Romans 8: “If God is for us, who is against us?”

Read the Bible in 2011–2021* ◊ Week 4: Sunday

What then shall we say to these things?
If God is for us, who is against us?
Romans 8:31

For my final post on Romans 8 in the Read the Bible in 2011 series, here is the entire chapter. Pray and ask God to open your eyes to the wonder of who God is and all He has done for you. Read through Romans 8, and see the great love with which our Triune God loves you. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are for you.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written,

“FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;
WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!
God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, Holy, Holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, Holy, Holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see,
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!
God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!

 Soli Deo Gloria: To God Alone Be the Glory


Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications. (Site has been deleted since posting).
Triune God: Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Warrenton VA. Click on the image to enlarge. This is one of several traditional representations of the Trinity: God the Father is represented by His hand; God the Son by a lamb with a banner bearing a cross, and God the Holy Spirit by a descending dove. I especially like this one because God’s personal name given by Him to Moses in Exodus 3, Yahweh, is represented by the letters YHWH, and Father, Abba, used by Jesus in Mark 14:36, given above in Romans 8:15, and mentioned in Galatians 4:6, is also here.

You may have noticed in the second and third paragraphs of Romans 8, that Spirit of God, Spirit of Christ, and Spirit of Him are all highlighted in blue as are other references to the Holy Spirit. I did this because while I want to highlight that each person of the Trinity is at work in our salvation, we must not forget we worship one God, “The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” While we grasp certain truths of the Trinity, full understanding is beyond us. The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law, Deuteronomy 29:29. We are finite and fallible, and it should not surprise us that our infinite God is beyond our comprehension. Francis Schaeffer writes:

“Once you have accepted Christ as your Savior, you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit once for all. It is simply impos­sible to have accepted Christ as Savior and not be indwelt by the Holy Spirit, whom Paul calls here “the Spirit of Christ” (compare Phil. 1:19; 1 Pet. 1:11)… “If Christ be in you…” (verse 10). And how is Christ to be in us? Through the agency of the “Spirit of Christ” (verse 9).

“Paul describes the Holy Spirit as coming from Christ but also as coming from God the Father. In verse 9 he also calls Him the “Spirit of God,” while in verse 11 he calls Him “the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead,” which of course refers to God the Father. It is interesting to compare Paul’s under­standing of the Trinity with the way Christ Himself spoke of His relationship with the Father and the Spirit. In John 14 Jesus says that both He and God the Father will “come unto” and “make our abode with” anyone who loves them (John 14:23). But just a few verses previously, He says that He will ask God the Father to give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever” (John 14:16). The Comforter is, of course, God the Holy Spirit, and Jesus says that the Holy Spirit “dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (14:17). He concludes by promising that “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (14:18). How will God the Father and God the Son “come” to us and “make their abode” with us (verse 23)? They will do this in the person of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the one who comforts (verses 16–18). There is a unity in the ministries of the three persons of the Trinity. Paul emphasizes this unity of the Godhead, and it is important that we see this as we read Romans 8.”
Francis Schaeffer, The Finished Work of Christ: The Truth of Romans 1–8
(Crossway Books, Wheaton IL: 1998) 194.

*In 2011 I started a year-long series of posts, “Read the Bible in 2011.” On the directory pages if a day didn’t link to a post, it was simply a brief reminder about the reading. I’m filling in some of those gaps with new posts with “Read the Bible in 2011 Redux” as a category.

Copyright ©2021 Iwana Carpenter

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