Big idea: The gospel takes us all the way to glory.
Today, we are concluding the first half of Romans. This section of the book has been laying out the theological framework for our lives, from sinners under God's judgment, to justification by faith to sanctification by walking in the Spirit. But now we come to the climax, where God finishes what He started and the new creation which began in our hearts encompasses all of us and all of the world. He has justified, He is sanctifying, and He will glorify.
Everything which happens in the life of a Christian is used by God for our good. The problem is our definition of good. We think good means comfort or prosperity, but God is not nearly so short-sighted. When God says all things work together for good, He is saying that everything in our lives works together to make us like Jesus. Finally, when Jesus returns and His children are revealed, we will be made perfectly like Him forever, and will reflect His untarnished glory. The lingering sin in us will be cut loose, and the whole creation's bondage to decay will end once and for all, as God makes everything as it always ought to have been.
Those who have trusted Jesus as their Savior will be His joint-heirs, inheriting the world with Him in life, even as those who chose to remain in the flesh will die (Romans 8:13). The triumph of every Christian is total: we look forward in hope to the day that we receive what we have been eagerly waiting for. Between here and there, we find a lot of tribulation, but in all of those things, we are more than conquerors through Jesus.
Discussion idea: How does the promise that God will heal every hurt of this world and every sin of our heart encourage us to face challenges?
Prayer focus: There is an old expression about being so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good. For most Christians, the opposite problem is the real issue: we are so earthly minded that we have lost sight of heaven. Pray for God to help you walk today with an awareness of eternity.