Safe if Saved
Safe If Saved (Romans 8:31-39)
How can you reduce the most profound biblical book to a single sentence? Paul did so in Romans 8:31, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" All that God says in the deep, doctrinal discussions of Romans may be reduced to that sentence. Baptist believers have stated it in a simple way, "once saved, always saved." Whoever once truly believes that Jesus was raised from the dead, and confesses that Jesus is Lord, will go to heaven when he dies.
God Is for Us
This is a presupposition, not a question. God is on our side. He is for us and not against us. He desires life in abundance. It is the resounding faith of the psalmist: "This I know [that] God is for me" (Ps. 56:9, NKJV). "In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (v. 11, NKJV).
This is an affirmation. No one can ultimately prevail against me. This implies that the Christian has many enemies. This is true. In one sense, a Christian has more enemies than anyone else. Both seen and unseen opponents constantly oppose the believer. None of them will prevail.
This is a deduction. God has done the greatest conceivable thing for us—given His only Son to cruel death. Will He not do the lesser thing for us, protect us safely if saved? God has already done the inconceivably great and costly thing for us. We may be fully confident He will do what is by comparison less—protect us till we stand before Him.
No One Can Prevail Against Us
There can be no finally successful accusation against the Christian. Paul pictures a judgment scene in a courtroom: "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?" (Rom. 8:33). Many attempt to do so, including Satan himself (Rev. 12:10). The implication is that no one can successfully bring such a charge against the believer.
The Judge is already on our side. The only person who can condemn is the Judge, and He is the One who most wants to pardon and free us. The only finally effective accuser is God Himself. He is pledged to the very opposite. And from His court, there can be no appeal!
The Counsel for the Defense has done everything. He has already died for guilty defendants, taken their maximum punishment into Himself. He has risen from the dead so that He will always be available in the future. What is more, He has been exalted to the right hand of the Judge, where forever, without ceasing, He personally intercedes for every individual who trusts Him to do so. Best of all, the Counsel for the Defense is the Judge's only beloved Son!
Nothing Can Separate Us
Past experience already demonstrates this. Paul gives an autobiographical catalog of that which he had already experienced, and which had not separated him from Christ's love for him (v. 35). This was not only his experience, but that of God's people in the Old Testament (v. 36).
But what of the future? Can anything arise that will threaten our relationship? Paul considers four dimensions of reality that cannot separate us from Christ.
No state of existence can separate us from Christ. He begins with death, the greatest and ultimate enemy. "The blank horror of dying is ameliorated by the love of Christ." To die is only more of Christ (see Phil. 1:23).
No invisible, supernatural power can separate us from Christ. "Angels nor demons" (v. 38) represents all of the mysteries in the unseen, spiritual universe.
No span of time can separate us from Christ. Neither this world nor the world to come holds anything to defeat us.
No span of space can separate us from Christ. No vastness or space that exists between us below and Him in the heaven of heavens above can come between us.
Lest he omit anything, Paul added "anything else in all creation" (v. 39). There may be created powers beyond our imagination or perception. Neither can they come between Christ's love and the believer.
Take comfort from these words. You are safe if saved.