We ended with this:
Romans 8:30 NASB and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
- And Glorified
And thus begins our next foray into Romans.
God’s Everlasting Love
“Since” He has done all this for us,
Romans 8:31 NASB What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
After what we have learned concerning how God feels about us and who we are now, why throw out a word like “if”? When in fact, at this point, in my journey through Romans, I am deeply aware that God is for me, just as He is for you. Another translation read like this:
“So what should we say about this? If God is for us, no one can stand against us. And God is with us.” (ERV)
The word “if” is merely expressive style on the part of Paul and doesn’t require an answer. [Some would say, it is a rhetorical question.] We find Paul writing like this frequently.
Against is the Greek word katá and indicates motion meaning down from a higher to a lower place. However, my immediate response to the word does not strike me like that; it comes across like an enemy’s attack. The Dictionary tells us it is something in opposition, a contradiction, or aversions, such as a decree against law, reason, or public opinion. Since we know that God tests no man (James 1:13), then it is not reasonable to think that it would be God coming against us. I can see where this type of thinking comes from, as we tend to perceive God as up in the heavens; therefore, any perceived judgment or test from Him would be coming down.
What else could “come down”? Since our enemy originated in the heavens, then perhaps any work or word that comes against us from him, or his cohorts, could be perceived as coming down.
Let’s address our rhetorical question, “If God is for us,” for a moment. Since we know that God is for us, then Paul continues in his efforts to respond to such a challenge with a logical approach as he points out:
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? Romans 8:32 NASB
Think about this, how or why would God, “who did not spare His own Son,” for a purpose, NOW, not also freely give us all things”? How about one other version?
He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:32 TLV
This verse demands that you analyze what it is saying to you.
- He did not spare his own Son.
- “but delivered Him over for us all,”
- “how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?”
- I will bless you
- and bountifully multiply your seed,
- your seed will possess the gate of your enemies
- In you, all the nations of the earth will be blessed
Our mutual understanding of the next verse typically reads like this.:
Romans 8:33 NASB Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;
Even though we struggle frequently with the concept, you, as a follower of Jesus Christ, are one of God’s elect. Let’s try the Message and see if it comes across any clearer.
And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Romans 8:33 MSG
That is significantly clearer; however, it still doesn’t answer the question that many ask, how do I know that I was chosen?
Deuteronomy 10:15 NLT Yet the LORD chose your ancestors as the objects of his love. And he chose you, their descendants, above all other nations, as is evident today.
Even if you cannot claim Jewish heritage, you are a descendant through adoption. We find references to this adoption in Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:5, and Ephesians 1:5. We were adopted through Christ Jesus.
Since, in theory, no one should dare to tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen, then Paul can also say,
Romans 8:34 NLT Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
You need to know this; people and Satan will try to condemn you. Try as they may, it has no effect, because “Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.” Oh, how I long to tattoo this on your brain so that you never forget it. Do you understand that amid the voices, Jesus Christ is sitting at the right hand of the Father, speaking to Him on our behalf? The Complete Jewish Bible does a pretty good job of making this point.
Romans 8:34 CJB Who punishes them? Certainly not the Messiah Yeshua, who died and—more than that—has been raised, is at the right hand of God and is actually pleading on our behalf!
It is hard for some to picture, but this is an inexpressible love. No human has ever done this for me, but Jesus did. Now, with someone like this on your side, Paul addresses his next question.
Romans 8:35 CJB “Who will separate us from the love of the Messiah?
Trouble? Hardship? Persecution? Hunger? Poverty? Danger? War?”
“As it is written, “For Your sake, we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” (37) But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:36-37 TLV
Paul may be referencing multiple passages in the same sentence. For example:
Jeremiah 12:3b NASB Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter And set them apart for a day of carnage!
As yet, this next passage is not so prominent in the United States, but I see it coming in my spirit, and it grieves me.
2 Corinthians 4:11 NASB (11) For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
Psalms 44:22 NASB But for Your sake we are killed all day long; We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
Jesus himself told the Jewish crowd of followers that tribulations would be a way of life for His disciples – that includes us. Just remember that it was the elders and Chief priests that put Jesus on the cross that day, so the majority of tribulations will come from religious zealots.
Regardless, the thing to keep in mind is that:
“But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37b TLV
Almost as if Paul was saying “so what” he continues with this:
Romans 8:38-39 NASB For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, (39) 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.
Paul creates an extensive list of things that WE think can strip God’s love from us.
- Things present
- Nor, things to come.
- Nor any created thing.
Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which IS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD; however, this doesn’t mean that they won’t try. Again, I know that this will discourage many, and they will not put out any effort to learn or change. Here is where the understanding of James comes into play because James speaks toward these constant attempts to take us out of the ball game.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. (4) And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (5) But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:2-5 NASB
If we stand against these attacks, whether it looks like we are victorious or not, we still receive all that God has in store for us, because He loves us.