The Spirit Helps Us

Romans 8:26-30 ESV

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

We learn by reading Romans 8 that God the Father, by sending Jesus Christ in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For if we live according to the flesh it results in death, not in life eternal. But if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God are children of God (Romans 8:1-14).

And if we are children of God, then we are heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, “provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (verse 17). And how did Jesus suffer? Well, he was hated and rejected and persecuted by his own people, and by the people of his own faith, and even by his family members. And he had religious rulers and people of influence in the temple of God hounding and harassing him regularly, laying traps for him, hoping to trip him up with his words.

And these same people plotted his death on a cross, and then he was falsely arrested and given a mock trial, and he was spat upon and beaten and they put a crown of thorns on his head. And then he had to carry his own cross to his crucifixion where they nailed him to the cross and they let him hang there to die a horrible death. But it was God’s will for him to go through that for you and for me for our salvation. And so by faith in Jesus Christ we die with him to sin and we now live with him to his righteousness, by his grace.

So, we suffer with Christ first through being crucified with him and being buried with him in death to sin and then in being raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, no longer as slaves to sin but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness, by God’s grace. And then we suffer with him via being persecuted and mistreated at the hands of those who are supposed to love and protect us and to care for us, and because of our walks of faith in Jesus Christ and because we are sharing the truth of the gospel of Christ.

But we don’t have to go this alone. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, when we don’t have the strength to carry on, and when we are injured and hurt, and when we need wisdom and direction, and when we need comfort and encouragement. He helps us when our understanding is limited and when we don’t know what to pray for as we ought. And he intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words when we are at a loss for words. For he knows what is in our hearts.

And I always find this next part encouraging where it says that we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Well, to love God is to obey him and his commands, and if we are called according to his purpose, then we are walking in obedience to his commands, if we have answered that call. And his purpose is also that we live holy and godly lives and that we no longer walk in sin, but that we now honor God with our lives (with our bodies).

But working all things together for good doesn’t necessarily mean that it is pleasing to the senses or without pain and suffering. For suffering is for our good, even though it can be very painful. And good is what is good in the eyes of God, not necessarily “good” as we might think of as good. For a sickness might be for our good, or a persecution might be for our good, etc., because through these times of suffering we learn humility and patience and perseverance and to trust the Lord and not in ourselves.

For those whom God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, who is the second person of our triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And he is the one who persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness, and of our sinfulness, and of our need to repent of our sins and to walk in obedience to our Lord. For the faith to believe in Jesus is not of our own doing, but it comes from God and it is gifted to us by God (Ephesians 2:8-10).

But just because it is a gift from God, it does not mean we do nothing. For in Ephesians 2:10 ESV (which follows directly after Ephesians 2:8-9) we read:

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

And we read this in Titus 2:11-14 ESV:

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Just a Closer Walk with Thee

Hymn lyrics by Anonymous/Unknown
Music by American Melody

“For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you” (2 Co. 13:4 NASB).

I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.

When my feeble life is o’er,
Time for me will be no more;
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.

Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

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