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Romans 8:26-39

Lesson Focus

There is nothing that could ever separate us from God’s love. God is with us and for us, always.

Lesson Outcomes

Through this lesson, students should:

  1. Understand that God is always in the midst of human activity, working to transform the evil people do into something that will serve God’s ultimate purpose for creation.

  2. Understand that we are called to participate with God’s redemptive work in the world.

  3. Understand that God is at work even as we suffer.

  4. Understand that all who have been united with Christ have been called to be conformed to the image of Christ. Understand that there is nothing that could ever separate us from God’s love.

Catching up on the Story...

Having highlighted the tension between the age to come, the Kingdom of God, and the current age, polluted as it is by sin, Paul calls to wait with patience for the completion of our salvation. All the suffering we might encounter because we have committed ourselves as slaves to righteousness will pale in comparison to the future that awaits us.

We can hope in this future because we have been adopted as children of God. If we are children of God, then we are God’s heirs. Indeed, we are co-heirs with Christ. One day, we will share with Christ in his resurrection and his glorification, just like we have shared in his suffering. But hope is not the only thing we have going for us.

Paul begins the next section of his letter with a “likewise.” Not only are we sustained by hope in the future of our full redemption, but we also have the Spirit who is with us here and now. God has promised to be with us and for us for all time. God has not left us to merely hope for a future in the Kingdom of God but has given us the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and clean us from sin.

In Our Weakness - Romans 8:26-27

The Spirit’s role in our lives isn’t just convicting and cleansing. The Spirit intercedes for us. The Spirit communicates to the Father and the Son all of the things that we find impossible to express through words. As far as Paul is concerned, we don’t even know how to pray!

I think Paul’s right. At least, most of the time, I don’t really know how to pray. When I do pray, it always seems as if my prayers are fully focused on myself. Now, most of those selfish prayers are good, prayers for guidance, wisdom, and things like that. Perhaps what Paul is saying is that most of the time, we don’t really know what we need. We don’t know the things that will spur us on toward greater faithfulness or will help us in our struggles. Maybe that’s why the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer is so important, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom comes, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Either way, Paul firmly believes that the Spirit communicates to God what we need so that we might begin and continue to walk in ever greater faithfulness, even in the midst of suffering.