I am working through a study from the book of Romans with other women in my church, taught by Dr. Michael Kruger, President of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC.[i]
I share all that information because I don’t usually share someone else’s outline, but I want to share Dr. Kruger’s because I find his insights so appropriate for our current culture and I want to share the wisdom and hope in his message.[ii] We were studying Romans 8:31-39. Paul addresses 4 major categories of fear. I’ll share 2 today and 2 tomorrow.
What are you afraid of? We all have fears.
Fear #1: ARE YOU AFRAID OF ENEMIES? What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (vs. 31)
Enemies in today’s culture for Christians – you may list a few; here are some the class offered – government, media, Hollywood, Global movements, etc.
If God is for us, no one can be effectively against us.
[Do we fear our culture? The decline that seems to be accelerating recently? Same sex marriages, LGBTQ, the general disinclination towards Christians, the general sense that we need to be tolerant of all peoples (maybe not Christians). Do we fear persecution or the threat of future persecution? These things would fit into this category. ][iii]
So how do face these fears?
SOLUTION: KNOW THE DIVINE DISPOSITION:
God is for us. The God that is the maker of heaven and earth, creator and sustainer of the universe, it is THAT God that is for us. In Christ, God is for us with a warm, kind disposition towards us. God is not worried about our culture, our enemies, He is completely in control.
Maybe that doesn’t bother you. Your fears are much closer to home.
FEAR #2: Are you AFRAID THAT GOD WON’T MEET YOUR NEEDS?
[I know this is a prevalent fear. With the downturn in the economy, job loss, inflation, and growing school and medical debt, many Americans don’t make enough to cover their needs. When we pray and do not see immediate results, we fear God won’t provide.]
We fear that God will not really be there for us.
SOLUTION: UNDERSTAND THE DIVINE LOGIC
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? vs. 32
Paul is using a form of logical argument here known as arguing from the greater to the lessor (it is seen throughout Scripture). [known as: A Fortiori a maiore ad minus[iv]– impressed? Google.]
God has already done the greater thing by sending His own Son to save us, why would He not take care of the smaller things we tend to worry about? If your grandparents graciously paid your way through 4 years of college all-$100,000-worth, would you be afraid to ask to borrow their car for an afternoon to go on an interview?
Maybe you don’t struggle with either of these, come back tomorrow – we’ll consider fear of being condemned and fear of everything (death, the future, etc). I love the practicality of the theology of God’s Word. God’s Word hits the target of our hearts.
[ii] Any misrepresentation of Dr. Kruger’s outline, teaching or intention is solely my error.
[iii] Comments with in [ ] are my editorial
Diane Hunt serves part-time on the staff of America’s Keswick providing ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.