The Introduction

The last time we were in Romans, we examined that if we are in Christ, who will bear witness for us in the sight of God.

But it has been a long time since we have been in Romans. To catch us up, lets go all the way back:

  • Romans 7: Who will save me from this body of death?
  • Romans 8:1-4: Who will save my from condemnation?
  • Romans 8:5-11: Who will lead me in this new life?
  • Romans 8:12-13: Who do I turn to when I sin?
  • Romans 8:14-17: Who will bear witness for me before the judgment throne of God?

The answer is the Triune God!

You need to be saved by a just and right God? You need to go to nothing else that can save you.

God is the only one with all power. His judgment is right and just and falls on the wicked, depravity, evilness, sin and treasonous on this land. But Christ calls and commands you and me to give over the only thing you have, your sin, so that he can give you his seal, his mark, his righteousness, his love, his Spirit, and his Father.

The Text

Romans 8:18–25 (CSB)
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.

19 For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed.

20 For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of him who subjected it—in the hope

21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children.

22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now.

23 Not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits—we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

24 Now in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees?

25 Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.

Where do you see God in the text? What does the text say about God?

God

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.

Who defines us: not what happens to us or the circumstances that we find ourselves in

God is glorious and Romans 8:30 says that he glorified his children.

Genesis 50:15-21 (CSB) When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said to one another, “If Joseph is holding a grudge against us, he will certainly repay us for all the suffering we caused him.”

So they sent this message to Joseph, “Before he died your father gave a command: ‘Say this to Joseph: Please forgive your brothers’ transgression and their sin—the suffering they caused you.’ Therefore, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when their message came to him. His brothers also came to him, bowed down before him, and said, “We are your slaves!”

But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people. Therefore don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your children.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

Not the sins of others and not our own sin will define us and give us our identity.

How can I be so sure? That is repentance! Christ has commanded each of us to repent of sin. We are to give our sin over to Jesus Christ. Therefore, if your sin is no longer yours because you have repented of your sin, sin doesn’t define you.

Yet, because of the Fall of Mankind, we will continue to twist the law of God to redefine what he calls sin not sin. All of that Scripture twisting is foolishness and tiring. It wears me down and grinds my bones to dust just thinking of that.

Take the easy route: repent of your sin, trust in God, and He will be your identity.

The Gospel

Nothing in this world and what the world has to offer will be enough to satisfied our real need and be enough to define us–no matter how hard we try.

19 For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of him who subjected it—in the hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children.

Who defines us: God is our Father

John 20:17 (CSB) “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus told her, “since I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”

Romans 8:14-17 spells this out. But here’s another way of saying that:

Galatians 4:4-7 (CSB) When the time came to completion, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then God has made you an heir.

Who define us? God is our Father in heaven. We are his blessed children and if what Christ said was true, we are in the double grip snatch of the Father and the Son:

John 10:25-30 (CSB) “I did tell you and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works that I do in my Father’s name testify about me. 26 But you don’t believe because you are not of my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”


22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now.

23 Not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits—we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

Who defines us: The Spirit dwells in us

John 14:15-17 (CSB) “If you love me, you will keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.

John 14:23-26 (CSB) Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 The one who doesn’t love me will not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me. 25 “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.

The Spirit doesn’t just reside in us and lays dormant until the end. No! The Spirit is too powerful–he is the Almighty God. If God dwells in you, congratulations, you are not like the legalistic Pharisees. You are going to be changed from the inside out.

Romans 8:29 (CSB) For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

You are going to see change in your heart. Don’t fight it nor resist it. Give into the love of God for you.

Galatians 5:22-26 (CSB) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.


24 Now in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees?

25 Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.

Who defines us: Christ is our Hope

Colossians 1:3-6 (CSB) We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints 5 because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You have already heard about this hope in the word of truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. It is bearing fruit and growing all over the world, just as it has among you since the day you heard it and came to truly appreciate God’s grace.

1 Corinthians 15:19-22 (CSB) If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone. 20 But as it is, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. 22 For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (CSB) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Our Responsibility

Christ defines us: remember your adoption by the Father

Romans 8:14-17 (CSB) For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” 16 The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Christ defines us: remember your calling by the Spirit

Ephesians 4:1-6 (CSB) Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope at your calling—5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

Christ defines us: remember where your real hope is found

Colossians 1:3-6 (CSB) We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints 5 because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You have already heard about this hope in the word of truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. It is bearing fruit and growing all over the world, just as it has among you since the day you heard it and came to truly appreciate God’s grace.

Romans 5:1-5 (CSB) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we boast in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

The Discussion

1. Why are you tempted by what you do or who you think you are or by what you see in yourself?
2. Is there any harm in doing so?
3. What are some ways to reminded us and fight to know that we are only defined by who God is and what he has done for us?
4. How do you know if you belong to God?

The Prayer

The Source of All Life
Kill me off.

Make me alive in you.

Amen.

The Media

Today’s episode at The Study

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Resources

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Here is Love: Exposition on Romans 8
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