If God is in Control...Where are we going?

If God is in Control...Where are we going?

October 20, 2013 - Jay Pound

  • Our Current Predicament:
    • We are fallen people in a fallen world
    • We are alienated from one another
    • We are exiled from God's presence

*So where is all of this headed?

  • God's Plan: A Divine Solution:
    • Renewed Creation
    • Reconciled to one another
    • Returned to God's presence

Challenge: Trust in God's plan and power instead of your own

Encouragement: God has the plan and the power to make things right, and he will do it

 

Discussion Guide

  • Discuss:
    • What are some things that make people question God's sovereignty? Was there ever a time that you questioned if God was in control?
  • Read Romans 8.18-30
    • Verse 18 assumes two things to be true, what are they and how do they address the question raised above?
    • In verses 19-21, Paul talks about the future of all creation.
      • What do you think verse 19 means? Why would creation long for humanity to be redeemed?
      • What is the condition of creation right now?
      • What does Paul say that God will do for creation?
    • In verses 22-27, we read the "whole creation has been groaning," and also too "we ourselves…groan inwardly," and also the Spirit within us "groans" on our behalf.
      • Why all of the groaning? What do you think Paul is trying to communicate by using this vivid language?
      • What does Paul imply by calling the Spirit the "firstfruits" in n 23?
    • Look at verses 28-30 again:
      • Who is doing everything? Who has the plan/purpose?
      • Make a list of all the things God does in these verses:
  • Apply: Paul ends this passage with several verses that make it quite clear that it is God and God alone who can and will work to redeem humanity and creation. God alone has the plan and power. We benefit, we get the freedom and glory and blessing, but God does the work.
    • But, we are called, as God's people to:
      • Pray - to groan with the Spirit and with all creation in the midst of labor. It is our privilege to be at prayer in the places where the world is in pain.
      • Hope - we know what God will do, and Paul could scarcely do much more in this passage to communicate that we ought to be really, really excited for it. We have even received the Spirit, the proof that God is already doing what he has promised to do
      • And to wait - expectantly for what God will do.

 

 

Leaders Guide

  • Discuss:
    • What are some things that make people question God's sovereignty? Was there ever a time that you questioned if God was in control?
  • Read Romans 8.18-30
    • Verse 18 assumes two things to be true, what are they and how do they address the question raised above?
      • 1) In the present time there is suffering 2) In the future there will be glory that will overwhelm the suffering of the present
      • Suffering should not undermine our faith and hope in God - it may be a reality, but it is only a temporary one!
    • In verses 19-21, Paul talks about the future of all creation.
      • What do you think verse 19 means? Why would creation long for humanity to be redeemed?
        • Presumably creation longs for humanity, as the restored image bearers of God, to govern it and exercise stewardship in a way that reflects the wisdom and glory of God
      • What is the condition of creation right now?
        • It is in bondage, subject to futility
      • What does Paul say that God will do for creation?
        • Set it free from bondage - to be restored to glory and freedom, even as we will be
    • In verses 22-27, we read the "whole creation has been groaning," and also too "we ourselves…groan inwardly," and also the Spirit within us "groans" on our behalf.
      • Why all of the groaning? What do you think Paul is trying to communicate by using this vivid language?
        • That though we are patient in hope (v.25) we are also eager for the coming glory (18)
        • As labor pains signifies (22) - something wonderful is coming in the near future, but that dies no mean that we are without suffering in the present
        • Suffering will one day end - for good!
      • What does Paul imply by calling the Spirit the "firstfruits" in n 23?
        • Paul reminds us that the Spirit is both:
          • 1) proof - that God's promise to liberate and redeem humanity and all creation has already begun in us! And
          • 2) guarantee - that God can and will finish what he has started.
    • Look at verses 28-30 again:
      • Who is doing everything? Who has the plan/purpose?
      • Make a list of all the things God does in these verses:
        • Works things together for good, foreknows, predestines, conforms, adopts, justifies, glorifies, etc.
  • Apply: Paul ends this passage with several verses that make it quite clear that it is God and God alone who can and will work to redeem humanity and creation. God alone has the plan and power. We benefit, we get the freedom and glory and blessing, but God does the work.
    • But, we are called, as God's people to:
      • Pray - to groan with the Spirit and with all creation in the midst of labor. It is our privilege to be at prayer in the places where the world is in pain.
      • Hope - we know what God will do, and Paul could scarcely do much more in this passage to communicate that we ought to be really, really excited for it. We have even received the Spirit, the proof that God is already doing what he has promised to do
      • And to wait - expectantly for what God will do.

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