Lesson 64 - Chapter 8 verses 26-28

Lesson 64 - Chapter 8 verses 26-28

Verse 26

And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

This is a reference to the advancing believer under the great pressure of undeserved suffering which is designed to bless him.  In undeserved suffering the adversity is great, the pressure is maximum, the reason for the catastrophe is not apparent.   Therefore, even the mature believer may go into shock, panic, fall into a state of hysteria or agitation, which makes effective prayer impossible.  Therefore, God the Holy Spirit lends a helping hand.

The weakness is not the suffering, the adversity or the catastrophe encountered by the mature believer.  The weakness is inability to offer the proper prayer for the suffering.   It can be difficult to pray during intense suffering.  The undeserved suffering is strictly a blessing from God, but you have to understand how this blessing works. The whole purpose is to stimulate hope. Hope is confident expectation.  

Even for the mature believer, undeserved suffering for blessing comes as something of a shock.  The shock cuts down on thinking.  The proper prayer to offer on such occasions is not always instantly apparent. Since God has designed the undeserved suffering for our blessing, the Holy Spirit offers the proper prayer on our behalf.  So important is prayer that God the Holy Spirit makes intercession for the wisest of believers (like Paul).

The “groans” of the Holy Spirit are far beyond human comprehension.  The Spirit’s ministry of intercession is not in man’s words, man’s language; it is far beyond man’s use of words and sentences in prayer.  The prayers of the Holy Spirit are answered and the undeserved suffering is converted into blessing.  Only God the Holy Spirit can offer prayer that turns cursing into blessing for the mature believer in undeserved suffering.

Verse 27

And He Who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

The Greek word for searches is “eraunao,” which means to investigate, to examine something in the mind or to analyze. The verb is used also for philosophical investigation. In the Koine Greek, it connotes a thorough investigation.  It was used by the apostle John for searching or investigating the Scriptures.  But here it is used of God’s omniscience having total understanding of the facts before God’s justice blesses or condemns in any given situation.  The specific situation here is undeserved suffering.

Omniscience (God the Holy Spirit) communicates with omniscience (God the Father).  While the intercession of the Spirit in the previous verse is described as groanings too great for words, these groanings are clearly understood by God the Father with regard to their thought content.  Words do not have to be uttered for the omniscience of the Father to pick up the understanding and thinking of the omniscience of God the Holy Spirit.        

The integrity of God the Father responds to the intercessory ministry of God the Holy Spirit providing great blessing in the midst of the suffering of the advancing believer.  The blessing which comes to us as mature believers in undeserved suffering comes from the intercession of God the Holy Spirit.  The intercessory ministry of God the Holy Spirit on behalf of advancing believers meets all of the requirements of perfect divine standards.  No intercession is made by the Holy Spirit that is not totally compatible with the divine decrees of eternity past.

God the Holy Spirit is perfect and therefore His intercession on behalf of maturing believers is also perfect.  Furthermore, God the Father always answers the prayers of God the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit has a perfect batting average in His ministry of intercessory prayer on behalf of mature believers.  This intercession is responsible for turning the suffering in adversity into the grace blessings derived from adversity, as per this passage. 

The ministry of intercession is the Holy Spirit mediating on behalf of the believer.  This is a normal function of a priest.  The believer is a royal priest, Jesus Christ is our Great High Priest, but the Holy Spirit is never said to be a priest (strictly a human function).  However, we are told that the Holy Spirit makes intercession for believers.  The reason this is possible is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Since He is indwelling a priest, He is able to “make groanings which cannot be uttered” for us.  His intercession is for us in times in which we are unable to pray due to intense suffering, distress or when we simply don’t know how or what to pray.

Verse 28

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

All things work together for good to the advancing believer only because God causes them to do so.   The Greek verb for love is “agapao,” which means love in the sense of esteem or delighting in.   It is a reference to the maturing believer’s attitude toward God.  Only the advancing believer truly loves God because he has come to know God through the study and application of Bible doctrine.  We are in the process of learning to love God but until we crack the first stage of the maturity barrier we do not truly love God.  In other words, when you reach the point of entering into maturity you have developed the capacity for love, which is parlayed into occupation with the Person of Jesus Christ.  Occupation with the Person of Christ is the attitude and function of the advancing believer.  These are the ones who love God and therefore to them only do all things work together for good.  

This verse refers to the variety of undeserved sufferings which combine with the other blessings of maturity.  These are blessings in time which are given to the advancing believer.  Remember, undeserved suffering has a purpose, which is establishing in the soul the reality of hope for the future resurrection body. 

Mankind has three hopes from birth. The first hope is salvation, and that hope becomes a reality when one believes in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The second hope is blessing in time, and this is for the believer only and becomes a reality when a believer enters into the first stage of spiritual maturity.  Eventually, the third hope will be a reality at the Rapture of the Church.  But right now all advancing believers possess all three hopes (the first two are realities and third will be).

Every believer is called to a purpose by God.  That purpose, generally speaking, for all believers is the execution of the Christian Way of Life.  However, God’s specific purpose for each believer may vary depending on a number of factors such as spiritual gifts, where God needs someone to serve, God’s directive will, God’s overriding will and God’s permissive will.  God has a specific purpose for each of us as believers in Christ.  Discovering God’s will for yourself is a matter of presenting yourself as a “living sacrifice” to God and renewing your mind by means of accurate Bible doctrine. (Romans 12:1-2)


The Directive Will of God

“And God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them; you shall not curse the people; for they are blessed.” (Numbers 22:12)

The directive will of God and His desire are the same.   It is sometimes stated as a positive and sometimes as a negative…“Do’s and Don’ts.”  The example above is from the Old Testament where God often used animals or inanimate objects through which to speak.  In the New Testament, however, God speaks through His Word.  We find many of these directive wills of God throughout Scripture.  Therefore, there are certain things in the Christian life that we know are either God’s will or not His will therefore we don’t have to pray about it!

The Permissive Will of God

“And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise up and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you shall you do.” (Numbers 22:20)

The permissive will of God means that God allows man to make decisions, even though they are not God’s desire.  Man has been given free will by God and God will never violate it or coerce a person.  However, not following the known will of God will bring divine discipline.  God will ultimately be glorified and His plan for human history accomplished despite the negative decisions of mankind. (Psalms 76:10; Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:6)

The Overruling Will of God

“But God was angry because Balaam was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as an adversary against him.(Numbers 22:22- 23:26)

Balaam was not permitted to curse the Jews because it was against God’s will and promises to Israel.  Therefore, God overruled Balaam and hindered him from cursing the Jews.  Often God will overrule the will of a person because of the effect it will have on others, especially His children.  This, of course, is all based on His sovereignty. 

In summary, we know that there are certain things that are God’s will for the entire human race and certain things that are God’s will for believers.  God in His grace allows man’s free will to even supercede His own at times.  At times, however, God must intervene and overrule the will of man.