Romans 8:31-39

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Observation

  • If God stands for us no one can oppose His will for us.
  • God did not spare His own Son for us.
  • God gave up His son for us all.
  • God will give us all things.
  • God will give us graciously all things.
  • No one is worthy of bringing charges against God’s elect.
  • God justifies us.
  • Since God justifies us no one is can condemn us.
  • Christ Jesus died and rose again.
  • Christ’s resurrection is greater than His death.
  • Christ Jesus is at the right hand of God.
  • Christ Jesus intercedes for us.
  • No one can separate us from the love of God.
  • Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
  • We are killed daily of Christ’s sake.
  • We are like sheep to be slaughtered for the sake of Christ.
  • We are more than conquerors through Christ.
  • We overcome everything through Christ.
  • Christ Jesus loved us.
  • Nothing in all of creation can separate us from God’s love.

Interpretation

Paul started this chapter by saying that if we are in Christ we are not under the condemnation of the law. He moves from that good news to even better news. We are to receive glory, a glory so great that it is incomparable to anything we can imagine. Now he concludes the chapter with an assurance of the promise of glory. There is nothing that can separate us from God’s love.

If God is for us who can be against us, does not mean to say no one will oppose us. It means simply that any attempt for frustrate God’s work in us is futile. After all we are talking about a sovereign God, an all-powerful God, and a God who knows everything from the beginning to the end. This is a great comfort there is no external force or being that can frustrate God’s will for us. No one includes us. We as simply puny beings cannot frustrate God’s will for us. Once again this should give us great confidence. So long as we belong to Christ we will always belong to Christ not because of anything we do or do not do but because of what Christ has done.

This confidence is expressed in the Psalms as well:

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalms 23:4a)

“In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalms 56:11)

“I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.” (Psalms 3:6)

When Paul asks the rhetorical question “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?” he is not implying charges will not or cannot be brought against us. For we all know that Satan is the great accuser. Instead, Paul asks, “Who can bring any accusations that can stick?” We have been covered by the blood of Christ. According to Paul, our justification means being absolved by God, and to be counted just. God will allow no accusation to stand. Christ died to justify us. He then intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father. Christ and the Father are one. It is God then who justifies and is also our judge. Your defense attorney is also the judge. What a deal!

Having demonstrated God’s love for us Paul asks, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” He does not ask what shall separate us. He personifies tribulation, distress etc., these things have no power. Paul personifies them because though they have no power, it is often asserted that we suffer these things because of God’s wrath towards us. These accusations are not only made by others but often we assert them ourselves. Paul’s point could not be made stronger. Nothing can separate the elect from the love of God. That point is worth repeating. Nothing that is no thing can separate the elect from the love of God.

Paul does not say the Christian is exempt from tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword. Instead he says they do not separate us from God’s love. Christians have been martyred through the centuries and are being martyred today in even greater numbers than in past times. Christ says that those who suffer for righteousness sake are blessed (Matthew 5:10)

Paul goes on to say we are more than conquerors. How is a martyr more than a conqueror or even a conqueror? They and we at the same time suffer at the hands of the unjust and come through it with invincible power. We will be clothed in glory at the hand of Christ Himself.

If God has determined something to be so, nothing will prevent it. That is the point Paul makes at the conclusion of the Chapter. Since what he has said earlier in the chapter that those God foreknew he predestined to be confirmed to the image of His Son, nothing will prevent it from occurring. Not even an angel or a host of angels can interfere with the will of God. Neither Satan nor anything else in creation can separate God’s love has from the elect.

Application

Having first shown how we deserve the condemnation of the law, we are told that the gift of grace frees us from that condemnation. We can be assured of our freedom because God has determined it to be so before the foundations of the world. Thus we are assured of our salvation.

This section of scripture outlines clearly the doctrine of the preservation of the saints. The doctrine of preservation of the saints is simply the logical conclusion of the doctrine of election. If God has predestined the elect, then the elect will be preserved. God’s will, will be accomplished. Let us rejoice in God mercy towards us. And let us pray we may serve Him as He should be served.

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