Scripture Text – Romans 8:31-39
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Who can bring a charge against us?
Consider the setting; Heaven, the Throne room and the Father is presiding over a pending case against one of His chosen. It is somber, it is still and then rises our Advocate, our intercessor. The stage is set. An accuser has made a charge against us.
The Apostle Paul was very clear in his writing in Romans. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31. God is indeed for us in the sense that He has marked and separated us out for Himself, therefore no one can be successful against us. If Omnipotence is working on our behalf, no lesser power can defeat His program; His plan, and His perfect will is going to be accomplished.
Our Advocate, Jesus Christ is standing with the Father and interceding for us against all and any charges, for as the Apostle stated, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” – Romans 8:32. What a marvelous thought! What an awesome situation to live in. We must never allow our familiarity with these words to become too commonplace or lessen their power to inspire worship. When a world of lost mankind needed to be saved by a sinless Substitute, the great God of the universe did not hold back His heart’s best Treasure, but gave Him over to a death of shame and loss on our behalf. I can just imagine, Jesus openly reminding the Father of this fact. Though, the reminder is not for the Father, but rather for any accuser!
The logic that flows from the written word is powerful. If God has already given us the greatest gift, is there any lesser gift that He will not give? If He has already paid the highest price, will He hesitate to pay any lower price? If He has gone to such lengths to procure our salvation, will He ever let us go? “How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
Now we are still in a courtroom setting, but a remarkable change has taken place. While the justified sinner stands before the bench, the call goes out for any accusers to step forward. But there is none! How could there be? If God has already justified His elect, who can bring a charge?
It greatly clarifies the argument of this verse and the following one if we supply the words “No one, because . . .,” before each answer. Thus this verse in actual reality and practicality would read, “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? No one, because it is God who justifies.”
Yet, listen, for another challenge rings out! Is there anyone here to condemn? No one, because Christ has died for the accused, He has been raised from the dead, and is now at the right hand of God interceding for him. If the Lord Jesus, to whom all judgment has been given by the Father, does not pass sentence on the accused but rather prays and intercedes for him, then there is no one else who could have a valid reason for condemning him.
Now watch how the rest plays out and notice the progression: Is there anyone here who can banish or separate the justified from the love of Christ? A search is made for every adverse circumstance that has been effective in causing separation in other areas of human life. But none can be found. Not the threshing flail of tribulation with its steady pounding of distress and affliction, nor the monster of anguish, bringing extreme pain to mind and body, nor the brutality of persecution, inflicting suffering and death on those who dare to differ. Nor can the gaunt specter of famine, the gnawing, racking, and wasting down to the skeleton. Nor can nakedness, with all it means in the way of privation, exposure, and defenselessness. Nor can peril, the threat of imminent and awful danger. Nor can the sword, those things that are cold, hard, and death-dealing.
If any of these things could separate the believer from the love of Christ, then the fatal separation would have taken place long ago, because the lifestyle and lives of the Christian is a living death where the disciple carries their cross daily. That is what the psalmist meant when he said that, because of our identification with the Lord, we are killed all day long, and are like sheep that are doomed to slaughter (Psalm 44:22).
Instead of separating us from Christ’s love, these things only succeed in drawing us closer to Him. We are not only conquerors, but more than conquerors. It is not simply that we triumph over these seemingly formidable forces, but that in doing so we bring glory to God, blessing to others, and good to ourselves. We make slaves out of our enemies and stepping stones out of our roadblocks.
But we need to constantly remember that all of this is not through our own strength, but only through Him who loved us. Only the power of Christ can bring sweetness out of bitterness, strength out of weakness, triumph out of tragedy, and blessing out of heartbreak.
However, the Apostle has not finished his search. He seemingly searches the universe for something that might conceivably separate us from God’s love, then dismisses the possibilities one by one:
- Death with all its terrors;
- Life with all its allurements;
- Angels nor principalities, supernatural in power and knowledge;
- Powers, whether human tyrants or angelic adversaries;
- Things present, crashing in upon us;
- Things to come, arousing fearful forebodings;
- Height nor depth, things that are in the realm of dimension or space, including occult forces;
- Nor any other created thing, making sure that he is not missing anything.
The outcome of Paul’s search is that he can find nothing that can “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
No wonder these words of assurance and confidence have been the theme song of those who have died martyr’s deaths and the chorus of those who have lived triumphed and overcoming lives!