Living Romans 8, Verses 31-37

This last section of Romans is Paul’s wow moment of the entire chapter. However, it wasn’t formatted for easy dissection, so the early format may or may not work; sorry if it doesn’t!

Verse 31

A very powerful question is asked, and it seems to me from my long ago days as a writing grad student that it is rhetorical. Paul doesn’t seriously want an answer; he wants to emphasize the very bold point he wants to leave lingering in our hearts.

If God is for us, who can be against?

God Most High, the Lord my Righteousness, the God Who sees, the Lord of Hosts, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient… if He has my back, can anyone truly defeat me if I’m within His will?

And all us country folk yell, “Heck, no!!!”

Verses 32-36

Paul continues using rhetorical questions to make Christians truly dig down deep and think about the God they serve. The God who gave His very Son to save us will give us all things necessary according to His will. If God has justified us, no one can argue against us or accuse us and be successful. Condemnation will only come from Christ Himself, but His focus is on being His Father’s “right hand man” and constantly asking the Father for all the good things His people need. Paul closes out by asking what can separate us from the love of Christ once we’ve chosen His fellowship. He cites all kinds of nasty things American Christians are generally far too soft, comfortable, and complacent to consider.

Verses 37-39

Paul finally answers every rhetorical questions he’s asked with a summary of the Christian’s identity in Christ: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

I would love to emphasize several key words.

All: Not one or two. Not the stuff you’re really good at. But every situation in life you can overcome. The memories of the high school bully that pop up before every sales presentation, that nasty divorce, the kids not adjusting to the new school schedule, the umpteenth boss in as many months, the third rent increase… in every situation you will ever face God is with you.

More than conquerors: The Christian isn’t promised an easy life. It is a struggle. We don’t usually wrestle human beings. We wrestle demons and powers and principalities; some are real, and some are the result of circumstances and past history and genetics and a broken world. We don’t just fight to win; we fight to radiate compassion, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, joy, love, mercy, patience, peace, and self-control throughout the struggle. All those things make us more.

Through him: It is only through Christ that Christians can truly have that more. We cannot do it on our own. We all have fallen flat on our super-spiritual faces and have to have Jesus pick us up and clean us off to be able to reflect His glory again. We are nothing without Him.

 

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