Romans 8:31-34

Thursday Evening Bible Study

October 16, 2008

:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

these things

We saw Paul build to a climax with “these things” last week.

Follow the flow of the chapter:

Struggles and hope
Paul had been talking about the struggles we face in our suffering, but the hope we have that one day things will get better.

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

Creation groaning for our change
Paul talked about how all of creation is groaning, waiting for this change that’s going to happen – the change in us, our “glorification”.

(Rom 8:19 NKJV) For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

It’s certain we’ll be glorified
Last week Paul talked about the certainty of God glorifying us. We saw the progression from God “foreknowing” to God “glorifying” us. It is ultimately because of His promise of future glorification that we can say:

(Rom 8:30 NKJV) Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

It’s because of this certainty that God will one day change things that we can know that He is “for” us, not “against” us.

Look what God has done for us

Go back through the chapter and see all the things that Paul has mentioned that God has done for us (somebody count how many things for us)
We have been adopted into God’s family:
(Rom 8:15 NKJV)  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."
The Spirit tells us that we belong to God:
(Rom 8:16 NKJV)  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
We are heirs of God:
(Rom 8:17 NKJV)  and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
We shall have great glory:
(Rom 8:18 NKJV)  For I consider 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 NKJV)  Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
The Spirit helps us in our inability to pray:
(Rom 8:26 NKJV)  Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
God causes all things to work out for our good:
(Rom 8:28 NKJV)  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
He has a plan that includes molding us into the image of Jesus:
(Rom 8:29 NKJV)  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined 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 glorified us:
(Rom 8:30 NKJV)  Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

How much more “for us” can you get?

forhuper – in behalf of, for the sake of

againstkata – down from, against


He’s for me

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.
Isaiah writes,

(Isa 49:14-16 NKJV)  But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, And my Lord has forgotten me." {15} "Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. {16} See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.

What does it mean for God to “inscribe” us on the palms of His hands?  Perhaps it just means that He wrote down our name so He wouldn’t forget.  Perhaps it’s talking another kind of mark on His hands, perhaps nailprintsl.

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.

Isaiah writes,
(Isa 40:27-31 NKJV)  Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: "My way is hidden from the LORD, And my just claim is passed over by my God"? {28} Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. {29} He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. {30} Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, {31} But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Just in case you are still not convinced that God is on your side, Paul lays down one more idea, the ultimate proof that God is “for” you and not “against” you.

:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

did not sparepheidomai – 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 NKJV) and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son; {17} "blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.
We’ve often seen how this story of Abraham being willing to sacrifice his only son was a beautiful picture of what God would be doing 2000 years after Abraham.
It’s not a coincidence that Abraham took Isaac to the mountains of “Moriah”, the location of the city of Jerusalem.  Tradition has it that this is the place where Solomon would build the Temple.  It’s at the place of these mountains that God would sacrifice His own only Son.

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

It’s the word often used to associate Judas betraying Jesus, “delivering Him up” to the authorities.  Here we see that there was also a sense in which God also “delivered” Jesus up for death.

freely givecharizomai – to do something pleasant or agreeable (to one), to show one’s self gracious, kind; to grant forgiveness, to pardon; to give graciously, give freely

This is the verb, the action word for “grace”. 

We often think of the grace of God in connection with the cross.

Paul’s point is that grace doesn’t stop at the cross.
If God didn’t withhold Jesus from us, how much more will He “grace” us with all things?


God has good things for me.

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 good for you.
What is “good”?
Where we get confused is in the difference between what we think is good for us and what God thinks is good for us.

If you left the grocery shopping for the week up to your five year old, what kinds of groceries would be on the shelves in your pantry?

Probably stuff like candy, cookies, and ice-cream.

What would your life be like if you only ate things chosen by a five-year-old?

You’d probably be a tad overweight.  You would probably develop diabetes by age twelve.

The point is that compared to us, God is THE adult.  He’s more than a few steps ahead of us in understanding how life works.


The cross is God’s ultimate love gift.

There is no greater demonstration of love.
When you doubt God’s love for you, think again. Think of the cross.
(1 John 3:16 NKJV)  By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
(Rom 5:8 NKJV)  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

:33 Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.

bring a chargeegkaleo – to come forward as accuser against, bring charge against

It’s a legal term, describing what a prosecutor does. 

Like Hamilton Burger, the District Attorney in the old “Perry Mason” TV shows. Play Perry Mason videos.

electeklektos – picked out, chosen; that’s us.  We are the “elect”, those “chosen” by God.

who justifiesdikaioo – to render righteous or such he ought to be

Paul has been making a case through Romans that we have been justified by God.

(Rom 3:24 NKJV)  being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
We were made right with God through what Jesus did in dying on the cross.
(Rom 5:1 NKJV)  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
We receive this justification through faith, by trusting God to forgive us.
(Rom 8:30 NKJV) Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
God now considers us as having already been completely made right before us.

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

(Rev 12:10-11 NKJV)  Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. {11} "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to 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, like Hamilton Berger, whose job it is to get a sentence of guilt pronounced upon you.

But don’t worry; you have a pretty good defense attorney, even better than Perry Mason.

(1 John 2:1-2 NKJV)  My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. {2} And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

Jesus is our advocate, our defense attorney. But He doesn’t have to resort to legal tricks to defend you.
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 who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

condemnskatakrino – to give judgment against, to judge worthy of punishment; to condemn

God is involved in something very similar to condemnation. The word for what God does is:

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

The Holy Spirit convicts:

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

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 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.
Instead of letting guilt drive you away, let it drive you towards God.  That’s what the Holy Spirit wants.
God wants to forgive you.  God wants to help you turn around.  God wants to see your life change.

makes 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.

(Heb 10:11-14 NKJV) And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. {12} But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, {13} from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. {14} For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
(Heb 7:25 NKJV) Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

It’s been paid in full.

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