A firm reminder of the hope we have in Christ.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 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? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 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. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 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.
The many rhetorical questions of Paul seek to encourage the reader. “These things” that Paul is speaking of is in reference to our justification through Christ as well as our glorification. Paul brings his entire point full circle in regards to suffering (v. 17). If God is for us, who can be against us? reminds us that even in the midst of suffering—which will happen in this life—that God is for us. Romans 8 tells us the the Spirit AND Jesus intercede on our behalf. Pretty amazing, if you ask me! It can be so easy to get caught up in this present life—when trials of pain and suffering hit, we often wonder, “Where are you, Lord? Why aren’t you coming through!?” It’s easy to forget (or perhaps simply not believe) the words of Romans 8:28: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Sometimes we just don’t want to hear it in our struggles; I mean, how can this pain be good?? It doesn’t make sense to us, but we must learn to trust God, and that is why Paul so wonderfully reminds us of God’s love and grace at the end of the chapter. Yes, your pain may be terrible! But Paul, who also had his fair share of suffering, tells us: the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. In other words, it’s no contest! The glory of eternity is so much greater than anything in this life, that even the worst of all suffering cannot hold a candle to it! So keep pushing through with an eternal hope. Because, after all, who can bring a charge against God’s elect? No one! Who can condemn God’s children? No one! Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?? No one! and no thing! Trials and tribulations cannot take you away from Christ’s love; stress, distress, and anxiety can’t do it; persecution, danger, death can’t steal us away from Christ.
In fact, as Paul tells us, in all these things we are MORE than conquerors. Being a conqueror is pretty amazing—the definition is one who overcomes an adversary. What is your adversary this morning? Broken relationships, perhaps? A terminal illness in your own life or in the life of a loved one? Financial troubles? Persecution? May your spirit soar in knowing you have already overcome! In all these things we are not just conquerors, but MORE than conquerors—but not on our own accord. Paul tells us we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. When Jesus overcame the grave, He also overcame our adversary. He MORE than conquered the grave, and in doing so, those who call on the name of the Lord and believe have conquered the grave too. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)
Pastor Matt Karlson