This passage tells us with confidence, encouragement and assurance from a the human perspective of Paul who knows even in suffering and the magnitude from a God who loves and cares. Thus way we can know what it means to live a righteous life. Why? Because God is for us (Isa. 50:4-9)! God is speaking in our behalf in this passage (Psalm 56:9; 118:6; Isa. 33:21; Ezek 34:30; 36:9). God chose us, justified us, glorified us, and redeemed us; thus, He is for us and not against us. The world and Satan are no match to who we are in Christ. The Holy Spirit makes love true, real and impacting (John 14:23-27; Rom. 5:5).
· This chapter began with "no condemnation" and ends with "no separation". The space between is the filling of the Holy Spirit in you, it is the filling of the blessing we may have if only we receive them.
· Height and depth refers to astronomy and spiritual terms. It is the full range of reality from Haven to Hades and all that in between.
· Our prayer must be, Lord grant me and let me enjoy your blessings; reveal to me the opportunities I must seek to model your character, because my confidence and trust is in you. God did not say He will keep us immune from trouble, only that He will carry us through it (Psalm 91:15; Matt. 13:22; 2 Cor. 7:4)!
· More than conquerors, this is our realization of strength and assurance that nothing in creation can come against us! The best is still to come, the life we have in eternity. We are not made for this world, thus our focus needs to be towards eternity. We are here for such a minuscule time in the grand scope of time, thus we are to fully embrace what we are to experience and learn, and see God's big picture as He has revealed it (Matt. 22:37-38).
· Our joy must be built on nothing else but what Christ did for me; not because of joy or sufferings, but in spite of it (1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 2:14-15; 10:5; 1 Thess. 4:3)! No power on earth or in the universe can conquer God in us! Do you know what is means to have no condemnation? It means we are saved and do not need to fear having our sin, fear and failures condemn us when we are in Christ! It is the ultimate liberation!
· But we have to realize this is easy to say! But our limited thinking, our fears and failures may consume us. This means we are in battle! The question is, is it for Jesus or for ourselves? If so, what does God require? Are we maintaining a cause or Christ? Am I willing to allow God to be God, to sanctify me beyond my comfort zone and experience and expectations? This will be the means which the Spirit uses to liberate you! It is a partnership. God provides the means, yet we must rise up and fly. He give us the lift, we must respond and allow that lift to lift us up!
· No challenge too small, no mountain too tall. So we should not worry or fear, but be bold to make the most of life's opportunities, in worship and in deed. Because if God is for us, who can be against us (Psalm 110:1; 1 John 2:1)?
Because we have confidence in God and in His plan and purpose for our lives, we can then act on faith. Faith is based on the faithfulness of our Lord, and not of our goodness, just as animal sacrifice in the O.T. was a means of forgiveness and surrendered attitude because of a loss of something precious, but not the cause of the Jew's salvation. The reformers called this "meritorious ground for our justification," explaining that faith is the soil that the seed of justification is planted into. Christ was that soil, too. As we give our lives to Christ in faith, He, in turn, gives us His righteousness. Faith will generate real, impacting Christianity so we can become a committed disciple and build His Church. If you want to understand assurance, you must be willing to understand our Lord. Like faith your assurance is as only as good as the object into which you place it. If it is in money or power, it will be weak and lifeless. If it is in false teachings or personal ideas, it will be dead.
1. Have you ever been called a pessimist or an optimist? If so why?
2. How can you apply this to your personal decisions?
3. Christ has forgiven us, you will ___________________?
4. He has the power and authority for us, you will ___________________?
5. What are the things that frustrate you?
6. Because we have no opposition or frustration, how can you remove your frustrations?
7. No challenge too small, no mountain too tall. So what can you as a person saved by grace do with this knowledge?
8. So what can we as a church do with this knowledge?
9. So we should not worry or fear, but be bold to make the most of life's opportunities, in worship and in deed. Because if God is for us, who can be against us (Psalm 110:1; 1 John 2:1)?
10. Even the devil cannot stop God's plan for us. So how does this passage affect spiritual warfare?
11. This chapter began with "no condemnation" and ends with "no separation". What things have you done that you should be condemned for? (you do not have to respond to this question openly)
12. Are you grateful that you are not condemned?
13. What is conviction?
14. What is condemnation?
15. What is the difference between Satan's condemnation and God's conviction?
16. Who is on your side?
17. How can this prayer help give you hope and confidence: "Lord grant me and let me enjoy your blessings, reveal to me the opportunities I must seek to model your character, because my confidence and trust is in you"? (Remember the prayer is not the cause of our confidence, He is!)
18. Read Psalm 91:15. God did not say He will keep us immune from trouble, only that He will carry us through it. So does this reassure you with hope, or get you mad that God is not as involved as you would like?
19. Now carefully consider your attitude toward God when bad things happen. Do you first blame Him or go to Him for comfort?
20. As the newscasts were first broadcasting the World Trade Center Disaster, you can hear people shouting the Lord's name in vain. Why does the world seek to blame God?
21. Our joy must be built on nothing else but what Christ did for me; not because of joy or sufferings, but in spite of it! So how can you make this happen in your daily life?
©1998, 2001, 2004, Rev. Richard J. Krejcir, Discipleship Tools www.discipleshiptools.org