The end of Romans 8 brings to a conclusion the themes and ideas that have been developed in Rom5-8, with Rom8:28-39 being a rich section of scripture that you could spend almost a lifetime digesting! One of the themes we find here is the often controversial idea of predestination and how it is connected with some of the most famous and popular verses in Romans.
Rom8:29-30 describes a ‘chain reaction’ of things that God works, which originate in His foreknowing and predestining. With these words we find the idea that God already knows who He is and who He isn’t going to save, and the idea that He has chosen in advance some people to be saved and others not to be.
How do these ideas sit with you?
Are there implications of these concepts that are surprising to you?
Are there implications of these ideas that make you feel uncomfortable?
Regardless of your reservations (or not) about the idea of predestination is it possible for God to be God without the ability to foreknow or predestine things?
Rom8:28 says ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’
How does the idea that we are called according to God’s purpose give us security in God working all things for the good?
What is meant by ‘all things’ here? Do we tend to narrow down the application of the scripture and if so in what way?
What do you think is meant by ‘good’ here? Do some of the other things mentioned in Rom8:29-30 help us understand this good more fully?
Rom8:31 says ‘If God is for us who can be against us.’
What do you understand this to mean – does it mean that nothing bad will ever happen to us, or does it mean that no opposition will ever overcome us, or does it mean something else!?
If you combine what Rom8:28 & Rom8:31 are saying are our enemies actually against us?
Compare and describe how this truth is revealed in the story of Joseph (Gen37-50, esp Gen50:20) and also in the opposition and suffering Jesus faced. How does this change our perspective on ‘defeats’ that we may suffer in our lives?
Listen to Sunday’s sermon here.