THE SUMMIT OF TRUTH
September 26, 2010 Romans 8:38-39
More Than Conquerors #7 The original meaning of "Comforter" is found in the Bayeux tapestry, which in 72 pictures tells the story of King William & the Norman conquest of England in 1066. In one scene William is marching behind his troops with a drawn sword, prodding them. Beneath are the words: "King William comforteth his soldiers". It is a wonderful illustration of the task of the Holy Spirit - the Holy Spirit prods us, incites us, and urges us on. So the Australian New Testament scholar Leon Morris wrote: "The significance of the word is not so much, 'there, there little one', but 'Up, guards, at 'em', It is not soothing syrup, but a clarion call". - Paul Beasley Murray
Watch John Piper recite the whole of Romans 8 by clicking here. It is brilliant!
In the last few verses of Romans 8, Paul moves us to consider our own situation. He has shown God’s faithfulness and love. He has given us a picture of Christ’s work and that of the Holy Spirit. But he allows us to think about our own weaknesses. 1. Paul lists seven areas of difficulties that he has faced: tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and the sword. These were real problems for Paul and they are real for us today. Which of these have you experienced? What other hardships’ would you add to this list? 2. Look back on the whole of Romans 8. Count how many times Paul references the Holy Spirit. What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit? (Read John 16:8-11; 1 Cor 6:11; John 14:26; John 15:26) Generally speaking, what is your level of knowledge and comfort with the Holy Spirit? 3. How is Jesus’ reference to the Holy Spirit as ‘Comforter’ misleading today? Read the excerpt on the left and comment on how the Holy Spirit can and does operate today? What specifically is the Holy Spirit prodding you to do? 4. I mentioned that I have little sticky notes that say “C.H.S” on the places where I especially need the power and influence of the Holy Spirit. One woman wrote me to tell me that she has placed “Come, Holy Spirit” notes all over her house! Where would you place this kind of note to remind you of the power and influence of the Holy Spirit? (I have a note on my computer screen to keep me focused on the task at hand. I have been known to get lost chasing links online. I need the Holy Spirit to keep me focused!) 5. Read Romans 8:38-39. Comment on the majesty and beauty of the words themselves. How has Jesus conquered each one of these elements that Paul describes? Death. Life. Angelic Powers. Present. Future. Heights. Depths. Why would someone want this read at their funeral? What do these two verses mean to you? 6. Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVxTg6eGj1Q) If you like more ‘rock’, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9LjzAnHZNI&feature=related. 7. Finally, as Paul begins Chapter 8 with ‘no condemnation’, he ends it with ‘no separation’. How are these two facts the essential summary of the Good News of Jesus Christ? Do you get it?
In the last few verses of Romans 8, Paul moves us to consider our own situation. He has shown God’s faithfulness and love. He has given us a...