by Craig Anderson – June 25, 2023
  1. Slide – Introduction – Romans 8:31 – 39
    1. Recap Romans
      1. Chs 1-4 – Righteousness (Justification) comes by faith not by works
        1. Slide – Rom 3: 22-25 – the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. (ESV)
        2. Main theme: justification/righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ.
        3. Gentiles are guilty because they rejected God and chose idols. Therefore, God gave them over to the consequences.
        4. The Jews are no better off. Although they had the law, they didn’t obey it. They are also guilty.
        5. God has made a way of justification for both Jews and gentiles through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and faith in Him.
      2. Slide – Chs. 5-8 – Righteous living comes through the power of the Holy Spirit
        1. What do we do about sin?
        2. Settle in your minds that God’s plan for your life is that you would walk uprightly.
        3. Consider yourself to be a slave of God and righteousness. As slaves, dedicate all of your activities and energies to pleasing God.
        4. The law cannot help you live righteously, it can only make you aware of sin. If you try and live by law you will live under condemnation not justification.
        5. The solution: The Holy Spirit. He confirms to us that we are justified and are in relationship to God, He empowers us to life lives of progressive freedom from sin, He empowers us to endure suffering with great hope.
      3. Body
        1. Slide verse What shall we say to these things… What things?
          1. In Romans
            1. We have been declared right with God by faith
            2. We have Peace with God, eternal hope, salvation from God’s wrath, and reconciliation with God as part of our justification which is all a gift of God’s grace.
            3. We have been freed from sin and empowered to live righteous lives.
            4. We are no longer condemned.
            5. We are no longer under the law but are filled with and led by the Holy Spirit.
          2. The things mentioned in the last part of chapter 8
            1. We are made alive by the Spirit and given power to live.
            2. We are adopted into God’s family as His children.
            3. We will receive glorified bodies at the resurrection.
            4. The whole creation will be redeemed and restored and brought to glory.
            5. The glory that is coming will far outweigh our present suffering.
            6. The Holy Spirit is praying for us and through us.
            7. God makes all things work together for those who love God
            8. We are foreknown, we are predestined be conformed to the image of His son. We are called, justified and will be glorified.
            9. All of this comes because of God’s work on our behalf through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. These are all gifts that we receive by faith.
          3. 31-32 –
            1. Slide If God is for us
              1. The conclusion to a reflection on “these things” is that God is for us.
                • If He has gone to this length to put together this kind of elaborate plan and then bring it about, it is because He is clearly on our side and He is for us, not against us.
                  • He is not trying to find a way to disqualify you, He is fighting for you and doing everything He can to make a way for you to be forgiven, rescued, reconciled to Himself, and restored to the glory He always intended you to have.
                • This is the one phrase that summarizes and brings together all of God’s promises and all of God’s work on our behalf. God is for you!
                • Have you ever had a teacher or coach that was purposely opposed to you and trying to get you to fail?
              2. Who can be against us? (What can be against us?)
                1. Several “who” questions coming
                  • Who can be against us, Who shall bring any charge, Who is to condemn, who shall separate us…
                2. Obviously, many can be. Paul experienced opposition, thrown in prison, etc.
                  • He will mention several things in the next few verses.
                3. But even God works that around for our good.
                  • There can be no successful opposition to God’s work on our behalf.
                4. If God’s work of foreknowing, predestining, calling, justifying and glorifying is already done… what kind of opposition can be mounted?
                5. “Who or what has any hope of effectively stopping God’s plan for us?”
  • Example: He gave His son for us, He will give us everything else.
    1. This is the supreme example of God for us, His giving Jesus. He used this argument back in chapter 5.
      • 5: 8-9 – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
      • Any other sacrifice or gift God would have to make pales in comparison to what He has already done.
    2. Slide The first kind of opposition: accusation – legal – vss. 33-34
      1. Charge, justifies, condemn, interceding – court of law language
      2. Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?
        1. Hypothetical – rhetorical technique
        2. Literally means to bring legal charges
        3. Future – probably emphasizing the final judgment with satan as the possible accuser.
        4. Elect means chosen and refers back to vss. 29-30 – These are the ones God foreknew, predestined, called, justified, and glorified.
          • Since this is already presented as complete, by calling them and us the elect, it means our salvation is already assured.
        5. God who justifies
          • The judge has already declared us righteous. We do not justify ourselves, but the final arbiter and judge is the one who declares righteous.
        6. Meaning: “On the day of judgment, who will bring charges against the ones God has already determined are innocent and therefore in right standing with Him?”
  • Who is to condemn?
    1. Condemn (pronounce sentence on) – this goes back to Romans 8:1 – There is therefore no condemnation…
    2. Jesus Christ is interceding – appealing on our behalf
    3. The judge and the defense attorney have already conspired together.”. What hope does an accuser have.
      • The plaintiff enters the courthouse to bring his accusation and the judge and the defense attorney are sitting together on the judge’s bench. They have already decided the outcome of the case.
    4. The gospel again: Christ Jesus died, raised, at the right hand of God, interceding.
      • Our entire hope of justification (being declared not guilty and therefore, right with God) rests on Jesus death, resurrection, ascension and in this case, intercession (work as high priest).
    5. Conclusion: Our justification is already sealed. There is no more room for an accusation to slip in and unseat what God has done on our behalf.  This is the God who is for us.
  1. The second kind of opposition: separation – relational Vss. 35-39
    1. If accusation won’t work, then maybe separating us from God and Jesus will.
      1. Maybe the enemy can get a wedge between us and our defense attorney…
    2. Slide Chiastic pattern
      1. Separate us from the love of Christ
        • List of potential problems
          • In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us
        • List of potential problems
      2. Separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Slide verses We are held by His love
    1. Love of Christ, Him who loved us, love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord
  1. Present – Who can be against us in the present?
    1. Slide separators with picture of suffering – Potential separators – Paul had experienced all but sword – 2 Cor. 11:26-27; 12:10 – He would die later by sword
      • Tribulation – affliction
      • Distress – trouble, difficulty
      • Persecution
      • Famine – hunger – extreme poverty?
      • Nakedness – extreme poverty?
      • Danger
      • Sword
    2. Slide Psalm 44:22
      1. Psalm of complaint about righteous ones suffering wrongly.
        • There are times that the righteous suffer through no fault of their own.
      2. Paul indicates that this is nothing new.
      3. But, it cannot separate you from Christ’s love.
    3. Slide separators with picture More potential separators – present and future.
      1. Opposites used to emphasize totality.
      2. Death nor life
      3. Angels, rulers, powers – spiritual beings of all kinds and even human authorities, cannot separate you from Christ’s and God’s love.
      4. Things present or things to come – present or future problems
      5. Slide verse Height or depth – Psalm 139:7-12
        • Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there!

If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. (ESV)

  1. Anything else in all creation
    • Just in case he forgot something…
  • Nothing that would try and separate us from Christ’s love will be able to. Not only can we not be accused successfully; we cannot be separated from God’s and Christ’s love.
  • The result:
    1. We are conquerors – prevail completely – to be completely and overwhelmingly victorious.
    2. Slide Hypernikao – Hyper Nike!
    3. In sports, this would be a total blowout.
  1. Summary
    1. God for us means
      1. God has irreversibly justified us and declared us not guilty and therefore, right with Him. There is no longer any condemnation against that can threaten our eternity with Him.
      2. We are held by His love and there is no power, circumstance or being that can separate us from His love, both now and at any time in the future.
    2. Slide Conclusion
      1. God is for you and has given ultimate proof of this through the sacrifice of His son.
      2. God and Jesus love you
      3. Jesus is interceding for you from God’s right hand on the judicial bench.
      4. Therefore,
        1. He will give us everything else that we need now and in the future to keep us in His love and preserve us for all eternity.
        2. He will defend us against all accusation, now and on the day of judgment. The verdict has already been rendered even before the evidence against us has been presented.
  • There is no circumstance, hardship or being that can separate us from God’s love right now or in the future.
  1. We are destined to be completely and totally victorious. On the day Christ returns it will be a complete and utter blowout! Sometimes, when we look at our lives, we think, I might just make it by the skin of my teeth, but on that day, when we see the whole story and realize how far the Father, Son and Holy Spirit went to save us, we are going to say, “this game was a blowout from start to finish, It wasn’t even close…”