And If Our God Is For Us (Romans 8:31-32)
What then shall we say to these things? 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 with him graciously give us all things? —Romans 8:31-32
Romans 8 is like one big symphony crescendo. Each word works together in perfect harmony, giving an understandable and pleasing melody to a deep and complex song, namely, God’s love song for His people. As you read through this stunning chapter, complex concepts begin to move from the realm of the abstract to the tangible, each verse presenting new practical evidence that God loves His children. Paul means to build a case with these verses so that we walk away from Romans 8 overwhelmingly convinced that every word he says is true. So, then, it seems good that we would briefly walk through the rest of the chapter, examining some of the building blocks of Paul’s argument leading up to our main text for this week: verses 31 and 32. If you want to feel the weight of it yourself, you’ll want to grab a Bible and read these verses firsthand. We can’t go through each verse in detail, but we’ll find a lot of great truth!
Paul closed chapter 7 by highlighting the victory over sin that believers have been given by the Holy Spirit. In verse 1, we see that God has taken away every bit of condemnation and shame that used to control us. Verses 2-4 talk about God’s provision for us when we do sin, namely, that Jesus came to take our guilt away. Verses 5-11 flesh out what it means that we have been given the Holy Spirit to literally transform us from the inside out to become like Jesus one day. Verses 12-17 point out the believers’ responsibility to fight diligently to walk by the Spirit, but assures us that since we are literally children of God, we can always run to Him in our time of need and receive grace. Those verses also assure us that we can know for sure that we are God’s children, so we never have to be afraid. Verses 18-25 remind us of the curse of sin over the world and our bodies, but Paul’s words here also give us hope that one day Jesus is going to come back and make everything perfect again, the way it was supposed to be from the beginning. Verses 26-27 talk about how we so often don’t even know what we’re supposed to pray for, but the Holy Spirit helps us know what to pray for and intercedes before God on our behalf. Verses 28-30 indicate that no matter what happens in the life of the believer, good or bad, we can rest assured that God is making everything work together for our ultimate joy. Those verses also encourage us that our justification, sanctification, and ultimate glorification are so sure to happen that they became a reality for us the moment God predestined us, before time began.
So now here we are at verses 31-32. I think that Paul is a bit winded after all of that glorious truth! All he can do at this point is ask, “What then shall we say to these things?” It’s like he’s saying, “This is all too big, too wonderful!” He is simply overwhelmed, as we should be.
He goes on to ask, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” A controversial question, really. “Controversial” because Paul has talked a lot about suffering in this chapter already; in fact, he’s going to talk about people getting murdered for their faith in a few verses. Suffering is a part of being human, and that reality was not lost on Paul’s readers. And a lot of people would say that the reality of suffering must prove that God is unloving, because why would a loving God allow anyone to go through “hell on earth”? Doesn’t the reality of suffering show us that there are countless things “against us” – perhaps even God Himself?
But Paul doesn’t stop there; he elaborates on what it means that “God is for us.” “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all,” Paul says, “how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Paul is arguing that since God has given us the greatest gift in His Son, we can trust that He will also give us everything else that we need, namely, all of the spiritual blessings outlined in Romans 8. We can depend on God for lesser things when He has already given us the best thing. We don’t have to doubt God’s love for us, because He sent His Son to die in our place, proving once and for all that He wants us to be with Him forever one day.
So, Christian, rest in God’s love for you. Paul’s argument is air-tight; you are 100% secure in the love of God. As he says later, nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love. Sometimes we don’t feel that this is true, but feelings are fickle, changeable, and God’s Word never changes. We can bank on God’s love for us as hard as we can bank on His unchanging character, because His love for us is directly rooted in His unchanging character.
And that’s why God’s children can have hope.