Romans - Lesson 37

Romans 8:28-39

Lesson 37
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Romans 8:28-39

III. The Assurance Provided by the Gospel: The Hope of Salvation (5:1–8:39)

A. The Hope of Glory (5:1-21)

1. From Justification to Salvation (5:1-11)

2. The Reign of Grace and Life (5:12-21)

B. Freedom from Bondage to Sin (6:1-23)

1. "Dead to Sin" through Union with Christ (6:1-14)

2. Freed from Sin's Power to Serve Righteousness (6:15-23)

C. Freedom from Bondage to the Law (7:1-25)

1. Released from the Law, Joined to Christ (7:1-6)

2. The History and Experience of Jews under the Law (7:7-25)

a. The Coming of the Law (7:7-12)

b. Life under the Law (7:13-25)

D. Assurance of Eternal Life in the Spirit (8:1-30)

1. The Spirit of Life (8:1-13)

2. The Spirit of Adoption (8:14-17)

3. The Spirit of Glory (8:18-30)

E. The Believer's Security Celebrated (8:31-39)


Class Resources
  • This lesson offers a deep dive into Paul's Letter to the Romans, revealing its pastoral aims, Paul's intentions to visit Spain, Jerusalem, and Rome, and its relevance to early Christian dynamics and theological inquiries about the Law in Christ's time.
  • This lesson offers a fresh view of Paul's theology, focusing on Romans. It emphasizes the first-century context, highlighting Gentile inclusion and unity in Christ, challenging traditional views. Gain insights into Paul's message and its relevance today.
  • Explore the book of Romans for modern faith conflicts: balance tradition with contemporary practices, learn from history, and grasp Paul's ministry and Gospel's complexities.
  • Follow along with Dr. Moo as he begins a thorough review of Romans 1:2-5. You will learn how Paul emphasizes Jesus' earthly life, resurrection, and his appointment as the Son of God in power. This lesson examines the interconnectedness of faith and obedience, underscoring that while faith initiates salvation, genuine faith inherently entails obedience to Christ as Lord, maintaining a balanced Christian life.
  • By delving into Romans 1:16-17, you'll understand the Gospel extends beyond individual salvation, encompassing God's reign over creation and His establishment of justice. The Gospel challenges worldly powers, offering hope and transformation to all who embrace it.
  • Listen along as the class discusses questions and answers revolving around Romans 1:16-17.
  • In Romans 1:18-28, you learn that all people are held accountable by God, having knowledge of Him through natural revelation but some turn away. This passage highlights the manifestation of God's wrath against sin, the exchange of truth for falsehoods, and the absence of excuses for humanity's actions, ultimately emphasizing God's fair judgment.
  • Listen in as the class and Dr. Moo discuss aspects of Romans 1:18-28.
  • The lesson discusses Romans 2:1-11, it highlights the use of the diatribe device and the transition from focusing on Gentiles to Jews. It underscores the Jewish belief in their special status and their potential misunderstanding of God's judgment. The lesson reviews the focus of the text on key themes such as judgment, righteousness, and the relationship between faith and good deeds.
  • In this lesson, you'll review the significance of the Law, notably the Law of Moses, in God's judgment. Paul stresses that mere knowledge of the Law isn't sufficient for righteousness; obedience is key. The primary message is that salvation ultimately relies on God's grace and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as human efforts and consciences alone cannot secure salvation. This lesson highlights the importance of understanding these concepts in interactions with people of different religious beliefs.
  • The key takeaway in this lesson is that while being a Jew comes with a great heritage, it doesn't guarantee salvation. Obedience to God's law is crucial, and reliance on religious heritage or rituals won't save you. The lesson emphasizes the universal human condition of being under the power of sin, and people cannot be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the Law or by the works of the Law. Only through faith in Christ are we made righteous.
  • This lesson explores the New Perspective on Paul, emphasizing that the Law was for Jewish covenant status, not just salvation. It promotes a holistic faith view, balancing vertical and horizontal aspects, Spirit-led obedience, and 1st-century Judaism diversity, enriching Pauline teachings in the church.
  • In exploring Romans 3:21-26, you'll gain insights into the relationship between righteousness, faith, and salvation. Paul highlights God's righteousness, which is accessible to all through faith in Jesus Christ. By weaving together themes of righteousness, faith, and inclusivity, Paul challenges conventional Jewish and Gentile perspectives, emphasizing the continuity of God's salvation plan while underscoring the centrality of faith in Christ for all believers.
  • In this lesson, you will gain insights into the potential challenge in translating Romans 3:23-24, particularly the term "all" and its connection to the debate on universalism in evangelicalism. Dr. Moo stresses the importance of coherence in biblical interpretation and explores the themes of God's righteousness, faith, and grace in justification. The lesson reviews the cultural background of redemption, drawing parallels with the Greco-Roman slave market and emphasizing the need to understand both the problem of sin and the Gospel solution.
  • Embarking on this lesson, you'll gain insight into the historical development and contemporary challenges surrounding the doctrine of justification. Through exploring classic Reformation principles and contemporary reassessments, you'll understand the tensions between Protestant and Roman Catholic perspectives, particularly regarding the infusion of righteousness and the role of grace.
  • The lesson explores the intricate connection between faith and works, justification, and sanctification in contemporary theological discourse. It delineates divergent views on justification, with scholars like Piper advocating for the preservation of biblical distinctions amidst modern theological trends. The lesson examines key questions regarding the meaning, basis, time, and means of justification.
  • Students in Dr. Moo's class ask multiple questions about justification.
  • By studying Romans 3:27-4:25, you gain insight into Paul's theology, where faith, exemplified by Abraham's righteousness, transcends works and ethnicity, emphasizing the universal scope of salvation through Christ.
  • Hear the questions the students ask regarding Romans 3:27–4:25. And discover Dr. Moo's answers to the questions posed.
  • In Romans 5 – 8, you gain insights into profound theological concepts like justification, identity in Christ, and the tension between present reality and future hope, guiding you to embrace your changed identity and hope for future transformation amidst life's trials.
  • Students as deep questions about Romans 5-8. Hear what Dr. Moo presents as answers to their questions.
  • Through Romans 5:1-11, you'll review the contrast between the Old and New Realms, understanding the essence of living in grace, finding hope amid suffering, and experiencing the assurance of eternal security rooted in Christ's sacrifice and God's love poured into believers' hearts by the Holy Spirit.
  • In Romans 5:12-21, Paul contrasts Adam's sin with Christ's redemptive grace, emphasizing humanity's hope and victory over death through union with Christ, while various interpretations of original sin underscore the universal need for redemption and Christ's pivotal role in restoring humanity to God.
  • Listen to the thorough questions the students ask regarding Romans 5:12-21.
  • The students ask excellent questions of Dr. Moo in this insightful discussion on Romans 6:1-14.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain a deeper understanding of the theological implications of Christ's death and resurrection as explained in Romans 6. You will explore different interpretations of Paul's language regarding the old self and the new self, considering the implications for the Christian life. Ultimately, you will be challenged to recognize your identity in Christ and to actively live according to that identity, rejecting the slavery of sin and embracing servitude to God.
  • Hear the questions the students ask of Dr. Moo regarding Romans 6:1-23.
  • In diving into Romans 7, you'll explore the Law's role in Christian life. Paul's discourse clarifies the distinction between law and gospel, emphasizing the Torah's significance in understanding divine commandments.

Dr. Douglas Moo, from Wheaton College Graduate School, offers an exegetical examination of the book of Romans. This course was recorded during a D.Min. seminar at the Carolina Graduate School of Divinity in May 2012.

Please note that the audio mp3 file numbers on downloaded files are two greater than each lecture number beginning with number 15.

Romans 8:28-39

This transcript follows the main points of the speaker but is not always word-for-word.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long;we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. ”No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


A. God Works for the Good of Us: We are so familiar with verse 28 that sometimes I tend to preach this text in a negative way. Obviously, there is a point about the wonderful promise it represents. But I think I need to tell people what the text doesn’t mean as it is widely misinterpreted. God is pledging to work for the good of those who love him. The key point in this verse is to understand ‘good’. We tend to misinterpret that in a very personal and selfish and even materialistically way. I have heard, for example, about someone who have lost a job; don’t worry, God has a better Job for you. I want to say that you may never have as good a job that you have just lost; but the loss of your job is being used by God to bring you closer to Christ to confirm your salvation and accomplish the good that God has for you. This needs to be defined in Biblical and spiritual Godly terms, not in a narrow selfish and even materialistic term that we tend to view it in. It is a wonderful all-embracing promise. In everything, God is working in this way. But the key is to help understand what the good is here. Good is conformity to Christ; the good is deepening our faith and sometimes God does that by allowing bad things to happen to us. This verse doesn’t promise that bad things will not happen and even if it does happen, it doesn’t promise that they will be reversed. It is promising that we can be confident about God at work in all of the circumstances of our lives always seeking our good.


B. God’s Promises: I think Paul is using two different terms here to describe the Christian. There is a promise that is made from God’s perspective when a person is called and from our perspective as those who love God. I agree that the promise is not to whatever a nominal Christian might do; it is only for the people of God, for those who are genuinely the people of God. I do think it is for all the people of God. The question here is how much you love God before this happens. None of us love him perfectly; none of us live perfectly accordance to his will. So, how close do you have to be before this promise applies to you? The second thing that I would say is that Paul is using the language of call in the same way he uses it in Romans 1:7. You were called according to Christ Jesus in God. God shows in you to be his people. To me, it does apply then in God’s grace to all the people of God, even when we are not living up to our side of the bargain. In a sense, none of us ever does. If the promise rests on our performance, then everyone is going to fall short of earning that promise. It does seem applicable to any Christian. I would go so far as to say that in all things; it even applies to my sins. Even when I sin and create disaster for myself, God is promising to even use that for good. This can be a tremendous encouragement to believers who have fallen. A lot of believers have committed serious sin and they think that God doesn’t care for them anymore and thinking that they don’t deserve any of his grace. They think that clearly God has abandoned them now. I like to think that this verse makes a promise even to this kind of person that God has not given up on. He is still working in the mess that they have created. It is for those who are called; this is another way of saying those who are Christians. This is a verb of identity; those who are called according to God’s purpose.


C. Predestination; Calvin verses Armenian: The third promise has to do with predestination. This is one of our really controversial soteriological texts of course where I know we are going to disagree. Some of you are certainly going to object. It is certainly going to happen. I warned you in one of the last sessions that I tend to be on the Calvin’s side of soteriology. The interpretation of these verses may be critically bound up with the verb, ‘fore know’, which is more on the Calvinist side. That is the key verb here. Of course you have a sequence that moves from this fore knowing down through this chain of verbs. That is what triggers everything else: fore known, predestined, called, justified and glorified. It moves right down the sequence of verbs. At the beginning is the key issue. Does fore know mean that God sees and know something about us ahead of time or that he chooses us ahead of time? Sometimes it is used again in the sense of knowing something ahead of time. A typical more Armenian approach to this sequence would be that God knows ahead of time those who are going to respond in faith to the offer of the Gospel. On the basis of his knowing this who is responding in faith, he then predestined, calls, justified and glorifies. So at the beginning of the process is human faith. That is what triggers the sequence. The general Armenian view being in prevenient grace, God has enabled all people to respond in faith; he has taken the initiative in his prevenient grace to remove or overcome the result of total depravity in our sinful enabling people to respond. So, it is those who respond in faith who God foreknows and then the whole sequence follows. Another way to take the verb; the one I prefer is to mean that God is choosing ahead of time. The one who initiates this is God who chooses. God knows us ahead of time, he chose us ahead and enters into a relationship with us ahead of time. On the basis of that choosing of God, the predestined, calls, justifies and glorifies us.


D. The Soteriological Debate: So, to some extent, the decision rests on trying to understand what this word means in this particular context. If you look at the Greek word and the dictionary, etc. both meanings are indicated. You have the same problem at the other end of the chain when Paul says those whom he justified, he glorified. Does that mean that everyone that is justified will be glorified? This is the other end of this soteriological debate. Does God initiate it and at the end having been justified, are we secure in that justification? Is eternal security or perseverance of the saints as it is sometime called, something that Paul is teaching here; I personally think it is, but others would disagree with this. During my career, I may have taught in different schools where these schools deliberately kept their doctrinal statements open on these kinds of issues. So, I have taught right beside Armenians, even though I tend to be on the Calvinist side of things. I enjoy this atmosphere because I’m not sure we have to introduce these matters into our doctrinal statements. In my view, it is not absolutely clear in Scripture which way to go. I am very comfortable in that environment.


In verses 8:31-39 is where Paul is responding to the higher argument of Romans 5-8. This is where Paul steps back and deliberately says, okay; let’s just contemplate on what I have been saying. Let’s take some time to sort of mediate and allow the truth that I have been giving you to sink in. God is for us; he sent his Son for us. His love is something that fills us and is conquering us. Whatever we are facing in life, it is no match for the triumphant work and love of God in Christ for us. This is one of those passages where we read it and think about it and mediate on it and let it do its work in that way. Again, I think this is a response to the argument of Romans 5:8.