What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
This verse comes from the end of the great chapters of the Bible. This chapter begins with “no condemnation” (Romans 8:1) and ends with “no separation” (Romans 8:39). It defies description and needs to be read over and over until its surpassing message grips our hearts and souls.
The new life Paul describes is a life of liberty from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-8). It is a life of glorious hope (Romans 8:9-25), hope of the resurrection, hope of joint-heirship with Christ and hope of final redemption. This new life is also a life of glorious power (Romans 8:26-39). This power comes through spirit-led prayer and the providence (the divine guidance or care) of God, and it enables us to face the future without fear.
Paul never described the Christian life being easy. In fact his own life was proof that the life of a Christian is not going to be easy, but is in fact going to be full of suffering and hardship. Paul’s first question in verse 31 is in direct response to the suffering and hardship that believers were facing in Paul’s day and a response to Paul’s knowledge that believers will face suffering and hardships until Christ returns and establishes his earthly kingdom. However, Paul does end with first question (“What, then shall we say in response to these things?” Romans 8:31a) he goes on to ask a second question that is directly related to the first. That question is: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31b)
The first part of this question: “If God is for us” is not a hypothetical scenario, but a sure reality because God really is for us. In other words Paul is not saying that there is a chance that the entire Christian faith is wrong and that world is right. Which would be how most of the world, those who are not followers of Christ would read this second question in verse 31. Yes Paul is starting a conditional thought, but the condition is not if God is right; rather, it is if God is for us. And the only way for God to be for us is if we are living in the new life of freedom that Paul has spent most of chapter 8 unpacking for us.
The second part of this question ends the conditional thought in this way: “Who can be against us?” Yes it seems the opposition at times can be lot. We have the world, we have our own sinful desires of flesh to deal with, we have Satan himself that we have to contend with, we have those who are indifferent and/or reject the truth, we have false religions and we have our own enemies that we have to contend with. But what we must remember is this: God loves us and he is sovereign. The Lord is our Shepherd, the Maker of heaven and earth!
Remember this: God being for you conditional not on God being right, which he is, and not on God being sovereign or in control, which he is. But God being for you is conditional on you putting your whole life under his complete control. Because when you have truly surrendered you life to God, then is truly nothing that can be against you.
Today’s Bible Readings:
Isaiah 51-52, Ephesians 5, Psalm 69:19-36 and Proverbs 24:7
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