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The Bible Teacher's Commentary
'The Spirit Helps Us In Our Weakness' (Romans 8:26-27) is the first of three parts to the BFF Romans 8:26-39 Living Commentary: Conquerors through Christ (Romans 8:26-39). There is also a Bible Study Question page on these verses. The question answered here is "Can I endure?"
The backdrop of this last part of Romans 8:26-39 is the former section on suffering.
By understanding how God's truth applies to questions of suffering, we can prepare ourselves for times of suffering, distress and persecution, whether our own or others. Note below how Satan instigates doubt through which we are thrown into despair and depression.
Temptation #1 - Satan's voice: "You can't make it!" "He's left you alone!" "You may as well give up."
Temptation #2 - Satan's voice: "God is not doing a very good job taking care of things is He?" "He doesn't involve Himself in such matters."
Temptation #3 - Satan's voice: "If He really loved you, He wouldn't have you go through these things."
Great doctrinal passages such as this one are not just 'cold' theological treatises, but deliberate instructions designed to bring out relevant truths that would enable us to powerfully live out peaceful and loving Christian lives. Peter faces suffering from a perspective of identification with Christ's suffering. Paul has a slightly different tactic.
Paul instructs us on three ways the Lord helps us to better be able to cope with sufferings. These will become our main outline points of Romans 8:26-39.
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; 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. (Romans 8:26-27).
• God completely understands our hard times.
• We are limited even in our prayer life. We need His help.
• The Spirit sides with us and according to God's will intercedes for us.
Strength through Spirit's understanding and help
We must not undermine the way the Spirit helps us pray. He will only pray according to the will of God. He knows what the will of God is. It is during distress that we become very subjective and need this kind of clarification, confidence and inner strength. For this reason make sure your life is clear of sin and doubt so that you will pray as needed during these times.
Groanings no doubt refer to the deep pains expressed when observing some difficult if not tragic situation. They are deep utterings. The Spirit of God, mentioned three times in these two verses, is actively working on the behalf of the believer. The Spirit is the downpayment of the full promise to come at the full realization of the glorification of the believer in Christ.
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