Summary: The message of Romans 8 however is assurance regardless of the peril, doubt or challenge ahead, we can have assurance in the God who is in control.
Today, more than 200 million Christians in over 60 countries around the word – our brothers and sisters in the faith – face brutal opposition and persecution because of their faith in Jesus. The number one request they have when asked, is always “please pray for us”. So today we bring their request to you, to plead their cause before a gracious God. Together, our prayers help suffering believers to experience the faithfulness of God, to see their societies transformed by the Gospel, to know, along with Jesus’ sufferings, the peace and victory of Jesus.
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Roman church, probably during a winter in Corinth, between 55-57AD, it was a time with great peril looming. It would not be many years before they would face fierce persecution from a pagan government and people that now tolerated them with indifference. It would not be long before the blood of those to whom this epistle is addressed would soak the sands of Roman amphitheaters. Some would be mauled by wild beasts, some would be slain by ruthless gladiators, and others would be used as human torches to light Nero’s garden parties. Paul was writing to instruct remembrance to aid the Roman Christians who would face peril.
Perhaps, the concept of persecution is so foreign it is hard to comprehend. We face so many calls for our attention, it is easy to have appeal fatigue. But the message from God though the Apostle Paul is one of a lesson and help us as well as our persecuted brethren in the faith.
When faced with peril, doubt or challenge for example, how do you react. When faced with challenges, the temptation is to second guess ourselves, our resources and understanding of the situation. The message of Romans 8 however is assurance regardless of the peril, doubt or challenge ahead, we can have assurance in the God who is in control. We see:
The impossibility of meaningful 1) opposition v. 31, 2) depravation v.32, 3) accusation v.33, 4) condemnation v.34 and 5) separation v.35-39.
1) The impossibility of meaningful opposition,
Romans 8: 31 a What then shall we say to these things?
Judging from what Paul says in the rest of the passage, these things doubtless refer to the issues he has already dealt with in the chapter. Much of what he says in verses 31–39 relates to the doctrine of Christ’s substitutionary atonement, but the specific focus is still on the security that His atonement brings to those who believe in Him.
Paul realizes that many fearful believers will still have doubts about their security and that false teachers would be ready to exploit those doubts. To give such believers the assurance they need, the apostle reveals God’s answer to two closely related questions: Can any person or can any circumstance cause a believer to lose his salvation?
Persons Who Might Seem to Threaten Our Security
INTERROGRATIVE/ RHETORICAL QUESTION
Paul begins with an all-encompassing rhetorical question, If God is for us, who can be against us? The word if translates the Greek conditional particle , signifying a fulfilled condition, not a mere possibility The meaning of the first clause is therefore “Because God is for us.”
The obvious implication is that if anyone were able to rob us of salvation they would have to be greater than God Himself, because He is both the giver and the sustainer of salvation. To Christians Paul is asking, in effect, “Who could conceivably take away our no-condemnation status?” (see 8:1). Is there anyone stronger than God, the Creator of everything and everyone who exists?
Please turn to Psalm 41
David declared with unreserved confidence, Ps. 27:1(Of David). The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
In Psalm 46, we read, Psa 46:1(To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song. ) God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psa 46:2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, Psa 46:3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah. Psa 46:11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah.
In Romans 8:31 Paul does not specify any particular persons who might be successful against us, but it would be helpful to consider some of the possibilities.
First of all, we might wonder, “Can other people rob us of salvation?”
Please turn to Acts 20:28
The Roman Catholic church teaches that Can salvation be lost by committing so-called mortal sins? Can a church claim power for itself both to grant and to revoke grace?. But such ideas have no foundation in Scripture and are thoroughly heretical. No person or group of persons, regardless of their ecclesiastical status, can bestow or withdraw the smallest part of God’s grace.