Summary: We are plagued with doubts. But these words from Romans are designed to rid our souls of doubt.
Romans 8:31-39: DOUBT-FREE CHRISTIANITY
Have you noticed how often the word “free” appears at the grocery store? Everything is free! What I mean is this – you can buy milk that is fat-free. There are egg-beaters that are cholesterol-free. Special fruits and vegetables are pesticide-free. Different kinds of soup are sodium-free. Last week I bought some gum that was sugar-free. And my favorite one – the suntan lotion bottles that tell you in big letters: “This is paba-free!” I’m sure no one knows what that means.
We want products that are free of fat and cholesterol and pesticides and other bad things. What about your Christian faith? Is your Christian faith doubt-free? It is true, that the best kind of faith is a doubt-free faith. There are different things that contaminate your faith with doubt. Today, we are going to talk about these things. We’re also going to focus on the key to doubt-free Christianity.
Today is the first Sunday of Lent. Lent is a time when you are supposed to do some spring-cleaning in your soul – you are supposed to get rid of the things that don’t belong in your heart. Today, as we look at Romans chapter 8, our goal is to get rid of doubt that sometimes plagues your trust in God. May God bless you as you let him clean your heart and sweep the doubt away with his Word.
What are some things we doubt about God? Perhaps the most common thing we doubt is that he’s generous. We sometimes fall into the thinking that our God is a stingy God. “Look at all the things I don’t have!” we say to ourselves. “I don’t have this! I don’t have that! The Bible says that God is generous, but based on what I have in my life, I think he’s cheap!”
But look at verses 31-32: “What, then, shall we say in response to this? 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, along with him, graciously give us all things?” God has already given to the world an incredible gift, the biggest gift ever given – he sacrificed his own Son, in order to take away our sins. If God gave this huge, generous gift to the world, won’t he also, give to us some of the smaller things of life?
One of our members, whose name I won’t say, shared with me these same words a few weeks ago. For years, she has been praying to be healthy. “Please make me healthy, O God.” But God, in his wisdom, has not restored her to health. You would think that she would doubt God’s generosity. But her faith in Christ is strong, and a few weeks ago she put this passage into her own words. She said, “If God was willing to sacrifice his Son for the entire world, I know that he will take care of me. I am just one person, and even though he hasn’t made me better, he has given me strength and patience and joy and a stronger faith, as I go through these different things.” For her, the key to doubt-free Christianity was Christ: “Since God blessed the world with Christ,” she thought, “he will certainly take care of me.”
Why else do we doubt? Sometimes we doubt that we will be acquitted on Judgment Day. It’s an amazing teaching, isn’t it? The Bible teaches that after you spend your entire life sinning (and yes, you try to stop sinning but you keep sinning anyway) – after all that sin, you stand before God’s throne on Judgment Day, and God declares you not guilty. That’s easy to doubt, isn’t it? How can God declare me “not guilty”? The Devil will be there, reminding God of all the sins you have committed in your life. I don’t stand a chance, we say to ourselves.