Our next reading is Romans 8:26-30
Although the Holy Spirit has many objectives, in a general sense, He is about one main thing: bringing us into G-d’s will, so that we can reflect G-d’s order and purposes in our lives. When we obey G-d, our lives become a testimony to others of G-d’s righteousness, G-d’s glory and His faithfulness. In our flesh we can do nothing that is pleasing to G-d. It is only when we walk in the anointing of the Holy Spirit that we can be an effective vessel for G-d.
v26: Note: In this verse Paul tells us about an area that we fall short in. We have an inadequacy or an inability to pray effectively. There are times in our lives when we simply do not know how to pray properly.
- Helps: Assists. This word carries with it this implication: The Holy Spirit sees us struggling in our faith and what He does is brings us near to Himself. The Holy Spirit, although He is within us, has the ability to bring us closer to Himself in purpose and objective – namely to serve, glorify and honour G-d.
- Weaknesses: Our inadequacies. Left to ourselves we are weak and frail. Left to ourselves we would not be able to do G-d’s will. This is why G-d has given us the Holy Spirit. It is only with the help of the Holy Spirit that we can fulfil the purposes of G-d, be in the will of G-d and experience the blessings of G-d. Without the Spirit none of this would be a reality in our lives.
- Helps (us…to pray): Sometimes we are in a situation, or we have committed to praying about a situation that someone else is in, but the problem is that we just do not know how to or what to pray about. G-d knows this about us. The Holy Spirit wants to help us with this.
- We do not know: In most circumstances we do not know what the will of G-d is, but the Spirit wants to help us with this.
- Groanings which cannot be uttered: These are unintelligible to us. We don’t understand what He is saying. There is a debate as to whether the Holy Spirit utters these groanings through our mouths (unintelligible words coming out of our mouths) or whether He utters these groans independently of us. How He does it is not what is really important to us. What is important for us to know is that we don’t know how to pray effectively, and so He intercedes for us, with these unintelligible groanings, in order to make our prayers more effective.
v27: He who searches the hearts: G-d the Father is the One who searches our hearts (Ps 139:23, Jer 17:10).
- Saints: The children of G-d, Believers. A saint is literally a holy one. Holy means being set apart for the purposes of G-d, being in submission to the will of G-d.
- According to the will of G-d: Prayer originates in the heart of man, but disciples of Messiah have a desire to pray in a way that is pleasing to G-d (Luke 11:1-4, Matt 6:5-13). The Holy Spirit, knowing what G-d’s will is, intercedes on our behalf for the will of G-d, for His purposes, to be realised in our lives.
v28: All things together work for good to those who love G-d: This promise is only relevant for those people who love G-d. How do we know if we love G-d? Yeshua answers that question for us in John 14:15-31. If we love G-d, we are going to want to apply His Word to our lives. This means that we will be committed students of the Word of G-d, because if we do not know His Word then we cannot demonstrate our love for Him.
- Good: For those who love G-d, He can use everything in our lives for His purposes – ‘good’ means according to His will.
- The called according to G-d’s purpose: Not only do we need to love G-d, but, in order to experience this good, we also need to be those who have been called by G-d to fulfil His purposes. This means that we desire to obey and fulfil G-d’s will. We live to please G-d and not to please ourselves – our own plans, wants, desires etc.
v29: Note 1: Predestination is a theological term spoken of in the Bible. Many people who hear this word wrongly assume that G-d has predetermined who is going to go to heaven and therefore, by default, He has elected other people to go to hell. This is a false understanding of this word. G-d does not desire anyone to go to hell (2 Peter 3:9, Ezekiel 33:11, Ezekiel 18:23) and he certainly does not choose people to go there.
Note 2: The original word in the Biblical text for predestination means “to see beforehand”. For example: If a seamstress wants to sew a dress, she chooses the pattern and the material. Before the dress is even made, she has a pretty good idea in her head (based on the pattern and on the material) what her dress is going to look like when it is completed. It is important to note that the verses relating to predestination (Eph 1:4-5, Eph 1:11, Roms 8:29 -30) all relate to those who are IN Messiah. Predestination is NOT applicable for unbelievers (ie who goes to hell and who doesn’t) but should only be applied to believers – those who are in Messiah. Messiah is the pattern. Those who are In Messiah are going to be patterned on Him, and when we reach completion, we are going to be like Him (1 John 3:2). This does not mean that we are going to be ‘gods’ or ‘divine’ but it means that we are going to have the mind of Messiah, the desires of Messiah and we are going to reflect the character of Messiah. This is what predestination is – being like Yeshua, patterned on Him.
- He foreknew: G-d has perfect foreknowledge. Predestination does not happen by accident. G-d knows what the end goal is and how to get His people to reach that goal.
- Predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son: Here we have the definition of predestination. It does not say that He predestined some for heaven and others for hell. Predestination (predetermination) has to do with believers being conformed into the image of Messiah Yeshua.Predestination is another promise that G-d has given to us, and a promise which He is going to keep – the promise is this: Those who are in a new covenant relationship with G-d, through Messiah, are going to be conformed into the image (the reflection, the behaviour, the character) of G-d’s Son. This is our assured future and hope!
Note 3: In Ephesians 1:4 we are told that we are chosen IN Messiah. This choosing only happens once we are in Messiah. It does not say that we are chosen to be in Messiah. It is only once we are in Messiah that we are called a “chosen generation…a royal priesthood…etc” (1 Peter 2:9). What did G-d choose us for according to Eph 1:4? We are chosen to be holy (set apart for the purpose/will of G-d) and to be without blame before Him.
v30: Whom He predestined these He also called: Being called is one of the prerequisites in Roms 8:28 for all things working together for our good.
- Called: G-d calls many but chooses few (Matt 22:14). This call of G-d goes out to all people (‘many’), but the response is based on free will. Only few respond to G-d’s broad call.
- He… justified: He made them righteous.
- Glorified: This means that (when we are like Him) we are going to express, in a perfect state, the glory of G-d.
- Predestined….called….justified…glorified: This is the process that those who are in Messiah go through.