Romans 8:31-34 ESV
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”
“IF God is for us” brings into question if he really is or if he is not for us. So, how do we know if God is for us or if he is not? Jesus said if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin) and follow him in obedience to his commands. And the Apostle John taught the same as Jesus taught, that we must obey Jesus, that sin must not be what we practice, and that righteousness must be what we practice.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:10; Matt 7:21; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Rom 6:16; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:1-2; Jas 1:21-25]
We are those who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and who have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer enslaved to sin, because Jesus freed us from our enslavement to sin. And now we are to be living as slaves to God and to his righteousness, and we’re to be walking (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh but now according to the Spirit, in his power and strength, to the glory of God.
[Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23]
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Rom 8:28-30).
And going back to these previous verses, we get more of this picture of those whom God is for. We are those who love God. And according to Scripture, if we love God we will obey him, and if we do not obey him, we do not love him. And we are those who are called according to his purpose. And what is that purpose? That we should die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness in his power and strength, to the glory of God.
And we are those who are predestined to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. And what is his likeness? He is holy, righteous, pure, upright, morally pure, honest, faithful, and just. So, we are to be those who are being conformed to holiness, righteousness, moral purity, honesty, faithfulness, and the like. And we are not to be those who are still walking in deliberate sin, who are still living to please the lusts of the flesh.
[Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27]
So, if God is for us, meaning if we have forsaken our lives of sin, if we have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, if we have been reborn of the Spirit of God to walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, if we are by the Spirit putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and if we are walking in righteousness and not in sin, by God’s power and strength, by faith in him, by his grace, then who can be against us?
Now, this is not saying that no one will be against us, for the Scriptures make it quite clear that the life of a true follower of Jesus Christ is a life of suffering, and of persecution, and rejection, and being hated and mistreated for righteousness’ sake. We are taught that our enemy Satan is like a roaring lion prowling around seeking whom he may devour, and he has people working for him who will come against us and who will oppose us strongly (1 Pet 5:8-9; Eph 6:10-20; Matt 5:11; Matt 24; Jn 15:20).
So, it isn’t that no one will be against us, but that if God is for us, he will give us all that we need to conquer, to be victorious over our enemies, but not in getting even with them or doing harm to them, but in us not letting their treatment of us discourage and dishearten us to the point to where we retreat and we give up and we abandon the faith. So, if our consciences are clear, we don’t have to fear the enemy and what he may do to us.
Romans 8:35-36 ESV
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’”
Again, this doesn’t apply to everyone. If you have professed faith in Jesus Christ, or if you have prayed a prayer to receive Christ as your Savior, but you have not forsaken your sins to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands, but you are still deliberately and habitually continuing to commit the same sins over and over, in direct defiance to God, then you have already separated yourself from the love of Christ because you never submitted to him and to his love in the first place.
For Satan is not against those who are still on his side. He is not against those who are still living in deliberate and habitual sin, for he still has them in his pocket. He is against and he is opposed to those who are denying self, and who are daily dying to sin, by the Spirit, and who are walking daily in obedience to the Lord’s commands in the power and strength of God. These are the ones he is persecuting, and they are also the ones who can’t be separated from God’s love. Amen!
Romans 8:37-39 ESV
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“We,” again, are those who are called according to his purpose, who love (obey) him in practice, who are being conformed to his likeness, by the Spirit, who are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, who by the Spirit are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and who are walking in the ways of the Lord, in obedience to his commands, in holiness, in righteousness, by God’s grace and in his strength and power.
We are the conquerors through him who loves us. We are living victoriously over sin and over the attacks of the enemy against us, despite all opposition against us, and despite the trials we are being put through, by God’s grace, and in God’s strength and power, to the glory and praise of God. Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God because we are fully surrendered to Jesus Christ, and we are walking in his ways, in his power, and He is empowering us to remain faithful and to not cave to the enemy.
Listen to Our Hearts
Songwriters: Geoff Moore / Steven Chapman
How do you explain, how do you describe
A love that goes from east to west
And runs as deep as it is wide?
You know all our hopes,
Lord, you know all our fears.
And words cannot express the love we feel,
But we long for You to hear.
So listen to our hearts.
Hear our spirit sing
A song of praise that flows
From those you have redeemed.
We will use the words we know
To tell you what an awesome God You are.
But words are not enough
To tell you of our love,
So listen to our hearts.
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