Summary: Paul ends Romans 8 with an amazing crescendo that helps us have great confidence in God as our protector, defender and keeper.
A. How many of you remember the Tom and Jerry cartoons?
1. Tom, the cat, was always trying to catch and eat, Jerry, the mouse.
2. The series was rather silly, predictable, and filled with slapstick violence.
3. In one of the cartoon stories, Jerry rescued Spike, the bulldog, from the dogcatcher.
4. Out of his gratitude, Spike told Jerry that anytime he needed help, to just whistle.
5. Jerry quickly learned how to call on Spike anytime Tom was after him.
6. It was amazing how bold and confident Jerry, the mouse, became when he had Spike there to back him.
B. This reminds me how bold my youngest sister used to be with the neighborhood bullies when she would declare to them: “If you don’t leave me alone, my big brother, David will beat you up.”
1. The truth is: when you have the right person for you, it doesn’t matter who is against you!
2. And really, that’s Paul’s point at the end of Romans chapter 8 when he says: “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Rom. 8:31)
C. The final verses of Romans 8 are many people’s favorite verses from Romans and from the Bible.
1. We often hear these verses read at funerals, and such a passage is certainly appropriate for funerals, but we must not miss the purpose Paul had for these verses in his letter to the Romans.
2. Paul used every rhetorical device in his arsenal to move his readers to a new level of confidence in God’s provision for His people.
3. Verses 31-39 are not only the crescendo of chapter 8, but are the climax and conclusion of this section of the letter reaching back to chapter 5.
4. Since chapter 5, Paul has been encouraging us to trust in our salvation and victory in Christ.
5. In chapter 8, Paul has been emphasizing the truths that lead to our victorious living and they include:
a. The Holy Spirit indwelling us (8:1-13).
b. Our honor position as adopted sons and daughters in God’s family (8:14-17).
c. Our glorious inheritance to look forward to (8:18-30).
d. And this final section speaks to the fact that God loves us and is on our side (8:31-39).
D. As Paul has often done in Romans, he launches his new direction with a question: “What then are we to say about these things?” (8:31)
1. What things? The things we looked at in our last sermon from Romans where we learned that God wants to turn our groaning into glory.
2. Paul then proceeds to answer that question in the form of 5 questions.
3. These 5 questions pile up, one after another – bang, bang, bang…like shots out of a canon.
4. These 5 questions summarize the love of God and the grace of God – all that God has done for us in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
5. They’re actually rhetorical questions, meaning: they don’t require an answer.
6. And these questions, with their implied answers, reveal some great truths about God.
7. The first one describes God as our protector.
I. God is Our Protector: Question 1: “Who Can Be Against Us?”
A. Romans 8:31: What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
1. This is the question that the people of the world want answered.
2. Is there a God, and if there is a God, is he for us or against us?
3. When Paul says if God be for us, he’s not saying maybe he is and maybe he isn’t.
4. This verse can be translated “Since God is for us” or “Because God is for us.”
5. There is no truth more fundamental in all of God’s Word than this truth.
6. God is for us. God is not against us. God is not neutral towards us.
7. Because of Jesus Christ, once and for all the question is settled: God is for us.
8. All that God is, all that God has and all that God does, He does on behalf of his people.
9. Even those times when God seems to be acting against us, if we could only look behind the veil, even in those times, we would understand that God is for us.
B. Some Christians don’t understand that - They’re sure God is against them.
1. They feel like they’re in a game and God has decided that He’s going to be on the other team, and therefore oppose everything they want to do.
2. They see Him as peeved with them, down on them, looking for ways to make them miserable.
4. But that isn’t the way it is at all. God is not against us; He’s for us! He’s on our side. He’s on our team. He’s our friend.