So It Begins Here

Romans 8:31-32 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 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?

When we first come in contact with the gospel, I believe it’s from panic parents trying to secure the souls of children.  So we get the rush version of the gospel with the motivation being not going to hell.  It’s packaged in such  a way that makes it easy to say yes to Christ.  So because we aren’t really saved by the work of God but the work of fear; we don’t receive the gift of faith nor experience grace in a sense.  So we are left to create our faith from a deep pool of fear.  As we grow we become brain washed into believing that Jesus is a addon feature for our lives.  Jesus becomes the key to unlocking our wildest dreams. Jesus is now our servant and we are his lords.  I was in this number of young believers but it is not only us but many more fall into the group of “believers” who never really met Jesus.  What becomes of us is wonderfully described as being a boarder.
From Blog Post: Press-In
 In  a sermon, Pastor Tim Keller describes two ways of coming to God.  One way is when we come to God to make our life better or to gain something that we are in search of.  This approach is given the label of boarder.  A boarder is someone who pays a certain amount of money for a set of services to be provided for them.  They have a business type of relationship with the person providing the services.  The other way to come to God is as a child.  This way the person comes empty and offering nothing expecting only a relationship with the Father.  So we have all walked the isle seeking God to complete us, give us what’s lacking in our lives such as, a spouse, job, success, a house, a car, etc.  We have heard that if you get right with God your life will get better and you will get God’s favor over all you do.  Yes it sounds very innocent but we are using God not loving or worshiping God when we approach Him like this.  This is not the same as coming like a child.  I have seen my kids come to me not to get a toy but to get me, their father.  When they do this I want their lives to be blessed even more so.  But we don’t see coming as a boarder as a problem.  James calls for us to submit ourselves to God and not to the things we are praying for to gratify our pleasures.  A boarder does just that, as long as they pay they expect certain services but we don’t understand that we can never put God in debt to us.  Doing our duty isn’t about putting God in our debt or getting our lives in order so He can bless us.  And even if we change our approach, if the motive for change is to get things it is not genuine.
So what does this all have to do with the scripture above?  This mindset covers up the power of the Gospel or better yet distracts us from Jesus and focuses us on ourselves, so we end up walking by the sight of us and not by faith in Jesus.  We live in a constant state of realignment in order to manipulate Jesus into blessing us our way.  So when trouble arises and when sufferings visits us bringing with it brokenness we shatter.  We are like those seeds from the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:19-22). We miss so much of the fruit that rests in Romans 8 and we leave so much hope on the table when we treat Christianity as a add-on feature.
What then shall we say to these things?
There is a completeness or wholeness we gain through Christ that we forever over look.  To truly understand this rhetorical question you must first read the next one then revisit what was said before verse 31.  When you lay all the cards on the table as to what Christ has secured for us, we are really left with an honest question.   When we look at the grace given and the love lavished upon us, simply posing the question makes it rhetorical.  We are made heirs with Christ as we are led by the Spirit who speaks on our behalf that we are indeed sons of God.  In the epistle the Ephesians we are seated with Christ in heaven. We have received the Spirit if adoption so now we call God not just a Father but daddy, all because Jesus has brought us nearer to God.  Through his blood the impossible has become not just possible but a reality.  Do we not understand the significance of being able to call God, daddy?  Do we not understand what we would have in order to be seen by God as someone who has the right to say daddy?  Calling someone father does not mean the same as calling them daddy.  There is a level of familiarity and fellowship in using daddy. Through Christ we who did not know God are now know by God and we no longer just know of God either.  We have been placed in a position of being able to wake up at 2 a. m. to talk to God addressing him as daddy and not as your majesty.  How we address God also speaks to our confidence that our request will be not only heard but granted.  My kids don’t asked in fear of rejection addressing me as “Mr. Martin” but in a tone of complete trust, calling me “daddy”.  Since we are in Christ, we are heirs with him and seated in heaven with him and thus will be glorified with him if we suffer for him.  But Paul quickly dismisses this suffering as nothing compared to the glory we will received.
(Romans 8:26-27) If our new relationship with the Father wasn’t enough, we have been given the Holy Spirit which is our guarantee that we have been reborn.  The Spirit helps us in our weaknesses as He help preserve us in this fallen world battling against the flesh and Satan.  The gift of Spirit also does something else for us on our behalf.  Have you ever went out to dinner with your dad but you had to go to the restroom and when you returned, your favorite drink and appetizers were on the table.  We never know what’s best for us or how to ask and even what to ask for. But the Spirit does know and prayers for us on our behalf.  The Spirit also prayers in such a way that moves the Father because it’s in His will plus in a language that only the Godhead understands. It’s like speaking to someone in there native tongue when English just doesn’t get the message across.  But what makes His prayers so effective is that He searches our hearts and knows our desires as well and intercedes according to the will of God because He knows the heart and mind of the Father also.  With this understanding the Holy Spirit presents his intercessory prayers accordingly.  Our precious neglected gift holds the answer key to the teacher’s test.
If God is for us, who can be against us?
God has done all of this in order to keep us, protect us, provide for us, rescue us, love us and secure us.  God has done everything possible to ensure that we do not fail and that we will sit on our seat in heaven next to Christ for all eternity even as of right now we are already but not yet there, with Jesus.  Given this, who can stand against us and be victorious? No one; (Romans 8:38-39) 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.
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?
Before we look at the last rhetorical question we must establish one important fact in this ultimate act of grace, mercy and love.  We must establish our merit or our deserving or even earning such things from God.  We must lay out what validate reason behind the gifts we have received because this helps us in our response, gratitude, and thanksgiving.  In Ephesians 2, we are shown that we were dead in our trespasses and sins.  Even in Romans 8, before God changed our hearts we were living according to the flesh and couldn’t please God at all.  We were enemies with God with the rest of the world.  We can’t even claim that we willingly cleaned ourselves up before coming to God because we can’t, not to mention that suggesting we had to fix ourselves first calls Jesus Christ’s power to redeem into question.  So, seeing that the work of God is all of grace, mercy and love as He gives up His own Son for a rebellious people and because of the Son we receive all that was mentioned.  We receive the support of a heavenly and unshakable Kingdom and King by way of grace through faith.  It’s like someone tells you that they have bought a homes for you, free of charge.  Once you get the keys, the door opens up to a fully furnished home with the best of everything you could imagine.  The man who bought the house now tells you call me at anytime and there will be someone who will inform me of your needs at all times.  He also says that no government, bank, person, or army on earth can remove you from the home.  He tells you that the bills and debts have been fully paid for not just past expenses but future ones.  He tells you that even though he bought the house, you are seen as the owner and the house worth is your worth.  Even the food in the home is taken cared of by him.  Then the man says one more thing,  He asks do you believe me when I say,  “if I have spared no expense in giving you all of this, that I will also give you graciously anything you need?”
…  Think about this because this is were the war begins between God’s children and God’s enemies; the devil, the world and our flesh.  Our flesh, in the more seemly innocent ways whispers“You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5) Our flesh with the influence of the world and its rule questions how strong could faith in God truly be and way should we give up what we want for God and have faith.  Our flesh whispers, take care of yourself you are self-sufficient and self-reliant you validate your own existence not God, justify yourself on your own terms by your own standards.
Now, its your agenda over God’s agenda. So how can Galatians 2:20 ever be true for us?  When we quench the work of the Holy Spirit we welcome in disobedience and our faith is shook becoming unstable.  So much has been purchased for us and we still turn our backs on the deed to the heavenly corner stone to the temple called the church.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
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  1. […] we get is, “don’t be like the rich young ruler.”  In the previous post, “So It Begins Here“, we looked at how our mindset can blind us from all that Jesus completes and gives us by […]

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