Because Paige does not have a lecture next week, I am going to divide her lecture and the homework from October 6th into two weeks. She is leaving this lecture up until Tues., Oct 19th at 10 P. M. Central Time. Her whole session covers Romans 8:18-27. This week we will cover the big idea, and then the first 36 minutes of her talk, where she just begins to dip into Glorification, for I do not want to leave you without hope!
Ever since the fall, life is hard and full of trouble. But for believers, as Paige said, our groaning is not like the groaning in the cancer ward, it is like the groaning in the labor and delivery ward. We suffer in expectation of something wonderful.
But right now, everything is falling apart. Paige shared a story of a day where everything went wrong, making her late for a speaking engagement, then she took a wrong turn, then an illegal U-Turn, got pulled over by the police, and a call from a panicky coordinator asking: “Where are you?”
She said, “I’m sitting in the middle of the fall.”
Right now, the natural order of things follows the 2nd law of Thermodynamics which is, basically:
Jesus said life would be full of trouble. That’s true for unbelievers too. Here’s a short scene from Notting Hill where Julia Roberts, playing a famous movie star, is with new friends and they are each sharing how hard their life is in order to win the last brownie. One woman, in a wheelchair, has just shared that in addition to their sorrow of her lifelong paralysis, they have just found out they cannot have children. The scene picks up there:
It’s a cute scene, but I did think, in truth, most Hollywood “stars” have everything the world thinks is valuable, yet their lives are so very messy and broken.
But believers certainly don’t get a pass! Tim Keller has said that believers have both more sorrow and more joy in this life. Paul certainly knocks the wind out of the health and wealth gospel when he shares what has happened to him since he became a believer:
Suffering pervades “the normal Christian life.”
Here is Paige’s lecture. Watch it all and take notes, or you may choose just to watch the first 36 minutes. Or both!
Questions in Purple are for those simultaneously reviewing Revelation 1-11.
Questions preceded by a * are Paige’s. Also, at the close of Paige’s lecture she gave an assignment to read the last two chapters in C. S. Lewis’ “The Last Battle.” If you don’t have it, get it — probably your library will have it as well as your digital library. I use “Hoopla” which has both the ebook and audio book. There will be questions about those chapters from “The Last Battle” next week.
Sunday: Getting Started
- What stands out to you from the above and why?
- Did anything in particular stand out to you from the first half of Paige’s teaching? If so, why?
- Jesus also used the picture of labor pains to explain what will happen to the world before His return. Just as a woman’s labor increases in intensity as the birth draws near, so will trouble in our world increase in intensity before Jesus returns. How can you see that with the seven seals judgments? (See Revelation 6:12-17 and 11:15-19)
Monday: Review and Love Letter
In all of Romans 8 there are no imperatives, it is a description of the normal Christian life. Justification is the legal reality. Adoption is the relational reality. Sanctification is the process of becoming holy, which we are experiencing now, but will fully happen when we see Him face to face. An important part of the process of sanctification involves the refining fires of suffering.
Last week Paige gave the following assignment. Take some time with it today.
*4. Often we will make a love-list for someone precious in our lives to celebrate a milestone or occasion. Make your own “Things I Love About You” list for the Father. And then make another one: “Things I Love About the Way You Love Me.” (If you are doing this in a small group, have each person share two things from each letter — and if possible, one brief illustration such as, “I love God’s timing, as I saw it last week, which was a horrible no good week, and then I heard Paige’s teaching on adoption and felt sooooo loved.”)
Tuesday: Reality of Suffering: The Fall
The premise of the false teaching of the health and wealth gospel is that God’s will for believers on this earth is to be healthy, wealthy, and happy, and if you are not, it is due to a lack of faith. Paige loves Joni, as do I. Joni said, “God’s purpose for us is not necessarily to make us healthy, wealthy, or even happy (though He is pleased to do so) but to make us holy.”
5. What thoughts do you have on the above?
6. What evidence can you see that every corner of the universe is affected by the fall?
7. There are four pictures of God’s wrath begin poured out in Revelation, which all describe the same time period, but are four different perspectives. Which two perspectives have we already covered? Did it surprise you how much suffering is described in Revelation? Do you remember the purpose of it for believers? How does this go against the teaching of the health and wealth gospel?
8. What is Paul’s testimony in 2 Corinthians 11:23-29? Did these things happen to him before or after Christ rescued him?
*9. Read 2 Corinthians 4:14-18. How do these verses echo the call to hope? How is it encouraged by comparison (v.17)? Of sight? Of length of time? Of weightiness?
*10.So how do we regard ourselves in the present (v. 7)?
*11. Continue reading in 2 Corinthians 5:1-5. What causes the groaning in this passage? Is it a lack of faith? An abandonment by God?
*12. Is our groaning caused by our frustration with the present and a heart fixed on God or by our fixation on the present and frustration with God?
Wednesday: Reality of Suffering: Family and Fellowship
13. Read Romans 8:18-25
A. What is the main point of verse 18? Does that help you right now in your present suffering?
B. Who subjected the creation to futility?
C. What hope do we have and what metaphor is used in verse 22?
D. What do we have now and what do we not have yet according to verse 23?
14. How is the purpose for suffering different for a child of God than for what Revelation calls “an earth dweller” (not a child of God.) Why is it a mark of being in the family?
15. Paige told a story about Corrie ten Boom reaching out to a guard for compassion when she learned of her father’s death. What did she realize? And then how did God meet her?
16. Where do you tend to run first when you are suffering? What have you learned?
17. Do you remember anything from the Paul Brand story with lepers?
Thursday: Revelation of Glory (To Us)
Paige quoted J. B. Phillips paraphrase of verse 19: “The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own. ” She quoted Tolkien who said we have an appetite for glory.
18. How would you define glory? Why wasn’t Moses allowed to see God’s glory?
19. How soon will we see Jesus after we die? What do you think that will be like?
20. What thoughts do you have about how we and this world will be changed in the New Heaven and New Earth?
21. What is your take-a-way this week and why?