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) 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.Ó
á No Earthly Trouble!
á No Spiritual Trouble!
á Nothing in Heaven!
á Nothing in Earth!
á Nothing in Hell!
á Nothing in Us!
á Nothing Outside Us!
á Nothing in Time!
á Nothing in Eternity!
á The purpose of God must stand!
á The blood of Christ shall never lose its power!
á The seal of the Spirit cannot be broken!
á The promise of God cannot fail!
(Malachi 3:6) ÒFor I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.Ó
Illustration: John Jasper — ÒHeÕs got moÕ taÕ lose Ôdan me. IÕd lose my soul; but heÕd lose his glory.Ó
The very name and honor of our Triune God is on the line. If one sinner who trusts Christ goes to hell, God loses his honor as God; and that cannot be (Jeremiah 14:20-21).
(Jeremiah 14:20-21) ÒWe acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee. (21) Do not abhor us, for thy nameÕs sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us.Ó
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and go home rejoicing in confident faith, throughout the days of your life, and, when you come to die, exulting in Christ, exulting in grace, free, sovereign, effectual, saving grace.
(Romans 8:31-39) ÒWhat shall we then say to these things?
1. If God be for us, who can be against us?
2. (32) 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?
3. (33) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
4. (34) 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. (35)
5. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) 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.
[i] Danville — Sunday Morning — August 7, 2016
Covenant of Grace Baptist Church, N Wilkesboro, NC — (08/10/16)
Reading: Hebrews 10:1-25
(1) For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. (2) For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. (3) But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. (4) For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
(5) Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: (6) In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. (8) Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; (9) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. (10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
(15) Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, (16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; (17) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. (18) Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
(19) Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (20) By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; (21) And having an high priest over the house of God; (22) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (23) Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (24) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.Ó