Romans 8:31-39

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

March 31, 1999

:31 What shall we then say to these things?

Paul has been talking about how God has chosen us and predestined us. In God’s mind, we are not only called, but justified and even glorified.

(Rom 8:30 KJV) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

:31 If God be for us, who can be against us?

God is definitely for us.

We have been adopted into God’s family:

(Rom 8:15 KJV) For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

The Spirit tells us that we belong to God:

(Rom 8:16 KJV) The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

We are heirs of God:

(Rom 8:17 KJV) And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

We shall have great glory in us:

(Rom 8:18 KJV) For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

We have the Spirit groaning for the change that’s coming to us:

(Rom 8:23 KJV) And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

The Spirit helps us in our inability to pray:

(Rom 8:26 KJV) Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

God causes all things to work out for our good:

(Rom 8:28 KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

He has a plan that includes molding us into the image of Jesus:

(Rom 8:29 KJV) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

He has chosen us, justified us, and in His eyes, we’re already glorified:

(Rom 8:30 KJV) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.




How much more "for us" can you get?


He’s on your side.

Be careful that you don’t interpret difficult situations as if God has turned His back on you. He’s already proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that He’s on your side.

You may not understand why He’s allowed a difficult situation into your life, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t love you.

God’s love for you ought to be one of the unquestioned "anchors" in your life. It ought to be one thing that you can always count on.


An old seaman said, "In fierce storms we can do but one thing. There is only one way (to survive); we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there."

Commenting on this idea, Richard Fuller wrote:

This, Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you. Reason cannot help you. Past experiences give you no light. Only a single course is left. You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may -- winds, waves, cross seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers -- no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm and hold fast your confidence in God's faithfulness and his everlasting love in Christ Jesus.

:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

sparedpheidomai – to spare; to abstain

This is the same word used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, where Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac:

(Gen 22:16-17 KJV) And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: {17} That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

deliveredparadidomi – to give into the hands (of another); to deliver up one to custody, to be judged, condemned, punished, scourged, tormented, put to death

freely givecharizomai – to do something pleasant or agreeable (to one), to do a favour to, gratify; to give graciously, give freely, bestow. This is the verb built on the word for "grace" (charis). "How shall He not with Him grace us in all things?"

The great demonstration that God is "for us" is found in that God gave Jesus up "for us all".

If God didn’t even hold back His own Son for us, what would He ever hold back for us?


God has good things for you.

If God didn’t hold back His own Son for you, what lesser thing would He ever withhold from you?

Does this mean I can ask for anything I want, and I’ll get it?

God loves you too much to give you everything you ask for. But He will give you what is best for you.


The cross is God’s ultimate love gift.

There is no greater demonstration of love.

When you are doubting God’s love for you, think twice. Think of the cross.

:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

lay any thing to the chargeegkaleo – to come forward as accuser against, bring charge against

electeklektos – picked out, chosen

justifiethdikaioo – to render righteous or such he ought to be; to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be

God isn’t in the business of bringing the charges against you. That’s Satan’s job:

(Rev 12:10-11 KJV) And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. {11} And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Day and night Satan is accusing us before God. The picture is similar to a courtroom where you are standing before God the Father, the great Judge. Satan is the prosecuting attorney, who’s job it is to get a sentence of condemnation pronounced upon you. But don’t worry, you have a pretty good defense attorney.

(1 John 2:1-2 KJV) My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: {2} And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Jesus is our advocate, our defense attorney. And even better, He is the one who has paid our "debt to society" by dying on the cross in our place. As He pleads our case before the Father He reminds the Father that the debt has been paid, and so God pronounces us "justified". It’s like a person who has already done enough time in jail to have paid the debt, except Jesus was the one who went to jail for us.

:34 Who is he that condemneth?

condemnethkatakrino – to give judgment against, to judge worthy of punishment; to condemn. The idea is that of pronouncing the sentence, "You are condemned to hell …"

God is involved in something very similar to condemnation. The Holy Spirit convicts:

(John 16:8 NASB) "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment;

convictelegcho – to convict, reprove, refute; by conviction to bring to the light, to expose; to find fault with, correct.

I think we can become a little confused over these terms. In a subjective sense, conviction and condemnation are very similar feelings. They are both a sense of feeling horrible of guilt over your sin that makes you want to run. But there is a very importance difference between the two. It has to do with the direction you want to run. If you are under conviction, then the Holy Spirit is at work, and He definitely wants you to be running to God for His forgiveness. It you are under condemnation, then it’s Satan at work, and he would like nothing more than for you to try and get as far from God as you can.


Don’t let the guilt over your sins drive you away from God.

If you are feeling that your sins are just too great and that God could never forgive you, you’re listening to the wrong voice. Your sins may be too great for you, but they’re not for God. Your sins are the very reason why Jesus died on the cross.

:34 It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

maketh intercessionentugchano – to light upon a person or a thing, fall in with, hit upon, a person or a thing; to go to or meet a person, esp. for the purpose of conversation, consultation, or supplication; to pray, entreat; make intercession for any one. Based on en ("in") and tugchano – to hit the mark; of one discharging a javelin or arrow; to reach; to meet one

Why doesn’t God condemn us?

Because Jesus Christ died on the cross in our place. But to prove that He wasn’t just some ordinary guy off the street who makes a claim that he’s going to die for you, Jesus proved that He actually paid the debt of our sins by conquering death and rising from the dead. And after He rose from the dead, He ascended into heaven, proving that He was "good enough" for heaven.


It’s been paid in full.

There’s nothing more to be paid for your debts.

:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

separatechorizo – to separate, divide, part, put asunder, to separate one's self from, to depart; of divorce

loveagape – brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence

What could ever stop Jesus from loving me?

tribulationthlipsis – a pressing, pressing together, pressure; metaph. oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits. In its figurative sense it is that which presses upon the spirit, affliction. Will Jesus stop loving me because I’m under too much pressure?

distressstenochoria – narrowness of place, a narrow place; metaph. dire calamity, extreme affliction. It denotes affliction as arising from cramping circumstances. Usually a stronger word than thlipsis. Sounds like being between a rock and a hard place. Will Jesus stop loving me because I’m in a difficult situation?

persecutiondiogmos – persecution. From dioko – "to run, put to flight, pursue, persecute". Will Jesus stop loving me because others aren’t loving me and are giving me a difficult time?

faminelimos – scarcity of harvest, famine. Will Jesus stop loving me because I lose my job or get a pay cut?

nakednessgumnotes – nakedness of the body. Will Jesus stop loving me because I don’t have the right clothes to wear?

perilkindunos – a danger, a peril. Will Jesus stop loving me because my life is in danger?

swordmachaira – a large knife, used for killing animals and cutting up flesh; a small sword, as distinguished from a large sword. Will Jesus stop loving me because I may die?


A marriage that lasts.

Jesus’ love for us is one that will never end. The sad thing is that some of these things are the things that cause marriages to split up.

Yet the love we have in our marriage should be like Jesus’ love for us:

(Eph 5:25 KJV) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

(Eph 4:30-32 KJV) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. {31} Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: {32} And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

As we’re going to see, nothing can stop Jesus from loving us. Nothing should stop us from loving each other.

:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

For thy sakeheneka – on account of, for the sake of, for; for this cause, therefore

we are killedthanatoo – to put to death

all the day long – "the whole day"

we are accountedlogizomai – to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over

for the slaughtersphage – slaughter; from sphazo – to slay, slaughter, butcher

Paul quotes:

(Psa 44:22 KJV) Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.


Difficulties go with being a Christian.

We are going to go through hard times. Very hard times. It’s a part of being a Christian. It doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love us, He does. We need to be ready and willing to face the difficulties.


"Ready for Either" is the significant legend that underspans the seal of the Baptist Missionary Union, which presents an ox standing with a plough on one side, and an altar on the other.

Sometimes its under the harshest conditions that we will flourish:


Where in the world will you function best for God? The story is told of a distinguished botanist who was exiled from his native land and obtained a job as a gardener in the United States. One cold winter day his employer received a valuable plant. Unfamiliar with the plant and its needs, he placed it in the greenhouse under the glare of the sun. When the plant began to die, the man asked the gardener to look at it. Quickly identifying its origin, he explained, "This is a plant which thrives in cold weather." He immediately took it outside and exposed it to the frost, heaping pieces of ice around the flowerpot. Before long the plant became healthy and flourished again.


Dr. Tad Stewart took a church in Teheran, Iran. He was married, had a wonderful family. And there they were on the streets of Teheran, Iran, during revolution and revolt and riot. The government under the Ayatollah closed his Presbyterian church. It was a small, struggling Presbyterian church. Hardly had any members. Very few showed up for worship. But the government came in and burned all the Bibles and Sunday school curriculum, and took the church newsletters, ripped them up, threw them away, and put them in the garbage. Then they took a big padlock and locked the door of the church. They wiped their hands and said, "Aha! We have closed Christianity in Iran."

Tad Stewart and his wife opened their small home, and on Sunday mornings people would go through the underground network. Nobody dared to say where they were going, but they came along the streets early in the morning while it was still dark and they came to the home for breakfast and for worship. Church attendance grew until it doubled, and then it tripled. People had no Bibles, only what they had at home. And they smuggled them. You would have thought they were pure gold.

Tad said when he opened the Bible and read it, because it had been taken from the people, they finally realized what a treasure was theirs. He said, "When I read from it, you could have heard a pin drop." He said it was as if this was the very Word of God. He said for the first time in people's lives they began to take it seriously. Suddenly electricity and faith broke out in that church, and soon that church grew and made an impact all over the city of Teheran, all over the nation of Iran, and even over that part of the Middle East.

It's amazing what came out of locking the church, burning the Bibles, burning the Sunday school curriculum. "How could anything good come out of that?" the skeptic asks.

Ah, but the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God, I tell you, is stronger than human strength.

-- Thomas Tewell, "The Foolishness of God," Preaching Today, Tape No. 171.

Don’t be quick to dread the difficult times. You may find yourself flourishing there.

:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

more than conquerorshupernikao (huper, "over" or "beyond" + nikao, "to conquer") – to be more than a conqueror, to gain a surpassing victory

that lovedagapao – of persons – to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly


Focus on His love for you.

You’re going to have a hard time unless you become convinced of His love for you. When you focus on His love, you don’t just barely survive, you gain a surpassing victory.

Sometimes we can find other ways of surviving difficult times. We can escape the pressures with all kinds of things whether it’s drugs, sex, food, or buying stuff. If we don’t face our difficult circumstances by focusing on His love, I’m not sure there’s any real benefit to us.


In Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Herb Miller writes: Two Kentucky farmers who owned racing stables had developed a keen rivalry. One spring each of them entered a horse in a local steeplechase. Thinking that a professional rider might help him outdo his friend, one of the farmers engaged a crack jockey. The two horses were neck and neck with a large lead over the rest of the pack at the last fence, but suddenly both fell, unseating their riders. The professional jockey remounted quickly and rode on to win the race. Returning triumphantly to the paddock, the jockey found the farmer who had hired him fuming with rage. "What's the matter?" the jockey asked. "I won, didn't I?" "Oh, yea," roared the farmer. "You won all right, but you crossed the finish line on the wrong horse." In his hurry to remount after the fall, the jockey had jumped on his competitor's horse. Success is meaningless unless we win the race properly.

-- Judy C. Knupke, Newton Lower Falls, Massachusetts. Leadership, Vol. 12, no. 4.

:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

persuadedpeitho – persuade; be persuaded; to trust, have confidence, be confident

principalitiesarche – beginning, origin; the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader; the first place, principality, rule, magistracy; of angels and demons

powersdunamis – strength power, ability … power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts

It seems these are rankings of angels:

(Eph 6:12 KJV) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

things presentenistemi – to place in or among; to be upon, threaten; close at hand. The things that are looming right on the horizon. Kind of like the Goliaths that are challenging us.

things to comemello – to be about; to be on the point of doing or suffering something. It sounds to me a lot like the "what ifs". These are the things that may or may not happen. Just the possibilities.

:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

heighthupsoma – thing elevated, height; elevated structure i.e. barrier, rampart, bulwark

depthbathos – depth, height; of "the deep" sea; metaph. deep, extreme, poverty.

I think the idea is that is neither height nor depth are included, then everything in between is included as well.

creaturektisis – the act of founding, establishing, building etc; creation i.e. thing created; anything created. That just about includes everything, huh?

shall be abledunamai – to be able, have power whether by virtue of one's own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favourable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom; to be able to do something

to separatechorizo – to separate, divide, part, put asunder, to separate one's self from, to depart; of divorce

loveagape – brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence

There are some who say that though it’s true that nobody could come between you and Jesus, that perhaps it’s possible for you yourself to make Him stop loving you. But aren’t you a created being?

He loves you. Let yourself be overwhelmed with it. It isn’t going away.