Reflections on Romans 8:31-39
This morning at The Well we came upon Romans 8:31-39 in our study of the book of Romans. Paul begins this section by saying, “What shall we say about all these things…” Of course, the obvious question here is “what are all of these things?” Now, it could be all of what Paul has talked about in Romans or just the last few chapters, 5-8. But, I’m happy to say its all of Romans up to this point.
Here’s a quick snapshot of some of “all of these things…”
- Salvation has been revealed and God has remained faithful to his covenant!
- God’s wrath was revealed to man by giving him over to their desire to worship the creation rather than God himself, who made the creation.
- This is true of everybody. Even the religious, even those who are supposed to be “righteous” in the worlds eyes.
- It doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a gentiles, religious or not religious, all have turned away from God.
- But God is faithful to his covenant.
- We have been made right before Jesus.
- We can have peace with God
- We were once enemies; we are now his children.
- While through Adam came death to all; through Jesus came life to all.
- We are united with Christ in a way that what is true of him, is true of us.
- We have moved from death to life.
- We are now raised from the dead; so that we might bear fruit to God!
- There is no longer any condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus!
- We are not controlled by sin, but we’re controlled by the Spirit.
- We are adopted as sons and daughters of God, we are co-heirs with Jesus Christ..
- We eagerly await our full adoption, for our adoption to be made complete.
- Now only we do eagerly await full redemption, but the world longs to be made whole as well. The world longs to be brought to rights.
- We long to be what we were meant to be, the world longs to be what it was meant to be.
- Through Jesus, this is possible, this is happening!
- The sufferings we are experiencing now will be nothing compared the the glory that we will experience when the world is brought to rights.
So what shall we say? What else is there to say except, “God is for us.” God is for humanity. God is for the world. This is such amazing new eh? During the sermon, after I reviewed “these things” we stopped and sang a wonderful hymn, “How Great Thou Art.” It seemed appropriate.
NT Wright, in his excellent commentary on Romans, has a few poetic quotes in regard to this passage,
“We are back with the picture that has been there in Romans from the beginning: God and creation, with the human race poised in between, belonging within the latter but called to reflect the image of the former. Idolatry has reversed Gods intended order: humans had worshiped that which was not God, had ceded power to that which being itself, corruptible, could only bring death. Now, in the Messiah, Jesus, humanity has been restored death has been defeated, and creation itself, so far from being shunned as essentially evil, awaits its redemption….”
“Paul has spoken, and we must speak, of the love of the one true God. This love of God calls across the dark intervals of meaning, reaches into the depths of human despair, embraces those who live in the shadow of death or the overbright light of present life, challenges the rulers of the world and shows them as a sham, looks at the present with clear faith and at the future with sure hope, overpowers all the powers that might get in the way, fills the outer dimensions of the cosmos, and declares to the world that God is God, that Jesus the Messiah is the world’s true Lord, and that in him love has won the victory.”
The one main thought that came to me while I was preaching is that so many of us believe, or at least live like we believe, that God somehow can stop loving us. That there is something we can do to lose his favor. That somehow we aren’t worth loving. That somehow, he’s not for us.
But, if you believe that, or anything like that, let me tell you… You are wrong.
You may think that God has given up on you… but you are wrong.
God is for us.
Nothing can separate you and me from the love of God in Jesus Christ. Nothing.