Romans 8:18-39

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

August 22, 2023, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom



8:18:  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.


Before becoming a revelation of His glory, we must be prepared to participate in his sufferings, drink from his cup, pick up our cross and follow him.


The Lord brought us to Himself, saved us from sin through the blood of Jesus, imparted righteousness to us through declaration; sanctified us through the washing of the Word; delivered us from the law of sin and death; delivered us into the Law of the Spirit of Life; delivered us from sin;  filled us with His Holy Spirit; Gave us gifts of the Spirit; gave us ministries to edify and equip us;  adopted us as sons;  presented us to the world as His Sons; then placed His glory on us.


Up until this point in Romans, everything has been deposited in our account before we earn it.  We have been his guests all the way.  However, in Verse 18, Paul has another “reckoning.”  The path to glory lies through pain as we die to our own carnality.  Jesus was made perfect through sufferings.  We are not exempt from this program.  If we fix our eyes on our problems, we will despair.  If we fix our eyes on the present problems of the world, we could despair.  But if we shift our eyes on Jesus, we can press through and use problems as a steppingstone into His Present Glory.


Because there is a D-Day (Day of the Lord), there will be a V-Day (the Day of Victory).  In every adversity, affliction, or sorrow, we can learn to count it all joy.


8:19:  For the earnest expectation of the creature (all creation) waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.


Creation is living and worships God.   All creation has one song sung in perfect harmony, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus”.  Jesus redeemed the earth from the curse as well as the redemption of the souls of men from the curse.  Every curse was broken at the Cross by the appropriation of Faith, the Holy Spirit and the Blood.


The Holy Spirit is moving in his church to bring those who will follow Jesus into the regeneration; and thus, his revealed Glory through them.   I believe we are coming into that day when Father God is going to display His Glory to the whole world through these called out ones by the manifestation of the many sons of God.


 Heb. 2:10:  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.  For both he that sanctifies, and they who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause, he is not ashamed to call them brethren.”


We are going to dazzle.  The present fashion of glitter is not enough to even compare with the Glory that will be revealed in His bride.  We will appear with Christ in glory in breathtaking beauty.  The bride is going to be dazzling in the Glory of the Lord.


8: 20-21:  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope.  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.   Solomon figured this out and wrote about it in Ec. 1:2: Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity.


What’s the redemptive purpose of creation?  Everything is dying.  Yet the very struggle to survive hints that the world hopes for better days.  How did the world get itself into this mess?  Adam again is clearly to blame. Chapter 5 clearly states that death reigned from Adam to Moses.  From that point on there was a chain-reaction of the Law of Sin and Death in the human family.  But Adam was a “figure” of another “Adam,” who would likewise birth a generation of men in whose family all would partake.  Ro. 8:2:  For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the Law of Sin and Death.


For the time being, God uses  corruption to bring his sons to maturity.  It is his program.  When the fullness of time comes when the sons of God will be revealed, it will also transform the world of nature, fulfilling the O.T. Messianic promises of a renewed earth.


 Isa. 35:  The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.  It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the Excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the Excellency of our God.


Present adversity did not make Paul stumble but faded into comparative insignificance---so real to him was the hope of the age to come of the future glory of the Church and the revelation of the Lord’s Kingdom on earth. 


Jesus Christ is the Lamb and the Sheaf of first Fruits.  This sheaf is a forerunner sheaf for the Pentecost harvest. The first fruits also speak of the resurrection life and power of the new creation walking in newness of life following our Heavenly Head passing from death into life.  Jesus is the New Priesthood and became the Sheaf.   Paul and the other apostles are the Kingdom’s first-fruits, specimen sheaves cut and brought as sure evidence that a whole field of such sheaves is waiting to be harvested.  The twelve apostles were commissioned to bring forth “the church” by preaching the Kingdom of God.  This is the regeneration Jesus spoke of when he told them they had followed him into the regeneration.


 The 21st century apostles are commissioned to bring the church into the Kingdom; to a perfect, overcoming, glorious, triumphant, victorious Bride; to bring forth “the glory to be revealed is us.”   This, too, will be a regeneration on earth as the old is shaken away and the glorious Sons are revealed.


At the fall, God enslaved nature to frustration and decay, but such was not to be its permanent state, for God even then envisaged its emancipation.  When man fell, that which he was given dominion over was dragged down by the fall.   Nature is dependent upon God’s glorification of the Church.  In poetic idiom, “creation cranes its neck” (eager expectations).  “It is nothing short of a universal law that suffering marks the road to glory” (Sanday and Headlam).


The church in so far as we are physically part of the material world share nature’s many pains, but we too look forward to release from infirmity to the renewing of our bodies so that we are like that of the risen and exalted Son.  


Phil. 3:21: Who will change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.


8: 22-23:  For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.


Here are two groanings:


 (1) the groan of creation.

 (2) the groan of the Christian.


 The Christian’s groan is often with impatience.  The unredeemed world system lives in terror of dying.  We know that death merely ushers us into the presence of the father.  We are God’s ministers to a dying world.  We should have a tender understanding toward unsaved men, not a superior impatience and condemnation.


8:24-25:  For we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for?  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it?


Never let Satan lie to you and cause you to think you are not saved.  We know we are saved.  Believers are saved by faith.  Faith is a fact.   Hope is a Certainty and Love is a Reality.


Ro. 5:2 …rejoice in hope of the glory of God.


Of Hope, the Lord gave us an oath by which it is impossible for Him to lie.: 


Hebrews 6:17:  Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:  Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters  into that within the

Veil: whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest; forever after the order of Melchisedec.


We are to rule and reign with Jesus in his 3-fold office of Prophet, Priest, and King.  We are the recipients of God’s revelation of Jesus Christ, as ruler of the kings of the earth and the wearer of the high priestly vestments.


Patience is the hope that God will bring to completion what he has started in us, and we can extend that same grace to each other.  We don’t want to be ashamed when we stand before Jesus.  Therefore, we seek to live a life that will honor Him.


8:26-27:  Likewise, the Spirit also helps our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he that searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.


The Spirit does not despise our weakness and frailty but makes them the means of His pleading on our behalf before God.  We often do not know how to pray for ourselves or even what is best for us, but the groans become the very voice of the Spirit in intercession.  This is the Lord scrutinizing the whole conscious and unconscious make-up of every man.  The Lord understands the deep sighs because it is the Spirit pleading for the Lord’s own purpose in our lives.  He is co-operating with the Lord in all things to bring about a good end.


When the Holy Spirit takes over our prayer life, then through a mysterious process, we find ourselves saying things that are absolutely inspired.  Our spirits are lifted to a glorious exultation and joy that feels like we will explode.  He is interceding and helping us to pray divine help for our weakness and the weakness of others.


Heb. 4:12b:  The Word of God is…a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Jesus reads our hearts.  That is another reason he will not permit us to judge one another.  God accepts the cry of the heart even when we don’t know the words. 


Eloquence and long prayers mean nothing to the Lord. 


8:28:  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”


Paul is saying that God has limitless “love works” to make everything that happens to us work out for our good.  When the LORD releases his “love works” toward us, all of Satan’s stealing, sabotaging, and schemes to steal the LORD’s purpose from our life will fall to nothing.  The Holy Spirit carries out God’s plan, not Satan’s schemes.  The Spirit co-operates with those who have been summoned by God and assigned a role in His redemptive purposes.  God’s eternal plan was to create for Himself a family modeled upon His Son. 


8:29-30: For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.


The Lord decided long ago whom He would appoint for this destiny.  He summoned them, made them right with Himself and illumined them with his glory.  Paul may be echoing Isa. 45:25, where “justify” and “glory” occur together describing a single activity. “”In the Lord shall all the off spring of Israel be justified (enjoy righteousness, salvation, and victory) and shall glory.” (Amplified)


2 Cor. 3:18: But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even  as by the Spirit of the Lord.


2 Cor. 4:6: For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


In verses 8: 29-30, there are five actions God takes to bring us to the image of Christ.  The process is foreknown, foreordained, called, justified and glorified.  Man’s part in the process is not in view here.  All these things are done by God.  Also, all the verbs are in the past tense.  Thus, to God’s mind they are all done.  C. S. Lovett teaches that the two words of love and purpose solve the riddle of free will and predestination.


We were chosen because we already loved him and therefore fitted the eternal purpose.  We were justified by God imparting Christ’s death and life to us.  Our glorification is two-fold:


(1)   Being like Jesus – being who we are---the sons of God.

(2)   The glory we will wear when we appear with Jesus.


The whole story was finished before the foundation of the earth.


8:32:  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not, with him also freely give us all things?


Paul is reaching the summit of the mountain top of Romans with a grand climax inspired by God’s outworking of His purposes.  Paul lifts his heart in a lyrical assertion of security and triumph.  He is making a deduction from his earlier sermon in chapter five.  Both stress the love of God in allowing His son to die, the death; and the risen and exalted life of Christ; God’s being on our side; the Christian attitude to adversity; and the past being a guarantee of the future.  The Christian’s reaction to all the foregoing truths is first a sense of complete security.  The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid (Ps. 118:6).


In the remainder of this chapter, Paul asks four questions.


1.  8:31:  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?


The forces that oppose are Satan and his demons.  None of the powers and principalities in the spiritual realm arrayed against us are mightier than Jesus.  Jesus said in John 10:29: No man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.


8: 33-34: Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect.  It is God that justifies.  Who is he that condemns?  It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, and who is even at the right hand of God who also makes intercession for us.


God’s chosen need have no fear of any accusing finger at the judgment day since God has dealt with our sin.


 Isa. 50: 7-9 is a promise that Paul claims for the Church.


 For the Lord GOD (Adonay Jehovah) will help me; therefore I shall not be confounded; therefore I have set my face like a flint; and I know that I shall not be ashamed.  He is near that justifies me; who will contend with me? Let us stand together; who is my adversary? Let him come near to me.  Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? Lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.


 The Judge Himself, Christ Jesus, will not condemn, seeing that it is He who carried through the mighty saving acts of death and resurrection, who now sits triumphant as His people’s King (Ps. 110:1).  The exalted Servant there continues His work of intercession (Isa. 53:12).


8:35-36:  Who shall separate them from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword?  As it is written, for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.


Adversity is not a threat.  His love will never let go of His own, whatever strains and pressures are brought to bear on them.  Paul is riding on a triumphant chariot.


8:37: Nay in all things, we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.


If we merely resist Satan and take ground, we are conquerors.  But if we exploit Satan’s attacks, we are more than conquerors.  God using the devil to bring forth a race of tested people. 


8: 38-39:  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor thing to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Death cannot separate because it is swallowed up in victory, nor life because for all its infirmity and decay, it is yet the scene of Christian service.


Phil. 1:20-21: According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.  For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.


Death holds no fear for us.  Life is more dangerous than death.  The loving Lord guards and guides through all the unknown contingencies of the present and future.  Angels and demons and powers; the hostile or potentially hostile forces behind the material universe, have been stripped of the power to harm by Christ’s victory (Col. 2:14; 1 Pet. 3:22).


Height and depth in Hellenistic Greek were astrological terms for the highest and lowest points reached by a star.  It was a widespread contemporary belief that men’s lives were fated by the positions of the stars as spirit-powers.  Paul asserts that all such fears are groundless for the Christian.  We do not look to a horoscope for our guidance.  We have the Holy Spirit.  Creation was implicit that there is no factor or force in the universe that is not under the control of the God who made it---and He is for us.  The truth that God is creator of all gives added assurance to the redeemed.


Isa. 40:28: Have you not known? Have you not heard that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth faints not, neither is weary?  There is no searching of his understanding. 


There was a minister who tried to shut down Eastgate Church when it was still very young.  I was naïve and didn’t know what the ministers’ intentions were.  He told me, “Carolyn if you don’t release these people, you are going to start a church.”  I didn’t know any better.  I released the people, but I kept preaching and the people kept coming.  The LORD (Jesus Christ) kept the church going because it was His plan.  I was only the vessel he was using for the operations of the Spirit of God.  You have heard me say I accidentally started a church.   Through the past thirty-fiver years of the existence of Eastgate Church there has been a long line of people try to shut it down.  We continue through the operations of the Spirit of God.  The Lord is building us.


The Spirit of God (Theos/Trinity) has designed a temple not made with man’s hands.  He is building us without a hammer being heard.  His work is in those who He foreknew, predestined, called, justified and who are being glorified.  His Temple in the hearts of the elect bases everything on The Spirit of God’s operations (1 Co. 12:6) through the apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists and teachers (holy men/women) with Jesus Christ as the chief corner stone. The Holy Spirit is adding living sanctified stones (saints) to the construction as we yield to His plan. 


Paul has used logic starting with the fact that we are sinners and ending with the five-link chain that binds us to the eternal purpose of God.


Paul knew he was bound to a God who loved him eternally.  Nothing he had suffered could alter God’s love.  His love does not change.  Change belongs in time not in eternity. 


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church, 10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX.

Scripture from K.J.V.; N.K.J.V. I entered into the labors of F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary, Leslie C. Allen; C.S. Lovett’s Lights on Romans; Sanday and Headlam; Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible; Matthew Henry’s Commentary; Bible Study notes, Carolyn Sissom -1987; 2010; 2018; 2023.

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