February 9, 2003
WHAT SHALL WE SAY TO THESE THINGS?
"If God be for us, who can be against us" (Rom. 8:31). These things which we are challenged to dispute are the spiritual blessings of the immediate context. Being "foreknown of God" and part of "his purpose," we are "predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son." We are also "called...justified...and glorified" (8:28-30). And best of all, the God Who "spared not His Own Son, but delivered Him up for us all," has with Christ "freely given us all things" (8:32). Surely this includes "every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies" (Eph. 1:3).
But "who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" is answered, "It is God Who justifies" us! No one can bring a claim against our justification. "Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, That is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also makes intercession for us." The heart of the gospel is the basis for this: we have Christ's death, His resurrection, His ascension to God's right hand in glory, and His intercession on our behalf! These same truths were already expressed in Romans 5:8-10, "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled we shall be saved by His life." What is this but His interceding for us at God's right hand?
But can we be separated from "the love of Christ"? Can horrible circumstances of life bring a wedge between us? What of "tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or the sword"? These are not part of the all things God gives, but the things He works together for good! Yet what of the unknown and unseen realm? Paul surveyed the extremities of human experience, "death and life," the invisible powers of the spirit world, "angels, principalities, & powers," he included time and space, "things present and to come...height and depth," and were that not enough, he postulates "any other creation." He was persuaded that nothing could ever separate the believer from the "love of God...in Christ Jesus our Lord." Are you also persuaded?
Ivan L. Burgener