Faithlife
Faithlife

If God is for us, who can be against us?

Notes & Transcripts

Rom 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? 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, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;

we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”{ Psalm 44:22}

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,{Or nor heavenly rulers } neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Lord God, May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be always acceptable to you, my rock and my redeemer.

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-Letter to the church in Rome was written in about 57AD

-Paul was in his fifties, maybe 52 or 53 years old.

-Written to a predominately gentile church that had not yet received the teaching of an apostle.

-Scholars note …Romans is most systematic of his letters

-Main emphasis on Christian Doctrine as well as a deep concern for Israel.

-None of Paul’s letters states so profoundly the content of the Gospel and its implications for both the present as well as the future.


-Sunday lectionary of New Testament readings should combine last weeks reading – verses 26-34 with this weeks verses as they really tie together as THE VICTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN. 

-           A victory we seem to forget for a moment due to stresses and events that occur in our lives from time to time. 

-           Need to remember that “In all things God works for the Good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” and that NO ONE and NOTHING IN ALL CREATION can separate us from the love Christ! 

-           In the one passage we realize that in all things God is working – therefore we can rejoice that His loving care is evident throughout our trials as well as our triumphs – and in the following verses we read that we have complete assurance that nothing can separate us from that loving care.

How often do we mope about in our Christian walk?

-Things don’t go our way. 

-We owe a lot of money. 

-Someone doesn’t pay us on time. 

-Someone doesn’t like us, or says something nasty about us. 

-Our car breaks down. 

-The kids get sick, or we ourselves get sick. 

-We’re beaten down at work.

-Our reputations are wrecked by a careless person who we thought was a friend.

-We don’t feel loved.

-We feel we have been stepped on or slighted in some way. 

None of us has really experienced persecution in the sense of

-Physical attack or threat of death just because of our belief.  

But Paul and the Early church went through many persecutions

-and still at the end cried out in utter triumph because

-God had not abandoned them,

-never failed them –

-he had never stopped caring for them. 

Paul writes in Philippians 4:6: “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!” And he writes this while imprisoned.  How?  Because of his total confidence and assurance in Christ.

 

 

VISION THAT GOD GAVE ME SHORTLY AFTER MY DELIVERANCE


So many of the songs written today reveal a shattered and hopeless worldview.  If you listen to any of the popular stations, especially for the youth, there is so much pain and lost-ness that it seems that the world would collapse in upon itself. 

As Christians, we are the holders of the one true hope - and that is something that is not given to us for ourselves only.  We have a responsibility to share it with our brothers and sisters and those younger than us, especially our children.  They will not “get it” by osmosis somehow, but only as we pass along our own stories.

Last week we read that we have been chosen by God, to have fellowship with God.  What a glorious position in which to be.  And because we have been chosen, we can impart Hope and the Love of Christ to all those we know. We all have a story of God active in our lives.  Some would call them coincidences, I would call them God-incidents.  The bishop has said that some folks like to call answered prayer coincidences.  He himself says that all he knows is that he prays and an awful lot of coincidences happen.

STORY OF STEPHEN’S BIRTH

Coincidences? No…God incidents. Direct answers to prayer.

Paul talks of the absolute assurance we have of God’s love and the fact that no one and nothing in all the created world can ever separate us from the love of Christ Jesus.  Paul was constantly delivered by God until God’s purpose was complete in his life. He talks about this from life experience as we read in 2 Corinthians 11:24-29.

Can Death separate us? Can bill collectors?  Can the nasty guy down the street?  Can financial bankruptcy? Can serious illness? Can any of the things of life – good or bad?  Can Satan? Can injury? Can personal trials separate us?  Absolutely not in any circumstance, no matter how bad.

 

 

STORY ABOUT PATTY

 


Can we walk away from that love?  Of course but I would say we would have to work really hard and long at it – probably continuously until the day we die -  to run away from God.  There is nothing that can block that eternal love for the believer in Jesus.  Jesus has won the victory on the cross through his blood and death whereby we are forever guaranteed God’s love….no matter what happens.  We celebrate that gift every Sunday in the Eucharist.  The theological term for it is anamnesis – the bringing to mind in the present the event that occurred in the past.  We celebrate- with the Body and Blood of the Lord, the bread and wine – the most holy of gifts that God could ever give:  His Son.  He is our justification before the Father, our sanctifier, our intercessor and friend.  He walks with us – and sometimes carries us - through the trials and triumphs of this earthly life.  His Holy Spirit indwells us to constantly intercede and work to make us more like Jesus. 

Paul tells us in first Timothy that God wants all to be saved.

1 Tim 2:1-4

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

Do we always FEEL this love of Christ?  No, not always.  But as Christians we know it because He said it and we have this hope in Christ that we have eternal life because of His resurrection from the dead.  God’s great love is able to keep us no matter what happens, because he did not spare His own Son, but gave him up for us all.

Consider Abraham when God confirmed his covenant with him concerning an heir in Gen 15:

After this, the word of the LORD  came to Abram in a vision:

"Do not be afraid, Abram.

I am your shield,

your very great reward."

Remember the story of Noah and the Ark.  God kept he and his family from the disaster that was brought on the world because of men’s wickedness.

Remember the story of the Exodus.  The nation of Israel were enslaved by Pharoah and God’s hand was for the Israelites and against Pharaoh.  He delivered them in a spectacular way.

He kept them supplied while they wandered in the desert.  Food, clothing, guidance.  He gave them the sign of the pillar of fire by night and cloud during the day.

In Deut 2 God told Moses:

"Set out now and cross the Arnon Gorge. See, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his country. Begin to take possession of it and engage him in battle.  This very day I will begin to put the terror and fear of you on all the nations under heaven. They will hear reports of you and will tremble and be in anguish because of you."

….When Sihon and all his army came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz,  the LORD our God delivered him over to us and we struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army.”

David and the Philistine in 1 Sam.

“David says to Saul: “The LORD  who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." And God delivered the philistine into David’s hand – a mere boy.

Remember Joshua when God made him leader of the Israelites in Chapter 1:

“Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

And the utter defeat of Jericho in Joshua 6 by the blowing of trumpets and the great shout after marching around the city 7 times.

Gideon and the defeat of the Midianites in Judges 7. 

With only 300 men, God gave him the ...The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples that had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.

Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 32:7-8

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him.  With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles." And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.

David the Psalmist in Ps 27:1

The LORD  is my light and my salvation —

whom shall I fear?

The LORD  is the stronghold of my life —

of whom shall I be afraid?

Isaiah 26:4

Trust in the LORD forever,

for the LORD , the LORD , is the Rock eternal.

The Psalms are full of the assurance of God’s provision.

Go back and look into the Old Testament and see how many, many times God was “for” his people and delivered them from annihilation against overwhelming odds.

STORY ABOUT MELISSA THIS WEEK


The early Christians talked and preached the resurrection much more than the crucifixion.  It is the pivotal event that gives us the hope of everlasting life – that Jesus is the “firstborn among many brothers” according to Paul, in the passage from last week.(vs 29)

But both are of the greatest importance.  You can have the crucifixion without the resurrection, but you can’t have a resurrection without the crucifixion. 

What does this mean? 

It means that God, in His sovereignty chose us to be redeemed and sanctified by the shedding of His only son’s blood that we might attain the life He wants to give us.  We spoke last week about prayer and our relationship to God and how our sole purpose in life, through prayer, is to become like Jesus His Son.  

We have no other purpose but to be vessels of that great gift and mercy…to become like His son.  Because God gave us that overwhelming gift, is it not proper that in return, we should take advantage of his gift to communicate that relationship?  We should with all our heart!  With confidence we should share the great hope that is in Jesus and our relationship with him with everyone we meet.  We too should have this great confidence that Paul states at the end of this powerful chapter in Romans.


“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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