“If God Is For Us”

Man on a mountain

Paul’s words at the end of Romans 8 were meant to be a source of encouragement for the saints in Rome. They ought to be for us as well.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31).

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

We must always remember that “God is for us.” Knowing this, we can make it through any challenge that may come against us. Let us take a closer look at the text.

If God is for us…

When Paul used the word “if,” he was not indicating uncertainty as though God might or might not be for us. Instead, he used the word like he did in his letter to Colossae: “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above…” (Colossians 3:1). Paul was not writing to brethren who may or may not have been “raised up with Christ,” he was writing to brethren who most certainly had. In these passages, the word “if” is used in the sense of “since.” Since “God is for us,” we can be encouraged to press on.

Paul had already pointed out to the Romans that God has proven that He is for us. He has given us “the gospel…the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). He has “[demonstrated] His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He has made it possible for us to be “freed from sin” (Romans 6:18) and receive “the free gift of God [which] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). He “causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). He foreknew, predestined, called, justified, and glorified us in Christ (Romans 8:29-30). All of this shows without a doubt that “God is for us” (Romans 8:31).

Who is against us?

The reality is that we will face opposition as Christians. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you” (John 15:18-19). Paul warned Timothy, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Peter said that Christians should not be “surprised” when we are persecuted (1 Peter 4:12).

But who is against us? The Scriptures warn that we may face opposition from various fronts:

  • Family – Because some would follow the Lord and some would not, Jesus said, “A man’s enemies will be the members of his household” (Matthew 10:36).
  • Friends – In addition to opposition that may come from family, Jesus spoke of the fact that His followers may be “betrayed” by “friends” as well (Luke 21:16).
  • Brethren – Among the hardships Paul had to deal with in his work, he faced “dangers among false brethren” (2 Corinthians 11:26). Unfortunately, some will “become [our] enemy by telling [them] the truth” (Galatians 4:16).
  • Religious enemies – Jesus told His disciples that a time would come when they would be killed by those who “think that [they are] offering service to God” (John 16:2). In other words, they would be motivated by their “faith” to oppose those who taught the truth.
  • Authorities – Paul mentioned “principalities” and “powers” as those who could be against us (Romans 8:38). The church in Smyrna was warned, “Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days” (Revelation 2:10). Satan was not going to come in physical form and throw them in prison; rather, this would be done by the governing authorities who opposed them.

However, no matter who is against us, we must always remember that our opponents cannot compare with the One who is for us.

God Blesses Us

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).

When Paul said that God “freely [gives] us all things,” he was talking about “every good thing” (James 1:17), not the evil that might come against us. God has given us everything we need in this life (Genesis 8:22; Acts 17:25; Colossians 1:16-17), everything we need for spiritual life (Ephesians 1:3-14), and everything we need to know in His word (2 Peter 1:3; Jude 3).

Paul cited the fact that God “did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all” as proof of His willingness to bless us. He wrote earlier in this letter, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

God Justifies Us

Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies” (Romans 8:33).

To be justified means that God recognizes us as being righteous or right before Him. Paul had already told these brethren that they had been “justified as a gift by His grace” and “justified by His blood” in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross (Romans 3:24; 5:9). Based on what God has done to make this possible, Christians are justified by our faith and our works (Romans 5:1; James 2:24) by being “doers of the word” (James 1:22).

Others may “bring a charge against” us, but only God’s opinion counts since He “is the one who justifies.” Paul wrote later in this letter, “For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God” and that we will stand or fall before Him (Romans 14:4, 10). Therefore, because “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,” we must make it “our ambition…to be pleasing to Him” (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).

Christ Intercedes for Us

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” (Romans 8:34).

Jesus died on the cross to make our justification possible (Romans 5:9), but now He is in heaven interceding for us. This is His role as our high priest. The Hebrew writer explained, “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). Because “we have a great high priest” who is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses,” we can “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Others may condemn us, but they are not in the place of Christ. John wrote, “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). He is in the presence of God, those who condemn us are not.

God Loves Us

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 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.’ But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him 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” (Romans 8:35-39).

God has shown that He loves us. This goes back to what we noticed about Him “freely [giving] us all things” (Romans 8:32). He has shown that He loves us by sending Christ to die for us “while we were yet sinners” (Romans 5:8). He has shown that He loves us by causing “all things to work together for good” for us (Romans 8:28).

Paul explained that despite the powerful forces that may try to turn us away from the Lord, none of them are “able to separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:38-39). We may, by failing to obey Him, separate ourselves from the blessings of His love – the good that comes “to those who love [Him]” (Romans 8:28). Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love” (John 15:10). As long as we are faithful, no one can be victorious over us. “We overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

Conclusion

We will face disappointments, challenges, opposition, and more in this life. Yet we must never forget that “God is for us” and that we “overwhelmingly conquer through Him” (Romans 8:31, 37). So let us take courage and remain faithful to Him through every challenge and hardship in this life.


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