On May 17th, Europe Olivet Center and London Immanuel Church congregations came together for the Sunday service, which was also live-streamed. Pastor Andrew Clark gave a message from Romans 8:26-28, titled “So Everything Will Be In Accordance With God’s Will”.
Through Romans, Apostle Paul explained that we were in the position of the gravest sinners, who deserved eternal death and rightly should receive the wrath of God. However, we have also become the people who have been saved by the amazing grace of God through Jesus Christ, and the cross and resurrection.
Already this incalculable grace was received, and even though we have now been called righteous, by faith, however, still we find ourselves in this in-between stage. A place where even though we have been made new, but there remains a continuous battle inside of us with the sinful habits that remain. We come to realize more and more how our flesh is so weak, and our wretched bodies continuously lead us astray from the straight path we know we should go on. We are already but not yet, that is already we have received our salvation, but the full glorification has not yet been obtained.
“If we forget we are in this in-between stage, we can very easily find ourselves falling into despair, and we can misunderstand our lives. We can grow weary and tired as we gain a deeper realization of the weaknesses that we have, and this sinful nature that lingers. But we must not lose strength in this process we are in,” it was explained.
The key is we must be diligent in the process of washing our new robes. It is a long path, and each sinful habit must be taken out one by one.
“We face many outward fights and battles, but ultimately it is the inward fight that is by far the most difficult. You are fighting against yourself. We fall into despair about the things we know we should not do, but yet we still do them. If we are not careful, a nature of self-torturing, and a darkness of depression can overwhelm us,” Pastor Andrew shared.
However, when we understand the in-between place that we stand more deeply, we can see there is hope. Apostle Paul reveals the secret of how to overcome this and how to gain renewed strength in this long process.
First, we must realize that we cannot fight sin by ourselves. By our own human strength and willpower it is not possible. But we are made perfect in Christ alone!
As Paul says in Romans 7:20, “Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”
And in verse 24-25, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
In Romans 8:26, Paul continues saying “the Spirit helps us in our weakness”.
We have to know we are not in this battle alone. God sends the Holy Spirit to watch over His people, it walks with us, it works in us, and it works to redirect all things towards the will of God.
Furthermore, the Holy Spirit knows us better than we know ourselves, knowing all our weaknesses, and it works to fill up what we lack more than enough, and it works to direct us back to the straight path even when we have wandered.
“The Holy Spirit will comfort you, it will cover up what you are lacking. Even when we are insufficient, the Holy Spirit helps, so that even the small, insufficient things we can offer up can be used for the Kingdom of God,” the congregation was assured once again.
Apostle Paul uses the example of our prayers. Even this most basic element of our lives of faith, we often lack clarity, and we can give dispassionate or even unclear prayers. But even here the Spirit intercedes for us, and moves all things to work in accordance with the will of God.
When we realize we have this deep co-working with the Holy Spirit, we will know we are not alone. Even when we feel too weak, we will find strength – not from ourselves – but from above through the Spirit of God that is always with us.
Romans 8:18 proclaims that our present sufferings are incomparable to the glory that is to come. The history of God is always moving forwards, neither Satan, nor man’s weakness can stop this.
The Holy Spirit works in all things to move the history in accordance with the will of God. So that even good can be brought out of the evil things, and light can rise from even the darkest places.
Satan tried to destroy the Early Church, but from this great persecution, the Good News of Jesus was taken to countless new cities, regions and lands.
Indeed, Saul was a man filled with hatred for Jesus and His followers, and he even oversaw the martyrdom of Stephen. But even in this darkest of hearts, God has the power to bring out the greatest of lights, and Apostle Paul became the greatest evangelist of the Early Church.
This same Holy Spirit is working in us today. We do not need to despair of our weaknesses and our insufficiencies. We are no longer just ourselves, but there is the Holy Spirit that dwells with us at all times, and will intercede in all things for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
May each member be strengthened by the knowledge that the Holy Spirit is working in them.