Romans 8:31 God is For Us WC McCarter
READ Scripture- This is the Word of God
Let me illustrate this point for you. Roughly 700 years before Christ, Assyria was the great world empire. They came down from the north and destroyed the northern nation (and tribes) of Israel in 722 BC. The prophets of God foretold this event and said that it was the Lord’s judgment on the people because of their rebellion against Him. In 701 BC, the Assyrians, led by King Sennacherib, went down into the southern nation of Judah and conquered it. The only city that stood was Jerusalem, and they surrounded it. There was no chance that Jerusalem and Hezekiah king of Judah could defend or save themselves. Yet, let me read to you from 2 Kgs 19:9-19, 35-37. You can turn there too, if you would like.
Time and again, God has fought for His people. He is sovereign over all things and orchestrates all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Even when things look very bleak, God shows up for His people, sometimes in miraculous fashion. Of course, this narrative is only one way that God has been “for” His people in history, but there are several different examples and many ways to consider the fact that God is for us and no one can stand against us in any absolute sense.
Now, let us go back to our main verse today, Romans 8:31.
First Question: What then shall we say to these things?
This question introduces a conclusion. So, we must decide what section is being concluded. What does the phrase “these things” refer to? Three options are before us: (1) it concludes 8:18-30 about hope in the midst of suffering and God’s promise that all things will turn out for good for those who love Him; or (2) it concludes chapters 6-8 about being dead to sin and alive to God; or (3) concludes the entire epistle thus far. I tend to lean toward this final interpretive option which takes “these things” to refer to the entire epistle. The NEB translates this question, “With all of this in mind, what are we to say?” You have heard me say this at the end of sermons before.
*Here is what the apostle is concluding: Chapters 1-8 *Give summary.
Now that we know the whole sweep of God’s work of redemption and love, how do we respond? Is there even a response that can be given?
Second Question: If God is for us, who can be against us?
There are many who are “against us” in our day. The culture (especially the sexual revolutionaries); the media; university professors; etc. Do not let us neglect other things that war against us such as hardships, persecutions, sin, death, and Satan.
The “if” that begins the second question should be taken in the sense of “since it is so.” It is stated rhetorically. Let’s not miss the Jewish character of this question: (1) There may be many against us but none compare to the one God (see Isa 40:25-31 and Rom 8:38-39); (2) Many Old Testament saints put there confidence in the Lord even in the midst of their suffering (see Ps 23:4; 56:9; 118:6-7); and (3) There is also the idea of Final Judgment when all God’s people will be vindicated, especially the martyrs.
Conclusion: God is For Us
Not everyone can make the claim that God is for them. God said many times in the Old Testament, “I am against you says the LORD.” With God on our side there is no fear of defeat.
Some have attempted to make God out to be a “glory-hog” as if He is only for Himself, but we see here a great summary of the message of the whole Bible that God is also “for us.” This is the Gospel in one simple verse. God is no longer against you. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. You were once an enemy of God, but He has reconciled you to Himself by the precious blood of Christ. He is not against you. He is not angry with you. He is “for you.” Therefore, there is no person or thing that we should fear. Since God is for us, no one can ultimately stand against us.