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weeks ago, while having bible study on the book of Romans at Austin's place, we discussed about the experience that Paul had of the love of God so much so that he was able to say that nothing would separate him from the love of God, not even death. We discussed during the bible study that we have not experienced such love of God in our lives until we were able to say what Paul said with similar faith and conviction. We said we were missing this experience of God's love which Paul wrote of in Romans 5 and 8. So our challenge today from Paul is are we able to say like what he said 2000 years ago that nothing will be able to separate us from God and His love for us. Are we able to say this convincingly and with full conviction live out of lives in such a way? Before we actually attempt to answer this question, perhaps we need to know first of all what is the love of God. What is the love of God as understood in the bible? To answer this question, we need to look at key passages in Romans 5-8. This is our goal today. To find out how the apostle Paul describes his understanding of his experience of the grace and the love of God in Romans 5-8. Love, if it is not defined and understood within biblical teaching will mean different sorts of things in our modern age. It's meaning can range from charity to the poor, to filial piety, and even in purely sexual terms. So, we need to know how Paul understood the love of God. He stated quite clearly the characteristics of love in 1 Corinthians 13. That is very true. However, we want to go one step further to understand how Paul defined the love of God. And the answer is found partially in Romans 5-8. In Romans 5:6-8, Paul has this to say about the love of God. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The love of God is shown in the action of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. This the Lord did while we were still sinners, while we were still His enemies, while we still hated, mocked him and together with the Roman soldiers crucified Him in our ignorance. How many times we mocked those who preached Christ to us while we were still unbelievers? How many times we said the derogatory words of "kong Ye Soo"?
For I do not do what I want. so far as it depends on you. But like Paul. More than that. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. we are to do the same for our enemies. religion and political alignment. 19 Beloved. says the Lord. I will repay. The second part of God's love could be seen in the grace that God showers on us after we have believed in Christ Jesus. but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. "Vengeance is mine. feed him. . 18 If possible. And just as Jesus forgave us. It is like a jail sentence that has been removed from us. 17 Repay no one evil for evil. It is like forgiving the murderer of your son or daughter. and not only to forgive. for it is written. And this is only part one. This is not being naive or stupid. No matter how discriminated you are. His enemies. no matter how much you are ridiculed for your faith or no matter what the political alignment your enemy belongs to. but I do the very thing I hate.In Romans 5:1. Like Paul in Romans 7. It is like forgiving your political enemy who has wrongly harmed you in all sorts of way. we say. We are commanded to obey God's law after we have believed. This is what Paul meant by God allowing Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Paul says that we now have peace with God because of what Jesus had done. no matter how great the wrong is. if he is thirsty. to our benefit. This is because we have done the same thing to Jesus and He forgave us. It is like someone has taken the blame for us when we mess up our job. Christ died for us while we are His enemies and God allowed this. He has restored us with the hope of future blessing and He has commanded us to forgive those who do the same thing to us. we are commanded to love them for their benefit just as Jesus did for us. but to see to his restoration to turn away from alcoholism. "if your enemy is hungry. That is why Paul says later in Romans 12. we are now free." 20 To the contrary. This is not masochism where you love to be wronged or suffer other people's wrongdoing. but leave it to the wrath of God. we struggle to do what God wants us to do. for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. give him something to drink." 21 Do not be overcome by evil. This is God's love to us. It is like a victim who has lost his family to a drunk driver but chooses to forgive the guilty person. We have committed a crime worthy of life imprisonment but because of Jesus. That is why we do not judge with the intent to condemn when we are wronged. It is like our parents taking care of us when we are in trouble even though we had scolded or rejected them. This peace means that God is no longer our enemy and He would not condemn us anymore. live peaceably with all. but overcome evil with good. regardless of race. never avenge yourselves. leaving it to Him to judge those who wronged us.
who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death. the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. although the body is dead because of sin. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh. if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. This is where Paul rejoices in the grace of God that He has given us His Spirit to help us in our weakness. but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God. does God abandon us to struggle on our own knowing that we are weak and would never be able to satisfy the righteous requirements of His law on our own strength? It is very cruel if we see parents who do not help their children when they are struggling with challenges in their lives. 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us. in my inner being. And most parents are more than eager to help their children. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. but sin that dwells within me. evil lies close at hand. but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. I agree with the law. he condemned sin in the flesh. we cry to God for help in order to obey Him. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you. 22 For I delight in the law of God. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right. This is what Paul is saying in Romans 8. That is why we have the term over protective parents. that is. 9 You. that it is good. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me. For I have the desire to do what is right. however. To help us to pray and call out to God as His children. 19 For I do not do the good I want. it cannot. he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. in my flesh. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it. indeed. weakened by the flesh. we will definitely call God a cruel Father if He does not help us in our struggle because He knows we do not have the capability and strength to overcome our sins. could not do. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? So. are not in the flesh but in the Spirit. . Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 3 For God has done what the law. 10 But if Christ is in you. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin. for it does not submit to God's law. but not the ability to carry it out. 1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. So. To help us to think and walk in God's law.16 Now if I do what I do not want. Like Paul.
the redemption of our bodies. Last but not least. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. The glorious inheritance to be transformed bodily into God's children forever. selfish and hedonistic way of life where the rich wastes on their surplus and the poor barely have sufficient to survive. Jesus did not die for us and the Spirit does not help us now in our weaknesses without a purpose. not to the flesh. "Abba! Father!" This is the love of God. brothers. in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.12 So then. the hope of God's glory is the last piece of the answer to the puzzle on why Paul can say that nothing will separate him from God's love. we are debtors. and not to abuse it for our sinful. For Paul. and peace just as much as the earth is crying for human beings to stop raping her resources. All parents will help their children. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die. You see. how much more will God as Jesus has said. the universe. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body. groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons. 23 And not only the creation. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see. Paul has already seen what our environmentalists are worrying about. has fallen under a corruption because of sin. by whom we cry. that He gives us His Spirit that we might have the strength and capability to follow Him and be adopted as His children. we wait for it with patience. This is God's love for us now as we learn to walk with Him in His Spirit. To be with Him as His people in His new creation. but because of him who subjected it. you will live. That promise which Paul hopes for is our final transformation into God's glorious children. God has promised something great which is the final proof of His love for us. but we ourselves. that the entire creation. a new earth. who have the firstfruits of the Spirit. Now hope that is seen is not hope. We are made to administer and manage this earth properly. Our world leaders struggle to tackle these . 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. We groaned for justice. not willingly. The economic inequality and injustice is also causing huge environmental issues for all of us. to cry out to Him for help in times of need without fear because we are His children. Paul says in Romans 8. God is doing this because His final act of love is to give us His inheritance. to live according to the flesh. but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. the earth and for that matter. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility. 24 For in this hope we were saved.
. The solution is found when God comes back to eliminate sin completely and free us forever by giving us bodies totally uninfected by sin. This is the third part of Paul's understanding of God's love that completes the jigsaw puzzle to form a glorious picture in the apostle's mind and heart. as you pray or when you struggle to walk with God.intertwined issues of politics. making us truly His children who are capable once and for all to restore and manage this earth properly as how it should be. To God be all glory. This is God's inheritance for us. I hope that this will also be the glorious image of God's love that you will bring home with you. And as you read through the bible. economics and environment whereas Paul has already seen the answer 2000 years ago. This is the love of God that convinces Paul that he could not be separated from. This is His ultimate act of love. may the Spirit use this image to warm your hearts and give you strength to experience His great love as Paul did so that we could also say together with the apostle that nothing will separate us from the love of God. Amen. This is the image of God's love which Paul is seeing when he wrote Romans.
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