Summary: God loves us so much that He has given us His Son to die for us so that we may also conquer death and have eternal life.
Please follow along as I read from Romans 8:31-39
31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 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? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The end of chapter 8 is a final segment, a climax of the previous 7 chapters of which Paul was inspired to write down. Chapters 1 – 3 expound on God’s holy righteousness. Chapters 4 and 5 explains God’s demand for our holy righteousness and chapters 6 – 8 explains God’s providence and empowerment that He provides to us so that we are able to live up to His standards of righteousness. Paul finishes this nutshell of the gospel message with none other than a series of questions and a statement, which if we didn’t have any other scripture or revelation of God, it would be enough: “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What an incredible statement. Amen? Let’s look at the passage again with a little more scrutiny:
Verses 31 – 34 are a series of questions: “What shall we say then?” What shall we say about what? Here’s a good Bible study tip: If a paragraph in the Bible has the word “If” or “Then” or “Because” or “Therefore” or “since” then it is directly related to the passage above it. These are “cause and effect” transitions. You cannot understand the effect unless you understand the cause. So I need to understand what Paul has written up to chapter eight, verse 31 and since we don’t have the whole day, I will briefly summarize chapter 8 to help give us a context to the question: “What shall we say then?”
Paul begins chapter 8 with this statement: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” Wow – ok. And he continues: “ 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” This is starting to help me understand verse 31 now. He then goes on to expound on the power we have through the Holy Spirit, he proclaims that through this Spirit we have become joint heirs with Christ and then he provides us with the hope of the inheritance we have in Christ, that is heaven and eternal life.
This brings us to Paul’s question of “What shall we say then?”, of which he then goes on to tell us what we should say in response to God’s love and providence of His Holy Spirit. And this is what he says:
1. God is for us and nothing else matters. God is for us and nothing else matters.
In saying “If God is for us, who can be against us?”, Paul does not mean that we will not face opposition. He does not mean that we will not face persecution. Of all people he knew this and understood this because he faced persecution daily. If you want a resume of Paul’s suffereings, look at 2 Corinthians 11:24-27: “Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” Yet he writes this in the same letter, a few chapters earlier in chapter 4:16 – 18: “16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”