Friday, March 30

Romans 8:32

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

If God gave his own son for sinners to secure the only way to salvation, then how could He not graciously give all things to those that he has called? This passage brings into perspective the seriousness of sin to our Holy God. If the only way to reconciliation was for the Son of God to suffer the torments of the crucifixion, then human sin is extremely serious to Almighty God. However, God not only provided the solution in Christ, He also graciously gives us all things.

Although God provides showers of physical blessings in this world, the truly important blessings He provides are spiritual blessings such as peace, patience, joy, love, kindness, goodness, self-control and the like. These are the important and lasting things that are enduring and truly satisfy the yearnings of the soul. Our hearts can never find rest in material wealth, but God does give rest and contentment to those who are in Christ.

The photo above shows a picture of a boxed-in area off from the main street in Telluride where people can leave or take anything they want. It is called a free box and this verse reminds me that God has given the children of God a spiritual free box that is never empty. Have you received the spiritual gifts that are available in God’s free box?

Praise God that while rust may claim our material wealth and death will claim our physical bodies, He destroyed the sting of death by piling grace on top of grace.

Tuesday, March 27

Romans 8:31

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

The us in this verse is referring to those who are in Christ Jesus and are clinging and trusting in the solid rock that is Jesus. This is illustrated in the photo above by a Bible resting on a rock with an attached cross. Chapter 8 of Romans has shown us in great detail how God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit accomplish redemption by conforming a people to the image of Christ. Every step along the way has been accomplished by our triune God to redeem sinners who are unable, apart from this grace, to come to faith in Christ. Since God is for us by doing all of this, Paul asks rhetorically, who can be against us? While many can be and are against Christians, no one can be successful in their opposition to the children of God. Many Christians express concerns about worldly adversaries to the Christian Church, but no one can prevent a single saint from reaching his heavenly home, let alone destroy the Church of Christ. Christians may have problems, suffer persecution and even go through premature death, but nothing or no one can change their inevitable salvation in Jesus Christ or frustrate God’s purposes for their lives. This comforting truth is one that gives peace and joy to Christians as they consider and meditate on this magnificent chapter.

Praise God that, through his grace, he generously gives to sinners everything that is needed for their salvation. This grace is secure and nothing can alter or change what God has predestined to occur.

Saturday, March 24

Romans 8:30

Romans 8:30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Those whom he predestined, he also called. Many are invited to come to salvation in Jesus Christ by faith in his atoning sacrifice. The external call goes out in evangelism and by preachers world wide every day. Sinners are called to place their trust and faith in Christ. However, because man is spiritually blind and in fact spiritually dead, he cannot see or hear spiritual things. Like a person who is deep in a tunnel with no lights, he cannot see the glorious mountaintop that faith in Jesus Christ secures. Therefore, God, through the Holy Spirit, makes this external call effectual by quickening to life and giving sinners sight in order that they may hear and respond to the external call. God calls sinners by changing them and giving them a new spiritual birth, which is regeneration and referred to as being born again. Sinners respond to this new life by willingly coming to faith in Jesus Christ. All whom God calls by this intervention come and are justified.

God justifies them in his sight by declaring them not guilty. He does this because of their faith in what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross for them as their substitute. They are counted as righteous because of Christ and not themselves. God glorifies those whom he justified by finishing the job of conforming them to Christ at their death. In all the steps leading to salvation in verses 29 & 30, God does it all. God provides all that he requires of man. As Abraham told Isaac in Genesis 22:8, “God will provide.”

Praise God that He does provide everything in salvation and none are lost on the journey to eternal life. This provision is God’s grace and it began before the foundation of the world and is present every step of the way. The proper response for redeemed sinners when talking about their salvation is to begin the sentence with “God” rather than “I”.

Wednesday, March 21

Romans 8:29

Romans 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

In the photo above, the Blue Angels’ tight formation requires that the three wingmen be conformed by following the speed and three dimensional direction changes of the lead aircraft. Christians are likewise conformed to Christ by following Christ through sanctifying grace.

In the verse above, God predestines those whom he foreknew to be conformed to the image of his Son. This is not based on what God foreknew through foreknowledge but is based on whom God foreknew. The meaning here for foreknew is the same as in Matthew 7:23 where Jesus told the hypocrites, “I never knew you.” This verse is the first of a two-verse chain where Paul reveals that God does everything required to bring the children of God to conformity with Jesus Christ. Those he foreknew are those he chose through his sovereign grace, and these are the ones he predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son. This conformity to Christ is not completed until a believer is glorified after death, but the process is begun when a believer comes to faith in Christ. This process of becoming conformed to Christ is called sanctification, and all who are predestined to be conformed respond in varying degrees to the urging of the Holy Spirit (Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.). This verse does not allow for any possibility that some would not respond to this sanctifying grace. This is but one of hundreds of passages that refute and destroy the false teaching that a person can be saved and continue in a life of sin with no interest in following Christ. The verse ends with the glorious truth that believers, who are conformed to the image of Christ, are brothers of Christ.

Praise God that, through his grace and mercy, he saved and conformed many to be brothers and sisters of Christ.


Also visit Bluecollar where Jazzycat is a contributor. Current Jazzy series at Bluecollar is on Hebrews 12.

Saturday, March 17

Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

The 1973 flood of the Mississippi River was a huge setback for farmers who were counting on a crop to pay off their notes and obligations. While it was not good for the temporal concerns of the Mississippi Delta area residents, God has assured us in His Word that all things work for good for those who are called according to his purpose. Therefore, the flood of 1973 worked together with other things for the good of God’s purpose for believers. This purpose is a spiritual purpose and, as the next verse states, it is for believers to be conformed to the image of Christ. This promise of good does not include temporal concerns such as wealth and health, and it does not include unbelievers at all. This does not mean that God does not pour out temporal blessings on all people at times, but that is not the blessings this verse addresses. This verse is stating that all things work together for the spiritual good of those God has called and will call in the future.

An example of this would be the contribution that the pilgrims gave in founding this country. While it involved much suffering, even this suffering of the pilgrims several hundred years ago has worked and is still working for the good of people being called to this very day. The apostles suffered and died for the gospel, and this has worked together for the good of those that love God and are called according to his purpose.

Praise God that all things work together for the good of his purpose, and this purpose is to redeem and prepare a people to have eternal life as brothers and sisters with Jesus Christ. How is any temporal setback even worth comparing to this spiritual good that all things are working toward?

Thursday, March 15

Romans 8:27

Romans 8:27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

The bride in the photo above has searched her bridegroom’s heart and is confident of his love for her and that their hopes and dreams are set on the right course. However, she cannot be certain as only God can search hearts and know for sure about a person’s desires, intentions, motivations, and such. In verse 27 above, God is in such harmony with the Holy Spirit that he knows the mind of the Spirit and that the Spirit intercedes according to his will. The Holy Spirit is in perfect harmony with God as well and in his groanings becomes the perfect advocate for believers who struggle in their weakness of prayer. Believers are in Christ and are doubly blessed to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them and interceding on their behalf in accordance with the will of God.

Praise our triune God that everything needed for our salvation is provided.

Tuesday, March 13

Romans 8:26

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

The photo above shows a statue of Moses holding The Ten Commandments on top of the Hinds County Courthouse in Jackson, MS. (I suppose the ACLU hasn’t noticed since it is located so high and their minds are not interested in things above.)

Moses interceded on behalf of the Israelites during the time of the Exodus, and lawyers intercede on behalf of their clients in courthouses all across America. Believers also have an intercessor as Jesus promised that the Father would send a Counselor to be with us after he had gone. This Counselor, The Holy Spirit, is active in many ways in God’s plan of redemption and Paul continues to explain the work of the Holy Spirit in verse 26. We are told that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness in prayer since we do not know what to pray for or how to do it. The Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Paul had already mentioned the creation groaning and Christians groaning with anticipation and longing for the revealing of the sons of God. Therefore, the groaning of the indwelling Holy Spirit is not a groaning from indecision or confusion but is a ministering empathy for the plight of a redeemed sinner who has the attributes that Jesus outlined in the Beatitudes. The redeemed sinner, according to Jesus, is so convicted of sin that he mourns for his poor in spirit condition and longs for righteousness. I believe it is at this point of our weakness and futility that the Holy Spirit intercedes in support with groanings too deep for words.

Praise God that Jesus did send a counselor to minister and intercede on our behalf when, in our weakness, we do not know what to pray for or how to do it properly.


Also visit Bluecollar where Jazzycat is a contributor. Late Wednesday or Thursday we will begin a series on Hebrews Chapter 12 over at Bluecollar.

Saturday, March 10

Romans 8:25

Romans 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Just as pilots have a hope and expectation of finding an unseen runway through the use of navigation instruments, Christians have a hope and expectation of unseen heavenly things through faith in Jesus Christ.

Unbelievers have their attention and focus on the things of this world. All of their hopes and dreams are on the temporal things that they see, feel, and touch. Since they know that their window of time to achieve temporal riches, fame, and power is limited, they are usually impatient and in a bit of a hurry to acquire and enjoy the riches offered by this world. This worldview was popularized a decade or so ago with the advertising slogan that stated that you should go for the gusto since you only go around once. However, Christians have a different perspective and worldview. Our minds are on things above and not earthly things. Our hopes are not in the earthly things we see, but are in the heavenly things that we do not see. Since we know that what we do not see is eternal and solid, we wait with patience and a feeling of joy and peace. This is why Paul could say that he had learned to be content in any situation. Christians seek to glorify God and enjoy him forever rather than going for the gusto today.

Praise God that, by his grace, Christians are able to handle hardships and suffering better than unbelievers sometimes handle success and riches.

Thursday, March 8

Romans 8:24

Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?

Paul in v. 16 revealed the Holy Spirit bears witness that we are children of God. However, we still live in a fallen world that groans along with us as we wait for the final step in our salvation, which is the redemption of our bodies. Although we have been saved and are eternally secure, we are still being saved as we groan and wait eagerly for the consummation of our salvation. In this hope we were saved and we rest our confidence in reaching the celestial City of God. Believers understand that the world is not our home and we are only passing through on a journey to our eternal home for which we hope and anticipate. While the hope that is in us is unseen, it is a sure hope and expectation that is based on the promises of God. Just as the airline passengers in the photo above have a hope and expectation of landing safely at home, believers also have an expectation and hope of landing safely in the eternal kingdom that is based on a much stronger promise than any airline could ever give.

Praise God that the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that our hope is based on the solid rock of Christ and not sifting sand.


Also visit Bluecollar where Jazzycat is a contributor.
Romans 8:24 will be posted later this morning here on Jazzycat.....

Monday, March 5

Romans 8:23

Romans 8:23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

The fishermen in the photo above are all trying to get to that prime spot where the fish seem to be biting the best. Some are not quite to the hot spot and are literally groaning inwardly with eagerness to make it all the way to the prime spot that fisherman refer to as the honey hole. They have the required boat and fishing gear, but their quest has not been fully realized yet. They are waiting eagerly for the fulfillment of being able to drop a hook into that coveted honey hole.

In a similar manner, those who are in Christ Jesus have the firstfruits of the Spirit but are still on the road to glory that passes through the gate of death. While we have been adopted as children of God and experience the joy and peace of salvation, we still struggle with sin. We still experience pain and suffering due to the effects of disease, accidents, and aging. These hardships and trials that we experience cause us to inwardly groan as we eagerly wait for the final stage of the redemption process. This will occur when we receive our glorified bodies and our adoption as sons of God will be completed.

Although the journey is not over, praise God that safely reaching the destination is secure for those that are in Christ Jesus.

Friday, March 2

Romans 8:22

Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

A few verses earlier, Paul affirmed that the creation was subjected to futility, death, and decay due to the disobedience of Adam and Eve. After their disobedience, God revealed that fallen man would be redeemed by a savior. But, until that became a reality, man was going to suffer with many hardships as the creation was cursed because of this disobedience. Eve was told that the pain of childbirth would be multiplied and Adam was told that the very ground was cursed. Therefore, the lives of human beings would be extremely difficult due to the degeneration of man’s nature, and death was going to be the end result.

Verse 22 above refers to this as the whole creation groaning in the pains of childbirth. God has promised to redeem a people unto himself. And, as this progresses throughout redemption history, the creation has been groaning as in childbirth. As the children of God are continually being redeemed, nature groans as the process moves toward completion. Just as joy and a new child follow the pains of childbirth, unimaginable joy will follow the pains that the creation is enduring during this period of redemption of the children of God.

Praise God that the pains the creation is undergoing will result in a new heaven and earth for those who are redeemed by the power of our triune God through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ our Lord.