By Terry Kirby
Senior Pastor of Alpha Baptist Church, Morristown
Many fathers and sons hunt or fish together for fun and relationship building. With me and my dad, we watched football and cut firewood. He would run the chain saw. He could “fall” a tree on a dime. At the time, I had more raw strength than ability to run the saw so I would pull the limbs and split the logs. I must confess, because I do not want to get into trouble, this was most of the time a family activity. That being said, with all of the practice I developed a skill in splitting logs. The log would be put on one end exposing its rings and cracks. The skill was to find the best crack in which to place the wedge, which was a v-shaped piece of metal that would divide the log into two pieces when hit with the sledge hammer.
The passage in Romans in our study contains some of the most powerful and affirming words in the entire Bible. When a person is saved by grace through faith God seals that person’s relationship with Himself. This does not mean that nothing ever goes wrong in the life of a believer. It does not mean that all believers in Jesus are successful and wealthy. It does however mean that we are secure in our relationship with God. Satan and a world filled with temptation try to put a wedge between us and God. God has sealed us in such a way that nothing can separate us from Him. The words of this passage affirm the confidence we have as Christ followers.
There are three main sections of text under consideration in this lesson. The first section is verses 28-30. This text starts off with the power words, “we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” Too many people shorten this verse and leave out the love and called parts. Paul affirms that God is actively involved in every one of the situations of our lives and works them together for the good for those who love Him and called according to His purpose. In this section, Paul continues to talk about those who love Him and who are called as predestined, justified, and glorified.
The second section of the text is found in verses 31-34. The passage starts off by asking, how do we know that God is for us? For everyone that has a genuine relationship with God through the Cross of Jesus Christ it doesn’t matter who is against us because God is for us. God demonstrated His great concern and His protection for us by not even sparing His Son for our benefit. No one can ever bring a charge against the believer because God is the one who justifies. Jesus, the very one who died for us, sits at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. We are indeed protected.
The final section in this passage is found in verses 35-39. This text brings us back to the illustration found in the beginning of this article concerning the log and the wedge. Consider a log with no cracks. Imagine it having the word “me” on one side of the surface of the log and the words, “the love of Christ” on the other. God has sealed the log and filled in the cracks. He has created an impenetrable surface. The persistent world and its concerns try to create a crack for a wedge to be placed and a wedge for the hammer to strike. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. In the final two verses Paul affirms this truth with his personal testimony.
— Kirby is senior pastor of Alpha Baptist Church, Morristown.