The Blessing of Love - Page 1 (series: Lessons on Romans)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

Lessons on Romans

Tom Lowe
8/8/19


(29) The Blessing of Love
Romans 8:31-39

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 delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
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.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Introduction
The Spirit of God makes the love of God real to us. The Father is for us (vv. 31–32), the Son is for us (v. 34), and the Spirit is for us (vv. 26–27). Nothing can separate us from His love. Is there any reason why we should not be “more than conquerors”?

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

What then shall we say to these things?
Paul now asks a series of four rhetorical questions concerning the eternal purposes of God. In essence, this verse is the conclusion Paul draws to the first eight chapters of Romans. What will our response be to what has been said in those verses?
If God be for us, who can be against us?

This is not one of the four rhetorical questions but rather the answer to the first question. Paul’s only response is that he has complete assurance that the eternal purposes of God will come to fruition because God is God. “Who can be against us?” does not mean that we have no adversaries. Verses 35 and 36 list a great number of adversaries. However, the strength of the adversaries sinks into insignificance in comparison with the strength of God. By this, Paul means that there is no adversary too great to thwart the eternal purposes of God. If Omnipotence is working on our behalf, no lesser power can defeat His program. Moreover, the efforts of our adversaries, since they are under His absolute control, serve only to fulfill His all-wise purposes for us.

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?

Paul says in effect: “God is for us," therefore, He did not spare His own Son. Surely, that’s the final guarantee that He loves us enough to supply all our needs.”

He who did not spare His own Son,
What marvelous words! We must never allow our familiarity with them to dull their luster or lessen their power to inspire worship. When a world of lost mankind needed to be saved by a sinless Substitute, the great God of the universe did not hold back His heart’s best Treasure, but was pleased to give Him over to a death of shame and loss on our behalf—“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief…” (Isa. 53:10). This is evidence of the fact that God will bring His eternal purposes to their proper conclusion. He loved us so much that He did not spare His own Son in providing atonement for us. This presents the chief point in the proof that God is for us, and it is the greatest exhibition of God’s love for us.

But delivered Him up for us all
This states the delivering up as being the act of God the Father. In Galatians 2:20, the act is mentioned as the act of the Son Himself: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. The two statements are a clear indication of the oneness of the Son with the Father. The “delivering up” was to “the death of the Cross.” For us all, does not infer limited atonement (the view that Christ died only for the elect), for Christ died for all the sins of all the world—“that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to

them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19). His death was enough to make salvation possible, however, only for those who call upon the name of the Lord.

How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Paul then argues from the greater to the lesser by asking the question, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? If God did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up to the cross of Calvary, it is not logical that He would fail to bring to its completed end the purpose for which Christ was sacrificed. That’s why, all the blessings which have been promised to us, even salvation, is ours. Jesus, who is the greatest gift, ensures all the rest. The mention of “all things” includes even those things which are recorded as being opposed to us, but which in point of fact are made a blessing to us. In any case, the term may be taken without limitations. The term “freely give” literally means, “to bestow as a gift of grace.” The logic that flows from this is irresistible. If God has already given us the greatest gift, is there any lesser gift that He will not give? If He has already paid the highest price, will He hesitate to pay any lower price? If He has gone to such lengths to procure our salvation, will He ever let us go?

33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s 1elect? It is God who justifies.

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?
Paul is issuing a challenge to the universe that if there is any man, any angel, any demon, anyone who can bring forth a charge and lay it at the doorstep of God’s elect, let him do so now. But there is none! How could there be? If God has already justified His elect, who can bring a charge?

It is God who justifies.
A more literal rendering is “God is the (One) justifying,” i.e., the justifier, with stress upon the word “God.” Since the elect are justified by God, no one will be able to appeal God’s verdict of justification. Every tongue that attempts to do so will be silenced—“He is near who justifies Me; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand together. Who is My adversary? Let him come near Me. Surely the Lord God will help Me; Who is he who will condemn Me? Indeed they will all grow old like a garment; The moth will eat them up” (Isa. 50:8–9).

It gives clarity to this verse and the following one if we supply the words “No one, because ...” before each answer. Thus this verse would read Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? No one, because it is God who justifies. If we do not supply these words, it might sound as if God is going to bring a charge against His elect, the very thing that Paul is denying!
Charles Spurgeon, the great preacher of the 19th century, wrote this concerning God’s elect: “Every sin of the elect was laid upon the great Champion of our salvation, and by the atonement carried away. There is no sin in God’s book against his people…they are justified in Christ for ever.”

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.

Who is he who condemns?
This is the fourth rhetorical question.
It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen,
Christ is the one to whom all judgment is committed—“For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself and has given Him authority to execute judgment also because He is the Son of Man” (John 5:22, 27). His death has secured our justification and in His resurrection life, He is all together for us.

Today, Jesus is the Savior; tomorrow, He will be the Judge. Even death cannot keep lost sinners from the judgment, for He will raise them from the dead. There is no escape, except through faith in Jesus Christ. Only the Lord God could devise a plan in which the only person in the universe, who can condemn us, is the very person who died for us.

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