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December 4, 2020 12:01 am
Even if the world gives way around us and Satan should do his worst, believers are safe and secure in the love of Christ. Today, Derek Thomas suggests that the closing words of Romans 8 confirm that this is the greatest chapter in the Bible.
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Today on Renewing Your Mind will divorce separately from the love of Christ's will. The loss of a loved one separately from the love of Christ and you can fill in that blank that applies to you and the answer is nothing can separate us and we can add to those questions.
Global pandemics of social unrest were political turmoil. Thankfully, the answer is still no welcome to Renewing Your Mind on this Friday we went to Dr. Derek Thomas returns to his in-depth study of Romans chapter 8 to remind us that we as believers are safe and secure in the love of Christ. Welcome back to the final lesson in the best doctor in the Bible Romans eight and we are in verses 35 to 39 which begins who shall separate us from the love of Christ, and I want to read to an extract from Robert Bruce, an account of his death.
Robert Bruce was born in 1554, just 10 years before Calvin died out in the context and then I died in 1631, so he had a long life lived in Scotland. He was a disciple of the John Knox and Andrew Melville and he died on July 27 in 1630, 100 come to breakfast and his younger daughter was there beside him. I'm quoting from an historical account of master Robert Bruce as he mused in silence. Suddenly, he cried, holds daughter hold my master call with me.
He was dying Diaz that the Bible should be brought, but his sight failed to Monday couldn't read it cost me up upon the eighth of Romans cried, and he repeated much of the latter portion of the Scripture till he came to the last two buses. I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, the height nor depth, nor any other creature as the King James version, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord set my finger on these words said the blinds dying men can't be with you my children. I have breakfasted with you, and shall stop with my Lord Jesus.
This night I die believing in these works well as a moving tale of how these words were used to help someone die in 1631, full of faith and confidence and assurance in the gospel of the context here who shall separate us from the love of Christ first 35 tribulation and distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger or sword. On one thinks for example of times when those terms have had a literal sense for some of God's people in Somalia in parts of the world to North Korea. Perhaps in certain parts of the East today.
One certainly knows of Christians who are facing these very things of persecution and swords and nakedness and famine and so the context here is one of strife from is one of difficulty. Calvin wrote a commentary on first Peter in which she has the words God is so ordered the church from the very beginning that death is the way to live from the cross. The way to victory that is through many tribulations that we enter the kingdom of God.
That was one of the things Paul first learned following his first missionary journey that God calls upon some of his children to suffer and to suffer Mark Xun to suffer even to the point of giving one's life for the gospel answer the question then becomes very pertinent. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ's Christians today being water boarded because they want them to deny the Lord Jesus. There are Christians who are being deprived of sleep. There are Christians being psychologically abused the Christians to whom mind altering drugs are given because of their commitment to the gospel. One thinks of Thomas Cranmer, for example, the great English reformer.
During the reign of Queen Mary. He he signed a document renouncing certain features of the Reformation meant he was ashamed of what he had done and eventually when Thomas Cranmer was executed because he was executed. Anyway he thrust his right hand first into the flames. A hand-lettered sign that document, and he held it there for some length of time in demonstration of his repentance and his commitment to the Lord Jesus. But the question remains the same.
Who can separate us from the love of Christ and you notice in verse 35. It is the law of of Christ's, and it's the love of Christ in attendance in the Greek that suggests his love for us at a certain point in the past.
Not that he doesn't continue to love us, but it's to the cross that this verse is actually alluding. I think the grammar would seem to suggest that solicited the passage, who shall separate us from the love of Christ shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness or danger or sword and you might want to pause in on some of your own will.
Alzheimer's separately from the love of Christ. When the divorce separately from the love of Christ, will the loss of a loved one separately from the love of Christ cancer separately from the love of Christ in and you can fill in that blank that applies to you. Paul is thinking on the grand scale of trials and tribulations send distresses and the answer is nothing can separate us as it is written in verse 3536 as it is written, for your sake we are being killed all the day long we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered as a squirting of course from the Old Testament that it is too many tribulations that we enter the kingdom of God knowing all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I'm sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord and and you notice and let's pick up some of these things as he mentions them in verse 38 neither death nor life death cannot separate us from the love of Christ when we die when we stop breathing when brain waves cease and reprimands dad, our souls will separate from the body consciousness will continue what you think of is you your your self-awareness will continue so that five seconds after your body is dead. You are still alive. If you are still conscious and you are some where and you are in the presence of the Lord Jesus send you with the saints who have gone before you endure in the company of angels and archangels, and during that intermediate state to end the Bible doesn't say a whole lot about it except that it exists and Jesus said to the dying thief, today you will be with me in paradise. That's a wonderful thing that Christians have by way of assurance at the time of death. You go to visit someone in the diamine of the dying and they been struggling perhaps with the disease, and finally the disease, since claim them and their a day before their death that our us.
Perhaps before the death of the gone into that breathing mode that says there on the pathway to decline and it's going to be hours from now.
It may be tonight, maybe 3 o'clock tomorrow morning, but the dying and the family are call and sometimes there's a moment of consciousness and I assume even then hello or speak to from occurring in that condition because I don't know whether they can hear me or not. And very often I I've read this passage or the 23rd Psalm and there's been some physical gesture of their eyes of linked or you felt just a squeeze on your hand that they can actually hear you and it's that gospel message that they're holding onto on this ravaging of body and soul, and it's parts of the remains of the curse in this world and to troll not be a feature of the new heavens and new earth, because we will live forever in resurrected bodies – cannot separate me from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord. And then let's pick up some of the other things that he mentions here he talks about death nor life and and wildlife life as he has termed it here as he is described it here in Romans eight.
Life in this world. Life under the sun. Life in this world that is given to futility life that sometimes even for Christians can say there's not much meaning here are the doesn't seem to be much purpose here. There seems to be a pointlessness of the frustration in the songs and the source of the costs of infected the way we perceive the world tend God is behind a veil of this meaninglessness of life from the drudgery of it that life that has changed radically that life where the husband has committed adultery and tennis left in children have rebelled and the gone then to your left and the dream of your marriage seems in tatters and the prospects that you had for your future now seem altogether frustrated with this life of yours will separate you from the love of God in Jesus Christ. And right there in the mass and the mark in the mire of your life.
God can come with this reassuring word by his spirit witness with your spirits that you're a child of God tend an air under a joint heir with Jesus Christ. Life may not have turned out to be what I thought it would turn out to be the dreams and ambitions but nothing can separate me on the horrendous nests that life can often throw at you cannot separate me from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
And then he talks about angels and rulers and perhaps he means here as you might mean in powers that the end of verse 38, and perhaps he's thinking here of hostile angels and fallen Angels and demonic angels send her sickness often referred to as the Princeton power of the air, those powers and the fact that he's been asking questions that begin with who. Four of them in these closing buses, who shall lay any charge against God's elect who is to condemn who shall separate, and so on. These these questions and he's thinking of. Ultimately, Satan, Satan, the accuser, the accuser of the brethren, and how he accuses Christians until say you're not good enough and that you failed and that you've left the master down and how can you possibly think that is going to continue with you and eventually these accusations take a hold on past Sunday state. Can we begin to ponder them. And Paul is saying nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
And then he talks about height and depth than anything else in all creation, so name your price and the what is it you think that can get you down.
What is it that can separate you and Paul is wanting us. I think to go all the way back to Romans 81 and work our way down again and he wants us to be reminded that Jesus is David and that he has shed his blood and that he's made atonement on the God did not spare him, but freely deliver them up for us all and how shall he not also with him freely give us all things.
He wants us to go back to the logic of the cross.
The cross forgiveness. That's what it does. It doesn't it doesn't simply give us the potential for forgiveness that would be disappointing because we would fail every time. If it depended in any way upon something that we did know the cross says Jesus loves us this I know for the Bible tells me so payments God cannot twice demand once of migrating surety send and then again at mine top ladies here who are poor and faith revived. The payment has been paid and is been paid in full panic be demanded again. So Jesus has paid the price for past sin and presence in, and future sin. All of all of Atkinson's that you don't know and since you haven't even begin to think about that and since that are gray offender graver than you think they are and all of them deserve the death of Jesus, all of them, every single one of them.
And Jesus took them all and he took them as a substitute in the sin bearer and he made atonement to distorting our place in the office to us his spotless robe of righteousness. So, think on these things to remember what he said back in verse 18. I consider that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us.
And so that the present sufferings that is the suffering of the present time, the suffering of this age that belongs to this age. This age from the cross to the second coming. This age in which you and I live and there are sufferings and trials on some of them are external and some of them were internal.
Some of them are of our own making and some of them are psychological and some of them are because of the way that we were raised and they set patterns of thought and responsible behavior so that we can't think of a heavenly father without thinking perhaps of an abusive father and these things distort us on the part of our present sufferings of the things that happen to us that have changed our lives in their unchangeable they can't be undone anymore and we have to live with the consequences of it in pulses, consider Rankin, think on these things that the suffering here on this trial here on this difficulty here and there are obstacles here, but there's glory to come this marvelous and beautiful and splendid glory to come and nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord. We are, he says more than conquerors. We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. What an enormously wonderful, astonishing thing that is that God would take a hold of the likes of us and say I have predestined you from glory.
And I've done all that it takes to get you there and every obstacle, every accusation against you. I've taken away of desperate attempt out for that in my son I did not spare him I freely deliver them up for you all and along with him. I'll freely give you all things to remember Elisha and his servants at Dothan and the those who are on the mountains around him, and he sees the forces that are arrayed against him and the servant says, where do when done for this no hope for us here and remember Elisha's prayer open his eyes that he might see, there are more with us than with them and they have an incentive open and and the servant sees these tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of angelic forces that are on our side and working with her son for us and ensuring that God's promises will always be fulfilled. They are guardians and I don't know whether we have one guardian angel or whether we have many guardian angels or whether the entirety of the Angels guardians are not sure the answer to that question but I know that there on our side needs and are helping us in their ensuring that everything that Jesus is ever done will be completed. Remember Luther's famous him a mighty Fortress is our God, and probably there is a dispute over this but probably written in 1529, when the plea befell Wittenberg and many of Luther's friends died, including some that are very close to him and his secretary's wife died in his arms and there were other incidents and and he wrote this him a mighty Fortress is our God, and remember those lines, the Prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him. His rage we can endure for lower his doom is sure one little word shall fell him and I think that word is tender last die in Greek. It takes three words to translate it into English.
It is finished.
It is, is Jesus word on the cross. It is finished.
It is done it is complete and all of Satan's rage all of his accusations always parts all of his slander one little words just fell him to the last time it is finished. It is done or I think of top ladies him the debtor to mercy alone of covenant to mercy icing nor fear with thy righteousness on my personal and offering to bring the terrorism law and of God with me can have nothing to do. My Savior's obedience and blood hide all my transgressions from view the work which is goodness began the arm of his strengths will complete his promises yeah and amen and never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now know things below or above can make him his purpose, forgo or sever my soul from his love my name from the palms of his hands. Eternity will not to raise impressed on his heart.
It remains sin marks of indelible grace your side to the end shall endure as sure as the earnest is given the earnest of the Holy Spirit more happy, but not more secure. The glorified spirits in heaven and I think probably the is basing that him entirely on the closing versus of Romans eight.
It is the best chapter in the Bible. This is a chapter to take with you through all of life it's attempted to memorize into chapter you will find yourself going to find yourself in one touring the door in distress, soaring difficulty. It's a chapter that you refer to when you share the accusing voice in the slander of Satan and says to not good enough and your failing and you contend and say to them, and you don't know the half of that one little word will family you had the last I it is finished. I trusted Romans eight will be to you as it has been to me a source of great encouragement in the knowledge and in the certainty of having begun the good work in this God will complete Romans chapter 8 from the unbreakable chain of redemption to the glorious truth of God's everlasting love. This chapter is an anchor for our souls. Dr. Derek Thomas is better teacher over the past few days here on Renewing Your Mind giving us just a glimpse of his teaching series on Romans eight.
There are 12 messages at all and would like to send them to you on two DVDs you can request them with your gift of any amount to regular ministries you can find us email@example.com or you can call us at 800-435-4343. Dr. Thomas is senior minister at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina. Chancellor's Prof. of systematic and pastoral theology at reformed theological seminary and that we are grateful for his labors with us here at regular ministries is one of our teaching fellows in that role is a regular contributor to table talk. Our monthly Bible study magazine. We invite you to subscribe to it. You'll not only receive the printed edition each month, but you also have access to a vast firstname.lastname@example.org, for example, there more than 50 articles in Bible studies on Romans chapter 8, you can find out more by going to table talk.com branch are relatively new to our program and have heard is referred to reformed theology and wondered what is that exactly what Dr. RC Sproul taught an entire series entitled what is reformed theology beginning Monday, will feature that series and we hope you will be with us for Renewing Your Mind