March 20 (Reading for March 14-20: Romans 8:24-39. Today, I will cover verses 32-39). This was intended for Friday 18th, but I awoke with a stomach virus. I had nothing but a little water and ginger ale in the last 48 hours, but thankfully I am feeling like a (weak) human again today.
Paul gave us a wonderful reminder in verse 31: “If God is for us, who is against us?” It is wrong to think that God will never give us anything that we cannot handle. He will ALWAYS give us things that we can’t handle — things that only He can take care of in our lives — because He wants us to learn to depend totally on Him for all things! Many Old Testament stories give this message: Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, David (the list is long). God does not ask us to be successful; He asks us to be faithful. Success is always His domain!
“If God is for us, who is against us?” Paul defended that premise by asking a series of questions. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (v. 32). Again, we see the words, “all things,” and we are assured that God will give us all that we need to be like Christ! The only proof that we need that God is causing “all things” to work for our good — and that He will give us “all things” needed to do His will and accomplish His purpose (v. 28) — is the fact that He gave us His Son to die and be resurrected for our salvation! In that reality, we have already received “all things!”
Paul asked another question: “Who can bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies” (verse 33). Consider even the one who is described as “the evil one,” Satan, who is also called “the accuser” (Rev. 12:10). The one who would accuse, or bring charges against us, has been defeated! Next, Paul asked: “Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us” (v. 34). For every word of condemnation from the accuser, Jesus is there to answer with, “I paid for your salvation with my shed blood! I rose from the grave to give you eternal life!”
And then he asked the question that is answered with a resounding chorus of praise. “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” (v. 35). We can answer that question with assurance: “No one!” In fact, Paul gave a list of things that might try to take Christ’s love from us, without success. Hear the list according to The Message: “Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing … nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable” (vv. 35, 38). Back to the NASB: “We overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us … nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (vv. 37, 39). How do we know for certain that God is for us, and nothing can be against us? For this reason: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16). Celebrate His victory in your life today!
– Al Gary