Summary: This is a message in a series I preached from Romans.
Title: “Five Comforting Questions” Scripture: Rom. 8:31-39
Type: Expos/series Where: GNBC 6-14-21
Intro: Dr. Bob Deffingbaugh shared the following story: “About the only time I play golf is when we visit my family each year in Washington State. I always try to play a round with Dad. On one occasion, we were walking to the club house just before tee off. Knowing I had not played for some time, my father offered me a word of advice: “Bobby, until you build up your confidence, why don’t you drive with an iron at first?” “Pop,” I responded, “I have all the confidence in the world. What I lack is ability.” Confidence can be a very good thing. It can also be a mill stone around one’s neck. Being confident simply is not enough. The crucial issue is in whom, or in what, is our confidence. Ill-founded confidence is deadly. Well-founded confidence is proper and good. Some Christians have no confidence at all, believing that with one slip, one sin, they are out of the faith. These Christians desperately need the confidence of which Paul speaks in Romans 8:31-39.” (Comforting Questions, a study of Rom. 8:31-39))
Prop: In Rom. 8:31-39 Paul states 5 comforting questions underscoring the Christian’s assurance.
BG: 1. One of most lyrical passages Paul ever wrote. Paul uses familiar formula has already introduced in 6:1,15; 7:7. “What then shall we say…” 2. v.28 – 5 convictions, vv.29-30 5 Affirmations. Response to this is to ask these 5 questions. 3. 5 questions are unanswerable. Purpose is to give the Christian confidence/assurance.
Prop: Exam. Rom 8:31-39, Paul asks 5 comforting questions underscoring Christian assurance.
I. 1st Q: “If God is for Us, Who Can be Against Us?” v. 31a
A. Paul begins his Unanswerable Questions with Arguably the Best.
1. Notice how the Apostle does NOT start. Paul does not start: “Who is against us?” That would be a significantly longer response now, wouldn’t it?! In our world today, many are against Christ’s Kingdom. Islam, atheism, secularism, humanism, communism, feminism, cults, liberal Christianity, many in academia, many in the SJ movement, etc. hate the Gospel, the Church, and stand violently opposed against us.
2. The first part of the question is therefore the premise. The second part of the question is the conclusion. “God is for us,” cannot be interpreted or applied apart from His purpose (8:28). God is not “for us” in some nebulous, undefined way. We do not have the promise that God will deal with us in any way that we ask or desire.
B. Notice the Question the Apostle Does ask.
1. The essence of the question is contained in the word “If”.
a. “If/since” – “Since God is for us, who can be against us?” In the OT it was a horrible thing to have God stand against you. Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians, Tyre, Sidon, Edom, all felt the sting of God’s wrath. In the NT Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5), and King Herod (Acts 12) both felt the deadly hand of God.
b. Illust: If God is for you, the Apostle is saying it doesn’t matter who or what is against you. Year was 1916, a Kansas boy was recovering from a horrendous fire that had killed his older brother and so severely burned his legs and feet that the doctors were recommending amputation. The determined 8 year old said: “No!” He began to quote his favorite Bible verse, Is. 40:31, and believed God would do what the doctors said was impossible. It would be months before the boy was able to feel his feet again. Nearly a year before took first step. By 12 years, wasn’t a boy in any of the area HS’s that could beat him running. By the early 1930’s, Christian, Glenn Cunningham, held the world record for the mile (4:06.8).
2. Paul’s question was purposeful in pointing Christians to the Glory of God.
a. Up to this point in Romans Paul has already said that God has foreknown, predestined, justified, sanctified, and glorified us. How could we possibly not trust that He is for us?! Yet sometimes our surrounding make us question that truth.
b. Illust: Remember II Ki.6? The prophet Elisha is at Dothan, armies of the Aramean King are coming to arrest the prophet. The city is surrounded at night. The prophet’s assistant arises early. With fear he reports back to Elisha: “Alas my master! What shall we do?” Prophet answers: “Do not fear, for those with us are more than those with them.” The prophet prayed and God opened the servant’s eyes to see a mountain full of horses and chariots of fire.”
C. Applic: Christian, remember that when the whole world seems to be against you, GOD IS STILL FOR YOU! You might be in the minority, but you + God makes a MAJORITY in any situation.