From conception to eternity – Wednesday, 30th week in ordinary time – Romans 8:26-30

From conception to eternity – Wednesday, 30th week in ordinary time – Romans 8:26-30

For many, the role of the Holy spirit in their lives can well be described as an artefact in the museum and Paul will contest this attitude vociferously. Paul says that it is the Spirit that helped us to cry, “Abba, Father,” (Romans 8:16). “Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness,” (Romans 8:26).So also the Spirit helps us pray as we ought. This reading includes some of the most familiar and comforting words we have from the apostle Paul. (verse 26 and 28) Nearly every sentence is a new way of stating the promise that God has not abandoned “us,” and is in fact working across the past, present, and future–on our behalf.

For starters Paul states clearly that the Spirit steps in to help us to pray because we do not know how to pray AS WE OUGHT. We ought to know how to pray and yet we don’t. That seems ironic for a Christian. In some way, Paul is asking the question: “Do we know how to pray and what to pray for when we are on the crossroads of life?” The problem is not that we know what we need and merely lack the right words for requesting it. The problem is that, we “do not know what to want,” let alone how to ask for it and therefore we rely on the Holy Spirit. Whether we teach people how to pray or not, Romans 8:26-27 is a call to believe in the intercession of the Holy Spirit

We are told that the Spirit intercedes; the Greek word used for intercedes is ‘hyperentynchanei ‘ which means intercedes over and above. In this is manifested the love of God the Holy Spirit for us. The Christian who prays is aware that the spirit manifests its presence to him or her – that is why when we pray we are often left dumbfounded by the words that flow from our lips. We know that what we prayed in words was moved by the spirit. The reality is that human beings run out of words, especially in moments of sickness, death, hunger, poverty, and whenever life confronts us with pain.

This help from the Spirit may include praying with the spiritual gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 14:2, 14-15), but it is certainly not limited to praying in an unknown tongue. the purpose of the gift of tongues is to enable us to communicate with God in a manner that is not limited to our own knowledge or ability to articulate our heart before God. The purpose of tongues is not to prove that we are “filled with the Spirit” or to prove that we are especially spiritual.

St Paul also assures the believer that all things work together for good for those who love God. God is able to work ALL things, not some things! He works them for good together, not in isolation. This promise is for those who love God in the Biblical understanding of love, and God manages the affairs of our life because we are called according to His purpose.

The eternal chain of God’s working is seen in the connection between five words found in verses 29 &30 “foreknew, predestined, called, justified, and glorified”. God didn’t begin a work in the Romans simply to abandon them in the midst of their present suffering. “Paul is saying that God is the author of our salvation, and that from beginning to end. We are not to think that God can take action only when we graciously give him permission.”

Many theologians have misunderstood the word predestination, but in this chapter, Paul uses the concept in reference to God’s original intent: the salvation of humanity. In other words, salvation is not ours but rather, it is located in God’s three-fold plan, which is: “called, justified and glorified.” (Romans 8:30). Thus, the journey of Christian perfection is conceived by God stretching from conception to eternity.

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One thought on “From conception to eternity – Wednesday, 30th week in ordinary time – Romans 8:26-30”

  • So very true I must say…for I have several times noticed of what has come to me while replying or facing questions and even PRAYING was certainly not from my own making.

    I have realised that THE HOLY SPIRIT, IS THE ONE from WHOM I have received a saving reply/answer, a counter query and even A Prayer Plea when faced with a tight situation.

    But there is no doubt that THE HOLY SPIRIT is always with us at all times…for the SEEKERS…and I pray for all Christian to whom the role of The HOLY SPIRIT is an artefact…, that they are Enlightened and Guided by The HOLY SPIRIT always..

    God Bless you Fr. Warner 🙏


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