Read His Words Before Ours!
“What, then, are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
Because of you
we are being put to death all day long;
we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.” (Romans 8:31-36)
When I became a believer, I selected a life verse (a passage of Scripture I especially wanted my life to embody) reflecting my limited understanding of the Gospel as I felt I had to “live up” to a standard of “gospel” in order to keep God’s favor:
“Just one thing: As citizens of heaven, live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (Philippians 1:27a)
As I grew in my understanding and the Lord unpacked the legalism I carried, He gave me Romans 8 as my new life passage. This shift has been monumental in my understanding of who God is, how I interact with Him, and how He cares for me. I pray that as we walk through this chapter today, you will allow Him to lead you deeper in relationship with Him!
Verse 31: Is any enemy greater than our ally, our God?
The Creator of the entire world has called us unto Himself. He is Elohim, the only One who has ever created something from nothing. He has given us an eternal inheritance as His children and conformed us to the image of His Son. Nothing in the earth, physical or spiritual, is more powerful than our Great God. No one can remove what He has so graciously given.
Verse 32: Having given us THE greatest gift, Jesus, would God then withhold anything we need for a transformed life?
In Genesis, Abraham was willing to give up his precious son, Isaac, with unshakable faith in and love for God; how much more astounding is God’s sacrifice of His own perfect Son, Jesus, because of His love for us? Out of that same love, He promises to equip us, carry us, and sustain us until we reach our eternal home.
This doesn’t mean, “If I pray to win the lottery, God must give it to me.” Our Heavenly Father has so much more than money or other temporal items to give us, if we embrace His gift of a Spirit-led life!
Verses 33-34: Who is qualified to justify, judge, save, and intercede before God for us?
A joy of mine is using Scripture to interpret Scripture, for the Lord’s letters to us are consistent and true! In 1 Corinthians 4:1-5, I found a similar theme: only the One who sets the standard for righteousness can justify, judge, and save.
Jesus is sitting next to the Father, speaking to Him on behalf of you and me (also known as interceding). Because Jesus bore the wrath of God in His death and then showed ultimate victory over Satan’s limited power in His resurrection, we can have new life! Only the One who designed this plan of redemption can justify or condemn.
Verse 35: Can anything separate us from God’s love?
Isn’t it kind of the Lord to set these verses in this order?
He affirms our adoption.
He offers us everything we need for a God-filled, Spirit-led life.
He justifies us.
And now in verse 35, He reminds us nothing can steal any of those gifts.
Sometimes, when we walk through a serious trial, we wonder if God has left us alone.
Take heart, my sisters, He hasn’t left. Nothing can separate us from His perfect love.
Verse 36: Does ridicule or persecution or suffering mean God has abandoned me?
At first glance, this might seem like a strange reference! However, King David was writing of Israel’s hardships. He was lamenting that Israel had walked away from God and was experiencing His judgement. The enemies of Israel were mocking and taunting them; they were “being put to death all day long.” And yet, throughout all their hardships, the Lord God cared for His people by continuing to redeem them.
We can take heart in our current sufferings, for the Lord God will not abandon us, but will redeem us! Our sufferings do not change the realities and truths of God’s love for us. We can rest in His promises and walk forward confidently in His love!
Lord, as we study this passage verse by verse, show us Your heart. We want to build on these foundational truths so when we fall, we land on Your truth. Would You make clear Your desire for relationship, and show us Your great love? Let us respond to You with humility and a longing to know You. You are our good God and we praise Your holy name!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!