276 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 4 - Book 23 - Romans 8:31-39 - Part 2

276: Romans 8:31-39 – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 23

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 23

ROMANS 8:31-39

We just want to teach The Word, and help people see what The Book says, and, just as important, what it doesn’t say. Understanding The Book is really not that hard, and the best way to study is to compare Scripture with Scripture. Peter says:

II Peter 1:20

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”

That means that you cannot build a doctrine on one verse of Scripture here and there, because then you can build anything. But it’s our prerogative to use all the Scriptures from Genesis through Revelation, and see that they fit. Seeming contradictions may arise, but when you study you find they’re not contradictory at all. Usually it’s because in one instance God is dealing with the Nation of Israel, and in another what may seem contradictory is His dealing with the Church Age. And there is a vast difference.

Before going further I want to point out that Romans Chapters 9, 10, and 11 are parenthetical. Here are three chapters that sit in the middle of the Book of Romans, and Paul is going to suddenly digress, and deal with the Jew. Chapter 9 is going to deal with the Nation of Israel’s past. Chapter 10 is about God dealing with Israel today in the present. And Chapter 11 is Israel’s future. Then when you come to Chapter 12 it begins like we left off in Chapter 8. It fits beautifully when you make it parenthetical. In our ordinary English usage, you can make a sentence that makes sense, and then all of a sudden you think of something that you can stick in the middle of the sentence that will enlighten it, so you open your sentence up and what do you put in the middle? A parenthesis ( ). How exactly this fits in Romans. We just finished Chapter 8, and all those great verses of assurance in the closing verses, how that Christ died for us, and, consequently, God is for us, no one can be against us:

Romans 8:39

“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature (creation), shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans Chapter 9 verse 1 just doesn’t fit, does it?

Romans 9:1-3

“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:” (Israel)

There is just no real connection, but turn over to Chapter 12, and look at verse 1, which is the other side of the parenthesis, and this just fits so beautifully: Now, remember what Romans 8:39 said about “nothing could separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And now look what Romans 12:1 says:

Romans 12:1

“I beseech you therefore (and remember the `therefore’ is what Paul just finished up with in Chapter 8. If God is securing us so completely that nothing can touch us then I beseech you therefore), brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Now, do you see how this fits? I just wanted you to see that this is a parenthetical section of the Book of Romans where Paul is going to leave off with all of his instructions, and his doctrines for you and I as Gentiles, and he’s going to deal with the Nation of Israel for three chapters, her past, her present, and her future. Let’s come back to Chapter 9, and since Paul is saying it, I’m going to qualify it with some of the Old Testament Scriptures which, of course, he uses himself over and over in his early writings.

Romans 9:1-3

“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:”

How could this man say such a thing as that? Because of his love for the Jew. Who else said almost the same thing? Moses.

Exodus 32:31,32

“And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, `Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.'”

And isn’t it amazing how I’m always comparing, or at least holding up, these two men. Moses the giver of the Law to the Nation of Israel on Mount Sinai, and then comes the Apostle Paul (I think also at Mount Sinai), and God gives him these doctrines of Grace. I think these two great men, in their own respective areas, are the greatest two men in all human history. Both of them make that kind of statement concerning the Nation of Israel. I’m pointing this out to say that probably 90% of Christendom, including the Roman Catholics, as well as Protestants, is of the opinion that God is all through with the Nation of Israel. That God has nothing more to do with the Jew because they rejected and crucified their Messiah. They’ve been called everything and anything ever since.

The vast majority of the politicians and religious leaders of the world say, “The Jew of today has no connection with the Jew of The Bible.” But I tell you they are in every way connected to this Book, even though most church members today see no connection between the little Nation of Israel that’s sitting there like a little hornets nest ready to be knocked down and destroyed. That little Nation of Israel is still God’s Covenant people. Now, granted, He has set them aside. Look again at our timeline (front of book). From Genesis 1:1, and the creation of Adam in Chapter 1 is 4004 B.C. Those first 2000 years of human history are covered with the first 11 chapters in the Book of Genesis.

Abraham comes on the scene at 2000 B.C., and in Genesis 12 God is going to do something totally different. Out of that one race of Adam he picks one man (Abram) in Ur of the Chaldees. He was a Syrian, and became the father of the Jewish race. God promises that one man, Abram, that out of him He’s going to bring about a nation of people totally different than any other race of people on earth. And they are going to be the vehicle through which God is now going to communicate, and bring about the whole plan of redemption to the whole human race through Israel. So God gives Abraham the Covenant. We spent a lot of time on that Abrahamic Covenant. God in Genesis 12 promised, “I will make of you a great nation, I’ll put you in a geographical area of land, and one day I will come and be your King, and be your government.”

Now, that’s basically the Abrahamic Covenant. Then about 500 years later we find God calls out Moses. Israel is now down in Egypt, they’re multiplying, and God tells Moses that He’s going to send him into Pharaoh. He was to lead His people who had come now from the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the twelve sons, out of Egypt. God tells Moses, “You’re going to bring them to Myself, and I’m going to start working with this little nation of people and prepare them for the coming of the Messiah.” Now, that was really the whole purpose of bringing the Nation of Israel out of Egypt. And that’s what Genesis says, “That when Jacob went down into Egypt, God promised him that there He would make of Jacob, and those twelve sons a nation of people.” And that’s where the Jewish Nation came from.

Moses then was given the Law about 1500 B.C., and that was about 500 years after Abraham was called out of Syria. Then about 1000 B.C., about 500 years after the law, we have another great patriarch, David. Then with King David we find God makes another Covenant, and that is that through King David would come a Royal Family bloodline. And through this Royal Family would come The King of Israel. When you follow the genealogy coming out of David, you’ve got David and Bathsheba, and they have two sons. Solomon on the one side, and Nathan on the other. That’s the family tree, and they come through history until finally you have Joseph on the one side, and Mary on the other. And Christ is the last possible Son of David that could be The King, and He makes His appearance to the Nation of Israel. That’s the whole idea of His first Advent. He came to be that promised King according to the Abrahamic Covenant. Now, this is exactly what Paul says in verse 4.

Romans 9:4

“Who are Israelites (see that?); to whom pertaineth the adoption (or the positioning), and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;”

God promised the Nation of Israel over and over. Now, contrary to worldly opinion, Jews, whether they’re in Israel, Russia, or America, are still the same Jews that we read about in The Bible. Now, turn with me to Deuteronomy Chapter 4, verses 32 and 33:

Deuteronomy 4:32,33

“For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it (and what is it?)? Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?”

What’s He talking about? Mount Sinai. Remember how God came down on the mountain, and the smoke just billowed, and the Nation of Israel was at the foot of the mountain? They weren’t destroyed, and yet the presence of God was that close to them. And so God says, “Did anything like this ever happen to anybody else?” Never. So they are a Covenant, special, set aside people. Let’s go to II Samuel Chapter 7, as God is now giving David the promise, “That through him would come this royal family.” And we’ve all heard the expression,“The house of David.” Well, that’s what it is, it is a Royal Family, and even though there were ungodly kings down through history, yet the royal blood kept together until the birth of Christ, and especially through Mary who was the physical mother, and, of course, God is the Father. But, nevertheless Joseph was the legal father, and so he, too, had to be included in that Davidic genealogy. So here God is speaking to David through the prophet Nathan, and he is referring first and for most to Solomon:

II Samuel 7:13,14

“He shall build an house for my name (now that has a two-fold meaning. Solomon is going to build the Temple there in Jerusalem, but he is also going to be the beginning of this royal family), and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever (now that goes beyond human history, that goes on into eternity. So we’re dealing again in the realm of the Spirit. Then in verse 14 God says to David). I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If (this is exactly what we were talking about in the last lesson so far as you and I as believers are concerned if)he commit iniquity (and will he? You bet he will, and remember, God is not just talking about Solomon, but also the Nation of Israel), I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:”

Has God done it to this nation? Over and over Israel has come under the disciplinary action of their God because of their unbelief, and because of their sins. Then in verse 15, what’s the first word? `But.’ Whenever you see this word, look for the flip side. Yes, they’re going to commit iniquity, but the flip side is God says:

II Samuel 7:15

“But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.”

Regardless of how Israel falls into wickedness – God’s going to discipline them, and we know He has. They still must face the greatest discipline that any people have ever had when they go through the Tribulation, but He’s not going to destroy the Nation of Israel. He has not turned His back on them forever. He has set them aside for a season. It was during this 2000 years from Abraham to Christ that he dealt only with this favored nation, with some exceptions. Even after the Crucifixion, in the early chapters of Acts, who does Peter address?“Oh ye Children of Israel.” “Ye men of Israel.” And Peter pleads with them to respond to the fact that the One they crucified was their Messiah. But nationally, Israel wouldn’t believe it. Some did, but mostly the nation rejected Him. What did God do? Discipline again. God brought in the Roman Army under Titus, and Titus besieged the city, and when he finally gained entrance to it it was the greatest mayhem man could imagine as those Roman legions destroyed the Jew by the thousands. They took the Temple down stone by stone as the prophet had written would happen.

Israel was dispersed into every nation on the face of the earth. Then about the turn of the century the Jew started coming back. They set up Kibbutzes and little by little the Nation of Israel was making its appearance again. Then in 1948 they had that war with the Arabs. Then President Harry Truman, bless his heart, was the first world leader to declare the Nation of Israel a sovereign state. To this day I claim that’s why he beat Thomas Dewey in the next election. But the little Nation of Israel becomes a sovereign state again, yet the world says,“That’s not anything that God has to do with, because He’s all through with the Jew.” No He isn’t, because He has promised that His mercy wouldn’t depart from that nation. Let’s go to the Book of Jeremiah, Chapter 31. And when these people try to say that the Nation of Israel has nothing to do with Scripture (because God is through with the Jew, He cast them off when they crucified their Messiah), then they don’t know their Bible. The Scripture is adamant that He will come back, and fulfill these Covenant promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Jeremiah 31:35

“Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: `If those ordinances (these laws of nature and science) depart from before me,’ saith the LORD, `then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.’ Thus saith the LORD; `If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath (if you can do that God says then), I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done,’ saith the LORD.”

It can’t be done. Will He ever cast aside Israel? Never. God is not through with His chosen nation Israel. When they rejected their Messiah, and crucified Him, and Peter couldn’t get them to believe in the early chapter of Acts, God then raised up that other little Jew, Saul of Tarsus, whom we know as Paul, and sent him primarily to the Gentiles. Just as sure as there were Gentile exceptions as God dealt with the Jews, yes, there are certainly individual Jews who can be saved in the age of Grace. But you can’t let the Church go in and mix up with Israel in the coming Tribulation because the Tribulation will again be God dealing with Israel, and not the Church. Since we’re still in Jeremiah let’s look at that in Chapter 30. Now, I’ve got to back up with Scripture what I just said. The Tribulation is primarily God dealing with the Nation of Israel, and you cannot run the Church into God’s dealing with His Covenant people because we are not under any of these Covenants. They have nothing to do with the Gentiles, they are Jew only. And those Covenants will finally come into fruition in the Tribulation.

Jeremiah 30:5,6

“For thus saith the LORD; `We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?'”

Why? Because of the horrible events that are coming on the earth. And it’s going to be primarily centered again in the Middle East. Now, I think it’s scary as you read your news accounts lately. We know that several of those Middle Eastern nations have nuclear war heads. Some feel Israel alone has over 200. Well, I think anyone can understand what 200 nuclear warheads can do to any part of the world. And most of those nations around Israel probably have a few also. So the potential for mass destruction is hanging over the Middle East. So there’s going to be tremendous fear, tremendous suffering like you and I can not imagine, and it will be directed primarily to the Children of Israel. Now, reading on.

Jeremiah 30:7

“Alas! for that day is great (all you have to do is think back through human history at all the horrible things that have happened, and yet they all pale into insignificance when put against this final seven years of human history), so that none is like it: it is even the time Jacob’s trouble (and who is Jacob? Israel. So this seven year period is primarily the time of Israel’s trouble. God will be dealing with them, in His wrath and vexation, with the end result that out of them will come a remnant of believers), but he shall be saved out of it.” Never lose sight of the fact that all through Scripture God has always had His remnant of believers.

275 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 3 - Book 23 - Romans 8:31-39

275: Romans 8:31-39 – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 23

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 23

ROMANS 8:31-39

Let’s get back to Romans Chapter 8. I’d like to go back to those last 6 or 7 verses and pick out some things I neglected to bring out in the the last lesson. But before I do I would like to say that I hope you’re studying the Word with us, and learning what The Book says and what The Book doesn’t say. The Scriptures are not just some gobbledy-gook, but rather written by the hand of God so that anybody can understand it. You don’t have to be highly educated, or have a great theological education to comprehend the Scriptures. Now, of course, that’s what precipitated the Dark Ages, when the church had gotten so powerful that they had pulled the Scriptures away from the common man and brought it into the monasteries because they felt only the monks and educated could discern the Word of God, but that’s not what God intends. He wants all of us to become students, to learn how to study this Book. That’s what Paul meant when he wrote to Timothy that we are to:

II Timothy 2:15

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

I want to come back and cover some of these verses that we looked at in the last lesson. And someone had a question about verse 31 so let’s turn to that verse now. Here is a verse that is so paramount to our Christian experience as a child of God, that we have to understand that those of us who have been called, we’ve been elected, we’ve been justified, we’ve been glorified, and that being the case:

Romans 8:31

“What shall we then say to these things (what’s Paul talking about? That we’ve been justified, glorified, forgiven, and all these things that Paul alone teaches. How can we say that? Well, we can come to the conclusion if that’s all true, then)? If God be for us, who can be against us?” And that’s where God wants us to rest, there is no one that can condemn us because of verse 32.

Romans 8:32

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,…”

And as we saw in the Book of Philippians The Lord Jesus Himself was obedient unto that kind of a death. Just like Isaac of old. A lot of those things back in the Old Testament were just a preview of what took place in the New. As Abraham laid Isaac upon the altar, is there anything in Scripture that indicates that Isaac struggled? Did Isaac fight back? But in complete obedience he let Abraham, his father, lay him upon that altar. Well, that was just a preview of how God the Son would react to the same situation, that He gave Himself up as we see in Philippians:

Philippians 2:8

“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Romans 8:33:

Romans 8:33a

“Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?…”

I stressed a little bit in the last half hour that these verses just absolutely hammer home the idea that once God has put the finger on us, has elected us, and we have responded and we have entered into His tremendous Salvation, then who in the world can touch that? Nobody can touch it, because it’s something that God has done, and don’t let anyone ever tell you, “How can you be so conceited as to tell me that you know that you’ll go to Heaven when you die, when no one can know.” When someone talks like that, they themselves are totally unaware of true saving faith. Because if you have enough faith to believe the Gospel (Ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4), if your faith is sufficient to bring you into that Salvation, then you should have enough faith to take God at His Word, and the rest of it. And that is that you’re His. No one can take us out of His hand, and we’re going to see that in just a little bit. Verse 33 again.

Romans 8:33

“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.”

Would God elect someone who somewhere down the road would chose to reject Him? I can’t see it happening, and the reason I’m using that example is I had a fellow tell me that one time. I said, “Look, the Scripture says that God will never cast us out.” He said, “Oh, I know that, but I could cast myself out.” I said how? He replied, “By committing some horrible sin.” I said, “Look, you can’t touch yourself so far as being in that position in the Body of Christ any more than someone else can. We are totally, and I can’t emphasize this enough; we are totally under the power of the Sovereign God, and nobody can supersede his power.” These closing verses of Romans 8 are like the crescendo of a great orchestra. A crescendo is when that sound just builds and builds, and it’s got your attention. It’s been building throughout these first eight chapters of Romans, but now here comes this crescendo. I think Paul, if we could have heard him in person, would have just shouted it. “Look, nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ!” We see this in verse 35:

Romans 8:35-37

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword (we covered that in the last lesson. Verse 36)? ….we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

Oh, not of what we have, not through any ability that I or you have, but what makes us conquerors? Christ Jesus. He became everything. What does the Book of Colossians say?

Colossians 3:17

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

And that is where we live and move, and there is nothing in us that can merit any favor with God, it is all of His Grace. And remember that Grace could never have happened if it had not been for mercy. We no longer have to cry for mercy because God poured out His mercy on Christ there on the Cross. His mercy has already been poured out. Since His mercy has been poured out, now He can give Grace. “Unmerited favor.” We don’t deserve any of this. Now, let’s look again at verse 38:

Romans 8:38

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,”

Go to Ephesians Chapter 6. I felt we had to do this part over since we didn’t have time to cover it in the last lesson. Paul writes:

Ephesians 6:12

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Not down in the gutter, not on skid row, but in high places. Now, that should wake us up. We’re up against something that is beyond the normal. It’s up here with tremendous power, and position. These powers are in high positions and let’s compare the same Greek word `powers’ back in Matthew Chapter 10 so we get an idea of what Paul is really driving at when he says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, and against powers,”

Matthew 10:1

“And when he (The Lord Jesus in His earthly ministry) had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power…”

Now, that word `power’ is the same word in the Greek that we found back in Ephesians, and it was authority. So these principalities and powers have authority, and don’t you ever doubt it. Don’t you ever forget that Satan is powerful. My, he can transform himself into an angel of light. He is the the one, according to II Corinthians 4:3-4, that prevents the lost from comprehending the Gospel. So this word is designated `authority.’ Another one is in Acts Chapter 26, and we see that same kind of a meaning. And this Scripture is going to be in regards to Paul, and it’s the same Greek word again.

Acts 26:9,10

“I verily thought with myself (back in his pre-Salvation experience), that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests;”

What does that mean? Paul was put in position to do what he was doing. Authority. Now, bring that back to what we saw in Ephesians:

Ephesians 6:12

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers,…”

And they have authority. And that authority is Satan, and he is doing everything that he can, not only to frustrate the life of you and I as believers, but also to keep lost humanity in darkness. And he will have that power until God breaks that power. Here again is why we have to come back to the very fact that God is the One Who opens our heart, God is the One through the working of the Holy Spirit Who gives us an understanding. Now, return to Romans 8 for a little bit, and then we may look at a couple of verses in John.

Romans 8:39

“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature (all of creation, there is nothing that has ever been created whether it’s on the demonic side or on the righteous angelic side), shall be able to separate us (or take us) from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Someone might say, “Well, that’s Paul, and I don’t have time for his teachings.” Well, let’s go back and see what Jesus Himself says. Let’s turn to John’s Gospel Chapter 6. And here Jesus is speaking:

John 6:37

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;…”

Who is making the first move? God is. Don’t you ever believe anyone when they say, “Oh, seek this and that, and after God.” because it’s impossible. You and I can’t seek God, because it not in us; no unbeliever is going to go running after God, it’s not in him. If he suddenly has an appetite for the things of God, then God put it there first. And it’s the same as Jesus is saying here:

John 6:37

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me (as a result of God moving him) I will in no wise cast out.”

Now, Jesus said it in His earthly ministry that anybody that God has chosen, that God has elected, that God has sent to Him would in no wise ever be cast out. And that means what it says. Now, let’s look at John Chapter 10. Ordinarily I don’t like to raise my voice, but when I find out that there are people who totally don’t understand this, and think I’m way out in left field, then that’s why I have to show you what The Book says: It isn’t what I think.

John 10:27,28

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man (and man has been added by the translators so I prefer to leave it out. Neither shall any) pluck them out of my hand.”

Now, compare that word any with what Paul has said in Romans Chapter 8, and what do you also include? The whole sphere of creation. Not just man, but neither the angelic powers, the Satanic powers, nothing can pluck them out of His hand. Now, can you believe that? Well, if you can believe that God in Christ died, and rose again for your Salvation, then you should be able to have enough faith to believe these things. You’re His, and no one can take you away from Him. Now, you see the first thing I’ll be accused of is, “Well, you’re going to tell people that they can do what ever they want to do just because they will never be lost?” Never have I said that. Grace is not license! Don’t ever get the idea that the Scripture teaches that since we’re safe, that since we’re secure we are free to do what we want.

So we believers live in constant awareness that we don’t want to fall, or commit a sin. But we also have enough common sense to know that we could. I would hope that I would never fall into any great sin. We’re all guilty of these mundane sins of everyday living, and thoughts.

But so far as falling into a great sin such as David did. Did David fall into sin? Was David a believer? Yes. Did David lose his Salvation? No. But oh, what did David know how to do? Beg for forgiveness, and of course he was back before the Age of Grace. But if you want to see a man, David to me was a “man’s man.” David was as manly as any person that ever lived. Yet as a man’s man, we read in the psalms where he poured out his heart in sweat drops begging for forgiveness after he was convicted of his sin of adultery with Bathsheba, and of murdering her husband Uriah. He was a true child of God, otherwise it would have never bothered him. You can go all through Scripture and all the great people failed miserably.

Abraham for example, with his beautiful wife Sara, goes down into Egypt and what happens? “Sara, as beautiful as you are, they’re going want you in their harem. There’s nothing that I can do to stop it unless they kill me, so for goodness sake don’t tell them that you’re my wife, but rather my sister.” That was sin. Did God kick Abraham out? No! Abraham had to come to the place of recognizing his sin as a believer. Look at Peter in the New Testament. In fact, I had a question from a listener the other day, “What did Jesus mean when He said to Peter there in the Book of Luke?”

Luke 22:31

“And the Lord said, `Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:'”

What did Jesus know that was just down the road in a matter of hours? Peters denial. And here, great big Peter, to probably a teenage girl, cursed and swore that he didn’t know Jesus. He didn’t have a thing to do with Him, and what happened? The cock crowed, and what happened to Peter? He wept bitterly. Why? He was convicted of his sin. Did that act throw Peter out? No! But he was reconciled immediately when he confessed his sin, and so it is with a believer in Paul’s doctrines of Grace. Paul never gives us license to sin. John’s little epistle at the back of your Bible tells:

I John 2:1

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin (we’re going to, and if we sin), we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”

And then back in the Book of Revelation Chapter 12. My, don’t ever think for a minute that believers aren’t subjected to sin. I’ve never seen a true believer that just makes up his mind that he’s going to go out and get drunk, or commit adultery, or cheat someone, but it can happen. But a believer has to be constantly on guard.

Revelation 12:10

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, `Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren (believers)is cast down (Satan), which accused them (believers) before our God day and night.'”

Now, if it’s impossible for believers to sin, then Satan wouldn’t have had anything to accuse them of, but he did, and he does, and he will until we’re in The Lord’s presence. Because as long as we’re in this body of flesh we are going to be prone to fall. I like this simple analogy: most, if not all of you, have raised children, and when they were little and learning how to walk, did they just start walking? No, they fell, and what did a good mom or dad do? Kick them in the rear, and say, “What’s the matter with you?” No. We picked them up, and lovingly set them on their feet, and got them started again.

274 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 2 - Book 23 - If God Be For Us, Who Can Be Against Us?

274: If God Be For Us, Who Can Be Against Us? – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 23

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 23

IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?

Now, we only covered two verses in our last lesson, and we’re still in verse 32, and I can’t emphasize enough that everything that God now has done, and is doing on our behalf, is based on that finished work of the Cross, where God did not even spare His Son. Why? So that He could purchase mankind back to Himself. Now, the first thing we may wonder if we’re not taught in these things is, Well, why does God have to do this? He’s Sovereign, and He could do any way He wanted, but you see God never goes against His own principals. God is Holy, God is righteous, God is Omnipotent, He is full of all knowledge. And so He knows what has to be done to reconcile fallen man back to Himself. And so in His knowledge, and understanding He is the One Who determined that it had to be the sacrificial death of Himself on our behalf.

I’ll never forget the first time I taught that Christ was the Creator God, and my class just sat there aghast. They had never heard this before, and they were so aghast that as we talked about it afterwards over a cup of coffee, they said, “Les, are you sure you know what you’re talking about?” Now, this conversation goes back a long time ago. And I said, “I sure hope so, I’ve never taught it before, but I’ve just seen it in the last few weeks, and I have to teach it.” Well, it wasn’t long that I read where someone else had also made that statement that, “Christ was the Creator.” And of course since then I’ve seen it many times, but for the longest time you just didn’t see that very often in print. I think it was Martin Luther who struggled over Psalms 110:1:

Psalms 110:1

“The LORD said unto my Lord, `Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.'”

And Martin Luther just couldn’t comprehend, and he had been wrestling with it for years. And one morning he came bursting out of his study, and he almost screamed at his wife,“Now, I see it.” She said, “You see what?” He replied, “It was God crying out to God.” And that’s what it is, because Christ is God. And back up here in Romans Chapter 8, we have in just a few verses all three Persons of that God-head. I know there are people who refuse to believe that there’s a Trinity. They say, “God is One.” Yes God is One, but He’s in three Persons as we see in Romans 8:26:

Romans 8:26a,27

“Likewise the Spirit (capitalized) also helpeth our infirmities:… And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

Now, there you have the Spirit, and God in His Triune entity, but come on down a little further in this chapter and you’re dealing with Christ. So here you have all three Persons of the Trinity within just a few verses, and yet when you see the term `God’ it is the Triune God, the whole God-Head as Paul calls it. And what is it? God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Three distinct entities, and yet One God. Can you see that? Alright, now let’s come on down to verse 33. Since Christ died, and God let Him, God permitted it to happen. He directed that it had to happen in order to purchase our Salvation. There would have never been a person saved, not even in the Old Testament economy, without the work of the Cross. It had to be to satisfy a Holy and Righteous God. Now, let’s read:

Romans 8:33

“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.”

Now, what does that word `elect’ mean? Chosen. When you elect someone you designate them to be whatever you intend them to be, and the word `election’ in the Greek is exactly that. It is an act of choosing, and that is what God has done with everyone of His believers. Now, I think I’ll finish the chapter, and then I want to take you back to some of the statements that Jesus made Himself during His earthly ministry: that He has chosen us, and that no man comes to God on his own prerogative. Sometimes we like to think, “Well, I can just decide to go with God anytime I feel like it.” Oh no you can’t because you have to be back again in that chosen aspect, but on the other hand we have the Scriptures, “Whosoever will.” So reading that verse again:

Romans 8:33

“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.”

Not our neighbor, boss, husband or wife. We don’t have to give an account to any of them. It’s God, the Triune God, the Creator God, the sustaining God, He’s the One Who determines who we are and what we are in the realm of the Spirit. Now, verse 34, so if He is the One Who has chosen us, if He is the One Who has forgiven us, if He is the One Who has taken us unto Himself, then:

Romans 8:34a

“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again,…”

Now, do you see how Paul is constantly hammering that everything revolves around that finished work of the Cross? The fact that Christ died, His divine Blood had to be shed, because always remember:

Hebrews 9:22b

“…and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

So without the shedding of Blood there is no remission. You can’t bypass the Blood, it had to happen. So He’s the One Who died, and rose from the dead, and He’s the One Who is at the right hand of God interceding for us. He’s the One Who is watching over us, and He is the one who promised, “If God is for you, who can be against you?” And never lose sight of that, but don’t ever interpret that to mean that nothing bad can ever happen to a believer. Don’t ever get the idea that the things of this world can’t attack the believer. Satan can transform himself into an angel of light, and he does that often, and he can confuse the issue, but we have these promises, if we’ll rest on them, that God is still in total control. God’s Sovereign!

Now we’re coming into a series of verses that will probably disturb one group of people of various denominations, and that is that group of people who feel that you can not be assured of your Salvation. They think that you have to hope you make it, you have to work like the dickens to hang on, and you have to be sure that you don’t ever sin in such a way that you will lose your Salvation, and end up in Hell instead of God’s Heaven. These verses are just going to fly in the face of that kind of thinking. I can’t help it, because all I’m going to show you is what The Book says. Now, verse 35:

Romans 8:35

“Who shall separate us (and that means just exactly what it say) from the love of Christ? shall tribulation,…”

That word tribulation is used something like 29 times in the New Testament, and maybe with one exception that word is associated with the activity surrounding the believer. You go back into the Book of Revelation, in fact, let’s turn to that book right now. Someday we’re going to teach this part of Revelation – the letters to the seven churches in the opening chapters. Revelation Chapter2 verse 9. This is a letter to the church in Smyrna (verse 8) and Smyrna actually means to smell “just like myrrh,” and myrrh does not exude its fragrance until it’s crushed. This is exactly what the church at Smyrna was indicating, that the more persecution crushed those believers, the more they exuded their testimony. And you see that’s why Satan had to give up persecuting the early Church because he couldn’t get ahead of it. The more he persecuted the more it thrived, so he took the opposite attack, and that was to join them, and then Christianity began to slide. Let’s read:

Revelation 2:9a

“I know thy works, and tribulation (God knew about their tribulation, and the Church at Smyrna was going through horrible pressure), and poverty, (but thou art rich)…”

They were poor in material things because the persecution was taking them away from their income. It probably took them away from their job situation. It took all their wealth away if they had any. That was part of the persecution, but spiritually they were what? Rich! The Church today is just the opposite of that day, and that’s what the letter to the Church at Laodicea was all about. Now, reading on:

Revelation 2:9,10

“I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews (believers), and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan(they were impostors). Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer (did believer’s suffer? You bet they did): behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison (for their faith), that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days (I think that ten days refers to ten distinct periods of time during the Roman Empire when the Church came under horrible pressure, but these believers didn’t give up); be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”

Now, back to Romans again. So we’re going to suffer tribulations, and as I mentioned before, it’s only been in the last couple hundred years that western civilization, at least, has been able to guarantee the rights of the individual, and the freedom of worship, and so forth. But for the most part this has been unheard of. We’re living in an extremely different time than most Christians had to live in, because we do have a government, that so far at least, guarantees our rights to assembly, and to religion. Verse 35 continuing:

Romans 8:35

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness (Paul went through times of nakedness, and cold, he was thirsty, and hungry, and how did Paul die? Beheaded by the sword), or peril, or sword?”

And there is nothing said that we will be spared the sword, but none of this will separate us from our Lord. Can the Devil bring in enough persecution to force a believer out of his place in the Body of Christ? Never! God has guaranteed that because of the work of the Cross we are secure. Not because of what we have done, not because of what we merit, but only because of what He has done, and let’s never lose sight of that. We never maintain our assurance of Salvation and security because of who we are or what we are, or what we have done. That is never part of the picture. Everything that keeps us secure is that finished work of the Christ. Verse 36:

Romans 8:36

“As it is written, `For thy sake (the sake of the Christ of the Cross) we are killed all the day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.'”

I read an account not too long ago about someone years back when Chicago was still the capital of the meat packing business. They would slaughter the cattle, sheep, and hogs all within one huge complex. A visitor was being taken on a tour and he just couldn’t help but notice that as he went from the hog killing area, with all of the squealing and all the commotion that goes on with hogs, to the sheep killing area, what happened. Utter silence, and I’ve witnessed that myself. I’ll never forget that when they take sheep to the slaughter they have a goat. And that goat leads those sheep up to the place where they are to be killed, and then the goat slips out a side door. And then he goes back and gets another bunch. It’s simply amazing, but those sheep go to their slaughter in utter silence.

And this is the analogy that Paul draws of the believer. We may someday just come to the place where we, too, will go like sheep to the slaughter. Are we going to scream and squeal like a bunch of pigs? No, because that’s not the way God works. Do you remember what Isaiah said about the Lamb of God?

Isaiah 53:7

“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”

Why? Because there was no need for Him to scream and argue, and so it has been with Christians down through the ages. Take a lot of the hunks and macho people of today, most of them think Christianity is for women and children. But they have it all wrong, because back in the days when persecution was running rampant it took ten times more man to stand up for the slaughter, to be burned at the stake, and to be put on the rack. You all know what the rack was, that was when their bones were all broken without killing them. That’s when it takes a real man, and I bet most of those so called machos could never hold a candle to those saints. But Paul says this is all part and parcel of what God has imparted to us, the promise that even though we may have to go through these things, and many have, it will never separate us from the love of Christ.

And remember this life, even if somehow we could live to be 100, what is that compared to eternity? Eternity, never ending forever and ever and ever, and yet the human race will not consider that. All they look at is, what can I enjoy in the here and now? But you see this Book looks at everything in the light of eternity, and so this is why we have to take this blessed assurance that regardless of what may happen, nothing can separate us from our spending eternity with our Creator God. Well, let’s move on to verse 37.

Romans 8:37

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

Were those sheep, being led quietly to their death, conquerors? That’s the analogy. We’re led like sheep to the slaughter, but this verse says, “…yet we’re conquerors.” That’s fantastic isn’t it? So we don’t have to mind being meek, and quiet, and coming under persecution, and doing without squealing like a hog. Because in the end we’re still going to be more than conquerors, How? Through the One that loved us, that’s where it is. You and I in the energy of the flesh can do nothing, we are nothing. Now verse 38 Paul says:

Romans 8:38

“For I am persuaded…”

What does it mean to be persuaded? Totally convinced. I think it was King Agrippa back in Acts Chapter 26 where Paul had been witnessing to him and what did old King Agrippa say to Paul?

Acts 26:28

“Then Agrippa said unto Paul, `Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.'”

But I don’t believe that King Agrippa ever believed the Gospel and became a Christian, and do you know why? Because Agrippa could never be convinced that what Paul was telling him was true. And that’s where a lot of people are today: they hear the Gospel (Ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4), they hear this Book taught, but they can’t be convinced. They simply can’t believe it. And I’ve had people approach me and say, “Well, what have you got?” And I’ll tell them, but most will come back with, “But I can’t believe that. I can’t believe that’s all it takes.”

I’ll never forge a young man in my class at Wilburton, OK. I think he’s still receiving our tapes, and if so, I hope he hears this. He was one of these kids who from the time he was 5 or 6 years-old had no home life, no parents, he just literally made it on his own. He came up after class one night, and said, “Les, do you mean to tell me that I can have all of this free for nothing?” I told him, “Yes.” He said, “I can’t believe that.” And then he told me of how he had to scratch and fight for every little bit of food that he had as a kid growing up. He said,“I just can’t believe that.” And I told him, “I’m sorry, but until you can believe it you can’t have it.” And so the young man left. But I’m hoping that sometime in the interim he will still come to his senses and see that, yes, all of this is ours for the taking, if we will only believe it. Now, continuing on with verse 38:

Romans 8:38

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,”

Now, why do you suppose that the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to start with death instead of life like we would normally put it? Stop and think for a moment, what’s he driving at? Death is the easy way out. That’s why we have so many suicides, they think that’s their easiest way out. They can’t cope with their problems, they can’t cope with their circumstances, so they take their life, and that ends it as far as this life is concerned. But what about life? Oh, we’re living in a world that’s filled with heartaches and turmoils. A life that’s lived with all kinds of oppositions to the home and family. Hey, life is difficult. Life is not easy. In fact, I was reading a book someone sent me a while back, and I almost had to quit reading it because all the writer was pointing out was all these things that make life difficult. True, but it wasn’t necessarily what I wanted to be thinking about, so you see death is easy by comparison. But Paul tells us that even all the difficulties of life can’t separate us from the love of God. Now, as we come to close of this lesson I wish I had more time for the next few words in verse 38: that is principalities and powers, nor things present, or things to come.

The word `principalities’ here in the Greek is `Arche.’ It deals with people who are in a high position. The word `power’ is from the Greek word `Dunamis’ from which we get `Dynamo,’ and it means energy. Paul is delineating here that principalities, the position, and the energy that comes from that position are going to do everything that they can to take us away from the love of Christ. But they can’t do it. I wish I had time to take you to Ephesians in Chapter 6 to enlighten you even more. There the word `powers’ is used a little differently than in Romans. There it’s not speaking of energy, but again, power as Jesus gave to the Twelve when they went out to perform the miracles. But, nevertheless, the powers that be in the realm of Satan are positioned and they are loaded with energy that seemingly never runs out.

273 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 1 - Book 23 - If God Be For Us, Who Can Be Against Us?

273: If God Be For Us, Who Can Be Against Us? – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 23

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 23

IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?

As we begin the last four lessons of this book we are also beginning our sixth year on television and we never dreamed we’d be on longer than six months, Now here we are covering a good part of the nation. We’ve even had a couple of calls from Canada, so it’s exciting how The Lord is expanding our ministry. Let’s go right into where we left off in Romans Chapter 8. I know we have been in this chapter a long time, and I hope you’re not getting tired of it. But it’s such a tremendous chapter, I call it the gemstone of Scripture, and so many have called and written how they have enjoyed this chapter. Now, verse 30, and here Paul writes:

Romans 8:30

“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

When we started our study in this book, I was explaining the word `Salvation’ in Romans 1:16, and how that one of the things God accomplished on our behalf as a result of our Salvation experience, was that, not only were we justified, sanctified, forgiven, baptized into the Body, and all these other things, but God also glorified us. I know that we as believers don’t walk around on this planet with a halo around us. We don’t walk around exuding some kind of an angelic presence that would indicate that we’ve been glorified, but here in this verse is repeated again that not only have we been justified, but also glorified. There is only one way to explain that because our fellow man doesn’t see it, but God does. And so every time God looks upon the believer, remember He doesn’t see Les Feldick, or you in particular, but rather He sees Christ Jesus. We get a little picture of Christ’s glory there on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17, when Peter, James, and John had the opportunity of seeing Him literally glorified in their presence.

Matthew 17:1,2

“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.”

What I like to say comes out of this verse 30, since God says we’re Glorified. We can’t see it on each other, but God sees it when He looks on us. Now, that should be enough to excite the most blase of believers. To think that God has already glorified, and He sees us as He sees Christ in all of His glory. When you go back into verse 30, you might remember that in our last lesson we discussed the term `Predestination.’ We’ll be dealing with this term again, how that God, before anything was ever created, knew the believer, and knew where he would be in God’s Body of Christ. This is one of the teachings that I know has thrown a curve at a lot of people: that God in His foreknowledge chose us in Christ before anything was ever created. And then in my closing remarks in the last lesson, I said that, yes, we have all these verses: “Whosoever will may come.” Christ tasted death for every man. In fact Paul says in II Corinthians Chapter 5:

II Corinthians 5:14,15

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

So if Christ died for all, then we’re all dead. Now, who does that include? The whole human race. He didn’t die just for the small percentage who have become believers, He died for every man, woman, and child that has ever been born into the family of Adam. And that’s part of Scripture, but setting against that we have all these verses that say, “You were chosen before the foundation of the world.” You cannot come to God unless He calls you. Now, we can’t reconcile those two doctrines because it’s beyond us. But remember, that as we’re going down the river of time, and in that family of the human race there’s that constant invitation to enter the door of Salvation that says, “Whosoever will may come.” And then when we go through that door, what’s written on the other side? “Chosen in Him before the world was ever created.”

I was telling Doctor Bellamy the other night, that I happened to pick up a book by a tremendous Bible scholar in the early part of the century, and he was dealing with that same subject. He said that these things may to us sound contradictory. On the one hand you have, “Whosoever will may come.” And over here you’ve got, “But you were chosen by an act of God.” How are you going to reconcile them? Well, I think he had the answer. If this is what God says then you believe it, and you don’t try to argue with Him, or reconcile it. Just leave it there and let Him settle what we think is a great controversy. The theologians are still arguing about that subject.

So I like what this Bible scholar wrote. Yes, “Chosen before the foundation of the world, but on the other hand whosoever will may come.” And never lose sight of that, because if you get too taken by either one of these, then you’re out in left field, but you reconcile both of them together, that as the human race moves down through time every individual has that opportunity of choice, but on the other hand they cannot choose unless God calls them, and He elects them. Now, let’s move on to verse 31, and oh, what a tremendous verse, and to think that most people who read their Bible just skim right over this verse, and don’t even realize what an impact it should make on them. Let’s look at it carefully. Notice Paul just keeps on building from verse one of this chapter to now.

Romans 8:31

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Now, look carefully at your particular Bible, and I think you will see that there are some words that have been added by the translators and they’re italicized. Notice the word `be’ is italicized, and has been added by the translators, and if you go a little further in the verse the “can be” has also been added, so let’s leave them out. Once in a while it’s better to leave it as it was in the original, and this is the way I’m going to teach it:

Romans 8:31

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”

That’s fantastic isn’t it? Now, the first thing we think of in a verse like that is that God is promising that nothing can happen to us if we’re a believer. No, no that’s not what it means. Let’s just look at some Scriptures. Turn with me to the Book of II Corinthians, Chapter 11, and here the Apostle Paul (whom I feel was probably the greatest servant that God ever had of the human race, and I said a few weeks ago I think that he evens surpasses Moses a little bit), went through so much for the sake of the Gospel (Ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4), and yet the very same man wrote, “If God for us, who against us?” And yet look what Paul had to endure.

II Corinthians 11:24-28

“Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one (or 39 licks with those cat-of-nine-tails). Thrice (three times) was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned (that is how the Jews killed people with stoning), thrice (three times) I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often (usually on foot), in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen (pagan and idolatrous), in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.”

And I thought that back there in Romans, “If God for us, who against us?” Do you see what I’m saying? Too many times we, as modern day believers, have the idea that just as soon as we become a believer, then everything is going to be a bed of roses. You’re going to have two Cadillacs in your garage, and you’re going to live in the biggest home in town, and you’re just going to live sumptuously. That’s not what He means, and never has been. Let’s look at another series of verses in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 11 again, and drop in at verse 34. Now, this is isn’t talking about wicked people, this isn’t talking about back sliders, this is talking about God’s choicest believers. Even though they were back in the Old Testament economy that doesn’t make that much difference. It’s the same God. Now, look what happened.

Hebrews 11:33-35

“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword (what does that mean? Somebody was after them), out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens (or the unbelievers. Now, in verse 35 we’re going to see a little bit of the other side of the coin). Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance (they were being tested, and probably could have escaped it just by renouncing their faith, but they didn’t); that they might obtain a better resurrection:”

I don’t know how many of you have ever read Fox’s Book of Martyrs about the believers in the early Church day. They went through horrible persecutions, but they never flinched. Oh, once in a while one would but for the most part they didn’t. They went to their death singing hymns just like Paul and Silas back there in Philippi. The human race has gotten along pretty well the past two hundred years, we’ve experienced the rights of people that democracy has given us, but there is no guarantee of it. Even we in America may suddenly find ourselves someday under these same types of persecution. But here is where we have to rest, regardless of what comes; “If God for us, who can be against us?” Even Jesus said they may touch your flesh, but don’t worry about those who can hurt the body, but what you have to be concerned about is the soul. Now, reading on.

Hebrews 11:36

“And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:”

God’s for us? Then how do they get away with these things? Well, you see the thing that really counts is the eternal. It’s the realm of the Spirit, that even though the powers that be may someday afflict our flesh. Someday we could find ourselves in prison. We could find ourselves with famine on our hands, the world grain supply is never more than 90 days. And if there is ever a complete loss of a new crop, the world is going to be in a tough situation for food. So don’t ever think that these things can’t happen, they can, and especially as we approach the end-times, and these things are going to be coming on us faster, and faster.

Hebrews 11:37

“They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;”

Come back with me again to Romans Chapter 8. So as you read these promises, “God for us, who against us?” rest assured that regardless of what someone or the powers that be may do to the flesh, they can never touch that invisible eternal part of us, because that is in God’s hand. And after all what’s this life? Never lose sight of this promise that God is for us, and, consequently, nothing can be against us. Now, verse 32 gives the reason. Why can God make such promises? What do we rest on?

Romans 8:32

“He (the God of verse 31) that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”

I’ve stressed this many times that Paul never writes to anyone but believers. So when he uses this pronoun `us’ he’s talking about himself, and his fellow believers. Turn for a moment to a verse in I Thessalonians. You can see the difference between Paul speaking or writing to believers, and his references to the unbeliever. Let’s start with Chapter 4 and verse 17, just to show you the pronoun usage, and I think that will be enough for you to see what I’m talking about. Here in I Thessalonians 4, Paul is talking about himself and believers, and we always refer that these verses are the “Rapture of the Church.” Being caught up to meet The Lord in the air.

I Thessalonians 4:17

“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Those `we‘ and `them’ are us as believers. In Chapter 5 we can see the other side of the coin, and that is those who will not be caught up to meet The Lord in the air – the unbelieving world.

I Thessalonians 5:1,2

“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”

That is when Christ will come in wrath and in judgment. Now, look at the unbelievers beginning with verse 3.

I Thessalonians 5:3

“For when (now what’s the pronoun?) they shall say, `Peace and safety;’ then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they (the unbelieving world) shall not escape.”

See the difference? In Chapter 4 Paul is dealing with the believer, but here in Chapter 5 he’s dealing with those who have been left behind at the Rapture, the unbeliever, so the pronoun switches from `we’ to `they.’ That’s the best example I can give in all of Paul’s writings, how that when he writes to us as believers the pronoun is `us’ and `we,’ and very seldom does he allude to the unbelieving world like he does here in Chapter 5. Let’s return to Romans 8.

So everything that Paul has been teaching in the Book of Romans, and especially here in Chapter 8 is resting upon this one fact: that the God of all creation, the God of glory, the God full of majesty, and power. The God who could have destroyed the whole human race. Who could have destroyed the planet, but He didn’t, and instead, He let those Roman soldiers nail Him to that Roman Cross, and put Him to death. And God didn’t do a thing to stop it, and that’s the meaning of verse 32 when Paul tells us:

Romans 8:32

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,…”

It wasn’t that God lost control. This was all pre-determined before anything was ever created, that Christ would go to that Cross. So everything rests on that Cross. I get so disturbed at people who try to tell others how to be saved, and never use one word about His death on the Cross, His burial or His Resurrection. These people are by-passing the Gospel (Ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4). Nothing thrills me more than a note I got in a Christmas card, where a gentlemen told me how thankful he was that he got into my class, and for the first time in his life he heard the Gospel. And this person had been in church most of his life. And what had he heard? That Christ died for him, and that He rose from the dead in power, and all for us. But people aren’t hearing that anymore. But regardless of what happens, that’s what I’ll always teach, because this is the Gospel. Let’s turn to Philippians Chapter 2 verse 5:

Philippians 2:5-8

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation (who made Him that way? He did, the Sovereign Creator God that Jesus Christ is and was), and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

272 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 4 - Book 23 - Romans 8:14-17 - Part 2

272: Romans 8:14-17 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 23

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 23

ROMANS 8:14-17 – PART 2

Now, let’s pick up again in Romans Chapter 8. I hope people don’t get tired of hearing the same chapter over and over, but after all we’re not on a set format or schedule, so we’re just going to study it, and take it as it comes. In the last lesson we left off in verse 24 where Paul continues:

Romans 8:24

“For we are saved by hope (now someone is going to throw a curve at me by saying, “I thought you said we’re saved by faith.” Well, we are, but faith and hope are in the same meaning, actually); but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?”

In other words, when we enter into the realm of the invisible, what do we have to depend on? Faith. Let’s go back to the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 11, for a moment, and look at a verse on hope and faith.

Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith (taking God at His Word) is the substance (the very meat) of things hoped for (just like in Romans Chapter 8), the evidence (the proof) of things not seen.”

So when we enter into the realm of the spiritual into these things which we cannot just tangibly touch, then it has to be on the basis of faith. And there again, if I didn’t know that this was the Word of God, then I couldn’t believe it. I mean some of these things are so far beyond human comprehension that you can’t believe it unless you are positive that this is the Word of God, and I am positive. There is so much in here to prove the validity of this Book that I don’t have to have any doubts. Someone might say, “Well, that’s just blind faith,” but I say it isn’t. My faith isn’t blind my faith is documented, and that’s what The Word is all about. Verse 1 again:

Hebrews 11:1-3a

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it (faith) the elders obtained a good report (now here it is again in verse 3). Through faith (by simply taking God at His Word) we (believers) understand that the worlds (the universe) were framed by the word of God,…” He spoke it, and it all came into being, and if we can believe our astronomers (not the astrologers) that everything is still being created; it’s still moving further and further. I can believe that. Because God is infinite. There is no putting an outer shell on God’s creation. Finishing verse 3:

Hebrews 11:3

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen (tangible) were not made of things which do appear.”

What does that mean? Everything that’s been created that we can now see and handle came out of nothing. I remember a few years ago reading an article in a scientific magazine. It was written by a great physicist who had devoted his whole life trying to arrive at the origin of the universe. And of course there are still a lot of people trying to do that, but his whole article had brought himself and the reader to the conclusion that at the beginning, whenever that was, everything had come from a single source of light. And I said to myself, “That’s God, God is light.” You see, this guy was so close to the truth, and yet I’ll bet he was a rank unbeliever. Everything had come from one source of light and had just expanded out from that, so, consequently, he says, “I can see the day when everything could go back into that source of light.” And so can I. In fact, I think that’s exactly what God’s going to do when everything will be destroyed. The elements are going to melt with fervent heat, Peter says in his little epistle. And God is going to create new heavens and a new earth. I think that’s exactly what He will do. He will pull everything back into that original source of light and energy and from there He’ll create new heavens and a new earth. Revelation tells us that, and so does Peter. So faith and hope, then, are so intricately intertwined. Now, come back to Romans Chapter 8.

Romans 8:24b

“…for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?”

I’ve given the expression that I’ve learned over the years that anticipation is far more exciting than realization. When you look forward to something, that’s a lot more exciting than when it finally gets there. Now, verse 25.

Romans 8:25

“But if we hope (again by faith) for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

With God, time doesn’t mean much. God isn’t concerned whether He will bring everything into its fruition tomorrow, or whether it’s ten years from now or one hundred years from now. But we know it’s coming and we can’t push God to do it any faster. So what do we do? We wait patiently. But in your patience never lose sight of the fact that it is going to happen. Christ is going to return. And we feel it’s getting sooner every day. Now, verse 26 and let’s move into a little deeper area.

Romans 8:26

“Likewise the Spirit (the Holy Spirit who is now indwelling us, according to Paul’s teaching) also helpeth our infirmities (our weaknesses. There’s not much we can do about it because we’re dealing with the invisible, in the realm of the Spirit. But let God do it. God can strengthen us in our places of infirmity): for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

That verse is kind of hard to comprehend, except to say I think that there will come places in our lives when we just don’t know how to pray. We have an idea of what we want, but we can’t put it into words. I’ve told my classes over the years, when you get to that situation, just be quiet, shut up and let the Holy Spirit commune for you. This is not necessarily a tongues experience. That’s not what Paul is talking about. But we get to this place where the Holy Spirit actually intercedes on our behalf. Now, come back to I John. This is a different intercessory power that John talks about in his epistle.

I John 2:1

“My little children (who is he talking to? Believers! He doesn’t call the unbelieving world his children. It’s the believing element that is being addressed), these things I write unto you, that ye sin not (now what have I stressed over the years – that we are under Grace and not under law. Grace is not license. Just because we’re under Grace, just because the sin is always less than God’s Grace, that doesn’t give us license. And so John says the same thing. He begs the believer – sin not! Don’t sin!). And, if any man sin (that’s conditional. What are we going to do? We’re going to sin! You might as well admit it), we have an advocate with the Father (now what is an advocate? It’s an intercessor. We have Someone Who is interceding for us to the Father. And Who is it?), Jesus Christ the righteous:”

Absolutely He is! He is there 24 hours a day, every day of the year. I’ve told my classes over the years, and I think I’ve even said on the program, this is one of the miracles of our God. I’m sure that at any one moment of time, there are probably a million believers in all areas of the world that are approaching the throne room. But He hears every one as an individual. He doesn’t hear just a mumble-jumble of voices coming up before Him. And so when we pray we have that assurance that He hears us and He knows all about us as a person. Now, back in Romans 8, the Holy Spirit is interceding on behalf of us. And again, I think we have all three Persons of the Trinity involved, even in our prayer life. All three Persons are working for us constantly. A little later in this chapter, no wonder Paul will write, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” We’ve got all three Persons constantly working on our behalf. Let’s read on.

Romans 8:27

“And he that searcheth the hearts (this is the area in which God works. You and I can’t look on each others hearts. I can’t judge anyone, nor would I ever try. But God does) knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit (now hold it. Where, so far as you and I are concerned, is the Spirit? He’s in us. Now, that’s a concept that we cannot understand. A person of the Godhead dwelling in me? Absolutely! It’s what The Book says. And again, we take it by faith that the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is indwelling the believer. And it’s through that Holy Spirit that God searches the heart of the believer), because He (the Holy Spirit) maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

Does that leave out the Son? No! It just involves all three. The Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf and the Son intercedes on our behalf to the Father. It’s just fantastic. And no wonder verse 28 can say what? This is a verse that the whole world rests on:

Romans 8:28a

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God…”

For everybody? No. There’s a qualification here. Who is it? The believer! All things work together for your good and mine, as a believer, not for the world necessarily. Everything is working for the fruition of His eternal plan for the ages, absolutely it is. But in our everyday moment by moment experience, it’s only the believer that God is working out the best for him. Now, that may also include some things that aren’t so good. I’ve found in my life, at the time I was going through some things, I’d say, “Lord, why? Why are you doing this to me?” But years later I can look back and I can say, “Praise The Lord that took place because it brought me to where I am, and you’re the same way.” This is the joy of being a believer. God may bring some tough things into our lives. He may bring some bad experiences. But it’s for His own purpose to bring us to the place that He wants us to be.

Remember the illustration that I gave you about the young lady, when invited to partake of the love of God said, “I hate God!” Well, that’s where most people are. You have to get them in a tight spot to express it, but that’s where they really are. They don’t love God. And they’re the first one, that when things go a little bad, to say, “Well, where’s God?” Well, God’s there, but it’s their problem, not His. Now, let’s continue with verse 28:

Romans 8:28b

“…to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Now, we’re going to get into a few areas that are a little bit sticky, I know.

Romans 8:29a

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate…”

Now, right here I always have to stop and forewarn people. We’ve got those around us, and I’m sure I’ve got them living around me down in my little neck of the woods (and I don’t know what to call them, fatalists or whatever). But their idea is that if God has already predetermined I’m supposed to go to Heaven, I’ll get there. And if I’m predestined to go to Hell, there’s nothing I can do about it and I’ll be going there, so don’t worry about it. Well, that’s not what the word `predestination’ is talking about. In fact, what I’ve done in my classes over the years is get people to see what are we predestined to. Look at it real carefully.

Romans 8:29a

“For whom he did fore know, he also did predestinate to (Hell? No, it didn’t say that. Does it say to Heaven? No, it doesn’t say that either. See what I mean? We’ve got to look at what The Book says. Let’s look at what it really says. What it really says is) Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be (a position which in this case is being) conformed (or be made like), to the image of his Son,…”

Now, that’s not heaven or hell. That’s a position that God has reserved for every individual believer. Now, on that same basis let’s look at another one over in the Book of Ephesians in Chapter 1. And let’s start at verse 4. I know that some of these things are mind boggling, but hopefully before the lesson is over we’ll be able to reconcile some of these things.

Ephesians 1:4

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world (in other words before anything was created He already had us all marked), that we should be holy and without blame before him in love;” As a result of that love extended on the Cross. Now, watch verse 5:

Ephesians 1:5

“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”

A lesson or two ago I defined the word `adoption’ as Paul uses it, and as it was practiced in the Roman and the Greek culture. When the child born of the husband and wife was put under tutors, he was educated, and trained, and prepared to come in at an equal level with the father, and we’ll say for a business. When that child reached that point in life he went through the “rites of adoption.” Now, the custom that is kin to that in the Hebrew culture is the “Bar Mitzvah,” and that was when the boy reached the age of 14. But it wasn’t in the same category as the Romans and Greeks, because they were in the secular world, and they were preparing their child to come in and be a co-worker in the business. But Paul teaches that the moment we become a believer we don’t go through years of tutoring, and training, but rather we are immediately placed as an heir with the Father and Son. And that’s exactly what he is saying here. We were predestinated, not to heaven or hell, but we’re predestinated as a believer to this position right there with Christ from day one as a joint heir in the process of the adoption. And I think Paul uses it once more here in this chapter.

Ephesians 1:11

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance,…”

Just like we saw in Romans 8, that we are joint heirs with Christ. Now, if you’re a joint heir that means whatever belongs to the other party is yours. In the secular economy, if the other half passes off the scene, who ends up with everything? The heir does. Now, we’re joint heirs, and of course Christ is never going to die and pass off the scene so we’re going to be joint heirs forever with Him. Now, reading verse 11 again:

Ephesians 1:11

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:”

Do you know what that means? God has predetermined everything. Let’s go back to the Book of Acts for a moment and let me show you a verse that ties in. This is a verse we’ve looked at before, but it’s almost the same kind of language so let’s look at it. And, of course, here he’s speaking of Jesus of Nazareth in verse 22:

Acts 2:23

“Him (Jesus), being delivered (up to be crucified) by the determinate counsel (It’s the same word) and foreknowledge of God (notice the language is the same as it was in Ephesians 1:11), ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:”

Now, what’s a determinate counsel? It’s a meeting of the minds (plural). So Who had a determinate meeting of the minds? The Trinity. Way back in eternity past, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, came together and by a determinate agreeing of their three minds, they decided to create the universe, and they decided to put in little old planet earth, and on it they would put the human race. They knew in foreknowledge that the human race would fall in the man Adam. And they knew in that predetermine counsel then that one Person of that Triune God would have to be a Redeemer. Isn’t that beautiful? And so everything according to that predetermined counsel of Acts Chapter 2 brought the whole thing moving. Then, as a small part of that whole big picture come you and I, again according to that same kind of Triune counsel, that same Triune meeting of the minds. God put the finger on everyone of us and said, “I have a place waiting for you.” Now, if that isn’t enough to thrill you then I don’t know what would.

But that’s where we are, we’re in that predetermined position that was put there by the counsel of the Triune God before anything was ever created. Now the big argument comes up, “Well, now wait a minute. Are we elected, are we chosen before we ever had anything to do about it?” And the opposite party comes and says, “It was all of our own free will. We decided to choose Salvation.” And I say, “Well, now wait a minute, Yes whosoever will sits over here, you can’t deny it.” The Scripture is full of it, that Christ died for every man, (I Corinthians 15:1-4) He tasted death for every man, He’s not willing that any should perish. But over here the Scripture says you were chosen before the foundation of the world. Now, maybe you can, but I can’t explain those two facts of Scripture. But I’m going to let them set in Scripture by faith. This is what God has said, and I’m going to let Him settle the controversy because I can’t. Do you remember that I put this one on the board several years ago, and I think it’s as good an application as I ever found.

Here’s the river of humanity. Ever since Adam, the human race has just been flowing like old man river, but all along the banks of the river are these doors of opportunity, and what’s on the front part of the door? “Whosoever will may come!” So the `whosoever’ goes through that door of opportunity, and when he gets to the other side and looks back, what does he see on the other side of the door? “Chosen in Him, before the world was ever created.” Now, I can’t put it any better, because that is exactly the way it is. We have to decide for ourselves, and yet the moment we decide God says. “I chose you.”