God loves us and is for us (Romans 8:31-39) – Devotional, 8 May

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God is for us and we can not be separated from His love, live your life in a way such that this truth is always clearly displayed.

Romans 8:31-39 (ESV)

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 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? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 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. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

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

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 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.

As we come to the last devotional Paul himself is wrapping up what he is saying, by asking a question…

31a What then shall we say to these things?

He is saying that because of all the things that went before in Romans 8 we can say something else.  We can know that.

GOD IS FOR US.

Paul is telling us that all that went before shows beyond doubt that God is for us. And just in case you are not yet convinced of this Paul goes through four more reasons we can know beyond a doubt God is for us!

1st we can know He is for us because He has already given us His best.

31b-32 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?

Paul is not saying here that we won’t face opposition in our lives, but that nothing that comes against us will prevail over God’s purposes for us. And his support for this is that God already gave us his very best when He gave His own Son for us. So if God has already done that, what else that we truly need would He possibly withhold from us?

Let’s keep this in context, the “all things” here is connected to the idea that the good that God has purposed for us is to make us more like Jesus. The idea that God is “for us” cannot be separated from that context. God is not promising here to just give us anything we want. But He is promising that He will provide everything we need to endure opposition for the sake of the gospel so that we will ultimately share in Christ’s glory.

I can know that God is for me because He has already given me His very best.

2nd we can know He is for us because He qualifies us to be in His presence

God does not just let everyone into His presence but only those that He has justified, not what we do allows us in because if it was of us then every single one of us would fail, because of the sin in our life. Even just one sin would disqualify us from being able to have a relationship with a God.

This is what he is saying here…

33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

No one can say we can not be in God’s presence that we do not deserve it; that is to bring a charge against us. Because, it is not us but God who justifies.

I can know that God is for me because he has qualified me to be in His presence through the righteousness of His Son, Jesus which has been credited to me.

3rd we can know He is for us because He pleads our case.

If I were ever to be wrongfully accused of a crime, I know that if I went to trial, I would want to have a good lawyer to plead my case. And what would be even better was if my lawyer was the son of the judge who was going to decide my fate. As we see in verse 34, that is essentially the advantage we have, when it comes to the case others might try to make against us, when we stand before God.

34 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.

Here Paul returns to the idea that he began this chapter with. In verse 1 he wrote that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. And he now reinforces that idea with the rhetorical question he asks here – a question which expects us to answer “no one”. The reason that there is no one who can condemn us is that we have God the Son Himself who has risen from the grave to prove that His payment for our sins is adequate and who sits right now at the right hand of God the Father, interceding on our behalf.

So every time that Satan or anyone else tries to accuse us, Jesus is right there at the Father’s side pleading our case, reminding anyone who would bring a charge against us that He has already paid the price for our sins, once for all, on the cross.

I can know that God is for me because His Son is at his right hand pleading my case for me.

4th we can know He is for us because He won’t let anything separate me from His love.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

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

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 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.

Paul spends more time on this last idea than on the first three combined. We know that the last 5 verses of this chapter comprise a single idea because this passage begins and ends with the idea of nothing being able to separate us from the love of Jesus.  Paul is telling us that all the trials we could possibly go through, however painful and difficult, do not in any way indicate that somehow God is against us and not for us.

In fact, because God is for us, we not only can survive these trials, we are more than conquerors because of His love for us. The phrase “more than conquerors” is just one word in Greek. It is a compound word that means “to prevail completely” or “to have complete triumph”. It means that we don’t just win, we will totally overcome all those things.

I can know that God is for me because He won’t allow anything or anyone to separate me from His love.

Consider

1. God is for you. Are you “for God” always?  Do you love God?

2. God is for you, but are you willing to take risks for the sake of the gospel?  Do you fail to take advantage of opportunities to share the gospel because we’re afraid that we might be rejected?

3. What would you do for the sake of the gospel if you knew for sure that God is for you?

Respond

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

So as we see the end of the lockdown coming and one day we will be back to church as normal ask yourself:

  • Would you share the gospel, knowing that God has promised to give you the right words to say and that He doesn’t hold you accountable for how the other person responds, only for being His faithful witness?
  • Would you volunteer to teach our children, knowing that God will equip you to do that?
  • Would you serve wherever you see the need knowing that God will be for you?

Spend time praying, asking God to show you what He wants you to do, trusting that He is for you? And then will you write that down as a reminder? When we are finally out of lockdown, act on it. Can you imagine what we could do as a church if we had a body full of people who knew that and who lived our lives based on that truth?