What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Morning, everybody. I invite you to take your Bibles to the book of Romans, Romans chapter 8. God willing, as Mike mentioned, next Sunday we’re going to begin a brand new series on the book of Ephesians. Really very much excited about it. You’ll be hearing more about it and we’ve got some things we’re going to be doing to introduce it, next week.
But this morning I wanted to, as we have a chance to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, Go to Romans chapter eight, and we’re going to read together verses 31 to 39. I’d like to read that for you. One of the great passages of the New Testament. Romans 8 verse 31. What then shall we say to these things? 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 with Him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies, who is to condemn. Christ Jesus is the one who died, more than that who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, for your sake we are killed all the day long. We are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Father, we come to you this morning.
Lord, we gather in this room with so many different Needs represented here in mount laurel here in collingswood to those that are watching online lord We come to this mountain peak Passage and think of the things that are told to us because of the gospel of jesus christ lord Speak into our lives this morning.
There are those that feel condemned others that feel isolated others that feel overwhelmed with opposition. Lord, you know each heart. God speak truth into our lives today as only you can. In Jesus name, Amen. Pastor Ben just finished a fantastic series of three messages on the subject of Christian suffering.
And while I considered the series deeply impactful and a powerful presentation of both the rawness of suffering and the beauty of its place in our lives as we seek to know God. I did regret one unfortunate. Ben shared his belief that John 17 was the most important portion of Scripture. Even going so far as to denigrate my belief that Romans 8 is the mountaintop passage for the believer.
Well, the gauntlet, the gauntlet has been thrown down, or the compete tab on the Apple Watch has been engaged. This morning I’d like to share with you the final section of Romans 8, Romans 8, 31 to 39. And find Paul in his joyous conclusion. To his teaching of chapters 1 through 8 of Romans chapters 1 through 8 have talked about begun with our our State because of sin and our separation from God and the brokenness of our lives and of our world because of it He’s gone on to depict the triune God, Father, Son, and Spirit engaged in the process of rescuing us, of entering our lives in this grand rescue mission of deliverance.
It is arranged by God the Father. It is accomplished by God the Son in His work on the cross. And it is applied by God, the Holy Spirit, as we have seen, even in chapter six through eight. And now we come to verse 31 to 39, and he’s summarizing the confidence that we can have because of the gospel. I’ve called this sermon, The Greatest News.
Of the good news. It’s the application that he’s giving to us in these verses and I want to have these thoughts of reverberating through our minds and souls as we come to the Lord’s table this morning. It is a passage where he depicts four great truths that are results of the work that God has done in this rescue mission and that speak to four basic fears in our lives.
The fear of opposition, the fear of limitation, the fear of condemnation, and the fear of isolation. I’d like to look at those quickly, briefly this morning. The first thing we find is in verse 31, God is for you. It speaks to the issue of opposition in our lives. He says, if God is for you. And literally in the original.
The, the, class condition actually that is used here is assumed reality. It better is translated since. God is for you. God is for you. To have God for you means a couple of things. First of all, it means God has a special interest in you. He’s speaking here to people that have imbibed the truths that he’s presented in the book of Romans and have embraced personally Jesus Christ as their Savior for their sins.
That they have been declared righteous through his work because of what he’s done on the cross. And he says God is for you. God has a special interest in you because of that relationship to Jesus Christ. To have a special interest means that he wants them to succeed, to do well. It doesn’t mean he’s, he’s against other people.
It just means there is a special identification that you have in God’s sight. God is for some people in a unique way. This is a reality that we can cling to when times are tough and disappointing. The, the, the reason that Romans 8, 28 says what it does, that all things are working together for good, for those people.
Because God is uniquely and specifically for them, for you. If you’ve embraced Christ into your life. Years ago, Marianne was at a baseball game, I was there too, and she was in a conversation with the lady next to her. And they were engaged in this conversation, and Marianne, both, both, both Marianne and the woman had a boy that was playing on the team.
And as Marianne looked past her shoulder, as the lady is animatedly talking to Marianne, she said, Your, your son’s coming up to bat. And so, of course, the mother turned. She’s watching her boy. Now, later on, the mother was, was talking to somebody else. And our son came to bat. Now, Marian did not turn to the mother and say, My son’s coming up to bat.
Because she did not assume that this woman would have the same degree of identification with our boy. We certainly did. As her boy we get this and God is saying For my kids I am for them in a unique sense I have a special interest in their lives. Secondly, if God is for you, it means He’s on your side.
He said if God is for you who can stand against you the obvious implication implication is that Some people are but they don’t matter he’s saying if God is for you The other side doesn’t have anything that can really stand against him Paul reminds them Look, there are going to be times when you feel overwhelmed.
You’re going to be overwhelmed by darkness You’re going to be overwhelmed by pain. You’re gonna be overwhelmed by by people’s treatment of you You’re gonna feel alone in your faith You’re gonna need some wins and you’re gonna cry with the psalmist. Lord, I just need to show me a sign of your favor. I need you to stand with me.
And the Lord says, I want to remind you in this verse. I am for you. I stand with you. All that I am is available to you. Psalm 124 says it this way, If the Lord hadn’t been on our side when people attacked us, they would have swallowed us alive when their anger flared against us. The flood would have engulfed us.
The torrent would have swept over us. The raging waters would have swept us away. But God was for us. The psalmist is saying
we for a number of years had a Pastors area pastors meeting of lead pastors in the area that would gather here on Wednesday mornings and one of the guys that was there Terrell person over here from Jacob’s Chapel a great friend and brother and Terrell one time and Terrell had what we called Terrellisms There were things he would say that he would, he just had a way with the words.
And he could say, I remember, I wrote it down. here’s what he said. He was praying. And he says, Lord, we’re in a battle. We’re in a fight. But we know it’s a fixed fight. You’re gonna win. And I remember all the, yeah. Paul’s saying yeah, you need some of the yeah, but God’s for you God’s with you and there’s times when you just feel I don’t know if anybody is for me the people I I just I feel opposed.
I feel broken. I feel misunderstood I the opposition seems big it seems hurtful. It seems confusing And God comes along and He says, I’m for you. There is a special interest I take in my children. There is a special sense in which I line up on their team, on their side. The first thing we find speaks to the fear of opposition, the reality that God is for us.
The second thing He says, and this is all related to the, the first eight chapters of stuff. The second thing He says is God will Supply. He said he that did not in verse 32, he did not spare his own son, but delivered him up for us all. How will he not with him freely give us all things? He says. God is the one that did not spare his own son now We use the word spare in a couple of different ways.
One of the ways is you know Somebody might be on a street corner and say hey, mister Can you spare a dollar and the idea is do you have enough to share out of your abundance? You know, you can can you spare me one out out of what you have? That’s one sense of we can use the word spare but another one and I think it’s the one that is used here Is the way we would talk if you’ve seen like a horrible accident and bodies are mangled and you just say I’m gonna spare you the details.
I’m just sparing you a description of the scene. Meaning is I’ll withhold something horrible from you.
God didn’t do that with Jesus. God did not spare his own son. As a matter of fact, it says he let the full weight. Of the penalty for sin be poured out on his own son He did not keep jesus from the torment of the garden where he’s crying out and has that you know, all of us Look back at things in our lives and we just say god.
Thank you so much. You didn’t tell me about that in advance Well, jesus knew in advance The horror of the cross and that’s why the garden was what it was He knew it was coming. God did not. God, the Father did not spare him, though he cried out in anguish on the cross. My God, why have you forsaken me?
Literally, at that moment, Jesus, God, the Son, is bearing hell for sinners, where he has experienced the separation in a moment as an eternal being. What it would take us, as temporal beings, eternity to experience. He bore hell. He bore separation from the Father. And the Father did not spare him from doing that.
He allowed the worst to happen to Jesus, to secure you, to rescue you. And it says, but he didn’t spare him, but he gave him up. Other versions have, he delivered him over. The idea is an active verb. And the question, who put Jesus on the cross, has lots of answers. Well, Judas, out of greed Well, Jewish leaders, out of envy.
Well, Jewish people, out of anger. He didn’t do what they expected him to do quick enough. Pilate, out of fear. Washed his hands of the whole thing. But the ultimate answer is God the Father put Jesus on the cross out of love. He did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us. It was the Father’s choice.
And he says, if he didn’t spare his own son from that, How will he not freely give you everything you could possibly need? God gave up the most treasured possession he had for you. Why would he withhold anything of less importance? Now, we’ve got to think about this for a minute. Paul says, how will he not freely give you all things?
You want to say, Paul, what are you talking about? What do you mean? All things will be given. I mean, look at you! You’ve lost almost everything. You’ve lost money. You’ve lost reputation. You’ve lost standing and popularity. What all things have you gotten along with Jesus Christ? He’s talking about all the spiritual realities that God promises all the things that we’re hoping money and standing and population popularity and reputation will bring to us.
He’s talking about peace, he’s talking about forgiveness, he’s talking about hope, he’s talking about encouragement, he’s talking about protection, he’s talking about life mattering and meaning something, and he says God will not abandon you in spite of the difficulties on the outside, he will give you all things that you need.
Three passages in the Old Testament, just gonna read them quickly, where the word every where the word every is used. In Lamentations 3 verse 22 and 23, His, meaning God, His mercies are new every morning. First Peter chapter 1 verse 3, this is the New Testament, His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.
Philippians 4, 19, And my God will supply Every need of yours, according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus, every morning, everything, for every need, is what God is saying. He is making available to us in Christ. He gave up His most treasured possession for you.
How can we think He would withhold something of lesser value that He considers will bless and help our lives? The second thing we find is that God helps us in those seasons, which some of you are in right now, where you are overwhelmed with your limitations. I’m not enough. I don’t have enough. I feel lack.
I see lack. And God says, I will take care of you. May not be exactly how you would design it. But I gave you my own son. I didn’t spare him. I will not be stingy with my blessings, with what you need in your life. There will be, as Ben pointed out, there will be suffering. There will be hardship. But there will be a reality of God’s provision and presence with us in those seasons that is richer than the very things that we feel the loss or the limitations from.
He that spared his own son, how will he not freely give us all things? Third,
God accepts you. Verse 33 and 34. This speaks to our fear of condemnation. Who will bring, verse 33, who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. 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.
You hear verdicts every day. Sometimes you hear dozens of them. They’re verdicts that condemn you’re not enough. When you see your sales report and compare it with some of the others in the office. When you compare your body shape. When you compare the attention you get from others. When you compare your people skills, your intellectual capacity, your athleticism, your beauty, your car, your house, your job, your kids athleticism, intelligence.
Your social skills, etc. You hear the verdict. I’m on the less than side not the greater than side We feel the condemnations Where does that come from? Why are we so constantly? Evaluating ourselves and and and seeking the verdict to be okay It came through the fall the fall into sin the rejection of god the fall in sin was the fall from the position of acceptability and worthiness to feeling shame and unworthiness.
All of our fear of condemnation is ultimately the longing for the verdict of God that we are acceptable. And so we look forward in a thousand other lesser places. But the one place that can ultimately quiet our soul is when we rest in the verdict of the one whose opinion matters more than anyone else, the one who knows us best, the one who designed us and created us, the verdict of acceptability, the verdict of acceptance.
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It’s God who justifies, the word justifies means to declare acceptable, righteous, standing in God’s sight. Psalm 110 verse 1, it says this. that Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father. It doesn’t say He was there before, but that He has this particular position now, through His cross, His resurrection, His return to Heaven, where He is now seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us.
Psalm 110, verse 1. 110 verse 1 is quoted 20 times in the New Testament. It is the most often repeated Old Testament passage in the New Testament. Why? They’re constantly having this thought Jesus has gone into the presence of the father. He is my Assurance that I have a place there that I am accepted there and he says he is ever living.
He is constantly Interceding the idea is that Jesus who is victorious over his enemies because in psalm 110 verse 1 It says two things on the one hand. It says that he is there And he has made his victories, his footstool, he has defeated his enemies. But the other thing it says is he has made, he is making intercession for us.
Jesus death, resurrection, victory showed that he is victorious over his enemies. And shows that he was victorious for his friends. The verdict is in. You are declared eternally acceptable to God. You don’t have to prove one thing. You don’t have to measure up in one way. People’s opinion, he says, ultimately, if you can allow the opinion of God to permeate your soul, the opinion of people are going to be quiet.
You can silence To the degree that your mind is saturated with how God views you, how He has made you in Christ, you can silence the voices that are so loud in your head, saying, You’re not enough. You’re not this. You’re not that. You’re just a less than. You’ll never measure up. You’re godless. You’re, you’re, you’re this.
You’re that. You’re that. The fear of condemnation is overcome by verse 33 and 34. God accepts you through Christ. And fourth, God sticks with you. It speaks to the fear of isolation. What shall separate us, in verse 35, from the love of Christ? And he basically goes down and says, There’s, there’s not a thing.
There’s nothing. He goes through this unbreakable chain of God’s love for us. And he says, in verse 28, All things work together for good, for those who have been brought into the purpose of God in Christ Jesus. Now, in verse 37, he says again, Where did I put my glasses? All these, there it is. This is a black lectern, and these are black glasses, I’m not as crazy as you think I am.
Alright, 37. No, in all, verse 37, no, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. What are the all things? What are the all things of verse 28? In everything that’s coming into our lives, we can be conquerors because we are loved by God. It is the motivation. You see, I was in a Bible study, and, and we were reading how in Proverbs, it says, God is talking about how do you live the, the, the path of wisdom.
And it says what you do is you take the reality of God’s love and faithfulness. Those are the two words. It’s actually how God revealed himself originally to Moses. He said, I am the, the loving and faithful God. It’s, it’s in, it’s in the book of Psalms over and over. It is the characteristic. God is a God of love and faithfulness.
And he says, he says, write this on your heart. That God is faithful that God is crazy about you the degree to which we live that out The security of that, the safety of that, is the degree to which we are not in captivity to the opinions of others, the affections of others. If you want to be a better husband, find your security, not that my wife’s got to love me perfectly.
No, I’m loved by God. If you want to be a better husband, a better wife, live your life in the reality of God’s acceptance of you, God’s love for you, God is for you. And the basis of this love is, it says, that God God chose us, God pursued us, God wanted us, and nothing can separate you from Him. Eugene Pat Peterson has written, it’s a paraphrase of, of the, the scriptures, but it’s a beautiful one.
And I would like to just read how he Expresses Romans 8 verse 31 to 39. I think it is a beautiful depiction and, and I want to just read it now. Verse 31. So what do you think? With God on your side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?
And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The one who died for us, who was raised to life for us, is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us?
There’s no way, not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in scripture. They kill us in cold blood because they hate you, it says. We’re sitting ducks. They pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us.
I’m absolutely convinced that nothing, nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable, absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love. Because of the way that Jesus, our master, has embraced us. The glory of the gospel message reached its crescendo moment in Romans 8.
You’re free then to see your own failures, your own ugliness, your own self centeredness. To hear criticism, to be rejected, to feel alone. To face the holes and the lacks in your life Because if you belong to jesus christ god is for you and it doesn’t matter who’s against you God supplies you with all the things that you need god accepts you And ultimately no other verdict matters god loves you with an unconditional No expiration date love this morning.
We’re going to come to the lord’s table And I hope these truths are ringing in our ears At this point, I’m going to ask the section host and ushers to come, and I’d like to pray for us as we prepare for the Lord’s Supper.
Lord, it is amazing to me. How often I need to be reminded of these truths voices are loud in my head
and father I pray this morning for the people that are listening to my voice to whom the verses are just a siren It just seems to be a megaphone that’s louder than anything else. God may these truths begin to drown out The lies, the false verdicts, the sense of isolation that comes, condemnation that comes, the sense of our own limitations that, Lord, we might find in you and through you.
These truths reminding us of what it really means to be called the son or the daughter of the living God, purchased. Through the life’s blood of Jesus Christ, your beloved son. Lord Jesus, we come to this table this morning, which you’ve asked us to do. To do it so we remember you. Sorry how easy it is to forget.
Lord Jesus, we do remember now that you wanted us enough to come, to rescue us, to bring us into a place of
The verdict being acceptable because we stand not in the life that we lived, but in the righteousness life that Jesus lived. That we stand not facing eternal death, but you lived the life we should have lived, and you died the death that we should have had to die. Lord Jesus, we just love you for it. In your name, amen.