Lesson 29


The Epistle to the Romans

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

8:31 What then will we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 8:32 He who didnít spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how would he not also with him freely give us all things? 8:33 Who could bring a charge against Godís elect? It is God who justifies. 8:34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, yes rather, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 8:36 Even as it is written, "For your sake we are killed all day long. We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter." 8:37 No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


 Today's Lesson 

Here is the glorious conclusion of the eighth chapter of Romans. Paul began this section with the bold statement that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He has written that we are adopted children of God through Christ and are heirs with Christ. We wait expectantly until God will redeem us and all creation. In the mean time, we will be asked to suffer, just as Christ suffered. But when we suffer, the Spirit of God is with us to comfort us. Indeed, the Spirit is the first fruits of our inheritance.

 

Paul concludes this section with a series of rhetorical questions. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" "Who can bring a charge against God's elect?" "Who shall separate us from the love of God?" In each of these questions Paul's emphasis is the security that the believer has because of the finished work of Jesus Christ. Paul wants his readers to know that God's gift of righteousness will not be snatched from their grasp. They can have confidence in the work of the Lord because the Lord has promised to achieve these things on our behalf.

 

God acted on His own initiative. God began a process at creation that led to the birth of Jesus and to His subsequent death on a cross in Jerusalem. By His blood, God offers a covenant to all that believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. God has promised to forgive and redeem all that believe and to deliver them on the day of the final judgment. He brings them into His own household as adopted children and indwells them with His Spirit. All of these things God has promised to achieve through His own sovereign will and power.

 

Paul asks, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" If God has done all of these things and promised to do still greater things, then nothing can stand between God and us. God is holding nothing back from us. He has promised His complete involvement in our lives. We can have complete confidence in our relationship with God and our position in Christ.

 

So, why do we doubt our salvation? First, many Christians are still unaware of God's promises. There is a tradition of legalism and self-sufficiency in many churches that keeps Christians ignorant and unaware of the complete salvation that we have been given. Some church leaders are afraid to teach the freedom that is truly ours in Christ because they either do not understand it themselves or they are afraid they will be accused of being too accepting of sin just as Paul was. Freedom can be a threatening thing and many young Christians have been known to abuse the freedom that we have in Christ. The truth is that we all take advantage of God's mercy and grace regardless of our level of maturity.

 

Secondly we also doubt our salvation because such complete forgiveness and mercy is absolutely foreign to our own nature. We literally cannot conceive of what God has accomplished because what God's methods are so completely different from our own. In old science fiction stories sometimes the humans would encounter aliens that were so different from them that they didn't even recognize that the aliens were alive. This is similar to how we relate to God. God's way of thinking is beyond us. At least, at first. Only through the indwelling work of the Spirit are we conformed to Christ's image and we slowly begin to understand the mind of Christ.

 

Despite everything that the world might tell you, despite everything that man might tell you, you can depend on God. God has made a promise. He has given you a commitment. Trust in Christ. Cling to God's promises with your whole heart and never doubt them. In Christ we are forgiven and redeemed. Allow God to lead your life with His Spirit. If God is for us, who can be against us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

 

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