The best way to understand Romans 8:1–17 is through a storyline. Many, many words have been written to explain this wonderful story, but I will simply give you the outline of the plot for you to think about in the context of this week’s Sabbath School lesson.
1. Wanted children: God’s and my story always begins with the triune God family wanting children in their image (see Genesis 1:26, 27). And it continues with the assurance that the Family will never turn its back on the wanted children (see Isaiah 49:15). This aspect of God often gets lost in the many ways we think of and study Him/Them.
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The God Family chose freely to “have us,” even though, in Their omniscience, They knew there would be a rocky road ahead. They still chose to have children in Their image (see Psalm 139:13–18). The children were given boundaries to protect them, as all adored, wanted children are: “Stay together, and don’t take candy from strangers” (see Genesis 3:2).
2. Born kidnapped: Since the first infraction, the whole human race of adored, wanted children have been born kidnapped, dead in trespasses and sins, hostage “children” of our kidnapper, the devil (see Ephesians 2:1–3).
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3. And brainwashed: We are also completely infiltrated by our kidnapper’s value system and thought patterns (see John 8:44).
4. The ransom plan: But the God Family has, from the beginning, had plans to rescue us and bring us back home (see Jeremiah 29:11–14). “By infinite love and mercy the plan of salvation had been devised” (God’s Amazing Grace, 246).
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5. For the God Family’s adored, wanted, only child: “One soul is precious, very precious, in the sight of God. Christ would have died for one soul in order that one might live through the eternal ages” (Testimonies, Vol. 8, 72). That makes each person...
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