Great Questions, Greater Answers
by Buddy Maynard
(Panama City, Florida)
Great Questions/Greater Answers:
1. Romans 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
OUR HOPE IS EXPECTED – ANSWER OF FAITH
Assurance is rather the fruit of faith than faith itself; it is in faith, as the flower is in the root. Faith in time, after much communion with God, acquaintance with the Lord, and experience of His dealings with the soul, may flourish into assurance; but as the root truly lives before the flower appears, and continues when the flower has shed its beautiful leaves and is gone again, so does true justifying faith live before assurance comes and after it disappears.
Assurance is, as it were, the cream of faith. Now there is milk before cream; this cream does not appear until after the milk has stood for some time; and there remains milk after the cream is skimmed off. How many of the precious saints of God might one shut out from being believers if their faith did not reach to that which amounts to assurance!
2. Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things?
OUR HELP IS EXPRESSED – ANSWER OF FULFILLMENT
3. If God be for us, who can be against us?
OUR HATERS AND THE HEATHEN, AND THE HARMFUL ARE EXCLUDED – ANSWER OF FINALITY
4. Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
OUR HAPPINESS IS EXCEEDING – ANSWER THAT SAYS IT IS ALL FREE
OUR HEAVEN IS EXCELLENT
HIS HAND PAYS THE EXPENSES
If you bring a thimble to God, he'll fill it. If you bring a bucket to God, he'll fill that. If you bring a fifty-gallon barrel to God, he'll fill that, too. Which best describes your expectations of God? A thimble, a bucket, or a barrel?
* Too Busy Not to Pray, Bill Hybels, 1988, p. 89
One Sunday, a minister preached a sermon about heaven. Next morning, as he was going to town, he met one of his wealthy members. This man stopped the preacher and said, "Pastor, you preached a good sermon on heaven, but you didn't tell me where heaven is." "Ah," said the preacher, "I am glad of the opportunity this morning.
I have just returned from the hilltop up there. In that cottage there is a member of our church. She is a widow with two little children. She is sick in one bed and her two children are sick in the other bed. She doesn't have anything in the house--no coal, no bread, no meat, and no milk.
If you buy a few groceries and go there yourself and say, 'My sister, I have brought these provisions in the name of the Lord Jesus,' ask for a Bible, read the Twenty-third Psalm, and then go down on your knees and pray--if you don't see heaven before you get through, I'll pay the bill." The next morning the man said, "Pastor, I saw heaven and spent fifteen minutes there. There's no bill for you to pay."
5. Romans 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
OUR HONOUR HAS BEEN EXECUTED – ANSWER TO FAULT FINDERS, ANSWER OF FORGIVENESS
Assurance is Job sitting in the dust, covered with sores, and saying, "I know that my redeemer liveth" (Job 19:25), "Though He slay me, yet I will trust in Him" (Job 13:15).
6. Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
OUR HELPER IS EXALTED – ANSWER TO FAILURE
The Apostle Paul failed; Peter failed; every one of the twelve apostles failed.
David, Israel's greatest king, "a man after God's own heart," failed.
Moses, giant among the Israelites, giver of the law, deliverer of his people, failed.
Jacob, father of Israel, failed; Isaac, son of promise, failed.
Abraham, progenitor of Israel, father of the faithful, prototype of those who are righteous through faith, failed.
Even our first parents, in their human perfection, failed.
Who has not failed?
It is not failing that is the problem; it is what one does after he has failed.
To take failure as final is to be a failure. To see in failure the school of the Spirit is to let failure contribute to one's growth in Christ.
7. Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
OUR HORROR OF HELL IS EXPELLED - ANSWER TO FEAR
A little girl was walking in the cemetery with her aunt. She was examining the various gravestones when suddenly she cried out, "Oh, auntie, look here! Here is the tomb of some poor person who has not gone to heaven." "Not gone to heaven?" replied the astonished aunt, looking at the elaborate monument with weeping angels sculptured in marble.
"Why, what do you mean?" "Well, auntie," said the child, "the lady or gentleman in the grave cannot have gone to heaven, or the angels would not be crying!"
There were two brethren who differed on the question of the believer's safety in Christ. They were discussing the question, and one said to the other: "I'll tell you, a child of God is safe only so long as he stays in the lifeboat. He may jump out, and if he jumps out he is lost."
To this the other replied, saying: "You remind me of an incident in my own life. I took my little son out with me in a boat. I realized, as he did not, the danger of his falling or even jumping into the water. So I sat with him all the time, and all the time I held him fast, so he could neither fall out nor jump out of the boat."
"But," said the first speaker, "he could have wriggled out of his coat and got away in spite of you." "Oh," said the other, "you misunderstood me if you supposed I was holding his coat; I was holding him."
8. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
OUR HOLINESS IS EXPLAINED – ANSWER OF FAITHFULNESS