|Volume 21 Number 8 August 2019||
Gary C. Hampton
The world challenges the Christian’s faith daily. Paul understood that and wrote to strengthen the faith of the brethren at Rome through a series of rhetorical questions. I am thankful to Roger Johnson for helping me see these powerful questions.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Joshua and Caleb understood this, though they saw the same giants as the other ten spies (Numbers 14:6-9). Isaiah and John both underscored the power of having God on their side (Isaiah 41:14-15; 1 John 4:4).
“How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). This question follows the simple, yet dynamic statement that God gave His own Son up for us. We should, therefore, put God’s kingdom, the church, first in our thinking and acting (Matthew 6:33; Ephesians 3:14-20).
“Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?” (Romans 8:33). God actively works so those who live in accord with His will can be as if they never sinned (Romans 4:7-8). Our accuser is defeated because of the offering of Jesus’ blood (Revelation 12:10-11).
“Who is he who condemns?” (Romans 8:34). Jesus is seated at God’s right hand. He is able to completely save us, and He is ready to intercede on our behalf (Hebrew 7:25). There is no condemnation for those who have been baptized into Christ and walk according to the Spirit’s direction (Galatians 3:27; Romans 8:1).
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35). Those who continue to walk in the light, confessing any sins into which they may stumble, can be assured of ongoing cleansing through Jesus’ blood (1 John 1:7-9).
Rejoice in Paul’s powerful words!
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:36-39)
Character Traits of a Special Disciple
Ronald D. Reeves
I am confident that a good number of Christian men and women are interested in assisting others in becoming faithful children of God and motivating them to be active servants in the kingdom of God. We ask what character traits may a Christian possess that would assist in being able to fulfill such worthy goals? The context of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus and the character traits of Ananias suggest seven things: (1) being sensitive to God’s call (Acts 9:10), (2) having the will to face a difficult assignment (Acts 9:11), (3) having the will to be the answer to another’s prayer (Acts 9:12), (4) being sensitive to one’s own inadequacy and apprehension (Acts 9:13-14), (5) being willing to obey when sent by the Lord (Acts 9:15, 17), (6) being a devout person (Acts 22:12) and (7) having a strong testimony from others of good character (Acts 22:12). Not only can we develop such traits to assist others in their relationship with the Lord, but we as well can develop these traits for our own personal spiritual growth and maturation. May each of us have the courage to commit to the task of growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.