Saved it: Going beyond the paradox of evil (Romans 8:28-39) // Week 9
Updated: Apr 26
Published for week 9, Semester 1, 2020.
Scripture: Romans 8:28-39
Speaker: Moussa Ghazal
Series: Beyond scepticism: Intellectually satisfying faith
Feel free to use this time to also pray for your faculty or other prayer points you may have.
Dear heavenly father,
Thank you for the opportunity to learn about you on this online platform. Thank you that we are still able to meet and have fellowship together! God you are in control of all things, in all situations and at all times. Help us rest in this truth.
We pray that this time spent together will be encouraging and challenging as we learn from you word.
For those of us who struggle between believing what the world says and what the bible says, please helps us see the undeniable hope and truth found in following Jesus. Transforming us from skeptics to believers in your saving grace. God we pray that you will be working in all our hearts ready to listen and be challenged by your word today.
In Jesus name,
Bible reading: Romans 8:28-39
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.
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.
It may be helpful to split into small groups to discuss these questions. (Zoom breakout rooms)
What is the ultimate purpose that God has for us in every situation we face in life (including suffering)?
How sure can we be that God’s purpose will be met?
What conclusion does Paul draw from this in v 31? Does this actually provide us with comfort when bad things happen to us?
Can anything separate us from Christ?
What do you think it means when it says “we are more than conquerors”, in v 37?
When bad things happen to a Christian it is important that we mourn with them and listen to them without the need to theologise. But if they were to ask “Why is this happening to me? Is God punishing me?” What comfort could you give them from this text?
Suggestions for faculties
At the end of your time together you might like to talk about the changes to EU ministry and any changes within your own faculty. Allowing time for people within you faculty to ask questions.
The new website 'EU Online: Meeting online with the world' where talks and resources are accessed. If they miss some meetings they can still access the talks on the website. Alternatively, the regular Thursday public meeting will continue to run at 1pm on Zoom for anyone who would like to join.
From week 9 onward EU is also also encouraging all students to be involved in 3 areas of relational ministry as well, including 1-2-1s or triplets, small groups and your faculty gatherings.
Meeting up for 1-2-1s or prayer triplets gives us the opportunity to know and be known by each other.
Encouraging people to keep meeting in their small groups as a place to share life together around God's word.
Faculty gatherings as an opportunity to feel connected to each other in our faculty. It's a time of socializing, hearing from the bible, reflecting on life together and forming new connections with others. These faculty gatherings will also create an incredible opportunity to open the door for other members of your faculty who don't know Jesus yet to meet Christians in your faculty!
This also might be a good time to hear what people thought of your first faculty gathering!