I’m doing a series on the blog in Romans 8 called, Five Words That Can Change Your Life. Five words that provide five themes for Romans 8: freed (1-8), empowered (9-11), adopted (12-17), transformed (18-30), and loved (31-39).
Today, we will talk about the word, Transformed from Romans 8:18-30. When Jesus Christ takes up residence in your life, you cannot and will not be the same. Your life will be radically changed – transformed.
One of the best ways to know that you are truly a child of God is by asking the question, “Has my life been transformed?” You may be able to “turn over a new leaf” without God. You might can make some improvements, additions and renovations. But when you come to Christ, there is an internal transformation that cannot be denied! If you say you’ve met God and have never experienced transformation either God is a liar or you are. I’m betting it’s you!
What does Romans 8 teach us about being transformed? Here are four ways your life can be transformed by the power of God.
1. We are transformed from suffering to stability: 18-25
Have you ever noticed that suffering is a destabilizing force? When you encounter problems, you have to deal with pain, heartache, loss and sorrow. Paul gives us a picture of what it means to be transformed from suffering, that destabilizing force, to stability. What gives us stability in the midst of suffering? Hope!
We live in the midst of sorrow, sickness and suffering. How do we respond? We wait in hope. And this hope is a sure foundation.
What happens when you encounter suffering? Has your life been transformed so that you can even see suffering in light of eternity? Suffering and sorrow no longer shake you at your foundation. Instead, you have stability through Jesus Christ.
2. We are transformed from weakness to strength: 26-27
We don’t like to think of ourselves as weak. But that’s just what we are – weak, feeble, frail, and fragile. So why do we pretend that we’re strong? Pride! It is pride that keeps us from admitting our weaknesses. But it is only admitting our weakness that opens us up to the strength that God provides.
The Holy Spirit groans with us and feels the burdens of our weakness and suffering. He intercedes for us “with groanings which cannot be uttered.” When we don’t know how to pray and we don’t know what to do, the Holy Spirit communicates our groans to the Father.
Before you can experience the strength that comes from the Lord, you have to recognize and admit your own weakness. It is only in our weakness that the Lord shows Himself strong. Why? Because when He uses us in our weakness He gets the glory.
3. We are transformed from despair to security: 28
What do you do when things aren’t quite working out like you planned? I don’t know what you do, but I can tell you what most people do – they worry, fret, whine, or complain. This leads to despair. And when it comes to the situations and circumstances of life, it’s easy to despair – that is, if we don’t believe Romans 8:28. That’s right. When we despair, we actually act as if we don’t believe the Bible is true.
a) The certainty of God’s promise: “And we know…”
You can have security because God’s promise is sure. There is a certainty here. “And we know…” The word means to know with absolute knowledge. No matter what situation or circumstance you are facing, if you truly believe God’s Word, you can know for certain that God is in control.
b) The completeness of God’s promise: “all things…”
These two words mean that there is nothing you encounter in life that is out of God’s reach or control. Nothing!
c) The cause of God’s promise: “work together for good…”
Some translations read, “God causes all things to work together for good.” God is in control, working out our circumstances for our good and His glory. Just remember, He is the one who defines what is good.
d) The condition of God’s promise: “to those who love God…called…”
This promise is conditional. You must be saved, “called according to His purpose” and you must “love God.” If you’re living for yourself, loving the world and walking like a heathen, this doesn’t apply to you!
4. We are transformed from lost to saved: 29-30
What does this text teach us about salvation? What does it teach us about election? What does it teach us predestination? Let’s walk through these words briefly.
This is where it all begins. If you remove God’s foreknowledge, the process of salvation, election and predestination doesn’t make sense. How does God call, elect, and predestine? Based on His omniscient foreknowledge.
Those who He foreknew in salvation were then predestined for salvation. God knew that we would be saved and as such, we are predestined for Heaven.
Or course, God called us to salvation. Salvation is open to all and offered to all. And when we respond to His call, we are saved.
Since we’ve responded to His call, we are now justified. We are now made right in the sight of a holy God.
Notice this is in the past tense because it has already occurred in the mind and heart of God.