“If God Be For Us”
There are few passages that empower us as much as these words written by the apostle Paul in Romans 8:31. I know you have read them often, but have you ever paused long enough to ponder the depths of their meaning? We know that God is all powerful and there is nothing in all of creation that can thwart, side-track or stop anything He sets into motion. It’s easier to understand it as we think about the universe and nature, but how does it relate to you and I? At first glance, it gives the impression that God is on our side (like a big brother) and no one can mess with us without first dealing with big brother. In that way of thinking, God is our protector. However, if we apply this same thinking to our desires (since He is on OUR side), could it mean no one can keep us from getting whatever we want, in that He is our provider? However, if we push this thinking to the maximum, He becomes someone like Santa Claus in our minds: the only requirement is to be good, and He will only give us good things. What about the misguided thought that because He is on our side, we will never face disappointment, opposition or failure? It’s easy to see how many ways this scripture can be interpreted and stretched, so let’s give thought to exactly what Paul is expressing in this text.
In context, the verse is preceded by Paul’s assertion that God has good purposes for the Christian. It is followed by a statement that no one can bring a charge against the Christian, since it is God who justifies. Paul rounds it out by proclaiming that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Therefore, in context, Paul’s question of “who can be against us” appears to be asking who can bring condemnation against the Christian. The answer is no one. God has chosen us as His children and heirs. God is the judge. If He is for us, no one can condemn us. Therefore, we are secure in Christ. What that looks like in application is what God has done in us through Christ, and what God has promised us in Christ; nothing and no one can take that away. Yes, we will face hardships, opposition and hurt, but these pale in comparison to what awaits us in eternity. If we take a human view we miss his point, however if we take an eternal view, we see his point clearly- and we rejoice!
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