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Some Very Good Questions
By Pastor John

Romans 8:31-35
31What, 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?

This passage contains several very good questions. Let's look at them individually.

"If God is for us, who can be against us?" verse 31.

This applies only to those who are really born again.  The Bible says that there are some who believe they are, but are not.

This does not mean we won't have enemies.  Satan is always against us, and there is no shortage of people he can stir up against us.  In fact, 2 Timothy 3:12 says everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

What this means is no enemy can succeed against us.
If God is for us, we cannot ultimately lose.

    David vs. Goliath
    Daniel in the lion's den
    Elijah on Mt. Carmel
    Peter in prison
    Paul in his many persecutions

Even when the enemy seems to win, they lose.
Jim Elliot and his missionary colleagues were martyred.  They went to Heaven and thousands were raised up to take their place on the mission field.

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? verse 32.

God is more willing to give than we are to ask.  He will give us everything that we need.
James 4:2-3
2 You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

When our children were small, we played a game. I'd take some coins in my fist. They'd sit on my lap and work to get my fingers open. According to the international rules of finger opening, once the finger was open, it couldn't be closed again. They would work at it, until they got the pennies in my hand. They would jump down and run away, filled with glee and delight. Just kids. Just a game.
   Sometimes when we come to God, we come for the pennies in his hand.
   "Lord, I need a passing grade. Help me to study."
   "Lord, I need a job."
   "Lord, my mother is ill."
   We reach for the pennies. When God grants the request, we push the hand away.
   More important than the pennies in God's hand is the hand of God himself. That's what prayer is about. When you go to God in prayer, the name that should come easily to your lips is Father.

   -- Haddon Robinson, "The Disciple's Prayer," Preaching Today, Tape No. 117.

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.

There is no shortage of critics in this world.  Satan is a constant accuser, and he has many mouthpieces.  But if God says that we are okay, then we are okay. Jesus died to atone for our sin. He took our punishment so we could be forgiven and justified. He rose from the grace to conquer sin, Satan and death. He is at the right hand of the Father interceeding for us.  Who is going to condemn 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?

Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

We are not immune to any of these things.  In fact, look at the very next verse.
Romans 8:36
As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

But even though we face trouble and hardship in this world, we have victory in Jesus.
Romans 8:37
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.


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