God is for Us

God is for Us

We look then to read in God’s word if you join me in prayer. God, indeed, you are our helper. And by your Holy spirit, we ask then that you would open our minds to your word, that as they are read and as they are complained, that we would be led into your truth, that we would be taught your will, that you would continue to transform us into the image of our savior Jesus. For it is in his name that we do pray. Amen. Beginning in verse verse 31, What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who could 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’s God who justifies. Who is it to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died more than that, who was raised, who is at the right-hand of God, who is indeed 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 is written, for your sake we are being killed all the day long. We are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I’m 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. Begin with the bold declaration, There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And verse 34 brings us back to that very thought, who is to condemn? A no condamation sandwich with a very meaty middle. Understandably, these verses are often read at funerals because we’re reminded that that very moment when our faith clashes with our sight, there’s more yet to come. Death is not the final answer. But we are also needing, reminded of that in day to day living, because living by faith in a fallen world is hard. From our own sin to the whispers of accusations from the evil one, our security in Christ, it can be challenged.

Running through our heads can be this thought that I am not worthy of God’s grace. Grace. Well, you’re not worthy of God’s grace. That’s why it’s called grace, wage. But these thoughts, these accusations can come from our own hearts as well as from the outside. We question our assurance, we question God’s love for us. How can God love me? I am a terrible sinner. How can God love me? Look at the terrible things he’s letting happen into my life. And whether he takes these thoughts or he plants them in us, Satan then fans the flames of our doubts. The ground shifts and everything becomes uncertain and fragile for our faith. But because Jesus has truly paid it all, We can rest secure in the unbreakable love that God gives to his children. The apostle Paul, he takes us by the hand, as it were, and he climbs up with us this giant staircase of these rhetorical to take us to the stunning heights of our assurance in Christ. And there we look out over the infinite horizon of God’s love which stands in front of us. And we see before us then the irrevocable payment of the cross and God’s unbreakable love.

We’re looking then at this irrevocable payment. Paul says in verse 31, What then shall we say of these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? And notice that he is does not say what. He says who. Who can come against us? Because these are not abstract ideas. They’re very personal to us. We do have a personal enemy. Satan stands against us. We also have, at times, human enemies that try and cause us harm, not to mention that we often are our own worst enemy. But trials and tribulations, they’re personal. And Paul, he reminds us of that, that these things are just not simply abstractions. Even if he’s spoken of sin and death and even creation, Paul personified them. We live through them in a personal way, and he cuts them all off at the knees. If God is for us, who can be against us? And the unspoken answer is nobody. How can I be sure of this? 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? The cross of Christ is placed in the very middle of our doubts and our fears.

How can I know that I’ll make it to the end? How can I be sure that God is not going to change his mind later? In this amazing amazing act of Trinitarian sacrifice, we see God giving us everything. I appreciate what John Studd, he said of this. He said, The cross is the continuing unfailing generosity of the love of God, the continuing unfailing generosity of the love of God. How can I know that he’s not going to pull the rug out from underneath me? Because look what he’s done. Look what he has done for us regarding his own son. I’m sure you all are familiar, Genesis 22, it’s the great testing of Abraham. When he’s asked to sacrifice Isaac, his one and only son, his son of promise. And in a very dramatic way, just as he’s about to sacrifice him, God spares Isaac. He spares Abraham’s son. All of this is to point us forward to the moment when God would not spare his own son. Our heavenly Father bore the of that sacrifice. The foundation of our assurance comes from God giving us his very best to we who at our very worst, did not deserve any of it.

While we were still sinners, God loved us. And we see that’s the foundation. And Paul is saying, nothing can strip that away. And he goes on, Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Paul, of course, is taking his back to this great truth of justification that he has so clearly articulated already. His chosen people for them, he has paid the debt. Jesus paid it all. Not guilty, not guilty, a thousand times not guilty. Even here, we hear echoes of the Servant’s song from Isaiah 50. The Servant’s songs, if you recall, are those in Isaiah that speak to us directly of the Messiah. But notice that Paul is speaking about his people here. I think, Well, why? Because in Christ, we identify with Jesus. His identity becomes ours. In Isaiah 50, it’s there, he says, He who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near me. Behold, the Lord God helps me. Who will declare me guilty? ‘ The answer there, of course, is nobody. That’s what Paul is picking up, nobody. Will declare you guilty.

Paul cast the church into this role of the servant. Of this, and he write, he says, Paul’s point through Romans 5:8 is that the identity of the church is the discovery in the Messiah. That is our identity. Who we are comes from who he is. To be chosen by God, to be justified by God is irrevocable. And he continues. 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. Jesus is interceding for us. He has the Father’s ear. And more than that, we’ve already read from Paul, he said, The Holy spirit is in us interceding for us. A Trinitarian trifecta for our good. And this moves Paul to this final rhetorical question, which ends on the unbreakable love of Christ for his people. Verse 35, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness, danger or sword? Now, to recap the last couple of weeks from Romans as well as from the New Testament, suffering is a part of the life of a believer. If that is shocking to you, you’ve been living under a rock.

You’ve not been listening. This should not shock you. The Lord does not promise us better life circumstances. He promise us a better life. Those are not the same. We have Christ’s resources to deal with hard circumstances. We truly have a better life in him. But again, God is the one who defines what better means, not the world. We have been freed from sin and death. Our eyes have been open to the truth. That has given us a better Their life, a full life. Paul continues from Psalm 44 to further his point. He says, As it is written, for your sake, we are being killed all day long. We are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. There is a cost of following Jesus. As Jesus told his disciples, If they persecuted me, they’ll persec you. It also includes the distresses of living in a fallen world. We saw that last week. Christians are not exempt from the all things of life. What happens to everybody else happens to us. We’re not exempt. But we also know That’s not the end of the story. Paul goes on, verse 37 says, No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

That’s superlative. We are more than conquerors. And of course, there are times you go, Well, I really don’t feel like much of a conqueror right now. In fact, I feel rather like the bug that just ran into the windshield of life. Okay, there are times like that. We all live that. But it’s not the end of the matter for us at all. Paul doesn’t stop there. He says, I’m sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers. Now, powers, rulers, angels, those are all things from the spiritual realm. And he’s saying, even in the unseen realm, it has no power over God’s chosen ones. None. And Paul’s point is that absolutely nothing can separate us from Christ’s love. And the last verse, he just throws it all out there. 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. It’s a doxology of praise. Just thrilled with all that God has done for him. Now, I do not know why this is the case, but whenever some people hear this, there’s always that Debbie Downer out there.

That’s someone who can come to the end of this amazing assurance given by Paul. And they say something like this, Nothing out there can separate you from God’s love, but you can separate yourself from God’s love. Why? Why is it that some people have to say this? Paul’s whole point is that nothing, nothing can separate you in all creation, and you’re included in creation. Nothing can separate you from Christ for those he has called by name. I read somewhere Charles Spurgeon, he once remarked, he said, Oh, that Arminians would altogether leave the Book of Romans alone. I think this is what he’s referring to, this need to constantly be throwing in there. Well, you can mess it up. Now, these truths offer God’s people. They’re not generic words to everyone. And next week we’re going to look more in chapter 9, which deals with election. So next week. But it’s clear that Paul is not taking us to the heights of God’s grace to let us fall off the cliff of human merit and achievement. He’s taking us up to this panorama of this beautiful rising. Isn’t it amazing? Isn’t it lovely? Get closer to the edge.

Isn’t it great? Pushes us over. Hope you hang on. Hope you do enough. No, our confidence is not even in our own love for God. Our confidence is in God’s love for us. That’s entirely different. That’s really good news. Back in Romans 5:6-10, Paul has already stated, he said, While we were weak, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person, one might dare to die. But God chose his love for us, that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. Since therefore now we’ve been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more now that we are reconciled, we will be saved by his life. The glorious truth that Paul has been speaking of there and in Romans, he now reframes here in Romans 8. It’s the same truth, it’s the same logic, but with more affectionate, more emotional impact for us. Why? Because this is hard for us to grasp. Paul takes us by the hand to connect our heart and our head together.

He weaves these two things together, head and heart. Because our emotional states can look rather like that erratic heart monitor, the I’m up, I’m down. I’m up, I’m down. Praise God, praise God. And on and on it goes. And that’s what life is like often for us. We’re up and down and all over the place. So we need this assurance. Nothing in us or in the world will frustrate God’s plan for his people. That’s a comfort to us. God’s grace and mercy, it flows to us through Jesus. Being connected to Jesus gives us full access to the Father. In those times, especially in those times when we have blown it, and we know we have, when Satan and our inner conscience are both condemning us. We hear there is no condemnation. Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. We read in 1 John 3, whenever our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts. He knows everything. That’s good news. God is greater than our hearts, even when they condemn us. We need to know that. In John 8, Jesus was seated down and he was teaching in the temple. And there it said the scribes and the pharisees, they brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery, and he placed her before Jesus.

And they were trying to find some way to trick Jesus to get him to slip so they could bring a charge against him. He said, Teacher, this woman has been caught in a very act of adultery. Now, in the law of Moses, he commanded that such a woman be stoned. What do you say? Jesus seated, he bent over and he wrote something in the dirt with his finger. Don’t know what he wrote. And not easily dissuaded, they pestered him more. And then Jesus stands up and he said, Let him who’s without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her. And he bent back down and wrote some more in the dirt. Now, again, don’t know what he wrote, but maybe he wrote a reference to the law that would have implied, Where’s the dude? Takes to Tango. He only brought one here. I don’t know. I don’t know what he wrote. But when they heard what he said, said, One by one, they left, beginning with the older one. And Jesus was left alone with a woman who was there before him. And Jesus stood up and he said to her, Woman, where are they?

Has no one condemned you? She said, No No one, Lord. And Jesus said, Neither do I condemn you. Go from now on and sin no more. The only one who had the right to throw the stone, the only one who had the right to condemn her was standing in front of her. He said, I don’t condemn you. And if anyone deserved it, it was her, caught in a very act of adultery, no question about her guilt. Jesus forgiving sin, it ruffle the feathers of the religious leaders. Why? Because that was God’s domain alone. That’s the point Jesus was making. Yes, only God can forgive sins. Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more. He was saying something about who he was. These last verses, they serve as a doxology of God’s love and kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. We need to hear this because it’s so hard to go from head to heart on this. When we’re doing pretty good, we get it, but the minute we mess things up, we’re right back down into the slew of the spawn. The reason we’re there is somehow it’s like, if I can only feel bad enough long enough about my sin, somehow I will atone for them, and then I can come before before God because of how bad I felt.

You’re feeling bad doesn’t atone for a darn thing. It doesn’t change anything. What changes something is Jesus on the cross dying for your sins. That changes everything. Otherwise, we’re stuck on that hamster wheel of performance. Got to do, got to do, got to do. Jesus comes just to take us off the wheel. He took it. He bore it. This is what Paul is so excited about. I’ll tell you, if this doesn’t move you, it is likely you are not a believer in Jesus Christ. But there’s good news there, too, because the gospel is freely given to all of us, calling on us to repent, calling on us to come to Jesus. You don’t have to be left out. Come to Jesus so that you would know this forgiveness, that you would be free from the hamster wheel, that your own sins, the things of the world around you, do not have to crush you into dust. That there’s life in the Son. That he has come to give us abundant life through his death. This is a game changer for everything. This is why Paul all can just word upon word and take us up to these glorious heights because that’s the glorious God we serve.

And he’s just fumbling for words at this point. To tell us how good and great our savior is. To give us that full assurance that he alone can provide for his people. And When understood rightly, as Paul has already said in Romans, you don’t hear this and go, Well, I can do whatever I want. Sin, that grace may abound. He’s like, No, you don’t get it. If that is where you go, that has not moved your heart. When your heart understands and grips this reality, you’re not thinking, What can I get away with? You’re like, oh, my goodness, how good is God? Look what he has done for me. And now I have an opportunity to live a life pleasing to him, to bring glory to Jesus in whatever capacity he puts me. And that becomes the freedom we now have. We have been set free from all this stuff. Don’t reshacle yourself. Be free. Be free indeed, because whoever the son sets free, he is free. He is liberated. And Paul is looking at this and nothing, nothing can separate you from this love. Because it is anchored in the security of Jesus finished work on the cross that the Father has sent, the Father has glorified, the spirit now dwelling in our hearts.

That’s pretty good news, people. Pray with me. Father, as we come before you, we just want to say thank you. And Lord, we even recognize our gratitude really is not sufficient for what you have done. We understand what we don’t understand. Lord, increase our faith, increase our awareness. Father, we ask that you would grant us a greater capacity of worship. And Father, I would ask you that if there are any here who do not know your son, that you would grant them saving faith. You would open their eyes, you would open their ears, Father, that they would see the wonder and the joy of Jesus before them. Lord, as we struggle with the circumstances of life, Lord, we thank you that we are not left in the midst of them alone. You are there. You are there. You have not left us. We are not abandoned. Father, thank you. We bless you for all these good things through Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

Discaimer: This sermon text was generated by an automated transcription service.