Tonight I got some time alone at a local coffee shop and worked on the Bible study for my discipleship group. We're studying Romans, and this week's study was on Romans 8:18-39. Such an amazing passage.
One of the questions in the study was to focus on verses 28-30 and identify the five actions God takes toward his people, defining each as accurately as you can.
*foreknew--before creation, He knew us
*predestined--He chose those He would call to be His own
*called--by His love, claimed us as His own
*justified--made righteous, not through any effort or work of ours, but by His love and mercy and Christ's work on the cross
*glorified--in eternity future, we will no longer be in bondage to this fallen world, but will be free of sin and all its effects
While working through this question, I found myself having to hide behind my cup of chai so no one could see my tears, crying in the middle of a Beans & Brews over God's unbelievable kindness towards me.
The last couple of years have seen me changing my doctrinal viewpoint regarding the doctrines of grace. It was a long, slow, and at times painful process for me to recognize the irresistible grace God gives to those He unconditionally elects, despite our total depravity.
Now I believe it, and reading through Romans breaks my heart in ways I can't even describe. His love and mercy are overwhelming, especially as described in the final two verses in the passage:
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8: 38-39 ESV