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What Do You Expect?

1/2/18 | by Brad Braley

    Please pardon my repetition. 

    Recently, Pastor Rick encouraged us in his teaching with Romans 8:32:

    "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"

    I’ve been spending much of my time with the Lord over the last ten months reading and praying in Romans.  Probably like you, I’ve read Romans 8 dozens – maybe hundreds of times.  But when I got to Romans 8:32 this time, the comparison and question stood out as so significant, it was like I had read it for the first time!  Then, when that passage came up again in Pastor Rick’s teaching, it was like an exclamation point being added.

    Romans 8 covers a variety of topics, including our deliverance from bondage to the law of sin and of death; our redemption from hostility to God prior to salvation when we were completely unable to do things which please Him; our adoption as sons and daughters of God, allowing us to have a close relationship with our heavenly Father; the fact that we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ; our anticipation of the glorification of creation and of our physical bodies; the work of the Holy Spirit who helps us in our weakness and intercedes for us before God; our Father’s sovereignty, working all things out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose; our sanctification, by which we become more like God’s son, Jesus Christ, our Savior.

    Then comes the question.

    If God did not spare His own Son, but sent Him to pay the penalty for our rebellion and violation of His perfect righteousness and holy law – while we were still in rebellion – then why wouldn’t He follow through on all the things He has told us He would do as represented earlier in this chapter?  The obvious answer is that He would not!  “If God is for us, who is against us?”  Certainly, no one and nothing that can change the outcome of what He has promised for us.

    Then, considering the question of Romans 8:32, I ask: “What do I expect from God for RBC when He has already expressed His willingness to freely give us all things pertaining to salvation and sanctification?”  In humble expectation of God freely giving to our church family, here is what I am praying for in 2018 – that we would:

    Love God more and more, becoming more like Jesus as we spend more time praying and meditating on His word;

    Love each other more, considering others as more important than ourselves;

    Grow in our commitment to be “kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you”;

    Prepare each other to do the work of the ministry through training, learning about, and applying our spiritual gifts;

    Call a permanent senior pastor who teaches God’s word faithfully, helping us grow in loving God, loving others, and living to reach our world for Christ.

    What do you expect?

    Brad Braley (RBC Elder)