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who is the one who
Jesus is He who
rather who was
who is at the
intercedes for us. (NASB:
is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died,
or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of
God actually pleading as He intercedes for us? (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is
the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting
at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ, and
Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us,
Christ prays for us! (Phillips:
Wuest: Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus, the One who
died, yes, rather, who has been raised, who is on the right hand of
God, who also is constantly interceding on our behalf? (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: 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.
Jew and Gentile
Restored to Israel
Slaves to Sin
Slaves to God
Slaves Serving God
Life by Faith
Service by Faith
Modified from Irving
L. Jensen's excellent work
Survey of the NT
WHO IS THE ONE WHO CONDEMNS?
CHRIST JESUS IS HE WHO DIED, YES, RATHER WHO WAS RAISED: tis o katakrinon (FAPMSN)
(Iesous) o apothanon (AAPMSN) mallon de egertheis (APPMSN):
(Romans 8:1; 14:13; Job 34:29; Psalms 37:33; 109:31; Jer 50:20) (Ro
4:25; 5:6-10; 14:9; Job 33:24; Mt 20:28; John 14:19; Galatians 3:13,14;
Hebrews 1:3; 9:10, 11, 12, 13, 14; 10:10, 11, 12, 13, 14,19, 20, 21, 22;
12:2; 1Peter 3:18; Revelation 1:18)
Who is he that
condemns? - The only One Who can condemn is the Judge and the Judge,
Who is not going to do this for as Paul has already declared...
There is therefore now no
(Greek = absolutely no) condemnation (katakrima [from katakrino -
see below] is the result of judgment and relates to the sentencing for a
crime, the focus being not so much on the verdict as on the penalty the
verdict demands) for those who are in Christ Jesus. (See note
from kata = down, against + krino = to assess, then to
separate or distinguish, then to give an opinion upon, judge, then to
decide or determine and finally to judge (to judge one down [kata
= down]), pronounce judgment or to condemn) means to give
judgment against, pass sentence upon, pass judgment against and hence to condemn, this latter
action implying there has been a crime. It means to pronounce sentence
against or to adjudge guilty and always denotes an adverse sentence (to
sentence to punishment).
Condemn = Old French
condemner, from Latin condemnāre from con-
(expressing intensive force) + damnare = to condemn, to inflict
loss upon from damnum = loss, damage.
Katakrino in secular Greek was a legal technical term for
pronouncing a sentence after reaching a verdict or decision against
someone. To declare an evildoer guilty.
In our modern parlance, the word condemn is often used with a
"lighter" meaning such as to censure, to express strong disapproval, to
denounce, etc. Most Biblical uses of katakrino are not "light" as
evidenced by repeated use of this verb to describe Jesus being
condemned to death. Similarly all who disbelieve will be
condemned, which is not simply censured, etc, but sentenced to
eternal separation from God (but see note on
which describes condemnation by one's
own conscience, not eternal condemnation or condemnation to death).
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
writes that katakrino...
is to be distinguished from the
previously mentioned words (krino) in that it refers either to the
sentence or to the punishment following the sentence rather than to the
simple act of deciding in judgment. Only the context can determine the
precise nature of the sentence. (Pfeiffer,
C, H. F. Vos & J. Rea, Ed The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia. 1975.
Nelson's New Illustrated Bible
Dictionary writes that...
Condemn and condemnation
are judicial terms, the opposite of Justify and Justification
(Mt 12:37; Ro 5:16, 18). God alone is the Judge of people; in His demand
for righteousness, sin leads invariably to condemnation and death. (Youngblood,
R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
The Evangelical Dictionary of
Biblical Theology adds that...
From the standpoint of semantics,
condemnation is part of legal terminology. When it is discovered that a
crime has been committed, that the law has been broken, the process of
investigation may lead to formal charges being levied against a
defendant. The process of litigation leads to the outcome, a verdict of
acquittal or guilt. The verdict indicates that the defendant is either
free from or accountable to the law’s penalty for that crime. Thus the
result is either vindication or condemnation. Condemnation can refer
either to the legal status of liability to punishment or to the actual
infliction of that punishment. At times the word is also used in a
broader context to refer to negative evaluations of a person by peers or
by one’s own conscience. This legal process is to some extent the
background for biblical language about judgment and condemnation. (Click
here for full article that
goes into much greater detail) (Elwell,
W. A., & Elwell, W. A. The Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology .
Baker Book House)
Here are the 24 uses of katakrino in
the NT (only 2 uses in Lxx = Est 2:1, Da 4:1)...
Matthew 12:41 "The men of
Nineveh shall stand up with this generation at the judgment, and shall
condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and
behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42 "The Queen of the South
shall rise up with this generation at the judgment and shall condemn
it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of
Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
Comment: In the passages above
(and Lu 11:31,32,
- see below) the idea is that by one's good example another's
wickedness is rendered all the more evident and censurable. In other
words the good conduct of the men of Nineveh, Queen of the South and
Noah, when compared to the conduct of others would show that the latter
to be guilty of misconduct and to therefore deserve condemnation.
Matthew 20:18 "Behold, we are
going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief
priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death,
Matthew 27:3 Then when Judas,
who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt
remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests
Mark 10:33 saying, "Behold, we
are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the
chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to
death, and will deliver Him to the Gentiles.
Mark 14:64 "You have heard the
blasphemy; how does it seem to you?" And they all condemned Him
to be deserving of death.
Mark 16:16 "He who has
believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has
disbelieved shall be condemned.
Luke 11:31 "The Queen of the
South shall rise up with the men of this generation at the judgment and
condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear
the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is
here. 32 "The men of Nineveh shall stand up with this generation
at the judgment and condemn it, because they repented at the
preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
John 8:10 And straightening
up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn
you?" 11 And she said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I
condemn you; go your way. From now on sin no more."
Romans 2:1 (note)
Therefore you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment,
for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who
judge practice the same things.
Romans 8:3 (note)
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,
Romans 8:34 (note)
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.
Romans 14:23 (note)
But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is
not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.
As far as the weak brother is
concerned, it is wrong for him to eat anything about which he has
conscientious scruples. His eating is not an act of faith; that is, he
has a bad conscience about it. And it is a sin to violate one’s
1 Corinthians 11:32 But when
we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord in order that we may not
be condemned along with the world.
Hebrews 11:7 (note)
By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in
reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which
he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is
according to faith.
2 Peter 2:6 (note)
and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by
reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would
live ungodly thereafter
What, die for them, and then condemn
them? Nobody can condemn them but the Judge; and if he is unable to
condemn them, in consequence of what he has already done for them, then
none can. But this is not all. Will he blow hot and mild, and first
intercede for them, and then condemn them? It cannot be.
The only one who has the right to condemn is the Judge of all men,
Jesus Christ (see note
2 Timothy 4:1) -- and Jesus died for us
sin in the flesh (see note
And more than that, He was raised to life for us, He is now at the right
hand of God in power for us, and He is also interceding for us (see note
And we are now identified and in union with Him (see notes
In Christ) so
it is unreasonable to think that He is then going to condemn us.
And so Paul alludes to the power that we possess to lay hold afresh of the life
of Jesus. Not only is our guilt set aside, but we have His power imparted to
us -- His life in us, His risen life made available to us now. So we can
rise up and say "No!" to the temptations that surround us and the habits
that drag us down. We can be a victor over them. That is not mere
dogma, for believers are in union with a living Person who dies, yes,
rather who was raised. That is the glory of
Christianity. The unique distinction of Christians is that we have
(apothnesko from apo = separation from that which one was previously
united, from, away from + thnesko = to die) means to die off from and
pictures death as not an annihilation but a separation, the separation
being of the soul from the body. In spiritual death, apothnesko pictures
separation (eg, from the power of sin in
Romans 6:2 [note],
from the Law
Romans 7:6 [note],
the elementary principles of the world
Colossians 2:20 [note],
Bengel comments that...
Our faith should rest on Christ’s
death, but it should rather also so far progress as to lean on His
dominion, and second coming
Farrar adds that...
From the representations of the
dead Christ the early believers
shrank as from an impiety. To them He was the living, not the dead
Christ — the triumphant, the glorified, the infinite, — not the agonized
Christ in that one brief hour and power of darkness which was but the
spasm of an eternal glorification
means to waken, rouse from sleep, from sitting or lying, from disease,
from death, from inactivity, from ruins. It means to lift up, raise up,
arise again, stand up. Metaphorically, egeiro is used in the NT
to describe to awaken from sluggishness or lethargy (see note
It also refers as in the present use to be awakened up from death and so
to be raised from the dead.
The resurrection was confirmation of the Father’s acceptance of
the Son’s substitutionary death (cf. 1Cor 15). It is worth noting that
all three persons of the Trinity were active in Christ’s resurrection:
the Father—Acts 2:24; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30, 33, 34, 37; 17:31;
8:11 (note) and the
Son—John 2:19-22; 10:17-18.
Resurrection of Christ Jesus is the
grand proof of His Divine Sonship and thus Paul writes that Jesus
(openly designated, marked out, declared) with (literally "in") power
(in a striking, triumphant and miraculous manner) as the Son of God by
the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness. (see
The Resurrection was the guarantee of God’s power to carry out
the rescue of those who are His and to judge those who are not, for as
Luke recorded in Acts...
He has fixed a day in which He will
judge the world in righteousness through a Man Whom He has
having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead. (Acts
The Scriptures generally attribute the resurrection of Jesus to the
activity of the Father -
rings out! Is there anyone here to condemn? No one, because Christ has
died for the defendant, has been raised from the dead, is now at the
right hand of God interceding for him. If the Lord Jesus, to whom all
judgment has been committed, does not pass sentence on the defendant but
rather prays for him, then there is no one else who could have a valid
reason for condemning him.
RIGHT HAND OF GOD WHO ALSO
INTERCEDES FOR US: os kai estin
(3SPAI) en dexia tou theou os kai entugchanei (3SPAI) huper hemon: (Mark
16:19; Acts 7:56, 57, 58, 59, 60; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 8:1,2; 12:1;
1Peter 3:22) (Romans 8:27; Isaiah 53:12; John 16:23,26,27; 17:20, 21,
22, 23, 24; Hebrews 4:14,15; 7:25; 9:24; 1John 2:1,2)
He it is to Whom all judgment is committed (Jn 5:22, 27, 2Ti 4:1-note).
The mention of His position at God's right hand of authority serves to
stress the efficacy of His intercession and our security.
This is Paul's final security-- the
last ground of his triumphant assurance: Jesus Christ, at God's right
hand, with the virtue of His atoning death in Him, pleads His people's
cause. Cf Heb 9:24, 7:25, 1John 2:1ff) (Nicoll, W Robertson, Editor:
Expositors Greek Testament: 5 Volumes. Out of print. Search Google)
from en = in + tugcháno = to reach a mark, to get, to
obtain) according to Vine means "primarily “to fall in with, meet
with in order to converse”; then, “to make petition,” especially “to
make intercession, plead with a person,” either for or against others".
was sometimes used of bringing a petition before a king on behalf of
writes that the verb entugchano...
means to light upon or fall in with;
to go to meet for consultation, conversation, or supplication.
The idea of
entugchano is first to
meet up with or to encounter, then to meet with for the purposes of
conversation or an interview, and then to approach someone with a
petition. Entugchano thus means to make an earnest request
through contact with the one approached. To entreat (in favor or
against), to make intercession, to bring a petition to a king on behalf
of someone, to ask for something with urgency and intensity, to plead,
beg, appeal to or to petition.
Our Great High Priest speaks to His
Father on our behalf and He is engaged in this gracious work continually
He is continuously interceding on
behalf of His brethren.
It has well been said that Christ’s
life in heaven is His prayer for us. It is what He is that determines
what He does. In reviewing the reasoning found in this long section
(Heb 7:11-25), we are impressed with the logic of the writer. Jesus
Christ’s priesthood after the order of Melchizedek is superior to that
of Aaron and has replaced it. Both the historical argument and the
doctrinal argument are sound. But the writer adds a third argument. (Wiersbe,
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor
In classic Greek
entugchano was used to refer to bringing a petition before a king
on behalf of another person, a perfect picture of what our great High
Priest daily does for us. No act in the ritual of the Day of Atonement
prefigured this. The Aaronic high priest offered no prayer of
intercession while in the holy of holies.
There was but the one offering on
earth once for all. But the intercession for us in the heavens (He 7:26-note)
is ever continuing, whence the result follows, that we can never be
separated from the love of God in Christ. He intercedes only for those
who come unto God through Him, not for the unbelieving world (Jn 17:9).
As samples of His intercession, compare the prophetical descriptions in
the Old Testament.
“By an humble omnipotency (for it was
by His humiliation that He obtained all power), or omnipotent humility,
appearing in the presence, and presenting His postulations at the throne
of God” [Bishop Pearson].
He was not only the offering, but the
priest who offered it. Therefore, He has become not only a sacrifice,
but an intercessor; His intercession being founded on His voluntary
offering of Himself without spot to God. We are not only then in virtue
of His sacrifice forgiven, but in virtue of the intercession admitted to
favor and grace [Archbishop Magee]. (Hebrews
writes that Messiah's current intercession...
includes every form of Messiah’s
identifying Himself with humanity, and includes the idea of
intercession. The writer speaks here of the present intercession of
Messiah on behalf of believers, which is based upon and follows His
once-for-all offering of Himself as the sacrifice for sin. (Wuest,
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
feels that in Hebrews 7:25 that the idea of entugchano...
is not intercession, but
intervention. It includes every form of Christ’s identifying Himself
with human interests. The attempt has been made to trace this idea to
Philo, who alludes to the suppliant Logos, and the the advocate-Logos.
But the Logos is not treated by Philo as a divine-human personality
intervening for men, but as a poetical personification allegorically
considered (Ed note: Just another fact that should cause the
judicious reader to be wary when reading men like Philo and instead to
stick very close to the pure milk of the Word!). (Comment:
Moffatt wrote that "His intercession has red blood in it, unlike
Dr John Walvoord notes that the verb entugchano is used
twice to refer to Christ's intercession and adds that there are...
two other instances where a noun form enteuxis is used, (1Ti 2:1,
1Ti 4:5), in which instances the word is translated intercession
and prayer respectively, being used for the prayers of men to
God. It is significant that the same word, which is used of Christ’s
intercession in its verb form (entugchano), is used of the prayer of men
in its noun form. This would imply a close resemblance and would justify
the conclusion that the intercession of Christ in some sense is similar
to that of human prayer and, therefore, more than mere presence in
This conclusion is confirmed by the reference in the Scriptures to the
intercession of the Holy Spirit in
Romans 8:26; 8:27
intercession of the Spirit is prompted by the fact that believers do not
know how to pray as they should and the Holy Spirit therefore presents
their petitions. If it may be concluded from this that the Holy Spirit
is engaged in real intercession, it would imply that the intercession of
Christ is equally real...
Accordingly, it may be concluded that while intercession may not
necessarily take the form of words and may not carry out all the forms
of human expression used on earth, the fact that similar words for
intercession are used both for the intercession of Christ and the
prayers of men implies that the reality of intercession is more than the
presence of Christ in heaven.
Intercession, therefore, may be considered an act not merely an
inevitability due to the nature of His person and circumstances, but an
active presentation in some form of the needs of believers on earth.
While the nature of communication between two glorified omniscient
beings, such as the Father and the Son, is beyond human powers to
understand, the fact that this is inscrutable and beyond our
comprehension is not necessarily an argument against its reality.
The conclusion therefore is that the intercession of Christ is (1) real;
(2) more than mere presence of the life of the glorified Man; (3) may be
vocal, but not necessarily; (4) involves active communication between
the Son and the Father.
The results of the intercession of Christ. For those prepared to
enter into its wonderful truth, the fact that Christ intercedes for His
own in heaven is another guarantee of the security of the believer.
While the hope of the believer for eternal salvation rests essentially
on his possession of eternal life and the finished character of the
death of Christ, it is undoubtedly strengthened by the fact of the
intercession of Christ. In His intercession in heaven Christ sustains
the believer and keeps him from many of the spiritual dangers of life.
Such intercession pleads the fact that the believer is in Christ and a
partaker of His righteousness. The work of Christ in intercession also
pledges the ultimate sanctification of the believer and all that is
necessary to effect this end. The doctrine of intercession taken as a
whole makes clear that salvation is progressive. While the ultimate
purpose of God is sure from the beginning in all of its time factors,
salvation is a work of God for man through Christ which once begun is
carried on triumphantly to its conclusion in eternity.
The intercession of Christ is also most significant as providing the
secret for keeping the believer from the sin of the world. The nature of
Christ’s intercession is indicated in His prayer in John 17:11, 15 in
which He prays that believers might be kept from evil. Undoubtedly many
a spiritual triumph and many a godly life are explainable not by human
factors, but by the faithfulness of the Son of God as He intercedes for
The intercession of Christ is also vitally related to the matter of the
believer’s fellowship with God. By preventing sin, a basis for continued
fellowship is provided. When a believer does sin, Christ in His advocacy
provides a way for restoration. On the divine side, adjustment is always
made immediately when the believers sin. God is never out of adjustment
in His part of His relationship to the believer. On the experiential
side, however, that is, the human side, fellowship is conditioned on the
believer’s response to the pleadings of God, his confession of his sin,
and his resulting restoration through the sanctifying blood of Christ.
Accordingly, the continued fellowship of the believer according to 1John
1:5 - 1John 2:2 is based on the blood of Christ and conditioned on
confession of known sin.
The doctrine of intercession emphasizes the great truth that Christ
never ceases to intercede for His own. While human prayers on earth are
limited in both extent and power, the intercession of Christ knows no
limits within the will of God. As an infinite person Christ is able to
concentrate His intercession wholly on each individual believer without
any diminution or detraction from the needs of any other. In effect, the
believer is assured of the intercession of Christ in such a manner as
would be true if Christ centered all His love and all His intercession
on that one believer. Whatever may be the limitation of human prayers,
the believer is assured that there is One who never ceases to pray to
him and his needs and that this Intercessor has all power and favor with
the Father and, accordingly, “is able to do exceeding abundantly above
all that we ask or think” (see note
Ephesians 3:20). (Bibliotheca
Sacra: Volume 122, page 105)
There are 5 uses of entugchano in the NT...
25:24 And Festus said, "King Agrippa, and all you gentlemen here
present with us, you behold this man about whom all the people of the
Jews appealed to me, both at Jerusalem and here, loudly declaring
that he ought not to live any longer.
Romans 8:27 (note)
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
Romans 8:34 (note)
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
Romans 11:2 (note)
God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know
what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads
(entreat or appeal earnestly)
with God against Israel?
Hebrews 7:25 (note)
Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God
through Him, since He always lives to make intercession
"He is able;
He is willing: doubt no more.
Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome,
God's free bounty glorify:
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings us nigh—
Come to Jesus Christ, and buy."
Again we note that the preposition
(huper) Greek preposition which in the context
expresses the idea of substitution (Click
for study of this use of huper in the NT). Instead of for one can
render it as Christ intercedes --in place of, for the
benefit of, on behalf of-- us. This act of love can never be
fully appreciated until we understand exactly who the objects of that
love were -- unlovable, unlovely, ungodly, helpless to help themselves,
sinners constantly rebelling against God's will for their lives, God's
mortal enemies! It is for such as those that constantly Risen Lord
constantly makes intercession.
><> ><> ><>
INTERCESSOR - It was dawn, and I was painfully aware of being only a
few weeks into widowhood. After another restless night, I felt too weary
to pray for myself. "Lord," I sighed, "I need someone to pray for me
Almost instantly God's Spirit comforted my distraught mind with the
words of today's text, reminding me that Jesus was praying for me that
very moment. With a wave of relief, I acknowledged Him as my lifelong
intercessor. I will never forget how that bleak morning became
gold-tinged with hope. Since then, I have drawn courage and strength
countless times from my faithful High Priest.
Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843), pioneer missionary to America,
testified, "If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I
would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He
is praying for me!"
We too can draw courage and strength from Jesus. He is our priestly
representative before God the Father.
Are difficult circumstances creating fear in your heart? By all means,
ask others to pray for you. But don't forget to count on the prayers of
Jesus Himself. By faith, hear Him praying around the clock for you, as
if He were in the next room. - Joanie E. Yoder (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
I have an Advocate
And though I cannot see
His face, I know His heart is love
And that He pleads for me.-- Tydeman
“If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not
fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying
><> ><> ><>
Unfinished Work - We often
hear of the salvation Christ provided at Calvary when He died for our
sins. But little is said of His continuing ministry of prayer for our
spiritual growth. Just as Jesus prayed for Peter in a time of severe
temptation (Luke 22:31-32), so also He intercedes before the Father's
throne on our behalf. This vital work of the Savior will go on as long
as we are in need of His help, comfort, and blessing.
Robert Murray McCheyne, the beloved Scottish minister of the 19th
century, wrote, "If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room,
I would not fear a million enemies. Yet the distance makes no
difference. He is praying for me!"
During a deep personal crisis, I realized the truth of Hebrews 7 in a
new and wonderful way. Satan seemed to be attacking me on every side. So
I asked the Lord to plead for me. The next day the problem was solved,
and I knew it was the Lord's special intervention. Never before had I
been so conscious of the Savior's high-priestly ministry (see note
If you are having great difficulty, tell Jesus about it. He will present
your needs to the Father. Through His intercessory work, you'll
experience the remarkable results that only His prayers can
accomplish.—Henry G. Bosch (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
In the hour of
trial, Jesus, plead for me,
Lest, by base denial, I depart from Thee;
When Thou seest me waver, with a look recall;
Nor for fear or favor suffer me to fall. —Montgomery
Satan is powerless against the power of Christ's prayer
><> ><> ><>
fully justified us and is presently interceding for us, then no one can
possibly condemn us.
Can It Be That I Should Gain?
by Charles Wesley
No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Just Judge + Guilty Sinner = No Condemnation
How does such an equation work? That is what Christianity is meant to
Just Judge + Guilty Sinner + Death of Christ = No Condemnation.
The condemnation that belonged to us because of our sin was put on
Jesus, and the righteousness that belonged to Jesus because of his
perfect obedience was put on us.
Hallelujah! What a Savior
by Philip P. Bliss
Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned he stood,
my pardon with his blood:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Paul cited four reasons no one can condemn us. First, He died for us and
thereby removed our guilt. Second, He arose from the dead and is
therefore able to give life to those who trust Him (cf. John 1:25; 14:19).
Third, He has ascended to the position of supreme authority in heaven
where He represents us (Ro 8:29-note). Fourth, He presently intercedes to the
Father for our welfare (He 4:4ff-notes;
He 7:25-note; cf.
><> ><> ><>
Why, Paul, Satan will bring
thundering accusations against you. Are you not afraid?
"No," says he, "I can stop his mouth
with this cry: 'It is Christ that died!' That will make him tremble, for
he crushed the serpent's head in that victorious hour. And I can shut
his mouth again: 'yea, rather, that is risen again,' for he took him
captive on that day. And I will add, 'who sitteth at the right hand of
God.' I can foil him with that, for he sits there to judge him and to
condemn him forever. Once more I will appeal to his advocacy: 'Who
maketh intercession for us.' I can stop his accusation with the
perpetual care of Jesus for his people."
><> ><> ><>
Romans 8:34 "It is Christ that died."
- If any confront you with other confidences, still keep to this
almighty plea: "Christ has died." If one says, "I was christened and
confirmed," answer him by saying, "Christ has died." Should another say,
"I was baptized as an adult," let your confidence remain the same:
"Christ has died." When another says, "I am a sound, orthodox
Presbyterian," stick to this solid ground: "Christ has died." And if
still another says, "I am a red-hot Methodist," answer him in the same
way: "Christ has died." Whatever may be the confidences of others, and
whatever may be your own, put them all away, and keep to this one
declaration: "It is Christ that died." C H Spurgeon
separate us from the
Christ ? Will
shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and
affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution
or hunger or destitution or peril or sword? (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it
mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are
persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with
Phillips: Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can
trouble, pain or persecution? Can lack of clothes and food, danger to
life and limb, the threat of force of arms? (Phillips:
Wuest: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril
or sword? (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: Who shall separate us from the love of
Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or
nakedness, or peril, or sword?
WHO SHALL SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST: tis hemas chorisei
(3SFAI) apo tes agapes tou Christou: (Romans 8:39; Psalms
103:17; Jeremiah 31:3; John 10:28; 13:1; 2Thessalonians 2:13,14,16;
reminds us that Paul could speak from experience (see his list of
troubles - 2Cor 6:4-10, 11:26ff, 12:10) for...
They were those which had befallen
Paul himself, and he knew that the love of God in Jesus Christ could
reach and sustain the heart through them all. (Ibid)
from choris = separately, apart from, from) in the active sense
means to cause to separate or divide, to put apart putting a space
between. The emphasis of chorizo (especially in its literal uses)
is on distance. In the passive sense, chorizo means to separate
oneself (put some space between), to be separated.
Chorizo - 13x in 12v - Matt
19:6; Mark 10:9; Acts 1:4; 18:1f; Rom 8:35, 39; 1 Cor 7:10f, 15;
Philemon 1:15; Heb 7:26. NAS - leave(5), leaves(1),
left(1), separate(4), separated(2)
Chorizo means to be at some
distance from something (Paul left Athens or separated himself from
Athens, Acts 18:1, cf similar use in Acts 1:4, 18:2) or someone
(Philemon 1:15, cf Lxx uses Ezra 6:21, 9:1, Neh 9:2, 13:3). Jesus used
chorizo in the Gospels to refer to the union of a man and woman which
was not be to separated.
“Quis separabit?” That shall
be our motto in every time of trial: “who shall separate us from the
love of Christ?”
Now faith flings its final
challenge: is there anyone here who can banish the justified from the
love of Christ? A search is made for every adverse circumstance that has
been effective in causing separations in other areas of human life. But
none can be found. Remember that in Romans 6:2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (see notes
6:6) we have been baptized into
Christ, irrevocably died with Him on the Cross, and raised to walk in
newness of life. How can you undo a once for all death? You cannot. Nor
can any type or quality of affliction or suffering. The worse that it
can do is really the best -- because absent from this decaying
corrupting body, we are transported instantly into the presence of our
Who or what is going to separate us? Is there any force, anywhere, that
can come between you and Jesus? Here the apostle is facing the question
that many people ask. Is there any way to lose your salvation? Who can
remove us from Christ, once we fully come to him? Paul's answer is,
"Let's take a look at the possibilities."
To be separated from the love of
Christ is death. Death involves separation. The body apart from the
spirit is dead. The believer, separated from the love of Christ would be
spiritually dead. But this is impossible, according to His own statement
in (John 10:28, 29). There is stress on the word “us.” This makes one
think of (Php 1:20, 21-see notes
Earlier in the Epistle the apostle
mentions the love of God (Ro 5:5, 8-see note
as he does here again in verse 39, a proof that the love of God is the
love of Christ and an intimation of the essential oneness of the Father
and the Son and so of the deity of Christ. So believers are said to be
beloved of God (1Thes 1:4-note) and beloved of the Lord (2Thessalonians 2:13, 2Corinthians
5:14; Ep 3:19-note)
SHALL TRIBULATION OR DISTRESS:
: (Ro 8:17; 5:3, 4, 5; Matthew 5:10,
11, 12; 10:28, 29, 30, 31; Luke 21:12-18; John 16:33; Acts 14:22; Acts
20:23,24; 2Corinthians 4:17; 6:4-10; 11:23, 24, 25, 26, 27; 2Timothy
1:12; 4:16, 17, 18; Hebrews 12:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11; Jas 1:2, 3,
4, 12; 1Peter 1:5, 6. 7; 4:12, 13, 14; Revelation 7:14, 15, 16, 17)
= to crush, press together, squash, hem in, compress, squeeze in turn
derived from thláo = to break)
originally expressed sheer, physical pressure on a man. It refers to
troubles pressing upon someone from without, such as persecution,
affliction, or tribulation. Thlipsis is a strong term which does not
refer to minor inconveniences, but to real hardships.
45x in 43v - Matt 13:21; 24:9, 21, 29; Mark 4:17; 13:19, 24; John 16:21,
33; Acts 7:10f; 11:19; 14:22; 20:23; Rom 2:9; 5:3; 8:35; 12:12; 1 Cor
7:28; 2 Cor 1:4, 8; 2:4; 4:17; 6:4; 7:4; 8:2, 13; Eph 3:13; Phil 1:17;
4:14; Col 1:24; 1 Thess 1:6; 3:3, 7; 2 Thess 1:4, 6; Heb 10:33; Jas
1:27; Rev 1:9; 2:9f, 22; 7:14. NAS = affliction(14),
afflictions(6), anguish(1), distress(2), persecution(1),
tribulation(16), tribulations(4), trouble(1).
was used of the pulse (pressure). It is a pressing together as of
grapes. It conveys the idea of being squeezed or placed under pressure
or crushed beneath a weight. When, according to the ancient law of
England, those who willfully refused to plead guilty, had heavy weights
placed on their breasts, and were pressed and crushed to death, this was
literally thlipsis. The iron cage was stenochoria (see
Thlipsis thus refers not
to mild discomfort but to great difficulty.
Morris rightly notes that...
No one likes troubles of this kind,
but they may be seen as difficulties to be overcome, as ways of opening
up new possibilities. One who sees them in this light glories in them
[word study] from stenos = narrow + chôra
= place) is literally a narrow space and figuratively
describes the "tight places" believers have to go through. Stenochoria has in view the distress which
arises from within (usually caused by thlipsis), such as anguish or
discomfort. The picture is of a person finding themselves in a tight
corner without the possibility of escape, this severe confinement or constriction
causing anguish or severe distress.
- 4x in 4v - Rom 2:9; 8:35; 2 Cor 6:4; 12:10
might be used of an army caught in a narrow, rocky defile with space
neither to maneuver nor to escape. It might be used of a ship caught in
a storm with no room either to ride it or to run before it. There are
moments when a man seems to be in a situation in which the walls of life
are closing round him -- that is the picture inherent in stenochoria.
The opposite state, of being in a large place, was metaphorically used
to describe a state of joy as in Ps 118:5 where the psalmist writes
"From my distress I called upon the LORD. The LORD answered me and set
me in a large place."
OR PERSECUTION OR FAMINE OR NAKEDNESS OR PERIL
OR SWORD: e diogmos
e limos e gumnotes e kindunos
(diogmos from dioko =
to pursue) means to put to flight or to pursue with repeated acts of
Diogmos - 10x in 9v - Matt
13:21; Mark 4:17; 10:30; Acts 8:1; 13:50; Rom 8:35; 2 Cor 12:10; 2 Thess
1:4; 2 Tim 3:11
The Gospels teach
of the word (Mk
Paul is reminding
us that persecutions
(note plural) are not electives (2Cor
1:6), but are part
of the required curriculum in Christ's school of discipleship, for He
Himself warned His disciples that
If you were of the world, the world
would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose
you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the
word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If
they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you" (Jn
"and you will be hated by all on account of My name." (Lu
21:17) and in this
school even "A MAN'S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD." (Mt
Paul met his old
everywhere as described in (Acts
the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to
me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await
from leipo = destitute) refers to one of food.
Limos - 12x
in 12v - Matt 24:7; Mark 13:8; Luke 4:25; 15:14, 17; 21:11; Acts 7:11;
11:28; Rom 8:35; 2 Cor 11:27; Rev 6:8; 18:8. NAS = famine(7),
(gumnótes from gumnós = naked) means to be destitute of
convenient or decent clothing suggests indecency on parade.
Then it meant a lack of clothes simply because one had no ways or means
of getting any.
Gumnotes - 3x in 3v - Rom
8:35; 2Cor 11:27; Rev 3:18
(kindunos from kinéo = to move) means danger or peril
Kindunos - 9x in
2v - Ro 8:35; 2 Cor 11:26
if applied literally would speak of execution. It is the only item on
the list that Paul had not yet personally experienced in the course of
living for Jesus and preaching the gospel (1Cor 4:11,15:30), but tradition
says that eventually he did experience execution by beheading.
These complete a sevenfold series of adversaries, all of which were
experienced by the apostle, and which in one respect or another have
been the common lot of believers. They are in various ways the
instruments of devilish and human hatred, but cannot interrupt the love
of Christ toward us.
Will any of the things listed separate us from the love of Christ? "No,"
Paul says, "In these we are super conquerors." Why? Because rather than
dividing us from Christ, they draw us closer to him. They make us cling
harder. They scare us and make us run to him. When we are independent
and think we can make it on our own, these things strike, and we start
whimpering and running for home, and we cling all the closer. We can
never be defeated then, so we are more than conquerors.
><> ><> ><>
Bowwow - I'll never forget Bowwow—a rag dog that Randy, one of my
sons, adopted when he was young. Bowwow was Randy's most precious
possession. He had other toys that had cost much more, but none was more
greatly loved. Bowwow was Linus' blanket and the Velveteen Rabbit all
rolled up into one.
Bowwow was hugged and dragged everywhere, and in time he became
incredibly dirty. Cleaning was a major problem because we couldn't get
Bowwow away from the boy. Washing just made things worse: All Bowwow's
stuffing came out. In the end he was just a bundle of tacky, dirty rags.
But, my, how he was loved!
We are God's "rag dogs." Although we have been damaged and dirtied by
sin, to Him we are precious beyond measure. When we put our faith in
Christ as our Savior, He looks at you and me and says, "You're Mine!" We
are loved, and He will never let us go (Romans 8:35-39).
That perspective can give us incredible peace and confidence in life. We
don't have to run in the fast lane, always seeking the approval of those
around us. And we don't have to prove anything to God, because we don't
have anything left to prove. We are embraced by His tireless,
relentless, infinite, and everlasting love. —David H. Roper (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
I love to dwell upon the thought
That Jesus cares for me;
It matters not what life may bring—
He loves me tenderly. —Adams
There is no greater joy than to know that God loves us.
JUST AS IT IS WRITTEN (was written in the past and stands written): kathos gegraptai (3SRPI):
Just as -
This introduction implies that such experiences as Paul has just listed
in Romans 8:35 are representative of what Scripture holds out as the
"fortune" of God's people. This truth is 180 degrees opposite the health
and wealth gospel so many are falling prey to in our day in America!
[word study] from root graph- = primarily means to scratch on or engrave as on
an ornament, reports, letters, etc; English = graph, graphic,
etc) means to engrave or inscribe with a pen or stylus characters or
letters on a surface which can be wood, wax, metal, leather, stone,
parchment, dirt (John ), paper, etc.
Grapho - 191x in 180v - Matt 2:5; 4:4, 6f, 10;
11:10; 21:13; 26:24, 31; 27:37; Mark 1:2; 7:6; 9:12f; 10:4f; 11:17;
12:19; 14:21, 27; Luke 1:3, 63; 2:23; 3:4; 4:4, 8, 10, 17; 7:27; 10:26;
16:6f; 18:31; 19:46; 20:17, 28; 21:22; 22:37; 24:44, 46; John 1:45;
2:17; 5:46; 6:31, 45; 8:8, 17; 10:34; 12:14, 16; 15:25; 19:19ff; 20:30f;
21:24f; Acts 1:20; 7:42; 13:29, 33; 15:15, 23; 18:27; 23:5, 25; 24:14;
25:26; Rom 1:17; 2:24; 3:4, 10; 4:17, 23; 8:36; 9:13, 33; 10:5, 15;
11:8, 26; 12:19; 14:11; 15:3f, 9, 15, 21; 16:22; 1 Cor 1:19, 31; 2:9;
3:19; 4:6, 14; 5:9, 11; 7:1; 9:9f, 15; 10:7, 11; 14:21, 37; 15:45, 54; 2
Cor 1:13; 2:3f, 9; 4:13; 7:12; 8:15; 9:1, 9; 13:10; Gal 1:20; 3:10, 13;
4:22, 27; 6:11; Phil 3:1; 1 Thess 4:9; 5:1; 2 Thess 3:17; 1 Tim 3:14;
Phlm 1:19, 21; Heb 10:7; 1 Pet 1:16; 5:12; 2 Pet 3:1, 15; 1 John 1:4;
2:1, 7f, 12ff, 21, 26; 5:13; 2 John 1:5, 12; 3 John 1:9, 13; Jude 1:3;
Rev 1:3, 11, 19; 2:1, 8, 12, 17f; 3:1, 7, 12, 14; 5:1; 10:4; 13:8; 14:1,
13; 17:5, 8; 19:9, 12, 16; 20:12, 15; 21:5, 27; 22:18f
verb grapho is
signifying that God's Word has been
written down at a point of time in the past (cf Lev
11:44, 19:2, 20:7 were
originally inscribed with a stylus by Moses probably on clay tablets
under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit circa 1500BC) and remains on
record as the eternal, unchanging Word of God. The
signifies the permanence of the written word of God. The phrase it is
written (in perfect tense) is a regular "formula" in the New
Testament (e.g., Mt
4:4, 4:6, 4:7, 4:10, 11:10 -
in all 4 gospels and by Paul and Peter) and always refers directly or
indirectly to an Old Testament quotation and thus it carries great
authority for the believer.
The idea is that this divine
revelation was written down at a specific time in the past and stands
written and effective. As Jesus declared...
Heaven and earth will pass away, but
My words shall not pass away. (Mt 24:35)
The original sense
of grapho was to carve or to engrave as deduced from uses in the
Septuagint (where grapho occurs some 300 times usually for the
such as the following...
Write (Lxx = grapho) on them
(Lxx = lithos = stones) all the words of this law (Deut 27:3)
Then he (Solomon) carved (Lxx =
egkolapto = cut or carve) all the walls of the house round about with
carved (Lxx = grapho) engravings of cherubim... (1Kings 6:29)
...You who carve (Lxx =
grapho) a resting place for yourself in the rock? (Isaiah 22:16)
a historical note writing that...
grapho is found in its
original sense in Homer, Il. 17, 599. In Herodotus, 4, 36 the word is
used meaning to draw, of lines on maps; and scholars of the 3rd cent.
B.C. used it of drawing of mathematical figures. In Homer grapho is
already used in the sense of scratching signs on a tablet as a kind of
letter (Il. 6, 169). From the time of Herodotus. it is used generally in
the normal sense of to write, and from the time of Pindar in the derived
sense of to prescribe, to order. From the practice of handing in a
written accusation, grapho came in judicial language to mean to accuse
(Plato, Euthyphro 2b). (Brown,
Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986.
Warren Wiersbe commenting on
the significance of the phrase it is written reminds us that
Our Lord used the Word of God to
defeat Satan, and so may we (Mt
Ephesians 6:17). But the Word of God is not
only a sword for battle; it is also a light to guide us in this dark
2 Peter 1:19 [note]), food that strengthens us (Mt
1 Peter 2:2 [note]), and water that washes us
27). The Word of God has a sanctifying ministry in the
lives of dedicated believers (Jn
17:17). Those who delight in God’s Word, meditate on it,
and seek to obey it will experience God’s direction and blessing in
their lives (Ps
1:1-3). The Word reveals God’s mind, so we should
learn it; God’s heart, so we should love it; God’s
will, so we should live it. Our whole being—mind, will, and
heart—should be controlled by the Word of God....
Does this mean that the Old Testament
Law is authoritative today for New Testament Christians? Keep in mind
that the early Christians did not even have the New Testament. The only
Word of God they possessed was the Old Testament, and God used that Word
to direct and nurture them. Believers today are not under the ceremonial
laws given to Israel; however, even in these laws we see moral and
spiritual principles revealed. Nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated
in the Epistles, so we must obey them. (The Sabbath commandment was
given especially to Israel and does not apply to us today. See
Ro 14:1-9.) As we read and study the
Old Testament, we will learn much about God’s character and working, and
we will see truths pictured in types and symbols. first step toward
keeping clean in a filthy world is to ask, “What does the Bible say?” In
the Scriptures, we will find precepts,
promises, and persons to guide us in today’s decisions. If we are really
willing to obey God, He will show us His truth (Jn
While God’s methods of working
may change from age to age, His character remains the same and His
spiritual principles never vary. We do not study the Bible just to get
to know the Bible. We study the Bible that we might get to know God
better. Too many earnest Bible students are content with outlines and
explanations, and do not really get to know God. It is good to know the
Word of God, but this should help us better know the God of the Word."
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor
And so here in
Romans 8:36 Paul appeals
Septuagint Old Testament
to underscore the truth that suffering is not an unexpected novelty
for God’s people. God's children have always been called to suffer for
His sake, but in Christ such sufferings become stepping stones
on the pathway to glory (Romans 5:1-5, 8:17-23). And so believers should not be surprised when they have to endure suffering for the sake
of Christ for the cost of genuine faithfulness has always been high, as
witnessed by the many who have been martyred for holding fast to Christ
and the Word of Truth.
Before Paul wrote this epistle, God’s faithful people had suffered for
centuries, not only at the hands of Gentiles but also at the hands of
fellow Jews. They
experienced mockings and scourgings,
yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in
two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went
about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted,
ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts
and mountains and caves and holes in the ground” (see notes
FOR THY SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH (continually)
ALL DAY LONG.
WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP
TO BE SLAUGHTERED:
hoti eneken sou thanatoumetha (1PPPI) holen ten hemeran
elogisthemen (1PAPI) os
probata sphages: (Psalms 44:22; 141:7; John 16:2;
1Corinthians 15:30; 2Corinthians 4:11) (Isaiah 53:7; Jeremiah 11:19;
12:3; 51:40; Acts 8:32)
But for Thy sake we are killed all
day long. We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered (Psalms
Spurgeon's comment on Psalm 44:22:
Yea, i.e., assuredly, certainly,
for Thy sake, not for our offences, but for obeying Thee. The trials
of these suppliants came upon them because they were loyal to their God.
Are we killed all the day long.
Persecution never ceased to hound them to the death, they had no respite
and found no door of escape; and all in God's behalf, because they would
not forsake their covenant God and King.
We are counted as sheep for the
slaughter; as if we were only meant to be killed, and made on
purpose to be victims; as if it were as easy and as innocent a thing to
slay us as to slaughter sheep. In this and following verses we clearly
hear the martyr's cry. From Piedmont and Smithfield, from St.
Bartholomew's massacre and the dragoonades of Claverhouse, this appeal
goes up to heaven, while the souls under the altar continue their solemn
cry for vengeance. Not long shall the church plead in this fashion, her
shame shall be recompensed, her triumph shall dawn.
commenting on Paul's quotation from Psalm 44:22 writes that
the psalmist (who wrote Psalm 44 -
sons of Korah) could not understand (they were making petition for
deliverance in Ps 44:17-26). That men should suffer for sin, for
infidelity to God, was intelligible enough; but he (the psalmist) and
his countrymen were suffering because of their faithfulness, and the
psalm is his despairing expostulation (a reasoning with, especially in
order to dissuade from an action) with God. But the Apostle understood
it. To suffer for Christ's sake was to enter into the fellowship of
Christ's sufferings, and that is the very situation in which th love of
Christ is most real, near, and sure to the soul. Cf
Romans 5:3 [note],
2 Cor 1:5,
Colossians 1:24 [note]).
Instead of despairing, he glories in tribulations. (Ibid)
of the things in (Romans 8:35) could separate the believer from the love of
Christ, then the fatal severance would have taken place long ago,
because the career of the Christian is a veritable oxymoron -- a living death. That is what the
psalmist meant when he said we are killed all day long, this fate
being ours by virtue of our identification with Christ. If a professing Christian turns his back on the things of God or
lives persistently in sin, he proves that he never belonged to Christ at
all. John describes such persons writing that...
They went out from us, but they were
not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained
with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they
all are not of us. (1John 2:19)
(which means being something in name or form only but not in substance)
"Christians" have not lost their salvation but au contraire have never received
it by grace through faith. If the things of the
world continually keep a person from the things of God, that person
bears strong testimony that he or she may well not be a child of God.
Only true believers persevere, not because they are strong in themselves
but because they have the power of God’s indwelling Spirit to give them
to even the desire to keep on keeping on. There
perseverance does not keep their salvation safe but does prove that
salvation is safe! Those who fail to persevere not only demonstrate
their lack of courage but, much more importantly, their lack of genuine
faith. God will keep and protect even the most fearful person who truly
belongs to Him. On the other hand, even the bravest of those who are
merely professing Christians will invariably fall away when the cost of
being identified with Christ becomes too great. Just as we can only love
God because He first loved us, we can only hold on to God because He
holds on to us. And yet these words surely express a profound mystery as
Divine sovereignty interacts flawlessly with human will and
W E Vine writes that in this quotation from Psalm 44:22 Paul
sounds a note...
...of triumph (not despair or anguish). Hence we have a striking example
of the increased force and new character of many of the New Testament
quotations from the Old. The difference is due to the death and
resurrection of Christ. A new significance attaches to the words for
Thy sake. There is no discrepancy between the Old and the New, but
what the apostle is about to say shows by what means the opposition of
adversaries is turned to a means of triumph. To suffer for Christ’s sake
and so to enter into the fellowship of His sufferings (see note
transmutes the affliction into joy and victory, enabling the suffering
saint to glory in tribulation (cf note
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
not necessarily obstacles for God's children, but His appointed way.
Paul's quotation from (Ps 44:22) reminds believers that suffering has always been the lot of
the godly, and therefore their own situation is not peculiar. Whereas
the people of God in the OT were often perplexed about the reason for
their trials, the saints of NT times can trace their sufferings back to
identification with Christ and rejoice that they are counted worthy to
suffer for his name (cf. Acts 5:41).
><> ><> ><>
Closed Gates - Songwriter
Oscar Eliason wrote,
Got any rivers you think are
uncrossable? Got any mountains you can't tunnel through?
He responded to these questions by
God specializes in things thought
Every Christian faces obstacles along
life's pathway, and walking in God's will doesn't guarantee that our way
will be easy. But no matter how difficult, we can trust God and go
forward in faith.
At the entrance to a local hospital is an automatic gate designed to
rise when a car activates a hidden sensor near the entrance. When I
drive up the ramp toward the gate, it remains down, blocking the
entrance. But as I get closer, the arm swings up, allowing me to
proceed. If I were to park my car a few yards from the entrance, the
gate would stay closed. Only when I move forward does it open.
"If God built a bridge a yard ahead,
it could not be a bridge of faith."
It's the first step into the unseen
that proves we have faith. Abraham, for example, "went out, not knowing
where he was going" (Heb. 11:8). He obeyed God and relied on Him to
clear the path.
When we walk in obedience to the Lord and come upon a closed gate, we
can confidently take the next step of faith. As we move forward we will
see God open the way. —P. R. V. (See related resource
By Faith in Hebrews 11)
Faith is the gate between our peril and God's power.
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Lessons From Jonah - The story
of Jonah is one of the most discussed and fascinating accounts in the
Bible. But for all the debate, one thing is sure: Jonah did a lot of
soul-searching in that smelly underwater hotel.
All of us can identify. Sometimes life just goes badly. When it does,
like Jonah we need to ask ourselves some hard questions.
Is there sin in my life? In light of Jonah’s blatant disobedience, God
had to do something drastic to catch his attention and lead him to
What can I learn from this situation? The wicked people of Nineveh were
enemies of God’s people. Jonah thought they should be judged and not
given a second chance. He obviously needed a lesson in sharing God’s
compassion for the lost. “God saw their works, that they turned from
their evil way; and God relented from the disaster” (Jonah 3:10).
Can I display God’s glory in this? Often our suffering is not about us
but about people seeing the power of God working through our weakness.
Jonah found himself in a helpless situation, yet God used him to lead a
pagan nation to repentance.
Next time you find yourself in a “belly-of-a-whale” problem, don’t
forget to ask the hard questions. It could mean the difference between
despair and deliverance. —Joe Stowell
For Further Study
For an in-depth study of the fascinating account of Jonah,
The Failure Of Success: The Story Of
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