In my last post, I talked about the great and glorious results of the Gospel: no one can be against us, no one can condemn us and no one can separate us from the love of God.
On Friday night I sat in a coffee shop and I kept reminding myself of these truths: fabs, God is for you! He is working all things for your good!
In moments like that, it’s helpful to me to remember that God hasn’t just given us Romans 8:28-35. Those verse are conclusions.
Preaching the Gospel to myself is not the same as preaching the fruit of the Gospel to myself.
God never lies, …and his word is infallible and unbreakable. Shouldn’t we just believe it because he said it?
Faith is not based merely on raw authority (like: “God said verse 28 so believe it. Period! No basis needed! No arguments required!”). Faith is not a response to raw authority; faith is a response to the revelation of light. – John Piper
God’s promises are not like self-help mantras that we throw out into the universe or we recite to ourselves to try to get through hard days. They must have a foundation. The light house withstands the force of the water because of its firm base.
Let’s say (hypothetically, obviously), that I’m having a bumpy day. And the bumps get worse and worse, and I end up sitting at my desk on a Monday afternoon in January, feeling a little overwhelmed and beat up by the world.
I remind myself of the truth:
(1) Romans 8: God is in control, and He is working all things for my good.
But I hear a sneaky voice: Sure, in theory. But I’m the one who messed this up. God is ‘just’. Do you think He’s just going to keep working things for your good even though you keep messing up?
So I respond with the foundation of all that came before:
- Fabs, you are not just banking on God’s patience and kindness. You’re right, those things can’t save you. Romans 2:4
- You are banking on His righteousness; banking on the fact that God demands a payment for sin, and it’s been paid in full. He’s just. He can’t take two payments for the same thing. Romans 3:21-26
Today, as life whirls around me, felling wild and out of control, I’m going to cling to truth. Yeah, I’ve made a billion bad decisions. The ones I see are just the tip of the iceberg. But I will appeal to the righteous justice of God. He has no anger left for me. No payment to dish out. He’s poured every drop of that on Christ.
(2) Romans 8: There is no condemnation. No matter how I feel today, I am not condemned.
Cue sneaky voice: Maybe that was true the first couple of times, but you KEEP blowing it.
- If this thing was based on how good I was at keeping commandments, then the promise of no condemnation held out to me would be useless. Romans 4:14
- This promise is based on the gift of righteousness in Christ Jesus. He wrapped you up in Jesus and said that you are as ‘good’ as Jesus. Romans 4:13
- And you know how you get that promise Through faith. The kind of faith that doesn’t waver when it looks at the uselessness of the flesh. The kind of faith that embraces Jesus here and now today, believing that Jesus was buried for your sins and rose in new life. Romans 4:19
(3) Romans 8: Nothing can separate me from God’s love.
But I’m a mess. How can He love me.
While you were running away from Him with every fiber of your being, God sent His son to die for you. Romans 5:6-11
The decision to give you the costliest gift in the world happened while you were at your worst. The greatest act of love that the universe has ever seen happened while you were God’s enemy.
I think you can probably bank on His love today, when He calls you His kid.