Dig into the deep truths of Romans. Each lesson consists of approximately one page of text which includes some commentary, historical context, and interpretation leading to
Romans is an in-depth study of the entire book, broken up into 28 studies.
*Easily made into a
Study 16: Romans 8:18–30
The Spirit Intercedes for the Saints
Read Romans 8:18-30
1. According to verses 24-25, what is the relationship between hope and things seen?
2. What is the role of the Spirit in prayer?
3. According to verses 28-30, what is promised to those who love God?
Paul has already explained in the previous verses one of the primary ministries of the Holy Spirit, that of convicting us of our sin and leading us away from it. Here he explores two of the other works of the Spirit—encouragement
Comparing present suffering to future glory is like trying to compare apples to oranges; that’s what Paul is saying. You just can’t put the two in the same category. Later he references the pain of childbirth and the actual joy of the baby being born. Can we compare those two? Sit back and think about the hours you spent laboring, or the months you spent filling out forms and doing background checks and planning for adoption, and the pain that entailed, the stretching and the waiting and the endlessness of it. Rate those hours and days, if you will, with a level of exertion or unpleasantness, maybe on a scale of 1 to 10. Now consider the joy you experienced holding that baby in your arms. Does the joy fit on a scale of 1 to 10? Do the two compare? Does it seem silly to try to compare the two? This is what Paul is telling us. They don’t come close to each other.
We’re not the only ones waiting. All of creation waits with us with “eager longing.” The Greek word from which these words are translated paints a picture of someone standing on her tiptoes, standing with her head raised, stretching her neck to see what is coming over the horizon (Stott, 238). And what is the world looking for? What is there to see? the revealing of the sons of God, adoption as sons,
The redemption and healing of the universe
This is where we live—in the in between, in the already–not yet, battling our sin yet living with the guarantee of the Holy Spirit, saved from God’s wrath but still doing what we don’t want to do, looking forward in hope
Likewise. This refers to the relationship between hope and the Holy Spirit. Just as our hope sustains us in the drudgery of waiting, so the Holy Spirit sustains us in the ambiguity and frailty of our current existence. As all of
These verses are often quoted. Sometimes their familiarity can breed unbelief or cause us to miss what is really being proclaimed. Let’s read them in a paraphrase: The truth is, for those who love God, he is constantly, specifically, and powerfully working on their behalf. He is using their joys, their suffering, their bodies and minds, their network of relationships, their groanings, their diseases, their prayers, and everything in between to increase or advance their well-being, and ultimately their salvation. He has a premeditated, perfectly planned purpose for each of them; in their
4. Recount an experience or situation when the hope of heaven or God’s glory made your suffering seem less overwhelming?
5. What is one thing about your body or mind that you are looking forward to being redeemed?
6. What does it look like when the Spirit shapes your prayers? What emotion or image comes to mind when you think about the
Spirit interceding for you “with groanings too deep for words”?
7. What do you think this verse means: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those
who are called according to his purpose”? Have you experienced what it is describing in your own life?
8. Paul is using these words to describe you: predestined, called, justified, and glorified. Are these the names you call yourself? If not, which name do you need to lean into and embrace more as truth?
Reflections, curiosities, frustrations: