Teaching Series
Hope: Do You Have It?
Romans 8:31-38

Series: Hope
Message: Hope
Preacher: Tony Hunter
Daily Walk: Tony Hunter

Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 80:8-13​.

Read: Romans 8:31-38 (ESV). Re-read in the English Standard Version for new insights/questions.  

Reflect: Do you want to hear a lawyer joke? Here it is: There once was an honest lawyer [insert laughter].
OK, now for the fair and honest statement. Most lawyers are good, decent, honest people. Lawyers get a bad rap. They are just like any other group of people where a terrible minority ruins it for the hardworking and ethical majority. You could make the same joke about pastors, or Chicago police officers. 
But that is the stigma they live with, right? That they are all this skeezy group of lowlifes who only care about the money they can make. Especially defense attorneys. They are always portrayed as the morally bankrupt defenders of the corrupt and guilty who do not care at all about right and wrong or even truth. They only care about how they can distort the law for their own purposes. That's the stereotype.
It is because of this stereotype that I find Paul’s description of Jesus’ work very interesting. Paul had nothing but harsh words to say about the teachers of the law. Those people who worked to uphold it and use it and manipulate it. He didn’t seem to like them much. And yet he describes Jesus work with in the context of the court of law. Jesus, the one interceding against condemnation. He paints Jesus as the defense attorney. The guy who stands up and defends guilty people. People who are guilty without question. Thieves and murderers. Tax collectors and politicians. Every person and group that has a bad reputation whether it is false or real. Jesus defends them all.
Yesterday we talked about Jesus changing the way we look at judgement. And here again we see Paul portraying Jesus as one who is taking everything we know about the system of justice and turning it on its head. Because not only is Jesus the one who intercedes and hands over the verdict of judgement—He is also the one who brings the initial charge. No one can pass a verdict but Jesus. No one can defend the guilty but Jesus. No one can even make an accusation but Jesus. God, through Jesus, has set up quite possibly the worst legal system in the history of legal systems.

Recalibrate: ​ 

  1. In what ways have you felt condemned in your life?
  2. Who in your life has stood with you no matter what?

Respond: Pray for assurance that no matter how you might stumble, God will stand with you and for you.

Research: Find some examples of God defending the rebellious.

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