"My God And I"
1. A survey of teen leaders done by a Midwestern university uncovered a startling fact: the most intelligent, gifted, good-looking students often belittled themselves because they thought they were lacking in the very qualities that they had. Why did these teens buy into a false concept of self? Image of self is created from many sources: families, friends, neighbors, even enemies!
2. How should a Christian view his life, what he/she is, their value, their worth? For us the key is found at Romans 8:31-39...
3. Paul states the concept of self image and concept in spiritual terms paralleling the theme of the beautiful spiritual song: "My God and I..." What does that relationship involve?
I. "What shall we say to these things?" - verse 31a
A. These things: Our Motivation - the Christian is not under condemnation, but obligation as an adopted son of God through the Spirit (verses 1-17);
1. Our Expectation - the Christian lives in hope for his/her glorification (verses 18-25).
2. God's Mediation - God's constant care and guidance as seen in the intercession of the Spirit (verses 26-30).
B. The principle: The Christian's view of self, life, and trials is inextricably bound up in our relationship with God. Self-image is thus seeing self as God sees it! Thus, personal security, self-image (if you like that term) hinges on the strength of the relationship between us and God. The known factor is our dedication to the relationship and God's (verses 5-11,28-30). The unknown question posed and answered is "can anything come between my God and I?"
II. My God Has the Answers - verses 31b-36
A. Who is against us? Notice that this is not a "what" but a "who"! Key principle: you have a Father who gives you all that you need. The cross and Christ's ultimate sacrifice stands as evidence to this point. "Freely given"is the verb form of the word for grace. Understand grace and you understand who you are and how you got there in God's sight. Key concept: you stand justified, not accused! Word "devil" (diabolos) means accuser (see Job 1 - 2; Zechariah 3). People that try to live in Christ, stand justified in Christ (see John 5:24; Romans 8:1).
B. Who can come between us? The struggles of life personified in the word "who".
1. The Christian Spectacle: 1 Corinthians 4:8-13.
a. Is life hard? Life is hard!
b. Does that matter? This is the key question being raised. If God does not provide answers for life and hope to live it, we have nothing to stand on!
III. I Have the Victory - verses 37-39
A. What type of victory? "Huper-nikeo" denotes super-conquer. This is not just getting by, but routing the opposition.
B. By whom: through Christ.
C. How: conviction!
1. If I see myself as God really sees me, see God for all He is and has done for me, Paul says that the conviction that comes through this type of insight carries us through the worst that life (Satan) can throw at us!
2. God believes in you. Do you believe in God? See 1 John 5:1-13!