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What is "The Grand Canyon" of God’s Word?

What is "The Grand Canyon" of God’s Word?

If the Grand Canyon is one of the "7 Natural Wonders" of the world... what is one of the "7 Spiritual Wonders" of God's Word?

Romans 8 is considered by many to be "The Grand Canyon" of Scripture - perhaps the greatest chapter in the Bible! Filled with depth of theological truth and endurance of eternal hope... it contains "valleys" of law, "mountain peaks" of Gospel, flowing "Spirit-rivers", myriad "colors" of God's power and provisions for His people, and strong beauty of God increasing His glory by fulfilling His purposes.

Younger Set

  • Ask children which is the greatest imaginary hero... Batman, Superman, or Spider-Man? (Print out hero pictures ahead of time, or show book pictures) Just for fun, take a vote including adults, to learn group consensus :).

  • What powers do these heroes show? (destroy evil, defy natural laws, use super tools - but again all imaginary!)
  • Ask who is the greatest real-life hero? Accept other answers, like Dad :), but point focus to Jesus.  Why? (He left His throne and glory in heaven to life among us on earth, He perfectly obeyed His Father and completed the plan of salvation by dying on cross and rising again, He sent His Spirit to live in us so we have His mind and power and love!)
  • What powers did/does Jesus display? (healed people of real sicknesses, defeated real evil by destroying Satan's plans, replaces real death with real eternal life, frees from real sin and gives real new spiritual life and faith)
  • Prepare the group, including adults, to shout YES! together after you ask each of these questions: Has Jesus already defeated every enemy for all of time? YES! Has Jesus forgiven every sin, no matter how big or dirty it is? YES! Does Jesus love every person, no matter how horrible or evil they are? YES! Does Jesus help me through every situation in life, no matter how hard or hopeless it feels? YES! Will Jesus protect me and take me to heaven to live with Him forever? YES!

Adults, as you share your thoughts in response to the following questions, ask the Holy Spirit's help to be as authentic and practical as possible!

Points to Ponder - When you read Romans 8, what 3 words that stick out for you? Where do you see "law" in this Scripture passage? Where do you see "grace"? Which of these topics from Romans 8 speaks the most to you currently: "Freed Of All Charges" (vss 1-11), "Spirit-Led Sons" (vss 12-17), "Groaning For The Glory" (vss 18-27), or "More Than Conquerors" (vss 28-39)? What are some action steps based on this section of God's Word that your Connection Group can live out among neighbors, friends, and coworkers?

READ Romans 8 NIV

Life Through the Spirit

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Children of God

12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Present Suffering and Future Glory

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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  • 30 July 2017
  • Author: ELC Editor
  • Number of views: 767
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Categories: Points to Ponder
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