Romans chapter eight
moves to a grand climax of assurance of salvation
and sanctification. No matter what the circumstances
are, we are "more than conquerors" through Christ
who has loved us and died for us. Is there anything
that can defeat God's eternal purpose? Anything? Can
anything separate us from the love Christ has for
us? Paul looks over the full range of life and gives
a resounding, "No!" "Nothing!" "No, in all these
things we are super–conquerors through Him who loved
us." The last verses in Romans eight are the song of
triumph for the believer. The contemplation of God's
saving purpose for His people in Romans 8:28–30
leads to a stronger encouragement to walk by faith.
Christ will carry us
through all chances, changes and circumstances in
life giving us strength and encouragement.
"WHAT IS OUR RESPONSE
TO THESE THINGS?" (8:31a)
entirely of God's grace through faith.
We have already seen in
Romans 8:28–30 salvation is God's gracious favor and
work. From beginning to end our salvation is of God.
There is no place for human merit. The purpose of
divine predestination is not favoritism, but
holiness. It is Christ likeness. When God is through
with us He will glorify us. He will take us to
heaven to be with Him, and present us to the Father
in a glorious resurrected body, clothed in moral and
spiritual character like Christ's. The only way we
can be saved is by grace through faith in Jesus
Christ. The Apostle Peter preached, "There is
salvation in no one else; for there is no other name
under heaven that has been given among men by which
we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). The Apostle Paul made
it as clear as you can get in Ephesians 2:8–10: "For
by grace you have been saved through faith; and that
not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a
result of works, so that no one may boast. For we
are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for
good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we
would walk in them." Have you come to the place in
your spiritual life where you know that if you died
today you would go to heaven? If you don't have that
assurance take a few moments and think through A
Free Gift for You.
also by God's grace through faith.
I used to think, "Where
there is will there is a way." That is the best
formula for failure. God did not save us and turn us
lose to live the Christian life. It is not, "God
helps those who help themselves," but God helps
those who can not help themselves. It is a matter of
grace. Neither can we save ourselves, nor sanctify
ourselves. It is not, "We'll I'm trying my best
Again, the Apostle Paul
clearly states that only God alone can make us holy.
He sets us apart for Himself. "Now may the God of
peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your
spirit and soul and body be preserved complete,
without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also
will bring it to pass" (1 Thessalonians 5:23–24).
The goal of
sanctification is to conform us to the character of
Jesus Christ. Everything that happens to believers
is to cause us to focus on that supreme goal of the
Lord God. The Holy Spirit works in us so one day He
can present us complete in Christ Jesus. The apostle
Paul stated his goal clearly to the Colossians, "We
proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching
every man with all wisdom, so that we may present
every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also
I labor, striving according to His power, which
mightily works within me" (Colossians 1:28–29). God
has selected before hand the goal toward which He is
moving every one who believes on Christ. This
sanctification is the daily process by which God
imparts to our human spirit by faith the
righteousness of Jesus Christ. In a sense
glorification has already begun in what is called
sanctification. God will complete what He began in
our lives at the moment we believed on Christ.
sanctification is progressive conformity to the
image of Christ here and now. Our glorification is
the perfect conformity to the image of Christ. One
day we will stand complete in Christ before God the
Father (1 John 1:1-3). Our glorification began in
sanctification and will one day be complete when
Christ presents us to the Father. Our glorification
will take place when our sanctification is
completed. Perfect sanctification or glorification
will take place when we stand before Christ in
No one will get lost in
the process. This is God's work. He is responsible
for the believer. What God sets out to do He will
With these two great
truths firmly in mind Paul ask five unanswerable
"If God is for us,
who is against us?" (v. 31)
Without the introductory
clause, I can think of quite a few adversaries such
as the world, flesh and the Devil.
Paul's question is "If
God is for us" –– the God who foreknew, predestined,
called, justified, and even glorified us, if that
God is for you –– "who is against us?" "With God on
our side, who can be against us?" (New Jerusalem
Bible). Our English word "if" gives the idea of
possible doubt, but the original language implies no
doubt. The "if" here is a first class condition
indicating certainty. It has the idea "if as is the
case," or "since." Philippians 1:6, "For I am
confident of this very thing, that He who began a
good work in you will perfect it until the day of
Christ Jesus." The LORD God is not going to stop
until; He has conformed us to the image of His Son.
"God is for me." He is
not hostile. God is for sinners who come to Him and
receive His abundant grace. Since "God plus me is a
whole person" what does it matter who may be against
me. Our text assumed that the Lord is on the side of
His people. Our confidence is in God alone.
We have peace with
God because we have been reconciled (8:1; 5:1-2, 5).
God is for us in a way
that produces His highest "good" in our lives and
accomplishes His eternal purpose. Since God is for
us, all things work together for our good.
Would you like a great
verse of Scripture to write down on your 3x5" card
and memorize this week? "The Lord is my light and my
salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the
defense of my life; whom shall I dread? (Psalm
27:1). Those words will give you encouragement this
No foe can prevail
against people who are supported by a God so
committed to His people. Since God is for us, what
difference does it make who is against us? Here is
encouragement and assurance in our times of
suffering. "God + Me = A Whole Person."
If God graciously
gave His Son for us, will He not freely give us all
things? (v. 32).
How can we be certain God
will meet all our needs? We are certain because of
His supreme act of love.
"He who did not spare His
own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will
He not also with Him freely give us all things?" (v.
The cross proves the
generosity of God. God gave up His most treasured
possession in heaven for us (I Peter 1:18-19). Even
though there exists a very special relationship
between the Father and the Son the Father still
"gave Him up for us all." He graciously gave His Son
as a free gift. Jesus reminds us in John chapter ten
that this was also His volitional choice –– He gave
Himself "for us." Paul reminds us the same thing
Galatians 2:20. He was delivered up for our
The words "for us" have
the meaning "in the stead of" here. Paul speaks
clears about substitutionary atonement because Jesus
was delivered up "in our stead" or "in our behalf."
He took our place on the cross. If you remove the
idea of substitution then there is nothing of saving
value in Jesus dying "in our behalf." Christ stood
in our place. He died as our substitute.
Moreover, He did it "for
us all." No one is going to get left out. However,
this is not universalism. The "us" refers to born
again Christians. Cf. Gal. 2:20; Rom. 4:25.
This passage is not a
catch all for those who see God as a great vending
machine dispensing whatever magic genie we desire.
Paul is not teaching the false "prosperity gospel"
that is common in our day.
God has already given His
very best while we were His enemies; will He not
also give us the trivial things we need in life? He
has given us His Son. Do you think He is going to
hold back anything else we need to live the
God will never turn to
someone He has chosen and done everything that
needed to be done to save him and say, "I no loner
love you and I no longer want you as my own." We are
forever secure in His everlasting love and grace.
The "all things" refers
to those things which are essential to the "good" He
has purposed for us from eternity.
Since God has done the
greatest thing in giving up His Son, how can He not
now do the lesser things for us? This is the final
guarantee that He loves us enough to supply all our
needs. Is there anything He will not do for His
Who will bring any
charge against God's elect?" (v. 33)
Christ our Advocate
pleads our case before the Father. Our conscience
accuses us, the Devil never ceases, carnal
Christians grumble, we blow it, etc. There has never
been a shortage of enemies to make accusations
against God's people.
"Who will bring a charge
against God's elect? God is the one who justifies"
But God is the Judge and
He has already acquitted me (v. 33). Since "God is
the one who justifies" our justification can never
be overthrown. He is completely satisfied in the
righteousness of Christ. Second Corinthians 5:21,
"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our
behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of
God in Him." God has taken us to court to show us
that there is no condemnation for those who are "in
Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). We now have peace with
We are God's elect whom
He has justified, and if God has justified us, no
accusation can stand. Now if God is not listening to
these accusations, then why should we? Because a
holy God has justified us, the believer's
justification can never be overthrown. A holy,
righteous God has acquitted the believer. The only
cure for our sin problem is "justification by
faith." When we trust in Christ the infinite love of
God in Christ takes charge of our whole life, sins
and all its implications. When God justifies us, we
have nothing to fear about our relationship with
Him. He has taken care of our greatest problem in
God will never turn His
back on us and say, "I no longer choose to call you
My son, My daughter." We are forever secure in His
mighty arms. God is never two–faced, or deceitful in
And when we sin what
should we do? God has provided a bar of soap for us
and we should use it often! "If we confess our sins,
He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we
say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and
His word is not in us" (1 John 1:9–10). As soon as
we admit to Him that we deserve condemnation, He
restores our fellowship with Him. Christ has already
born our guilt and condemnation when He went to the
cross and died for us. That is the only way to deal
with sin. He is the friend of sinners –– saved
sinners and lost sinners!
Who shall condemn
us? (v. 34)
Sometime our heart
condemns us, but it is Christ. It is not our heart
that matters in the final resort.
"Who is the one who
condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather
who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who
also intercedes for us" (v. 34).
The only one who has the
right to condemn us is Jesus Christ and He died for
us! Moreover, He was raised from the dead to live
again for us. He is seated at the right hand of the
Father in heaven interceding for us. Now is there
the slightest chance that He is going to condemn us?
Absolutely not! Jesus Christ now lives in us. We
have His power imparted to us. He lives His life in
us. His risen life is our life. We now have what it
takes to live the Christian life. However, remember,
it is not us; it is Christ living in us.
Jesus Christ is either
our Savior or our Judge. If He has pronounced you
righteous, justified by grace through faith then He
is your Savior. If you reject that free offer of
grace He will be your Judge. The Bible is clear on
this subject. "He who believes in Him (Christ) is
not judged; he who does not believe has been judged
already, because he has not believed in the name of
the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18).
We have a heavenly Lawyer
who pleads our case before the Father (v. 34; 1
John. 2:1; Rom. 8:1).
Christ will never condemn
us if we are trusting in His death to pay the
penalty for our sin. He died for our sins. Why would
He condemn that for which He has already paid the
price in full? His death removes the possibility of
condemnation. No one can ever reverse God's choices.
He has justified us, He is sanctifying us, and He
will glorify us when He returns.
A. T. Robertson well
said, "Our Advocate paid the debt for our sins with
His blood. The score is settled. We are free (8:1)."
Who will separate
us from Christ's love for us? (v. 35)
Is there any way you can
lose your salvation? Who is more powerful than
Christ? Who is sufficient to come and remove you or
me from the hands of God? Turn to John 10:27–30.
Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know
them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to
them, and they will never perish; and no one will
snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given
them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able
to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the
Father are one."
Paul gives a list of
struggles in the Christian's life. Can life at its
worst remove us from Christ?
"Who will separate us
from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or
distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness,
or peril, or sword?" (Romans 8:35).
"Tribulation" is the
strong pressures in life, like the treading of
grapes in a winery. These are the pressures that
burst and trouble us.
"Distress" is hardship,
outward affliction plus inner stress, anguish. The
word was used to describe being caught in a tight
place between high rocks. Are you feeling like you
have been caught in a tight place? Is life squeezing
in on you? Do I write to someone who carries a heavy
burden? Have you grown weary of life and feel beaten
down by life? Have you come to the place where you
feel like you cannot take it any more? Has life
become an overwhelming burden to you? Jesus said,
"Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy
laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).
Literally, He says, "I will rest you." As we
exchange our burden He gives us His rest.
"Persecution" is to be
hunted down like an animal and killed.
"Famine" and hunger are
brought on because of draught or persecution. Like
the people in Jesus' day we worry over what we will
eat, drink, or wear tomorrow. Jesus said God would
take care of the basic necessities in our daily
lives. We worry because of a sense of inadequacy.
Jesus said, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and His
righteousness; and all these things shall be added
unto you" (Matthew 6:33). When we seek first the
kingdom of God we become super–conquerors.
There is "nakedness" or
lack of clothes because of no means of getting them.
Economic persecution brought on because they could
not find employment because they are believers in
"Peril" is dangers,
perils of any sort. The King James Version uses the
word "peril" eight times in 2 Corinthians 11:26. "In
journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of
robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils
by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in
the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils
among false brethren." The NIV and NASB use the word
The "sword" of judicial
execution is against them because of being a
Christian. Paul will later be executed by the
executioner's sword because he is a believer.
Paul quotes Psalm 44:12,
"Just as it is written, 'For Your sake we are being
put to death all day long; we were considered as
sheep to be slaughtered'" (v. 36).
What is my attitude
toward the pressures, circumstances, chances and
changes that come in my life?
Some blame God and whine
life away. Others yield these sorrows to Him and are
drawn to a sweeter more intimate walk with Christ.
Compare "all things" in verses 28, 37-39. For some
of us these things draw us closer to Christ. They
cause us to cling harder to Christ. They cause us to
go running to our Savior knowing His love never
No one and nothing can
sever our relationship with Christ because He will
never cease to love us.
Can these separate us
from Christ? NO! Christ's love toward us never
changes. If none of these things can effect a
separation then why should believers fear? God keeps
us secure in His love.
What is your response to
these pressures in life? We get an entirely
different perspective when we bring eternity into
the picture. Can you praise God when you are going
through the fire? We can when we see Him and His
eternal purposes in our lives.
"But in all these things
we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us"
Now, if you would like to
see this great truth played out in the life of the
Apostle Paul take a few moments a read for yourself
his own words in Second Corinthians 11:23-28.
We are "super–conquerors"
(hypernikomen). He doesn't say we are copers,
but super–conquerors. The word comes from nikao,
meaning "to conquer, to carry off the victory, come
off victorious," and huper which means "above."
These "super-conquerors" are more than victors; they
gain a surpassing victory. We are "more than
conquerors," "we are super–conquerors!" Christ
proved His love by His sufferings; therefore our
sufferings cannot separate us from His love. Nothing
in life can stop God from loving us: neither life
nor death, or angelic power, no demonic power, no
human influence can separate His love from us. God
accomplishes His eternal purposes in our lives
through pain, suffering, affliction, tribulations,
stress, etc. He causes us to grow in the likeness of
Christ as the pressures of life are applied to us.
He does not promise to take us out of our pain, but
to fashion and form us like Jesus. "We gain a
surpassing victory through the one who loved us"
"For I am convinced that
neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor things present, nor things to
come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any
other created thing, will be able to separate us
from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our
Lord" (vv. 38–39).
"I am persuaded" is
perfect tense in the original. The apostle Paul has
come through a process of persuasion and has reached
a settled conclusion. It is his settled conviction.
Is that your evaluation of life? Can you say it with
The word "powers" may be
referring to mighty works of power, miraculous
works, or spiritual powers above or below the level
of the earth. Paul is saying God is sovereign and
nothing in all of His creation is outside of His
control. The LORD God will accomplish that for which
He has purposed and He will not fail.
Christians in a constant
spiritual warfare in which we are battling
supernatural as well as natural forces that are
arrayed against us. Nothing and no one will defeat
His eternal purpose. We are empowered and encircled
by His unchanging love and grace.
It is always amazing to
me how God turns defeat and disaster into victory.
He uses what we would call defeat to produce His
ultimate victory in our lives. He accomplishes His
goal through our suffering. He makes us more than
conquerors through the suffering of the saints.
ABIDING PRINCIPLES AND
We desperately need
Christ living His life in and through us.
Neither can we save
ourselves, nor keep ourselves. Only a sovereign God
is capable of keeping us. He alone saves and keeps
us. We dare not boast in ourselves, or take
confidence in our own virtue, worth or works.
However, we are more than conquerors when He lives
His life in and through us. That security makes it
possible for us to serve Him successfully. We are
"more than conquerors" because Christ loves us with
a love from which no one and nothing can ever
We desperately need each
other; we need a body of caring people who love the
way Christ loves us.
There are hurting people
all over this community watching you and me to see
how we handle life. Christ should make a difference
in our families, our marriages, our work place, our
witness and our church. Let's continue to
demonstrate to a lost community the difference
Christ makes in His body. They'll know we are
Christians by His love working itself out in our
lives. The pagans of the first century Christianity
pointed to the Christians and said, "See how they
love one another!"
Don't waste your sorrows;
grow through them.
Let's use our suffering
to grow closer to Christ. Let Him cleanse us of
indwelling sin with His blood; teach us how to
minister to others who are hurting; and to bring
glory to the name of Jesus.
Have you come to the
place where your back is to the wall and you have no
where to turn? Do you feel overwhelmed and
powerless? Are you at a place where you feel weak
and frail in your spiritual life? Are you in the
need of His enabling? Congratulations, now you can
be an over-comer.
It is when we fall flat
on our face that God can use us. His love is
changeless. His power is made perfect in our
weaknesses. Perhaps the song has left your private
inner world and you feel shattered. The Savior still
holds you in the palm of His steady hand. Jesus
promised us that nothing can separate you from His
measureless love. Life, death, hurts,
disappointments, pain, suffering, loss, you name it;
cannot separate you from God's unfathomable love.
Not even all of life's difficulties put together can
separate you from His love.
We are dearly loved,
completely forgiven, and forever set free through
Jesus Christ! We are super over-comers through God's
grace in Jesus Christ.
Title: Romans 8:31-39
Series: The Exchanged
Life in Romans