14.5 Romans – Intercession

Have you ever stopped to really think about this whole idea of intercession?  Most of us read it or hear it and just pass by it.  But, let’s camp out for a minute and think about this.

We know that God the Father loves us and works all things for the good of His people who love Him.  We know that He knows all things and He had a plan to bring us to glory before we ever existed.  He is unchanging, Sovereign and all powerful.

We also know that 2 other parts of the Trinity are “interceding for us”, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  Whenever we pray in Jesus’ name, He intercedes for us to the Father.  The Holy Spirit does it at a spiritual and emotional level as well in accordance with God’s will.

But why and how are they interceding?  The word has a few levels of meaning.  It can mean someone in between, not so much in a blocking sense, but more like an amplifier.  It can mean to “fall in with” a person as soldiers falling in line with each other to form a company or even like Jesus did after his resurrection with the travelers on the road to Emmaus.  A third meaning is to formally petition like an attorney or representative would take desires and form them into a document to present to the court.  The fourth meaning is to pray for and entreat (ask someone earnestly or anxiously to do something).

When we speak of Jesus and the Holy Spirit interceding for us, which is meant?  I think all of the above is the right answer.  They are not trying to coerce or convince God the Father, they are not trying to argue for Him to change His mind.  That would be a silly thought with an all-knowing and unchanging God.  It also would not be consistent with the shared power and authority of the Trinity.

No, I think the correct perspective is of 3 loving parents or grandparents.  They simply love to talk about us.  They love to discuss our lives and they do not lie, but they see the best in us and for us.  They formalize plans together (although the plans have existed for all eternity) and they care and pay attention to everything we want and need even when we don’t know we want or need it.

But, wait, there is more.  The word used in verse 26 when talking about the Holy Spirit interceding is a Greek word found no where else in the bible.  It isn’t just entygchanō, intercession.  No, in this one reference it is hyperentygchanō.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t just intercede for us.  He Hyper-Intercedes.  He intercedes on steroids.

The next time you are feeling down, or bad, or lonely, or hurting or unloved, pop this verse into your mind.  Up in Heaven the Holy Spirit is cheering for you.  The Holy Spirit is shouting your name from the mountaintops of heaven for all to hear because you are a child of the most high God.  The Holy Spirit is bragging to the angels and saints about how much you are loved and cherished, how you are made in the image of God and how one day you will be clothed in the garments of righteousness and join the multitudes in singing God’s praise.  You are family.

My Answers:

11.
R: In our weakness, interceding for our prayers in accordance with the will of God
L: Teaching from the H/S
A: Power to be witnesses
A: Direction and calling – being compelled by the Spirit
E: Unity of the Spirit, the bond of peace – to be one body of Christ (the church)
E: The sword of the Spirit = the word of God
1C: Understanding from the Spirit of God

12.
a.
The Spirit is God and always does the will of God and is accord with the will of God. He intercedes for God’s people so that God’s will for His people is done. He does and provides, through grace, what they are incapable of doing on their own: knowing God’s will

b.
My wife, my kids
My wife, kids, BSF kids, co-workers, pastors, customers, business owners, friends, neighbors, etc.

14.4 Romans – Ugggh!

Are we there, yet?  How much longer until we can cut the cake?  How many days of school are left?

Waiting is hard, especially for something really great and fun.  Years ago there was a ketchup commercial with a song that played in the background about “anticipation.”

It is hard.  Our hearts and body and mind yearn for the big event, the time to come.  We fuss, we fidget, we are distracted, we groan.

Romans 8 tells us that we are not alone.  All of creation is groaning in anticipation of Christ’s return to, once again, set everything right.  The wickedness all around us is like a gloomy day to someone who has tickets for a tropical vacation.  The noise of the bitterness in this world is like the sound of a beginner band to a music teacher with tickets to the Philharmonic.  We want to get past this and to what is to come.  We savor it and yearn for it.

Hoping isn’t wishing.  Hoping is anticipation of the big day and big event.  We are a bride with a destination wedding.  We are an astronaut awaiting launch.  We are the children of God.

My Answers:

9.
Christians groan – eagerly awaiting adoption to sonship and redeemed bodies, whole of creation groans in anticipation of renewal, The H/S intercedes for us through wordless groans

10.
a.
eternal life, adoption, redeemed bodies, the coming of the Lord to reign and to put all under his feet. We wait eagerly, hopefully, with faith

b.
See 10.a. It is the glory of God and the completed work of restoration

14.3 Romans – Creation

We don’t give enough credit and thought to God’s creation.  We think of rocks as just rocks and dirt as dirt, grass, birds, plants, sheep, ants, worms, they are all just things.  But over and over again the bible paints a different story.  When Cain killed Abel, his dead brothers blood cried out to God from the ground.  In Leviticus 18, God warns the people against defiling the land as the Canaanites did, lest “it vomit you out.”  On Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, when the Pharisee’s told Jesus to chastise the crowds for calling out to Him, Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord, Jesus told them, “if the people keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Clearly we are quick to dismiss and under value something that we don’t understand.  But, just as clearly, there is much more going on than we give credit.

In Revelation we are foretold about the destruction that is wrought upon the world, the plants, even the sky and stars, because of the corruption of sin on God’s creation.  We see the way we contaminate and pollute, but this is more and deeper, this is a permeation by sin itself into the very substance of this world and all around us.

Should we then be surprised that God creation yearns to be liberated from our sin?  Should we be dismissive when we realize that we truly are, at time, dumber than dirt – especially when it comes to desiring a close relationship with God?

My Answers:

6.
All things in the physical realm

7.
not give up its fruit, hard labor, rocks cry out, decay, death. All was brought on by sin. Revelation says large portions will be destroyed because of sin.

8.
The beast will be defeated and thrown into a lake of fire and the world will be set free from the effects of sin. A new heaven and new earth will come and those in Christ will rise with new bodies to ever lasting life.
What we see is temporary but was is to come is eternal

14.2 Romans – Shipwrecked

The passages we looked up in today’s lesson regarding Paul reminded me of a story I once read about Dwight Moody.  Moody was a preacher in the late 1800s.  When he turned 55 it was detected by his Doctor that he had a heart condition and recommended that he take things easy to prolong his life.  Shortly after the diagnosis and pledge of a slower pace, he, along with his son, boarded the Spree to cross from England to New York.  However, several days into the voyage the Spree had one of the steam engines seize throwing a shaft all the way through the hull of the ship.  While the crew worked to stem the flow of water into the ship, it flooded the rear compartments, making it unable to navigate and floating severely off course to the north in very rough waters.  The boat began to list heavily and it was beginning to sink when Moody organized the passengers, huddled together, into a prayer service.  One crew member, moved by the renewed hope and confidence of the prayers, left the service and brightened the signal fires in all the burning lamps on deck.  Several hours later, the USS Lake Huron, noticed what appeared to be a boat on fire far in the distance to the north.  The Christian captain, steamed over 2 ½ hours off course to reach the vessel and, when the waves were too mighty to even through a rope aboard during the night, waiting alongside until morning.  Daybreak brought clear seas and the captain of the Huron secured a tow rope and proceeded to tow the vessel back to Ireland, praying for calm seas and that his own coal supply would hold for the journey.  The boats arrived back at port and docked with only 15 minutes worth of coal left for the steam engines.

Moody indicated the experience taught him, no matter how much time we have left, life is too short to “take it easy.”  It is said the last 7 years of his life, starting after the shipwreck, were the most productive in terms of bringing believers to the gospel.  Attendance in his events were not measured in people but in the acres the people covered to hear him preach.

Moody said, we are in a sinking boat that is called life, we will all drown with no power of our own and engulfed in sin.  The only alternative is to accept the invitation of Christ through the lifesaver of faith to be in His boat called righteousness.

Suffering is not something God leads us in to.  It is just the reality of our situation of our life of this world.  If we aren’t bobbing up for air, we have already given up to sin and are drowning.  But accepting the merciful hand of our savior – there is no greater glory than His sure and sound vessel – and no greater destination than His home.

My Answers:

3.
imprisoned, flogged, 5 x 39 lashes, 3 x rods, stoned and left for dead, 3 x shipwrecked, night and day in open sea, danger from rivers, bandits, Jews, Gentiles, city, country, false believers, gone without sleep, food, water, cold, naked, concern for the church. Yet, pressed in but not crushed, struck down but not destroyed, persecuted but not abandoned.. in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love

4.
a.
Magnificent, highly renowned, brightness, splendor, magnificence, majesty

b.
2 Cor: being transformed into his image and ever-increasing glory which come from Lord
Phil: …will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body
Col: glorious riches of mystery: Christ in you, the hope of glory
2 Thes: chosen as 1st fruits to be saved through sanctifying work of H/S called to share in glory
Heb: Christ, pioneer of our salvation is perfect through suffering to bring many sons to glory

5.
suffering is temporary, glory is eternal. Suffering unites us with Christ who suffered and died for our sins. Suffering is from man but glory is from God. Suffering shows us we are on the path of greater glory like gold refined in fire