Face of God

The second aspect of God’s nature that finds mention in Romans 8:28-39 is the sovereignty of God.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29,30)

An earlier post on divine destiny deals briefly with the sovereignty of God. One aspect of sovereignty that is highlighted here is the completed work of salvation that God effected though Jesus on the cross. In these days of frequent travel, we are quite familiar with the frustration of technical snags causing a flight cancelation or a stranded car delaying our journey. Nobody likes an aborted journey. The same is true for our journey through life. There are times in the life of a pilgrim when he inevitably asks questions like, ‘Is all this true?’, ‘Will I indeed be saved?’

The theme of God bringing to completion what he started is prominent in the Bible and relevant for the everyday pilgrim who wrestles with questions that he faces regarding his faith and the sufficiency of it thereof to lead him to eternity. What God purposed in his eternal wisdom was brought to fruition by his calling of his children to receive the gift of Christ on the cross through which justification and glory followed.  And so elsewhere Paul also says,

‘—-being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 1:6).

Yes, the sovereign Lord will ensure that what he began will come to fulfillment in our lives. He will lead us home and not leave us stranded.

The next aspect of God’s nature that we see is the authority of God.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).

While we saw that God is committed to our good, it is also true that there are forces- both physical and spiritual that strive to oppose a godly man, negate him and eventually ruin him. When faced with physical forces that conspire to negate our godly output, we can rest assured that the God who created the world and who is before all things, stands with us. But Paul goes one step ahead.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:10-12)

As easy as it is to rely on and trust people and things we see, it is common to mistake our real enemies as those we see and interact with. Yet, it is not flesh and blood, but the spiritual forces that are around us and constantly influence us without our knowledge that constitute our real opponents. These are the forces that can really ruin us and snuff out the true life in us, reducing us to mere men and women who exist, preventing us from achieving anything of eternal value. These forces cannot mess with man’s free will, but still are capable of exerting great power, and sometimes become too difficult to handle. But the authority of God through Christ is what is given to us so that we negotiate through spiritually challenging territory, overcoming them and achieving an output that is truly eternal in value.

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