Saturday, September 09, 2006

Not as uncertain as I thought?

One reason I haven't posted in awhile is my nearly complete lack of uncertainty over the past few weeks I have been preaching Romans 8. After the challenges of Romans 7, Chapter 8 has been for me relatively straightforward. I don't pretend to think I've got it all figured out, but I've experienced a remarkable degree of confidence as I've studied and preached through this chapter.

But here's a question that's come up: in verse 26, Paul says "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness." In the same way as what? John Piper thinks it refers to the help that Paul provides us with regard to the "why" of our suffering. My thought, and the way I'm intending to preach it, is that "the same way" refers to the description of hope and its work described in v. 24-25. In other words, just as God has ordained that you and I experience suffering firsthand as we await the fulfillment of His promise, the Spirit, "in the same way", walks through it with us.

I'm not certain, so I'll hold it, as a dear friend says, loosely. Your thoughts?