Today my prayer is that you will be encouraged by what I have to share today. No matter how far you think you’ve fallen, no matter how much you are struggling, we serve a God that is bigger and more powerful than any of the struggles we face here on this earth. He can handle whatever you throw at him.
In fact right now, He wants you to do just that.
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 being 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. (Romans 8:31-39)
Many great worship songs have been formed from this passage of Scripture. If God is for us, who can be against us? There may be many of you today who believe that God is against you. Guys, that is exactly what Satan wants you to believe. He wants you to have a distorted view of God. My prayer is that we will seek Truth in the text we are reading today. Take a look at the next verse: God 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?
Let me put it to you this way: 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? Do we understand this? For the longest time I never fully grasped what it meant. To this day I still can’t wrap my head around that kind of love! If God is on our side how can we lose!!??
Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies! Who is to condemn? Jesus Christ died in our place on that cross, who, more than that was raised from the dead! He is interceding for us. Do you know what that means? He is praying for you. Jesus Christ at the right hand of God prays on your behalf, He is standing in the gap for us in prayer! I’m not sure about you, but I don’t know what could possibly be more encouraging than that.
If God is on our side, who could be against us? This is not to say that there is no one against us, for Satan is our adversary. But if God is for us, who is Satan to oppose us? If the sovereign God of the universe, the Creator of ALL is for us, then there is no enemy that can harm us. Do you believe this? If God’s power was sufficient to save us, if God’s love was strong enough to send His only Son to the cross, then there is nothing which He will not do for us as His sons. God, the sovereign judge of the universe, has declared us to be righteous through the work of His Son. Who, then, would dare to accuse us before God? Would anyone dare to condemn us before the God Who has given His only Son to save us? He took on all of our sins on the cross. There is no condemnation. Further, He is at the right hand of God interceding on our behalf. Can you imagine what that must look like, to know Jesus is there praying for you right next to God!
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? I think it’s mind-blowing to consider even asking that question after reading everything leading up to that verse. But just in case those confirmations weren’t enough, he goes further to explain it.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 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.
I can assure you that if none of those things can separate us, you can apply these things to this verse as well.
“Shall a pornography addiction, an affair, drug abuse, anger, secret sin, masturbation, sexual assaults, or being sexually assaulted separate you from the love of Christ? Guys, if death won’t separate, if angels, demons, or anything in all of creation won’t separate, your struggles won’t separate you from His love either. There has to come a time and place in our lives where we realize this to be true.
I hear many of these words, but it helps to paint a better picture for me, if I know what the words mean. Tribulation simply great affliction, trial, or distress; suffering. Doesn’t that accurately describe our struggles?
“In all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
How does God see you? Does He see you as a failure? Does he see you as condemned? Does he keep track of all of your mistakes? If you are in Christ, He remembers your sin, no more (Hebrews 8:12)
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear Him. (Psalms 103:10-13)
His Word says that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. More than conquerors. There are days I struggle with believing that, do you? That’s what His word says. More than Conquerors. Nothing can separate us from His love. God has a lot to say about who we are in Christ. In Christ, He sees us much differently than we see ourselves. Tomorrow we’re going to start talking about our identity, what we think about ourselves and what the Word of God says about that. I want to leave you with the words of Pastor/Author David Platt as he talks about our “Scandalous God”.
Platt said, “For God to be holy does not just mean He is without error. It means He is without equal. May it not be said of any one of us that there is not respect for the author of the universe. He is sovereign over all nature, over all nations and over every single one of our lives.”
God’s holiness is starkly contrasted against our sinfully depraved nature, Platt said. People have a man-centered view of sin, looking at the measure of the sin, rather than recognizing the one who has been sinned against. “If you sin against an infinitely holy God, you are infinitely guilty and deserve infinite destruction.”
However, Platt said we have a scandalously merciful savior, that though His wrath is justly directed at the depraved sinners, instead poured out His wrath on His son.
“On the cross, we see a divine picture of the penalty of sin. But we can’t stop there – the picture here is deeper,” Platt said. “Yes, He will endure the penalty of sin, but in the place of sinners. He did this in our place, for us.”
Platt said there is only one possible response to a God who says, “Your guilt is taken away and your sin is atoned for.”
“Surely this kind of mercy evokes more than raising a hand and praying a prayer. Surely this evokes urgent surrender of our lives – no matter where He calls and no matter how tough it is.”