Romans 8:31-33 Commentary

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

Greek: Ti oun eroumen (1PFAI) pros tauta? ei o theos huper hemon, tis kath' hemon?

Amplified: What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?] [Ps 118:6.] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: In face of all this, what is there left to say? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: What then shall we say to these things? In view of the fact that God is on our behalf, who could be against us? 

Young's Literal: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

ROMANS ROAD
to RIGHTEOUSNESS
Romans 1:18-3:20 Romans 3:21-5:21 Romans 6:1-8:39 Romans 9:1-11:36 Romans 12:1-16:27
SIN SALVATION SANCTIFICATION SOVEREIGNTY SERVICE
NEED
FOR
SALVATION
WAY
OF
SALVATION
LIFE
OF
SALVATION
SCOPE
OF
SALVATION
SERVICE
OF
SALVATION
God's Holiness
In
Condemning
Sin
God's Grace
In
Justifying
Sinners
God's Power
In
Sanctifying
Believers
God's Sovereignty
In
Saving
Jew and Gentile
Gods Glory
The
Object of
Service
Deadliness
of Sin
Design
of Grace
Demonstration of Salvation
Power Given Promises Fulfilled Paths Pursued
Righteousness
Needed
Righteousness
Credited
Righteousness
Demonstrated
Righteousness
Restored to Israel
Righteousness
Applied
God's Righteousness
IN LAW
God's Righteousness
IMPUTED
God's Righteousness
OBEYED
God's Righteousness
IN ELECTION
God's Righteousness
DISPLAYED
Slaves to Sin Slaves to God Slaves Serving God
Doctrine Duty
Life by Faith Service by Faith

Modified from Irving L. Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's Survey of the NT"

WHAT THEN SHALL WE SAY TO THESE THINGS: Ti oun eroumen (1PFAI) pros tauta :

If we are interested in a life crowned with confidence, this could be our foundational text.

Romans 8:31 was John Calvin’s life verse.

The logic of our text, seriously applied, pushes us to the heights of confidence. This verse means more than the fact that God is graciously disposed toward believers but that He is for us in all that He does. Beloved, as you read this note, you may feel "defeated", but Paul's encouraging truth is that evil will never prevail. Believers will always be led to victory in Christ because God is for us. Write your name in the verse and believe it is true..

"God is for __________________"

William Newell explains that "Our weak hearts, prone to legalism and unbelief, receive these words with great difficulty: God is for us … They have failed Him; but He is for them. They are ignorant; but He is for them. They have not yet brought forth much fruit; but He is for them. (Romans 8: Expository Notes Verse by Verse)

Ray Stedman commenting on this section Romans 8:31-39 writes "Now, that is a wonderful statement, and, in times of doubt, I suggest that you try to answer these questions… Now, what is the effect of this realization? It is clear from this passage that it is the removal of fear. If God is for us, who can be against us? All fear of successful opposition is removed. It is not that there is no opposition. The Law is still there, the Sin nature is still there, the flesh nature is still there -- there is still going to be opposition (1Pe 2:11-note Gal 5:16-note; Gal 5:17-note; Gal 5:18-note). But Paul is saying, "If God is for us, what difference does it make?" A few weeks ago at our elders' meeting, Barney Brogan was telling us about his grandson. His daughter has moved to Missouri with the boys. As some of you know, their father is Chicano, and the children look like their dad. Their 13-year-old ran into a tremendous nest of White Supremacy at school. Because of the prejudice against blacks and Chicanos, that little innocent lad began to suffer very unjust torment and persecution. He didn't understand it; he came home weeping, beaten up because of his looks. His mother didn't know what to do, and so she wrote and asked us to pray for this situation, and we did. A week or so later a letter came back and described how one night the biggest kid in school appeared at their door and said that he was a Christian, that he knew they were Christians, and that he had come to tell them that he had gone to every kid in school who had beat up on the boy and told them that if they ever did anything like that again, they would answer to him. I don't know what that boy's name was, but let's call him Mike. I can imagine this little boy going back to school, walking in the shadow of Mike, with all his tormentors looking at him. He probably would be saying to himself, "If Mike is for me, who can be against me?" That is what God is saying here." (If God be For Us)

In regard to these things Denney says "The idea underlying all that precedes is that of the suffering to be endured by those who would share Christ’s glory (Ro 8:17-note). The apostle has disparaged the suffering in comparison with the glory (Ro 8:18-note); he has interpreted it (Ro 8:19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 -see notes Ro 8:19ff thru 8:27) as in a manner prophetic of the glory; he has in these last verses asserted the presence through all the Christian’s life of an eternal victorious purpose of love: all this is included in ‘these things.’ (Nicoll, W Robertson, Editor: Expositors Greek Testament: 5 Volumes. Out of print. Search Google)

Concerning these things Nelson Study Bible says "The words these things refer to God’s purpose (Ro 8:28-30). If God has done everything from foreknowledge to glorification for us, all adversaries are powerless." (Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. The Nelson Study Bible: NKJV. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)

IF (Because) GOD… FOR US, WHO… AGAINST US : ei o theos huper hemon, tis kath hemon :

  • Ge 15:1; Nu 14:9; Dt 33:29; Josh 10:42; 1Sa 14:6; 17:45, 46, 47; Ps 27:1, 2, 3; Ps 46:1, 2, 3,7,11; 56:4,11; 84:11,12; 118:6; Isa 50:7, 8, 9; 54:17; Jer 1:19; 20:11; Jn 10:28, 29, 30; 1Jn 4:4
  • Romans 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Literally If God for us, who against us?

The word if translates the Greek first class conditional particle ei, signifying a fulfilled condition, not a mere possibility. The meaning of the first clause then is not really a question but an unchanging maxim we can live on --

In view of the fact that or because God is for us nothing can be against us.

The obvious implication is that if anyone were able to rob us of salvation they would have to be greater than God Himself, because He is both the Giver and the Sustainer of salvation. To Christians Paul is asking, in effect, “Who could conceivably take away our no-condemnation status?” (Ro 8:1-note). Is there anyone stronger than God, the Creator of everything and everyone who exists?

That is, "What difference does it make who is against us?" If God is for us, is there anything that can be against us that is greater than he?

The thought of Paul is not in the form of a hypothetical condition, as if it were a question whether God was for us or not. His thought is, “In view of the fact that God is for us, who is or could be against us, so as to do us harm? That is, since God is for the saints, on their side, who can harm them?”

Spurgeon - If God is that great working One who does all this, who can be against us? “Why, a great many,” says one. But they are nothing, nor are all put together anything at all, as compared with him who is on our side.

Two great men stood side by side in the early Reformation movement. One was, of course, Martin Luther, the activist. The other was Philip Melanchthon, the scholar. Luther once said of their relationship:

I am rough, boisterous, stormy, and altogether warlike, fighting against innumerable monsters and devils. I am born for the removing of stumps and stones, cutting away thistles and thorns, and clearing the wild forests; but master Philippus comes along softly and gently, sowing and watering with joy, according to the gifts which God has abundantly bestowed upon him.

Where did Melanchthon get his strength? What made this gentle, retiring man stand with Luther against the world? The heart of the text, Romans 8:31, gives the answer: If God is for us, who can be against us? In his lectures and correspondence that verse is quoted more than any other Scripture. It still hangs on his study wall in Wittenberg where visitors can see it. As the record has it, when Melanchthon sensed he was dying he asked to be placed on the traveling bed in his study because that is where he was happiest. When the pastor read Ro 8:31, Melanchthon exclaimed, “Read those words again!” The pastor read, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Melanchthon murmured in a kind of ecstasy, “That’s it! That’s it!” This text had always been the greatest comfort to him. In the darkest hours of his life when death's cold stare threatened, he comforted himself again by reciting, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

In Ro 8:31-39 Paul developed the fact that God will not lose one whom He has foreknown in this climactic section, and he gloried in this great truth.

Mounce - "Nowhere in the annals of sacred literature do we find anything to match the power and beauty of this remarkable paean of praise."

Jamieson & Fausset - "This whole passage strikes all thoughtful interpreters and readers, as transcending almost everything in language"

When Chrysostom was brought before the Roman Emperor, the Emperor threatened him with banishment if he remained a Christian. Chrysostom replied,

"Thou canst not banish me for this world is my father’s house.”

“But I will slay thee,” said the Emperor.

“Nay, thou canst not,” said the noble champion of the faith, “for my life is hid with Christ in God.”

“I will take away thy treasures.”

“Nay, but thou canst not for my treasure is in heaven and my heart is there.”

“But I will drive thee away from man and thou shalt have no friend left.”

“Nay, thou canst not, for I have a friend in heaven from whom thou canst not separate me. I defy thee; for there is nothing that thou canst do to hurt me.”

Only he who can say "The Lord is the strength of my life" can say, "Of whom shall I be afraid?" 


Tom Carter in Spurgeon at His Best - Even when he preached to the saved, Spurgeon couldn't close without addressing the lost. He once spoke on Romans 8:31, "If God is for us, who is against us?" in which he proved from several points of view that God was the believer's advocate. But at the end of that sermon he posed the question to the nonbeliever, 'If God is against you, who can be for you?" It's typical of the way Spurgeon wouldn't allow himself to conclude a sermon without a loving yet solemn warning to the nonbeliever.

Spurgeon on Romans 8:31 - There is an opposite to this, and it belongs to some who are here: If God be against you, who can be for you? If you are an enemy to God, your very blessings are curses to you. Your pleasures are only the prelude to your pains. Whether you have adversity or prosperity, so long as God is against you, you can never truly prosper. Take half an hour this afternoon to think this over: If God be against me, what then? What will become of me in time and eternity? How shall I die? How shall I face him in the day of judgment? It is not an impossible “if” but an “if” which amounts to a certainty, I fear, in the case of many who are sitting in this house today.


C H Spurgeon writes the following thoughts on Romans 8:31

And so it was, for, as he could not travel quickly, the journey was prolonged, and he arrived at London some days later than had been expected. When they reached Highgate, they heard the bells ringing merrily in the city down below. They asked the meaning and were told, "Queen Mary is dead, and there will be no more burning of Protestants!"

"Ah," said Gilpin, "you see, it is all for the best." It is a blessing to break a leg if thereby a life is saved. How often our calamities are our preservatives!

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There is an opposite to this, and it belongs to some who are here: If God be against you, who can be for you? If you are an enemy to God, your very blessings are curses to you. Your pleasures are only the prelude to your pains. Whether you have adversity or prosperity, so long as God is against you, you can never truly prosper. Take half an hour this afternoon to think this over: If God be against me, what then? What will become of me in time and eternity? How shall I die? How shall I face him in the day of judgment? It is not an impossi­ble "if" but an "if" which amounts to a certainty, I fear, in the case of many who are sitting in this house today.

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You may assume that those of us who are always before the public speaking of the blessed promises of God are never downcast or heartbroken. You are mistaken. We have been there, and perhaps we know how to say a word in season to any who are now going through similar experiences. With many enterprises on my hands, far too great for my own unaided strength, I am often driven to fall flat on this promise of my God, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (see note Hebrews 13:5).

If I feel that any plan has been of my devising, or that I sought my own honor, then I know that the plan must rightly fail. But when I can prove that God has thrust it on me, that I am moved by a divine impulse and not my own feelings and wishes, then how can my God forsake me? How can He lie, however weak I may be? How is it possible for Him to send His servant to battle and not comfort him with reinforcements when the battle goes hard? God is not David when he put Uriah in the front lines and left him to die (2 Sa 11:15). God will never desert any of His servants.

Dear brothers and sisters, if the Lord calls you to things you cannot do, He will give you the strength to do them. If He should push you still further, until your difficulties increase and your burdens become heavy, “as your days, so shall your strength be” (Deut. 33:25). You shall march with the indomitable spirit of those who have tried and trusted the naked arm of the Eternal God.

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Then what is the trouble? Though all the world were against you, you could shake all the world as Samson shook the lion (see notes Judges 14:6). “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Though earth, hell, and all their crew come against you, if the God of Jacob stands at your back, you will thresh them as though they were wheat and drive them as though they were chaff. Roll this promise under your tongue. It is a sweet food.

After having given us his own Son, what is there that he can withhold from us if it is for our real good? Nay, he has already virtually given us all things in giving him to us.  


Spurgeon on Ro 8:31-34 - It is pleasant to look back to Calvary’s hill, and to behold that bleeding form expiring on the tree; it is sweet, amazingly sweet, to pry with eyes of love between those thick olives, and hear the groanings of the Man who sweat great drops of blood. Sinner, if you ask me how Christ can save you, I tell you this—he can save you, because he did not save himself; he can save you, because he took your guilt and endured your punishment. There is no way of salvation apart from the satisfaction of divine justice. Either the sinner must die, or else someone must die for him. Sinner, Christ can save you, because, if you come to God by him, then he died for you. God has a debt against us, and he never remits that debt; he will have it paid. Christ pays it, and then the poor sinner goes free. And we are told another reason why he is able to save: not only because he died, but because he lives to make intercession for us. That Man who once died on the cross is alive; that Jesus who was buried in the tomb is alive. If you ask me what he is doing, I bid you listen. Listen, if you have ears! Did you not hear him, poor penitent sinner? Did you not hear his voice, sweeter than harpers playing on their harps? Did you not hear a charming voice? Listen! What did it say? “O my Father! Forgive!” Why, he mentioned your own name! “O my Father, forgive him; he knew not what he did. It is true he sinned against light, and knowledge, and warnings; sinned willfully and woefully; but, Father, forgive him!” Penitent, if you can listen, you will hear him praying for you. And that is why he is able to save.


Spurgeon on Ro 8:31 - IF GOD IS FOR US.

You may assume that those of us who are always before the public speaking of the blessed promises of God are never downcast or heartbroken. You are mistaken. We have been there, and perhaps we know how to say a word in season to any who are now going through similar experiences. With many enterprises on my hands, far too great for my own unaided strength, I am often driven to fall flat on this promise of my God, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).
If I feel that any plan has been of my devising, or that I sought my own honor, then I know that the plan must rightly fail. But when I can prove that God has thrust it on me, that I am moved by a divine impulse and not my own feelings and wishes, then how can my God forsake me? How can He lie, however weak I may be? How is it possible for Him to send His servant to battle and not comfort him with reinforcements when the battle goes hard? God is not David when he put Uriah in the front lines and left him to die (2 Sam. 11:15). God will never desert any of His servants.
Dear brothers and sisters, if the Lord calls you to things you cannot do, He will give you the strength to do them. If He should push you still further, until your difficulties increase and your burdens become heavy, “as your days, so shall your strength be” (Deut. 33:25). You shall march with the indomitable spirit of those who have tried and trusted the naked arm of the Eternal God.
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Then what is the trouble? Though all the world were against you, you could shake all the world as Samson shook the lion (Judg. 14:6). “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Though earth, hell, and all their crew come against you, if the God of Jacob stands at your back, you will thresh them as though they were wheat and drive them as though they were chaff. Roll this promise under your tongue. It is a sweet food.


Spurgeon - God is for us. But, O my brethren, though this brings in the context, it is impossible for any human speech to bring out the depth of the meaning of how God is for us. He was for us before the worlds were made: he was for us, or else he never would have given his Son; he was for us even when he smote the only-begotten, and laid the full weight of his wrath upon him—he was for us, though he was against him; he was for us when we were ruined in the fall—he loved us notwithstanding all; he was for us when we were against him, and with a high hand were bidding him defiance: he was for us, or else he never would have brought us humbly to seek his face. He has been for us in many struggles; we have had to fight through multitudes of difficulties; we have had temptations from without and within—how could we have held on until now if he had not been with us? He is for us, let me say, with all the infinity of his heart, with all the omnipotence of his love; for us with all his boundless wisdom; arrayed in all the attributes which make him God he is for us—eternally and immutably for us; for us when the blue skies shall be rolled up like a worn out vesture; for us throughout eternity. Here, child of God, is matter enough for thought, even though you had ages to meditate upon it: God is for you; and if God be for you, who can be against you?


Robert J Morgan (My All in All) - Devotional for December 16 - When I was a boy, my Aunt Louise came to our house on Christmas Eve with a car full of presents. I don't remember what she gave me that evening, but I remember very well what she gave my sister, who was, as I recall, about five years old. It was a huge walking doll. It was really too tall for my sister to handle, but she and I spent many wonderful days playing in the large box that contained the present. As we approach the Christmas season, we're prone to forget the Baby and focus on the wrappings and trappings of the season. The onslaught of preparation is well-nigh overwhelming. But in Romans 8, the Bible reminds us that God gave His Son to us all at Christmas and at Calvary. If He gave us this ultimate blessing, will He not also give us all other things needed for daily happiness and everlasting joy?
Yes, yes, He will freely give us all things.

How shall He not?
Can it be imagined that He should do the greater
and not do the less? That He should give so great a gift
for us when we were enemies, and should deny us any
good thing now that through Him we are friends and children?
—Matthew Henry


Spurgeon from sermon God is With Us (584) - THE truth here asserted is indisputable. Even heathens have taken this for their motto, and emblazoned it upon their standards of war. “God is for us!” has been the war-cry of many a warrior as he has dashed to the fight; however out of place it was in such association its force was clearly perceived. Our text, however, protects itself from ill-usage, for you observe that the text is guarded with the little word “If,” as a sentinel. No man, therefore, has any right to the treasures of this text, unless he can give the pass-word, and answer the question. It is not every man who can say that God is on his side; on the contrary, the most of men are fighting against the Lord. By nature we are the friends of sin, and then God is against us; with all the powers of justice he is against us for our destruction unless we turn and repent. Is God for us? Remember he is so if we have been reconciled to him by the death of his Son; but an absolute God must be in arms against us, for even our God is a consuming fire. It is only when we behold the Lord Jehovah in the person of Jesus Christ that our hope and joy can begin; when we see Deity incarnate, when we see God surrendering the glories of his throne to become man, and then stooping to the shameful death of the cross—it is then that we perceive Emmanuel, “God with us,” and perceiving him, we feel that he is on our side. Question thyself then, soul, whether thou art in Christ. He who is not with Christ is not with God. If thou art without Christ, thou art without God, and a stranger from the commonwealth of Israel; but if through the sprinkled blood thou canst say that thou art reconciled unto God, then take the full meaning of this text, and feast upon it, and be thou blessed, for “If God be for us, who can be against us?”


Spurgeon in Daily Help - “God is for me” (Ps. 56:9). He was “for us,” or He would not have given His well-beloved Son. And because He is “for us,” the voice of prayer will always ensure His help. “When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back” (Ps. 56:9). This is no uncertain hope but a well-grounded assurance—“this I know” (Ps. 56:9). I will direct my prayer to You and will look up for the answer, assured that it will come, for “God is for me.” Oh, believer, how happy are you with the King of Kings on your side. How safe with such a protector! How sure your cause, pleaded by such an advocate! If God is for you, who can be against you? (See Romans 8:31.)

Romans 8:32 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? (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: os ge tou idiou huiou ouk epheisato, (3SAMI) alla huper hemon panton paredoken (3SAAI) auton, pos ouchi kai sun auto ta panta hemin charisetai? (3SFMI)

Amplified: He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things? (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else? (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: He that did not hesitate to spare his own Son but gave him up for us all - can we not trust such a God to give us, with him, everything else that we can need? (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: Indeed, He who His own Son did not spare, but on behalf of us all delivered Him up, how is it possible that He shall not with Him in grace give us all things? 

Young's Literal: He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

HE WHO DID NOT SPARE HIS OWN SON: os ge tou idiou huiou ouk epheisato (3SAMI):

  • Romans 5:6, 7, 8, 9, 10; 11:21; Ge 22:12; Isaiah 53:10; Matthew 3:17; John 3:16; 2Cor 5:21; 2Pe 2:4,5; 1Jn 4:10
  • Romans 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

He - God the Father.

This presents the chief point in the proof that God is for us, the greatest exhibition of the love of God toward us. The reference to Abraham’s offering of Isaac is evident.

Spare (5339) (pheidomai) means to save from loss or discomfort. In some contexts it means to refrain from doing something (cf 2Cor 12:6)

Pheidomai - 10x in 9v - Acts 20:29; Rom 8:32; 11:21; 1 Cor 7:28; 2 Cor 1:23; 12:6; 13:2; 2 Pet 2:4f

The word rendered spared is the same as in the Septuagint (LXX) of Genesis 22

Genesis 22:12 And he said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld (Hebrew = chasak = withhold, keep back, spare; Lxx = pheidomai) your son, your only son, from Me."

Genesis 22:16 and said, "By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son

In providing His only Son as the Substitute for sacrifice, God was showing His ultimate provision for our needs, even as foreshadowed in Genesis 22 where Abraham experienced the reality that He is Jehovah Who Provides the ram in the thicket and the Lamb on the Cross. God sees our needs and provides for those needs and is fittingly known as Jehovah Jireh.


Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide Genesis 22:14.  GOD'S GUIDANCE, PROVISION
 
A number of times in the Old Testament, the name "Jehovah" is joined to other names that reveal some of God's distinct characteristics. Abraham said that the place where God supplied a ram should be called "The-Lord-Will-Provide." This name, which is sometimes rendered "Jehovah-Jireh," indicates that God sees beforehand what our needs are, and He provides for them.
 
A young newlywed planned to entertain some friends. Lacking some necessary items, she went to a neighbor to borrow them. After giving the items to her, the friend asked, "Is that all you want?" "Yes, I think so," the young bride answered. Then her neighbor, an experienced hostess, handed her some other items, explaining that she would need them as well. Later the young woman remarked, "I was so thankful I went to someone who knew exactly what I needed and was willing to supply it."
 
How well that describes God. Through the sacrifice of His Son, He has given us salvation. But that's not all. He also provides power through the Holy Spirit so that we can do His will. "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Rom. 8:32).  Jehovah-Jireh. The Lord will provide. —P.R.V.
 
Where God guides, He provides. 


He who so freely gave the choicest thing that he had to give when we were yet helpless, ungodly, sinners and enemies of God -- now that we are His friends -- will He not complete the process (Php 1:6-note)?

  • Romans 5:6+ For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
  • Romans 5:8+ But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Romans 5:10+ For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ROMANS 5:8
During the American Civil War, a farmer in New York was drafted for the Union army. His wife had died and he was the sole support of his young children. But then an unmarried man in the town who had no dependents came to his home and offered to go to war in his place. For the sake of his children, the farmer accepted the offer. The generous friend marched off to battle, and in the first engagement he was shot and killed. When the farmer heard what had happened, he went to the scene of the battle and brought back the body. He buried his friend in the village churchyard, and had these words engraved on the headstone: He Died for Me. The truth of the gospel is that Jesus gave His life for us while we were His enemies (Rom. 5:8—10). The implications are staggering. If Christ died for us while we were enemies, how much more will the living Christ do for us now that He has made us His friends! We can be sure that not only will He preserve us from God's wrath against sin (v. 9), but He will give us everything we need (Rom. 8:32)—in this life and the next. —H. W R.
 
JESUS TOOK OUR PLACE AND GAVE US His PEACE.

BUT DELIVERED HIM UP FOR US ALL: alla huper hemon panton paredoken (3SAAI) auton :

But - Pause to ponder this strategic, gracious term of contrast.

Delivered Him up - This repeats what Paul stated at the end Romans 4…

He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification (Ro 4:25-note)

Delivered (3860)(paradidomi [word study] from para = alongside, beside, to the side of, over to + didomi = to give) conveys the basic meaning of to give over from one's hand to someone or something, especially to give over to the power of another.

Paradidomi - 119x in 117v - betray(17), betrayed(10), betraying(9), betrays(3), commended(1), committed(3), deliver(6), delivered(21), delivered over(1), delivering(3), entrusted(3), entrusting(1), gave(4), gave… over(3), given… over(1), hand(6), handed(9), handed… over(1), handed down(4), handed over(4), hands(1), permits(1), put(1), putting(1), risked(1), surrender(1), taken into custody(2), turn… over(1).

Matt 4:12; 5:25; 10:4, 17, 19, 21; 11:27; 17:22; 18:34; 20:18f; 24:9f; 25:14, 20, 22; 26:2, 15f, 21, 23ff, 45f, 48; 27:2ff, 18, 26; Mark 1:14; 3:19; 4:29; 7:13; 9:31; 10:33; 13:9, 11f; 14:10f, 18, 21, 41f, 44; 15:1, 10, 15; Luke 1:2; 4:6; 9:44; 10:22; 12:58; 18:32; 20:20; 21:12, 16; 22:4, 6, 21f, 48; 23:25; 24:7, 20; John 6:64, 71; 12:4; 13:2, 11, 21; 18:2, 5, 30, 35f; 19:11, 16, 30; 21:20; Acts 3:13; 6:14; 7:42; 8:3; 12:4; 14:26; 15:26, 40; 16:4; 21:11; 22:4; 27:1; 28:17; Rom 1:24, 26, 28; 4:25; 6:17; 8:32; 1 Cor 5:5; 11:2, 23; 13:3; 15:3, 24; 2 Cor 4:11; Gal 2:20; Eph 4:19; 5:2, 25; 1 Tim 1:20; 1 Pet 2:23; 2 Pet 2:4, 21; Jude 1:3.

Paradidomi is used in legal parlance to describe handing someone into the custody of the police, authorities, etc. To deliver up one to custody, to be judged, condemned, punished, scourged, tormented, put to death.

Matthew 10:17 "But beware of men; for they will deliver you up to the courts, and scourge you in their synagogues… 10:19 "But when they deliver you up, do not become anxious about how or what you will speak; for it shall be given you in that hour what you are to speak… 10:21 "And brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death.

Mark 15:1 And early in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes, and the whole Council, immediately held a consultation; and binding Jesus, they led Him away, and delivered Him up to Pilate.

2Peter 2:4 (note) For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed (paradidomi) them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;

For (5228) (huper) is a Greek preposition which in the context expresses the idea of substitution (Click here for study of this use of huper in the NT). Instead of for one can render it as Christ died… “in place of, for the benefit of, on behalf of, or instead of." 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!)

If accusations are brought against us, we need not fear, for the charges are silenced by the upraised, pierced hands of our Intercessor. If we are to be condemned, it will have to be over Christ’s resurrected body, which is the basis of our salvation! How is that for confidence?

S Lewis Johnson - Romans 5:8-10 and Romans 8:32 appear to me to be unanswerable texts for those who deny the scriptural teaching of Christ's substitutionary atonement. These passages state plainly that, if Jesus gave Himself for us in atonement, everything else must follow because, having done the most that He could do in dying as our substitute, the lesser things—such as conviction of sin, repentance, effectual grace, faith— must inevitably follow. God's great eternal purpose, expressed so beautifully in 8:28-30, must reach its fruition in glorification for all those for whom He died."

Spurgeon - If Isaac had died, he could not have died for us. He might have died for us as an example of how we should resign life, but that would have been a small boon; it would have been no greater blessing than the Unitarian gospel offers when it sets forth Christ as dying for our exemption. But, beloved, the death of Christ stands altogether alone and apart, because it is a death altogether for others, endured solely and only from selfless affection to the fallen. There is not a pang that rends the Saviour’s heart that needed to have been there if not for love to us, not a drop of blood that trickled from that thorn-crowned head or from those pierced hands that needed to be spilled if it were not for affection to such undeserving ones as us. And see what he has done for us! He has procured our pardon; we who have believed in him are forgiven. He has procured our adoption; we are sons of God in Christ Jesus. He has shut the gates of hell for us; we cannot perish, nor can any pluck us out of his hands. He has opened the gates of heaven for us; we shall be with him where he is. Our very bodies shall feel the power of his death, for they shall rise again at the sound of the trumpet at the last day. He was delivered for us his people, ‘for us all’; he endured all for all his people, for all who trust him, for every son of Adam that casts himself upon him, for every son and daughter of man that will rely upon him alone for salvation. Was he delivered for you, dear friend? Have you a part in his death? (The Gospel in Abraham's Sacrifice)

HOW WILL HE NOT ALSO WITH HIM FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS: pos ouchi kai sun auto ta panta hemin charisetai (3SFMI):

  • Ro 8:28; 6:23; Ps 84:11; 1Co 2:12; 3:21, 22, 23; 2Co 4:15; Rev 21:7
  • Romans 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

How will He not - Strong negative. In other words He will freely give us all things. The HCJB translates it "He who did not spare even his own Son, but gave him up on behalf of us all- is it possible that, having given us his Son, he would not give us everything else too?" It is not possible! Since He gave the greatest gift in His Son, He will give us all things.

Freely give (5483) (charizomai from charis = grace, undeserved merit or favor) has the basic meaning of to give. To grant as a favor. To give gratuitously, generously, graciously and in kindness. It means to bestow as a gift of grace or out of grace. To give out of grace. To give help to those who don't deserve it. To show grace by providing undeserved help to someone unworthy (see Eph 4:32)

Vine adds charizomai means "to bestow a favor unconditionally… then to remit a debt, and hence to forgive… Charizomai primarily denotes to show a favor (charis)… In each case the idea of a free, unconditioned act is involved, and in all save one or two cases this is the dominant thought, cp. Acts 27:24; Philemon 22 (Collected writings of W. E. Vine)

The specific meaning of charizomai depends on the context of what is given accounting for the following renderings in the NAS…

bestowed(1), forgave(2), forgive(3), forgiven(4), forgiving(2), freely give(1), given(1),graciously forgave(1), granted(5), hand(2), things freely given(1).

Half of the NT uses of charizomai (12/23) convey the sense of granting forgiveness, both Divine and human. To forgive out of grace, doing it freely and graciously. In Luke 7:42 this meaning overlaps with the forgiving or canceling of a debt, which in a sense is what one does when they forgive another individual.

In Acts 25:11, 16 charizomai is used as a legal technical term of putting Paul under the control of another and so to hand him over.

Charizomai was a common term ancient Greece in honorific documents lauding officials and civic-minded persons for their beneficence.

Here are the 23 NT uses of this great verb charizomai

Luke 7:21 At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He granted sight to many who were blind.

Luke 7:42 "When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him more?" 43 Simon answered and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more." And He said to him, "You have judged correctly."

Acts 3:14 "But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you. (Comment: Here charizomai speaks of the release of a prisoner under sentence, as an act of clemency).

Acts 25:11 "If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar." (Comment: In the legal context the idea is to release.)

Acts 25:16 "And I answered them that it is not the custom of the Romans to hand over any man before the accused meets his accusers face to face, and has an opportunity to make his defense against the charges. (Comment: Although charizomai usually has a good meaning "give freely or graciously" as God gives to us His favor, here it is a matter of giving a prisoner over to his enemies)

Acts 27:24 saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.'

Romans 8:32 (note) He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God,

2 Corinthians 2:7 so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, lest somehow such a one be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.

2 Corinthians 2:10 But whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ,

2 Corinthians 12:13 For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!

Galatians 3:18 For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise. (Comment: Wuest writes that charizomai "is a specialized word. It denotes not merely a gift, but a gift which is given out of the spontaneous generosity of the giver’s heart, with no strings tied to it. The Greek word grace [charis] has the same root and the same meaning. Thus the word refers, not to an undertaking based upon terms of mutual agreement, but upon the free act of one who gives something, expecting no pay for it. This at once shows the difference between law and grace [Ed note: Especially in context of Galatians]. If salvation were by obedience to the law, that would mean that it would be based upon a mutual agreement between God and the sinner whereby God would obligate Himself to give salvation to any sinner who would earn it by obedience to the law. But the very genius of the word charizomai militates against the teaching of the Judaizers, namely, that salvation is by works. There is a Greek word huposchesis which is used of an offer based upon the terms of a mutual agreement. But it is not used here. (Wuest, K. S)

Ephesians 4:32 (note) And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Comment: Means "forgive freely"—graciously, not grudgingly. To forgive in the sense of treating the offending party graciously.” The same word is used of God here forgiving us in Christ. That is the way God has forgiven us, so that is, the way we [enabled by His Spirit] should forgive others. The idea of freeness lies in the word forgive, which is forth-give.).

Philippians 1:29 (note) For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake (Comment: Lightfoot writes that "God has granted you the high privilege of suffering for Christ; this is the surest sign that He looks upon you with favor." Freely bestowed, even as Jesus freely offered Himself to humiliation.)

Philippians 2:9 (note) Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, (Comment: Here charizomai means to give freely, confer, here signifies that God the Father bestowed the Name upon Him as a gift of supreme love and approval)

Colossians 2:13 (note) And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, (Comment: Note that the more common word for forgive is aphiemi which literally means to leave off or send away. The verb charizomai for forgive carries a deeper sense of wholehearted forgiveness.)

Colossians 3:13 (note) bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

Philemon 1:22 And at the same time also prepare me a lodging; for I hope that through your prayers I shall be given to you.

The Psalmist extols the gracious Giver of every good gift…

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;

The LORD gives grace and glory;

No good thing does He withhold

From those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11)

Spurgeon's Note = Grace makes us walk uprightly and this secures every covenant blessing to us. What a wide promise! Some apparent good may be withheld, but no real good, no, not one. "All things are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." God has all good, there is no good apart from him, and there is no good which he either needs to keep back or will on any account refuse us, if we are but ready to receive it. We must be upright and neither lean to this or that form of evil: and this uprightness must be practical, -- we must walk in truth and holiness, then shall we be heirs of all things, and as we come of age all things shall be in our actual possession; and meanwhile, according to our capacity for receiving shall be the measure of the divine bestowal. This is true, not of a favoured few, but of all the saints for evermore.

MacArthur has a slightly different interpretation based on the meanings of charizomai (see above) - It therefore seems reasonable to interpret Paul’s use of charizomai in Romans 8:32 as including the idea of God’s gracious forgiveness as well as His gracious giving. If so, the apostle is also saying that God freely forgives us all things (cf. 1John 1:9). God’s unlimited forgiveness makes it impossible for a believer to sin himself out of God’s grace. (MacArthur, J: Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press)

Denny on the other hand says that freely give us all things "is usually taken to mean the whole of what furthers the Christian's life, the whole of what contributes to the perfecting of his salvation; all this will be freely give to him by God. But why should it not mean all things without any such qualification? When God gives us His Son He gives us the world. There is nothing which does not work together for our good. All things are ours. cf 1Cor 3:22ff. 

Considering the nuances of the verb charizomai it is reasonable to interpret passage as freely gives and freely forgives all things. Is that indeed not what we have experienced in our Christian life so far?

Spurgeon on  Romans 8:32 - What? Will He deny you bread for your body—after He has given you Christ, the Bread of Heaven, for your soul?  Will He deny you clothes for your body—after He has clothed your soul with the robe of Christ's perfect righteousness?  Will He deny you a sufficient store of earthly goods that you may get through this world—when He has already given you a mansion in the skies and an unfading crown of life?

How can we be so certain of this promise? Because the greatest gift ensures all the rest, whether one interprets it as giving or forgiving. The logic that flows from this is irresistible. If God has already given us the greatest gift of His Son as our Savior and Redeemer, is there any lesser gift that He will not give? If He has already paid the highest price, will He hesitate to pay any lower price? If He has gone to such lengths to procure our salvation, will He ever let us go? In short, if the Father has already given His ultimate Gift, how can we think that He will fail to give us the smaller gifts?

Mackintosh comments on the way Paul phrases this question writing that…

The language of unbelief “is ’How shall He?’ The language of faith is ’How shall He not?

Stedman - He who has already given us the best, the greatest, the dearest, the most precious thing He has, and Who did so while we were sinners -- while we were enemies, while we were helpless -- will He not also give us some of these trivial, piddling little things that we need? If someone thinks enough of you to give you a costly, brilliant, beautiful, flawless diamond, do you think he will object when you ask him for the box that goes with it? If a mother will give up a baby, do you think she will object if they ask to take his clothes too? And if God has given us his own Son already, do you really think God is going to withhold anything else that we need? Paul's argument is unanswerable: Of course he won't. We can say with David in the 23rd Psalm, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want," {Ps 23:1 - }. (If God be For Us)

Our Father freely gives as illustrated by the story of a poor European family who saved for years to buy tickets to sail to America. Once at sea, they carefully rationed the cheese and bread they had brought for the journey. After 3 days, the boy complained to his father,

“I hate cheese sandwiches. If I don’t eat anything else before we get to America, I’m going to die.”

Giving the boy his last nickel, the father told him to go to the ship’s galley and buy an ice-cream cone. When the boy returned a long time later with a wide smile, his worried dad asked,

“Where were you?”

“In the galley, eating three ice-cream cones and a steak dinner!”

“All that for a nickel?”

“Oh, no, the food is free,” the boy replied. “It comes with the ticket.”

Spurgeon commenting on He freely gives has the following devotional thoughts…

IF this is not a promise in form, it is in fact. Indeed, it is more than one promise, it is a conglomerate of promises. It is a mass of rubies and emeralds and diamonds, with a nugget of gold for their setting. It is a question which can never be answered so as to cause us any anxiety of heart. What can the Lord deny us after giving us Jesus? If we need all things in heaven and earth, He will grant them to us: for if there had been a limit anywhere, He would have kept back His own Son.

What do I want today? I have only to ask for it. I may seek earnestly, but not as if I had to use pressure and extort an unwilling gift from the Lord’s hand; for He will give freely. Of His own will, He gave us His own Son. Certainly no one would have proposed such a gift to Him. No one would have ventured to ask for it. It would have been too presumptuous. He freely gave His Only Begotten; and, O my soul, canst thou not trust thy heavenly Father to give thee anything, to give thee everything? Thy poor prayer would have no force with Omnipotence if force were needed; but His love, like a spring, rises of itself and overflows for the supply of all thy needs.


Cheese Sandwiches - Author Peter Kreeft tells the story of a poor European family who saved for years to buy tickets to sail to America. Once at sea, they carefully rationed the cheese and bread they had brought for the journey.

After 3 days, the boy complained to his father, “I hate cheese sandwiches. If I don’t eat anything else before we get to America, I’m going to die.” Giving the boy his last nickel, the father told him to go to the ship’s galley and buy an ice-cream cone.

When the boy returned a long time later with a wide smile, his worried dad asked, “Where were you?”

“In the galley, eating three ice-cream cones and a steak dinner!”

“All that for a nickel?”

“Oh, no, the food is free,” the boy replied. “It comes with the ticket.” (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


Vance Havner - Included in the Ticket
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32.
It is an old story of the ship passenger who lived on crackers and cheese all the way across the ocean only to learn that his meals were included in his ticket.
Our salvation includes more than pardon from sin, deliverance from hell and a ticket to heaven. It includes all that we shall need on our journey. Sin has been dealt with in the Son, but Jesus is not only our Saviour, He is our Sustenance and Supply. We are not to subsist on our own crackers and cheese. "All things are yours." Indeed, the supreme thing is that God spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all. That is the message of Calvary. But God has also freely given us all things in the gift of His Son. Our assurance, sanctification, peace, joy, wisdom, all that we need for body, mind and spirit to do God's will, a new body at the resurrection, eternal life in heaven, all this is "included in the ticket."What a "ticket," bought at the purchase price of God's own Son! Throw away your crackers and cheese! You have a right to eat in the Main Dining Room!


Vance Havner - "With Him—All Things"
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things? Romans 8:32.
How blessed to move from our nothingness to "everything in Jesus"! "By him all things consist." The Father has given him all things (Jn. 3:35; 13:3; 16:15). All things were made by him (Jn. 1:3; I Cor. 8:6). Jesus has said, "All things are mine... Come" (Mt. 11:27, 28); "All things are mine... Believe" (Jn. 3:35, 36); "All things are mine... Go" (Mt. 28:18-20).
Your part is to bring Him all your need. His part is to supply all your need (Phil. 4:19). If the first step is to realize the nothingness of yourself, the second is to turn to the Allness of Christ.
"All that I need is Jesus," because all that I need is in Jesus. If God spared not His own Son but freely delivered Him up for our redemption, He will not give me the greater and fail to give me the lesser, but with Him He has given all else that I need, whether great or small.
And if everything is in Jesus, surely Jesus ought to be everything to us!


Vance Havner - "With Him Also... All Things"
"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" Rom. 8:32
If God loved us enough to give his Son to die for us will he not also give us all lesser blessings? If he provided the greater, surely he will include the less! What a strange experience this is that we have received God's salvation from the guilt and penalty of sin, yet we wallow along in fear and doubt and care and daily sins! What sort of redemption is that which provides security against the past and future but leaves us stranded in the here-and-now?
It not only shows weakness and lack of faith to plug along in daily defeat hoping only to get to heaven; it casts reproach on the care of our heavenly Father to imply by our tawdry living that he has stingily meted out a scanty allowance for us in this present world.
And how much goes along with the gift of his Son? "All things!" And how is this given? Grudgingly, so that we must coax and persuade a parsimonious God? "Freely!" If being saved from condemnation makes us as happy as it does, why do we not take all the rest that goes along with it! Are you missing the things that are included "with him also"?


Vance Havner - F-a-i-t-h 
... According to your faith be it unto you (Matthew 9:29)
Some time ago, while checking my concordance on the word "all," I was impressed with what might be called the "allness" of our sinfulness: "... all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23); "... the scripture hath concluded all under sin..." (Galatians 3:22); "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10); "... Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3).

We are all sinners. We do not have to break all the commandments to be involved; and unless we repent we shall all perish. This does not mean that one man is as vile morally as another, or that one is as great a menace to society as another; but it does mean that all of us are sinners. Nicodemus was as truly a sinner as Barabbas, though not to the same degree.

I was impressed, however, with something more: the "allness" of our Saviour: "... Christ is all, and in all" (Colossians 3:11); He "filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:23); He "is before all things, and by him all things consist"; "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily"; in Him "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 1:17; 2:9; 2:3). The answer to the allness of my sin is the "allness" of my Saviour. The way from the one to the other is by faith.

Someone has said that the letters in the word "faith" may be spelled out to mean "For all, I take Him." True faith in Christ means, first, that for all He is and all He claimed to be—Son of God, Saviour of the world—I take Him. God has taken care of everything in Jesus Christ; He is the answer to every question in time and eternity. "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).

We may also spell "faith" to mean "Forsaking all, I take Him." I must forsake my sins (Proverbs 28:13); forsaking my sins, I take Him as Saviour; then I must forsake all that I have (Matthew 19:27-29; Luke 14:33). This does not mean I am to walk out of my home, leaving family and friends; it means that He must come first. Better still, my love and loyalty to Him includes and glorifies all other loves and loyalties. Forsaking all I have, I take Him as my Lord.

We may also spell "faith" to mean "For all, I trust Him." I trust Him for all my need: "... my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). He is able to make all grace abound toward us, that we always, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work (II Corinthians 9:8). We are to cast all our care upon Him, and we can do all things through Him (I Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:13). My past, my present, my future—for everything I need, I trust Him.

Finally, we may spell "faith" to mean "For all, I thank Him": for what He has done, is doing, will do. "In every thing give thanks..." (I Thessalonians 5:18). For everything? Yes, because all things work together for our good if we love God and are the called according to His purpose. We are to make our requests known with thanksgiving, and God's peace will garrison our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:6).

For all, I take Him; for all, I trust Him; for all, I thank Him—here is a formula that never fails. I have indicated only a few of the Scriptures that mark out this blessed path to peace and power. Accept it, affirm it, act upon it—not as a magic "open sesame," but as God's Word—and you will find that through appropriating faith the allness of His grace is the answer to the allness of your need.


Jerry Bridges in Holiness Day by Day - GENEROSITY BEYOND COMPARE
How will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (ROMANS 8:32)

The fact that God deals with His children on the basis of grace without regard to merit or demerit is a staggering concept. It’s opposed to almost everything we’ve been taught about life. We’ve been generally conditioned to think that if we work hard and “pay our dues,” we’ll be rewarded in proportion to our work: “You do so much, you deserve so much.”
But God’s grace doesn’t operate on a reward-for-works basis. It’s much better than that. God is generous beyond all measure or comparison. The Scripture says, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son”; and Paul spoke of this as God’s “inexpressible gift” (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 9:15). God’s inexpressible generosity, however, does not stop at saving us; it provides for all our needs and blessings throughout our entire lives. As Paul said in Romans 8:32, “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?” Paul used the argument of the greater to the lesser to teach us God’s generosity. No blessing we’ll ever receive can possibly compare with the gift of God’s Son dying for us. God demonstrated His gracious generosity to the ultimate at the cross. And Paul based the assurance that we can expect God to meet all our other needs throughout life on the fact that God has already met our greatest need.
Note that Paul said God will “graciously” or freely give us all things. Just as salvation is given freely to all who trust in Christ, so all blessings are given freely to us, also through faith in Christ.


Jerry Bridges in Transforming Grace - The Generous Landowner
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? ROMANS 8:32

The fact that God deals with His children on the basis of grace without regard to merit or demerit is a staggering concept. It is opposed to almost everything we have been taught about life. We have been generally conditioned to think that if we work hard and “pay our dues” in life, we will be rewarded in proportion to our work. “You do so much, you deserve so much” is a commonly accepted principle in life.
But God’s grace does not operate on a reward for works basis. It is much better than that. God is generous beyond all measure or comparison. The Scripture says, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son”; and Paul spoke of this as God’s “indescribable gift” (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 9:15, emphasis added). God’s inexpressible generosity, however, does not stop at saving us; it provides for all our needs and blessings throughout our entire lives. As Paul said in Romans 8:32,

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Paul used the argument of the greater to the lesser to teach us God’s generosity. He said if God gave His Son for our salvation (the greater), will He not also give us all blessings (the lesser)? No blessing we will ever receive can possibly compare with the gift of God’s Son to die for us. God demonstrated His gracious generosity to the ultimate at the cross. And Paul based the assurance that we can expect God to meet all our other needs throughout life on the fact that God has already met our greatest need. Note that Paul said God will graciously or freely give us all things. Just as salvation is given freely to all who trust in Christ, so all blessings are given freely to us, also through faith in Christ. Just as you cannot earn your salvation but must receive it as a gift, so you cannot earn the blessings of God but must receive them also as gifts given through Christ.
 


Jerry Bridges on Romans 8:31-34 (from The Great Exchange) - Paul fires off questions to get us to think about the certainty of our justification in Christ: who can oppose us, or accuse us, or condemn us? In between the questions, Paul provides several hints to the triumphant answers:

  He did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all.

  It is God who justifies.

  Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised.

  Christ Jesus is interceding for us at the right hand of God.

In this passage, Paul proclaims the privileges granted to those who are united with Christ, and who are thereby completely freed from condemnation. The atonement, where God gave up the Son on our behalf, was a real transaction—it purchased something monumental—the fullest security for us all. Paul confidently defies the enemies and opposition surrounding Christians on the basis of the fact that God is for us. He thus establishes a direct connection between Christ’s atonement and the blood-bought blessings bestowed on us. What have we to fear if we are covered by this great atonement?
God did not withhold his Son. Jesus was not spared from assuming a human body as a prerequisite for his work, an act that in itself was an immeasurable humiliation compared to Christ’s sharing the fullness of God. Jesus, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped . . . made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:6–7). As well, he was not spared from subjection to the full force and fury of God’s holy and just wrath against our sin. In spite of the infinite and eternal love with which God regarded his Son, a love that never could be lowered or withdrawn from Christ personally, God did not spare him. As the sinless Son of God and as man’s sin substitute, Christ was simultaneously loved and yet not spared.
This prompts a few questions: (1) Why? Why would God subject Jesus to the full force of his wrath? The answer is amazing: God did not spare his own Son so that he might instead spare us. He did not remove the cup of wrath from him so that it would never be presented to us. From this wonderful truth, additional questions naturally follow: (2) How well protected from God’s wrath are those under Christ’s shield? Are we still to fear some of God’s mighty fury? The answer is that there is not a drop of wrath that Christ did not drink on our behalf. If we are in him, our punishment has already been endured in full, our rescue is assured, and we are infinitely and eternally safe.
The words “his own Son” (Rom. 8:32) convey the idea of a true son, an actual son of divine relationship. There is no aspect of adoption here; Jesus Christ is the genuine, authentic Son of God from eternity past through eternity future. Two underlying inferences flow from this: (1) there is an infinitely zealous love-relationship between God the Father and God the Son, and (2) the Son has infinite dignity and value by virtue of his sonship. It staggers the imagination to embrace the thought that this is the Son that was given up for us. What price tag can be put on the Son? He is a sacrifice of infinite price. This is the extraordinary measure of the Father’s love for us.
God gave up the Son. In other words, it was God himself who delivered Christ into the hands of men to be treated as if he really was the blasphemous offender they accused him of being. Although Judas, the high priest, the council, Pilate, and the Roman cohort were involved, there was a hand above theirs; God was the ultimate cause of Christ’s suffering and death. God was the invisible but actual conspirator, righteous judge, and executioner (Acts 2:23).
At this point, Paul gives a logical argument from the greater to the lesser: “He who did not spare his own Son . . . how will he not also . . .” (Rom. 8:32). If God was willing and able to do the most difficult thing and to pay the most infinite price, certainly he is willing and able to “graciously give us all things” (v. 32), a far less costly task than giving his Son. He whose love overcomes the greatest difficulties, and he who by his own miraculous and magnificent plan replaces our condemnation with justification based on his own Son’s blood, this great and gracious God will not be thwarted by what is comparatively much less demanding. God’s love for us caused him to deliver the Son he loves to spitting, blindfolding, taunting, beating, and scourging, as well as to allow him to be nailed to a cross, speared in the side, and taken to the grave—all for our benefit. Can he not, will he not, then, provide for us in every other way with every other blessing we could possibly need? Having refused to withhold his Son, will he withhold the lesser blessings and mercies bought by the same blood? If he did not spare the Son while we were enemies, will he treat us less lovingly now that we are friends?
God did not deliver up Christ simply to provide us with a good example to live by or a demonstration of superlative, inspiring unselfishness. No, it was much more than that. He delivered his Son to provide a substitutionary death, a death we should have died. He did it to provide a punishment in the place of those who deserved his wrath. He did it to supply redeemed sinners with an inexhaustible basis of confidence and an unquenchable hope.
God would have spared his Son had he not purposed to bestow on us all good things conceivable as demonstrated by Paul when he declares, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). What an amazingly good and gracious God!
An important question is raised when Paul declares that God did this “for us all.” Who is included in the word all? Does it refer to all mankind? Does it refer to every sinner? The answer to both questions is an emphatic no. The all refers to the Roman believers to whom Paul was writing, believers who joined Paul in forming a mutual body of believers. We see this as well in the beginning of this epistle where Paul addresses his audience as “you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, to all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints” (Rom. 1:6–7a).
While this is true, the more explicit answer, however, is that us all refers to those depicted and qualified in the context of Romans 8:28–30 where Paul says:

  Those who love God . . . those who are called according to his purpose. . . . Those whom he foreknew [and] predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son . . . those whom he called . . . justified . . . glorified.

In this context, us all signifies the true church—the redeemed, reconciled sinners that constitute the body of Christ as a whole by virtue of their participation under his representative headship whereby they have died with him and have been raised with him. These, and only these, are the ones for whom God gave up Jesus. The promise of “all things” applies only to them.
Those who will not have Christ as their ransom, redeemer, righteousness, and propitiation, including all those who perceive themselves as relatively moral and expect to present their own righteousness as if it were good enough to stand before a holy God, should not expect to receive God’s blessings. They have spurned the love of God, the plan of God, and the provision of God. They are not united to Christ and his great atonement, and thus they are not free from the condemnation, wrath, and death penalty due from the hand of the God of justice for each and every single sin.
May we never spurn the great and proven love of the awesome holy God and the Son he did not spare. Let us pray for enablement to turn to Christ and trust in his atonement and cling to him in a union that can never be undone. Then we will proclaim alongside Paul, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38–39).


Faith's Checkbook - Spurgeon - He Freely Gives

    “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him  up for us all, how shall he not with him also freelygive us all things?”—Romans 8:32

IF this is not a promise in form, it is in fact. Indeed, it is more than one promise, it is a conglomerate of promises. It is a mass of rubies and emeralds and diamonds, with a nugget of gold for their setting. It is a question which can never be answered so as to cause us any anxiety of heart. What can the Lord deny us after giving us Jesus? If we need all things in heaven and earth, He will grant them to us: for if there had been a limit anywhere, He would have kept back His own Son.

What do I want today? I have only to ask for it. I may seek earnestly, but not as if I had to use pressure and extort an unwilling gift from the Lord’s hand; for He will give freely. Of His own will, He gave us His own Son. Certainly no one would have proposed such a gift to Him. No one would have ventured to ask for it. It would have been too presumptuous. He freely gave His Only Begotten; and, O my soul, canst thou not trust thy heavenly Father to give thee anything, to give thee everything? Thy poor prayer would have no force with Omnipotence if force were needed; but His love, like a spring, rises of itself and overflows for the supply of all thy needs.

Romans 8:33 Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: tis egkalesei (3SFAI ) kata eklekton theou? theos o dikaion; (PAPMSN)

Amplified: Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has given us right standing with himself. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: Who would dare to accuse us, whom God has chosen? The judge himself has declared us free from sin. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: Who shall bring a charge against God’s chosen-out ones? God, the One who justifies? 

Young's Literal: Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies;

WHO WILL BRING A CHARGE AGAINST GOD'S ELECT?: tis egkalesei (3SFAI) kata eklekton theou:

  • Ro 8:1; Job 1:9-11; 2:4, 5, 6; 22:6-30; 34:8,9; 42:7, 8, 9; Ps 35:11; Isa 54:17; Zech 3:1, 2, 3, 4; Rev 12:10,11
  • Isaiah 42:1; Mt 24:24; Luke 18:7; 1Th 1:4; Titus 1:1; 1Pe 1:2
  • Romans 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Bring a charge (1458) (egkaleo from en = in, on, at + kaleo = call) literally means a call in and thus a summons and was the Greek legal term meaning to accuse, call into account or bring charges against.

Egkaleo - 7x in 7v - Acts 19:38, 40; 23:28f; 26:2, 7; Ro 8:33. NAS = accused(4), accusing(1), bring a charge(1), bring charges against(1).

And thus Paul still has us in a courtroom setting, but now a remarkable change has taken place. While the justified sinner stands before the bench, the call goes out for any accusers to step forward. But there is none! How could there be? If God has already justified His elect, who can bring a charge? If God, the Supreme Judge, justifies, then who is going to successfully bring a charge against us?

We are secure from all charges against us; if we have been declared "not guilty" by the highest Judge in the land, who can bring additional charges against us?

To be sure, Satan is identified as the accuser of God’s people in both the Old and New Testaments (Rev 12:10 [note] cf. Zech 3:1, Job 1-2). He charges the chosen of God with sin. In a sense his accusations are valid, because they are based on the believer’s sinfulness and defilement. However Satan gets nowhere with God because all sin is against God ultimately (Ps 51:4). Therefore God is the only One in the position to charge the believer with guilt. And so the Adversary's accusations against us will be dismissed, thrown out of court, because it is God Who justifies. The Judge Himself declares the accused righteous on the basis of their faith in Jesus Christ (Ro 3:24-note; Ro 5:1-note). In short, no one can bring an accusation against us that will stand. And God will not accuse us because we are safe in Christ and His righteousness.

Denny - the one thing Paul is concerned with is the security given by the eternal love of God that the work of salvation will be carried through, in spite of all impediments, from foreknowledge to final glory. The elect of God are those who ought to have such security: thy should have a faith and an assurance proportioned to the love of God. Paul is one of them, and because he is, he is sure, not that he is called to serve God, but that nothing can ever separate him from God's love in Christ. (Romans 8 - The Expositor's Greek Testament)

Elect (1588)(eklektos from verb eklego which in middle voice [eklegomai] means select or pick out for one's self which is derived from ek =out + lego =call) (see sermon Chosen in Christ) means literally the "called out ones" or "chosen out ones". The idea of eklektos is the ones who have been chosen for one's self, selected out of a larger number.

In regard to election as related to salvation, Wuest comments that "This election does not imply the rejection of the rest (those not chosen out), but is the outcome of the love of God lavished upon those chosen-out.

Webster's definition of elect is not bad "to pick out; to select from among two or more, that which is preferred… in theology, to designate, choose or select as an object of (divine) mercy or favor".

Someone else has written that "Election is God's eternal choice of persons unto everlasting life -- not because of foreseen merit in them, but of His mere mercy in Christ - in consequence of which choice they are called, justified, and glorified."

You may not realize it but you've sung about the "elect" if you've ever sung The Church's One Foundation for the second stanza begins "Elect from every nation… " Indeed, election is a doctrine worth singing about, worth studying and eminently worth preaching (have you encouraged your sheep with the glorious truth that they have been chosen "in Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world, that (they) should be holy and blameless before Him"? Ep 1:4-note)

The prince of preachers, C H Spurgeon was right when he said "There seems to be an inveterate prejudice in the human mind against this doctrine (of election) and although most other doctrines will be received by professing Christians, some with caution, others with pleasure, yet this one seems to be most frequently disregarded and discarded."

The doctrine of election is surely "solid food" and as such it is tempting as a pastor to avoid preaching this truth ,but remember that "solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil." (Heb 5:14-note)

Jeffrey writes that "Discussions of divine election, with its subheadings of predestination and divine foreknowledge, provide the millstones by which countless theological efforts in Western Christendom have been ground. Yet in its rudiments, election means simply the act of choice whereby God in love picks an individual or group out of a larger company for a purpose or destiny of his own appointment." (A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English literature. Grand Rapids, Mich. Eerdmans)

The elect of God is a privilege which conveys the responsibility to walk worthy of the calling to which we have been called. Thus Paul reminds the Colossians that "those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved" should strive to "put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience… " (Col 3:12-note)

Paul clearly accepted the doctrine of election writing to Timothy that "for this reason (the preeminence of Christ and the power of God's word) I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen (destined for salvation but not yet brought to it), that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory." (2Ti 2:10-note)

The doctrine of election did not discourage Paul from evangelizing the lost, but in fact had the opposite effect. Don't let the truth about election discourage you from proclaiming the gospel to all men.

In the last use of eklektos in the NT, we see that at the end of this age rebellious men led by the Antichrist "will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful." (Rev 17:14-note)

The elect will have the incredible privilege of witnessing the overthrow of the final evil world ruler and all those who follow him.

Eklektos was used in secular Greek to describe anything that was specially chosen, such as specially chosen ("choice") fruit, articles specially chosen because they are so outstandingly well made or picked troops specially chosen for some great exploit.

Eklektos carries the accessory ideas of kindness, favor, love. Specifically in regard to salvation, God’s choice is part of His predetermined plan, not based on any merit in those who are chosen, but solely on His grace and love. The verb form (eklegomai) is used in Eph 1:4+ where it is rendered “chose,” referring to the act of God in sovereign grace choosing out certain ones from among mankind for Himself "before the foundation of the world" (see notes Ephesians 1:4).. The verb (eklegomai) is middle voice (reflexive… conveys the sense of "for Himself") which indicates that God as the subject was acting in His own interest.

Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary writes that election is "the gracious and free act of God by which He calls those who become part of His kingdom and special beneficiaries of His love and blessings. The Bible describes the concept of election in three distinct ways. (1) Election sometimes refers to the choice of Israel (see next paragraph) and the church as a people for special service and privileges. (2) Election may also refer to the choice of a specific individual to some office or to perform some special service. (3) Still other passages of the Bible refer to the election of individuals to be children of God and heirs of eternal life." (Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary) (Numbers added)

The principle of God's sovereign good pleasure in election is illustrated In the OT Israel where God reminds Israel "I have chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth." (Dt 7:6).

The "election" of Israel differs from election of believers in the NT as the former election is national and does not necessarily imply salvation of those chosen, whereas election in the NT refers only to those who are granted salvation.

D L Moody has a pithy way of defining election stating that "The elect are the whosoever wills, the non-elect are the whosoever won'ts."


Spurgeon Morning and Evening - Evening, July 27 “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Romans 8:33

Most blessed challenge! How unanswerable it is! Every sin of the elect was laid upon the great Champion of our salvation, and by the atonement carried away. There is no sin in God’s book against his people: he seeth no sin in Jacob, neither iniquity in Israel; they are justified in Christ forever. When the guilt of sin was taken away, the punishment of sin was removed. For the Christian there is no stroke from God’s angry hand—nay, not so much as a single frown of punitive justice. The believer may be chastised by his Father, but God the Judge has nothing to say to the Christian, except “I have absolved thee: thou art acquitted.” For the Christian there is no penal death in this world, much less any second death. He is completely freed from all the punishment as well as the guilt of sin, and the power of sin is removed too. It may stand in our way, and agitate us with perpetual warfare; but sin is a conquered foe to every soul in union with Jesus. There is no sin which a Christian cannot overcome if he will only rely upon his God to do it. They who wear the white robe in heaven overcame through the blood of the Lamb, and we may do the same. No lust is too mighty, no besetting sin too strongly entrenched; we can overcome through the power of Christ. Do believe it, Christian, that thy sin is a condemned thing. It may kick and struggle, but it is doomed to die. God has written condemnation across its brow. Christ has crucified it, “nailing it to his cross.” Go now and mortify it, and the Lord help you to live to his praise, for sin with all its guilt, shame, and fear, is gone.

Here’s pardon for transgressions past,
It matters not how black their cast;
And, O my soul, with wonder view,
For sins to come here’s pardon too.

GOD IS THE ONE WHO JUSTIFIES: theos o dikaion (PAPMSN):

  • Ro 3:26; Isaiah 50:8,9; Galatians 3:8; Revelation 12:10,11
  • Romans 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

The One Who justifies - earlier Paul written that God is just and the Justifies of the one who has faith in Jesus (Ro 3:26-note)

Justifies (acquits, vindicates, frees) (1344)(dikaioo from dike = right, expected behavior or conformity, not according to one’s own standard, but according to an imposed standard with prescribed punishment for nonconformity) primarily means to deem to be right. Note dikaioo is in the present tense indicating this is what God always does -- He is the justifying God. His nature is to justify sinners creating saints. Even in the new heaven and new earth when there will no longer be need for justification for there will be no sin, God will still be eternally the justifying God and we will praise and worship Him for that glorious attribute which wrought so great a salvation as we possess forevermore.

Dikaioo describes the act by which a man is brought into a right state of relationship to God. Dikaioo is a legal term having to do with the law and the the courtroom, where it represented the legally binding verdict of the judge. This is the sense in which Paul uses dikaioo in this section in Romans (Ro 3:21-5:11) in which he unfolds the doctrine of justification.

The meaning of dikaioo depends on the context and depending on which lexicon you consult you will come up with a variety of definitions so the following is an attempt as classifying most of the NT uses, but please be a Berean and do you own study of this word.

(1) To cause someone to be in a proper or right relation with someone else. This use corresponds to the vitally important truth imputed righteousness and thus means to justify or to declare righteous, which is only accomplished by faith and not by works as explained in definition #2.

Romans 3:24 being justified (declared righteous and in proper or right relation to God) as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus

Titus 3:7 that being justified (declared righteous and in proper or right relation to God) by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

(2) To show to be right or righteous.

Matthew 11:19 "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated (dikaioo - shown to be right, proved to be in the right and accepted by God) by her deeds."

Luke 7:35+ "Yet wisdom is vindicated (dikaioo - shown to be right) by all her children."

James uses dikaioo in this sense - to show to be righteous. And so we see that Abraham's works show that he was righteous. He had been declared righteous by faith in Genesis 15:6, but was shown to be righteous in Genesis 22, which is the point that James is making in the following passages.

James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? (Note: Do not misunderstand. James is not using dikaioo in this context to say a Abraham was declared righteous but that he was shown to be righteous by his work - his willingness to offer Isaac. This "work" was the visible manifestation to men of the fact that at some point in time in the past -- Genesis 15:6 -- Abraham had been justified by faith and declared righteous by God on the basis of his faith, not on the basis of his works. This verse illustrates why it one has to be very careful to observe the context when defining any Greek word. Many people read these three passages in James and are confused because they read them in light of definition #1 above which does not apply to this context. The New Living Translation does an excellent job of accurately paraphrasing this passage to give it the intended meaning…

James 2:21 Don't you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? (NLT)

James 2:24 You see that a man is justified (shown to be righteous) by works, and not by faith alone.

James 2:25 And in the same way was not Rahab the harlot also justified (shown to be righteous) by works, when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?

In some cases dikaioo refers to Jesus or God Who are demonstrated to be morally right (Divine vindication)…

Romans 3:4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, "That Thou mightest be justified (shown to be just) in Thy words, And mightest prevail when Thou art judged." (quoting Ps 51:4)

1Timothy 3:6 (This description refers to Jesus) And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated (dikaioo - shown to be right) in the Spirit, Beheld by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.

(3) To make free, liberate, set free or release from the control of . This meaning is similar to another Greek verb eleutheroo. BDAG explains that the idea is "to cause someone to be released from personal or institutional claims that are no longer to be considered pertinent or valid"

Romans 6:7 For he who has died is freed (dikaioo in the passive voice = has been released) from sin (the power of Sin to which we were enslaved)

Acts 13:39 and through Him everyone who believes is freed (dikaioo - passive voice = has been set free) from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.

(4) Acknowledging that someone is just or right.

Luke 7:29 And when all the people and the tax-gatherers heard this, they acknowledged God's justice, (they acknowledged that God's way was right) having been baptized with the baptism of John.

(5) Man declaring that he is just or right. This is something man does and based on his standard of righteousness (self righteousness) not God's standard.

Luke 10:29 But wishing to justify (declare himself righteous) himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" (Comment: Notice that this young lawyer is trying to limit the demand of the law by asking "Who is my neighbor?" and by limiting it he would then show that he had fulfilled it. In other words this man would judge himself by his own standard of righteousness -- not God's perfect standard -- but he would not be justified in the sense of definition #1)

Wiersbe - “Do not confuse justification and sanctification. Sanctification is the process whereby God makes the believer more and more like Christ. Sanctification may change from day to day. Justification never changes. When the sinner trusts Christ, God declares him righteous, and that declaration will never be repealed.” (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

God is the One Who justifies - A more literal rendering is God is the (One) justifying i.e., the Justifier, with stress upon the word God. It greatly clarifies the argument of this verse and the following one if we supply the words “No one, because … ” before each answer. Thus this verse would read,

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? No one, because it is God Who justifies.

If we do not supply these words, it might sound as if God is going to bring a charge against His elect, the very thing that Paul is denying!

Stedman - Now, the devil is the accuser of the brethren. He will try to accuse us constantly. (Job 1:9, 10, 11 2:4, 5, 6 Zec3:1, 2, 3, 4 Rev 12:10, 11 1Pe 5:8)This verse tells us that we must not listen to his voice. We must not listen to these thoughts that condemn us, that put us down, that make us feel that there is no hope for us. These thoughts will come -- they cannot be stopped -- but we do not have to listen to them. We know God is not listening to these accusations. Who can condemn us when God justifies us? Therefore we refuse to be condemned. We don't do this by ignoring our sin or trying to cover it over, or pretending that it isn't there; we do it by admitting that we fully deserve to be condemned, but that God, through Christ, has already borne our guilt. That is the only way out. That is why Christians should not hesitate to admit their failure and their sin. You will never be justified until you admit it. But when you admit it, then you also can face the full glory of the fact that God justifies the ungodly, and therefore there is no condemnation. (If God be For Us)

Spurgeon on Ro 8:33-34 - Well might the apostle ring out these confident challenges to heaven, and earth, and hell. As it is God that justifieth, who can bring any charge against his elect? Who can condemn those for whom Christ died, for whom he has risen, and for whom he is now making intercession at the right hand of God?


Spurgeon from his sermon False Justification and True (2932) - THE great question for the human race to answer has ever been this, “How can man be just with God?” It is clear to every conscience that is at all awake that the thrice-holy God demands obedience to his law, and that disobedience to the divine law will certainly entail punishment. Hence the grand essential for each one of us is to be right towards God,—to be accounted just even at his judgment-bar. This is a most important matter at all times, but it appears to increase in importance as we advance in years, and get nearer to that great testing time when the Lord shall put everyone into his unerring balances, to weigh him, and so to prove what he really is. Woe unto the man who shall stand before the bar of God unjustified; but happy shall he be who, in that last dread day, shall be approved and accepted by the Judge of all the earth.


Our Daily Bread - Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies (Romans 8:33).

A cat burglar in Northville, Michigan, knows from experience what it is like to live above the law. The story began with a missing diamond ring. Although authorities located the robber, they made no arrest. With tongue-in-cheek, a state trooper described the thief as "small of stature, fleet of foot, and moving with a great deal of stealth." He also explained that because of the suspect's age and first-offender status, no charges could be filed. The real reason for letting the culprit go was that he was not subject to the law. The burglar was the complainant's 7-month-old kitten. The pet was implicated by a metal detector that beeped when waved over the animal. X-rays later confirmed their suspicions. The kitten, of course, was not booked; cats live above the law.
 
This amusing story reminds us of the Christian's position in relation to God's law. In Romans 8, Paul tells of those who will never be accused and tried by the court of heaven. And in Romans 4:8, the apostle said, "Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin." Of such a person he asks, "Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies." Believers live above the law because the cross of Christ protects them from eternal condemnation.
 
If we become careless about sin, we will suffer pain and loss and be disciplined. But, praise God, we will not be sentenced to hell. Christ has delivered us from the curse of the law. —M.R.D.II (ED: Believers are not sinless, but they should sin less, unless they are not saved sinners!)

When I'm justified through Christ's merits, God looks at me `Just as if I'd" never sinned. (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


Spurgeon in All of Grace -  “IT IS GOD THAT JUSTIFIETH” Romans 8:33

A WONDERFUL THING it is, this being justified, or made just. If we had never broken the laws of God, we would not have needed it; for we would have been just in ourselves. He who has all his life done the things which he ought to have done and has never done anything which he ought not to have done is justified by the law. But you, dear reader, are not of that sort, I am quite sure. You have too much honesty to pretend to be without sin, and therefore you need to be justified.

Now, if you justify yourself, you will simply be a self–deceiver. Therefore do not attempt it. It is never worthwhile.

If you ask your fellow mortals to justify you, what can they do? You can make some of them speak well of you for small favors, and others will backbite you for less. Their judgment is not worth much.

Our text says, “It is God that justifieth,” and this is a deal more to the point. It is an astonishing fact and one that we ought to consider with care. Come and see.

In the first place, nobody else but God would ever have thought of justifying those who are guilty. They have lived in open rebellion; they have done evil with both hands; they have gone from bad to worse; they have turned back to sin even after they have smarted for it and have therefore for a while been forced to leave it. They have broken the law and trampled on the gospel. They have refused proclamations of mercy and have persisted in ungodliness. How can they be forgiven and justified? Their fellowmen, despairing of them, say, “They are hopeless cases.” Even Christians look on them with sorrow rather than with hope. But not so their God. He, in the splendor of his electing grace, having chosen some of them before the foundation of the world, will not rest till He has justified them and made them to be accepted in the Beloved. Is it not written, “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified”? Thus you see there are some whom the Lord resolves to justify. Why should not you and I be of the number?

None but God would ever have thought of justifying me. I am a wonder to myself. I do not doubt that grace is equally seen in others. Look at Saul of Tarsus, who foamed at the mouth against God’s servants. Like a hungry wolf, he worried the lambs and the sheep right and left; and yet God struck him down on the road to Damascus and changed his heart and so fully justified him that, before long, this man became the greatest preacher of justification by faith who ever lived. He must often have marveled that he was  justified by faith in Christ Jesus, for he was once a determined stickler for salvation by the works of the law. None but God would have ever thought of justifying such a man as Saul the persecutor, but the Lord God is glorious in grace.

But, even if anybody had thought of justifying the ungodly, none but God could have done it. It is quite impossible for any person to forgive offenses which have not been committed against himself. A person has greatly injured you; you can forgive him, and I hope you will; but no third person can forgive him apart from you. If the wrong is done to you, the pardon must come from you. If we have sinned against God, it is in God’s power to forgive; for the sin is against Himself. That is why David says in the fifty–first Psalm: “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight”; for then God, against whom the offense is committed, can put the offense away. That which we owe to God, our great Creator can remit if it so pleases Him; and if He remits it, it is remitted. None but the great God, against whom we have committed the sin, can blot out that sin; let us, therefore, see that we go to Him and seek mercy at His hands. Do not let us be led aside by those who would have us confess to them; they have no warrant in the Word of God for their pretensions. But even if they were ordained to pronounce absolution in God’s name, it must still be better to go ourselves to the great Lord through Jesus Christ, the Mediator, and seek and find pardon at His hand, since we are sure that this is the right way. Proxy religion involves too great a risk. You had better see to your soul’s matters yourself and leave them in no man’s hands.

Only God can justify the ungodly; but He can do it to  perfection. He casts our sins behind His back; He blots them out; He says that though they are sought for, they shall not be found. With no other reason for it but His own infinite goodness, He has prepared a glorious way by which He can make scarlet sins as white as snow and remove our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west. He says, “I will not remember your sins.” He goes the length of making an end of sin. One of old called out in amazement, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy” (Mic. 7:18).

We are not now speaking of justice nor of God’s dealing with men according to their deserts. If you profess to deal with the righteous Lord on law terms, everlasting wrath threatens you; for that is what you deserve. Blessed be His name, He has not dealt with us after our sins; but now He deals with us on terms of free grace and infinite compassion, and He says, “I will receive you graciously, and love you freely.” Believe it, for it is certainly true that the great God is able to treat the guilty with abundant mercy; yea, He is able to treat the ungodly as if they had always been godly. Read carefully the parable of the prodigal son and see how the forgiving father received the returning wanderer with as much love as if he had never gone away and had never defiled himself with harlots. So far did he carry this that the elder brother began to grumble at it, but the father never withdrew his love. Oh, my brother, however guilty you may be, if you will only come back to your God and Father, He will treat you as if you had never done wrong! He will regard you as just and deal with you accordingly. What do you say to this?

Do you not see—for I want to bring this out clearly, what a splendid thing it is—that as none but God would think of justifying the ungodly and none but God could do it, yet the Lord can do it? See how the apostle puts the challenge, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” If God has justified a man, it is well done, it is rightly done, it is justly done, it is everlastingly done. I read a statement in a magazine which is full of venom against the gospel and those who preach it, that we hold some kind of theory by which we imagine that sin can be removed from men. We hold no theory; we publish a fact. The grandest fact under heaven is this—that Christ by His precious blood does actually put away sin and that God, for Christ’s sake, dealing with men on terms of divine mercy, forgives the guilty and justifies them, not according to anything that He sees in them or foresees will be in them, but according to the riches of His mercy which lie in His own heart. This we have preached, do preach, and will preach as long as we live. “It is God that justifieth”—that justifies the ungodly; He is not ashamed of doing it, nor are we of preaching it.

The justification which comes from God himself must be beyond question. If the Judge acquits me, who can condemn me? If the highest court in the universe has pronounced me just, who will lay anything to my charge? Justification from God is a sufficient answer to an awakened conscience. The Holy Spirit by its means breathes peace over our entire nature, and we are no longer afraid. With this justification we can answer all the roarings and railings of Satan and ungodly men. With this we shall be able to die; with this we shall boldly rise again and face the last great assize.

  Bold shall I stand in that great day,
  For who aught to my charge shall lay?
  While by my Lord absolved I am
  From sin’s tremendous curse and blame.

Friend, the Lord can blot out all your sins. I make no shot in the dark when I say this. “All manner of sin and of blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men.” Though you are steeped up to your throat in crime, He can with a word remove the defilement and say, “I will, be thou clean.” The Lord is a great forgiver.

“I believe in the Forgiveness of Sins.” Do you? He can even at this hour pronounce the sentence, “Thy sins be forgiven thee; go in peace”; and if He does this, no power in Heaven or earth or under the earth can put you under suspicion, much less under wrath. Do not doubt the power of Almighty love. You could not forgive your fellowman had he offended you as you have offended God, but you must not measure God’s corn with your bushel; His thoughts and ways are as much above yours as the heavens are high above the earth.

“Well,” you say, “it would be a great miracle if the Lord were to pardon me.” Just so. It would be a supreme miracle, and therefore He is likely to do it; for He does “great things and unsearchable” which we looked not for.

I was myself stricken down with a horrible sense of guilt, which made my life a misery to me; but when I heard the command, “Look unto me, and be ye  saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is none else”—I looked, and in a moment the Lord justified me. Jesus Christ, made sin for me, was what I saw; and that sight gave me rest. When those who were bitten by the fiery serpents in the wilderness looked to the serpent of brass, they were healed at once; and so was I when I looked to the crucified Saviour. The Holy Spirit, who enabled me to believe gave me peace through believing. I felt as sure that I was forgiven as before I felt sure of condemnation. I had been certain of my condemnation because the Word of God declared it, and my conscience bore witness to it; but when the Lord justified me, I was made equally certain by the same witnesses. The word of the Lord in the Scripture says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned,” and my conscience bears witness that I believed and that God in pardoning me is just. Thus I have the witness of the Holy Spirit and my own conscience, and these two agree in one. Oh, how I wish that my reader would receive the testimony of God on this matter, and then full soon he would also have the witness in himself!

I venture to say that a sinner justified by God stands on even a surer footing than a righteous man justified by his works, if such there is. We could never be sure that we had done enough works; conscience would always be uneasy lest, after all, we should come short, and we could only have the trembling verdict of a fallible judgment to rely on; but when God himself justifies and the Holy Spirit bears witness thereto by giving us peace with God, why then we feel that the matter is sure and settled, and we enter into rest. No tongue can tell the depth of that calm which comes over the soul which has received the peace of God which passes all understanding.


Barnhouse - God the Justifier (Rom. 8:31–34).

WE are now brought to consider the stunning consequences of this eternal plan in our total safety and security in Christ. The answer to the question posed by our text classifies all men as saved or lost and spells the eternal destiny of the one who answers. Every member of the human race is affected by this question and its answer. In a certain way the question is parallel to those that were put by Christ concerning His own person and being. He asked questions of His enemies and of His friends. Of His friends He asked, “Whom say ye that I am? and Peter answered, thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:15–16). To His enemies He said, “What think you of Christ? whose son is he?” (Matt. 22:42). And thus we question the unsaved world today: What will you say to these things? What do you think of Christ?
The unsaved man will turn away from “these things” and will call them foolishness. We must not be deterred in our preaching by the reactions of these listeners. I was once preaching in a certain city and friends brought to me a man who was active in an organization that was distributing literature against Christianity and the Bible. He had just heard me preach a sermon in which I had set forth the divisiveness of the gospel. I had called upon men to believe God’s Word that He had done all things for them in Christ, and that He was satisfied with the death of His Son instead of the death of the sinner. The skeptic said to me, “I cannot see it.” I replied, “Of course you cannot see it. God says that ‘if our gospel is hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them’ (2 Cor. 4:3, 4). How can a blind man see it?” He answered, “Well, it is foolishness to me.” “Of course it is,” I said, and turned to another passage to make his eyes see the printed truth, “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness …” (1 Cor. 1:18). Again he fell into the trap and answered, “It just isn’t reasonable to me.” I pointed to the verses which followed, “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to naught the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”
I cannot end this story with a tale of triumphant conversion, for the man went away with his darkened mind unchanged. I had put to him the question, “What shall we then say to these things?” and he had given me the answer of the skeptic. He was blind and could not see these things. He trusted in his own wisdom so that these things were classified as folly.

PLAYING OSTRICH

Another class of unbelievers attempts to ignore our question. These are the ostriches of theology. I do not know how the legend grew up that an ostrich, when he sees trouble coming, hides his head in the sand as though his huge body could not be seen because he, himself, could not see the danger. We know that no ostrich ever does such a thing. But the legend remains and has brought the phrase into our language so that anyone who “plays ostrich” is hiding from a danger which must inevitably come and destroy him. We sometimes say that such a person is “kidding himself.” It is strange that people should seek to do this with eternal things but the fact remains that they do.
“What shall we then say to these things?” Ask the question of the ostrich type of unbeliever and you will be met, in some cases, with a bland denial that these things exist. A different kind of folly is that of men who live as though there were no question to be answered. “What shall we then say to these things?” And when the question comes, there are those who pay no attention to the call. They give no heed whatsoever to the serious things of life. This touches perhaps the greatest segment of our population. Mass indifference characterizes the nation, and indeed the race of mankind. The fact that a large percentage of the population pays lip services to religion does not alter the fact. The man who gives sixty minutes to God on Sunday morning is not necessarily interested in God. It can often be said of a man who frequently sits in a church pew, what David said of the unregenerate, “God is not in all his thoughts” (Ps. 10:4). And yet Christ answered the Pharisees who asked Him what was the most important commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matt. 22:37, 38).

PAUL’S ANSWERS

The apostle now sets forth seven answers that must be given to “those things” by a Christian. 1. God is for us, and “if God be for us, who can be against us?” (v. 31). 2. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (v. 32). 3. God has justified us, so “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” (v. 33). 4. Christ has died for us, so who will be able to condemn us? The Judge has become our Savior, our Father. Our risen Savior has become our advocate on the very throne of God (v. 34). 5. No condition or catastrophe can separate us from the love of God (v. 35). 6. “We are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (v. 37). 7. Nothing, positively nothing, can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus (vv. 38, 39). There are some believers who are afraid to launch out into these depths; others raise very peculiar objections to these promises of God. We know what should be said to these things. Here we declare our eternal oneness with Christ and announce that being in Him, we are as beloved of God as He is, and that our position is as secure as that of Christ.

GOD IS FOR US

In the latter part of v. 31 is the first sweeping, triumphant reply to the call for faith’s answer. God has done everything for us. He took us when we were in sin, redeemed us, saved us, effectually called us, justified us, and He announced that He looks upon us as being already glorified. What then shall we say to these things?
Faith trumpets the answer: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” This is not the if of questioning doubt, but the if of dominant faith. It could well be translated, “Because God is for us, who can be against us?” The strength of the answer has now been sufficiently demonstrated that God is for us by His eternal covenant, His incarnation in grace, and His death for ungodly sinners.
The moment that this truth is received and applied personally there can be no more frustrations in the mind, the heart, the life. God is for me. It is not merely that God loved the world but that God loved me! Any man or woman who lays hold of that truth is well on the way to being what the psychologists call an integrated personality. “He loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

GOD AND THE WORM

It would seem almost that Paul had been reading Isaiah when he penned the words of our text. Surely that verse tells us that God is for us. And the next one, just as surely, cries that no one can be against us. “Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee” (Isa. 41:11–13).
Then there follows one of the delicate ironies of Scripture which reveal so clearly the nothingness of man and the wonderful power of God on behalf of His people. “Fear not, thou worm Jacob … I will help thee.…” What a partnership! God and the worm! And how much we lose because we do not recognize what we really are. When men form a partnership one man puts up money and another man puts up experience, or some similar division of various assets. But when we form a partnership with God He demands that we do it on His terms. We put up weakness and He puts in His strength; we put up sin and He furnishes pardoning grace; we cast in our nothingness and He answers with His all-ness. God and the worm! Let not anyone dare attack that partnership. Yet how loath men are to accept their own bankruptcy to have His fullness.

A GOD TO US

The fact that God is for us brings us into the center of our relationship to Him. He is no longer the distant Creator of the universe, hiding Himself in eternity, far removed from our being in time. He has come down to us in order to be our God—a God to us. This is beautifully expressed in David’s prayer: “For thy people Israel didst thou make thine own people for ever; and thou, Lord, becamest their God … Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified forever, saying, The Lord of Hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel” (1 Chron. 17:22, 24).
“The God of Israel is a God to Israel.” We can readily understand the difference in the prepositions by an analogy. A man may beget a son, and he is always, in consequence of that act, the father of that son. But there have been men who have been fathers of their sons who have never been fathers to their sons. On the other hand here is a man who begets a child and gives himself to that child. He is with the mother in the training of the child. The boy is with him in his free moments. The father enters into the boy’s studies. He participates in the boy’s games. He makes the boy’s hobbies his own hobbies. No question of the boy is beyond the patience of the father. He explains things to the child in great detail whenever the child shows interest in an answer. He trains the boy, leads him on, truly educates him. It can be said in the highest degree that he is not only the father of the boy but that he is a father to the boy. There’s a wonderful passage in Jeremiah which says, “My father, thou art the guide of my youth” (Jer. 3:4).
How marvelous that we read, “The Lord of Hosts is the God of [his people], even a God to [his people].” This is the picture that our God wants us to have of Him. He is God to us. And this gives mighty force to our text, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” More than any earthly father could be a father to his son, so God is a God to us. Put the two words together as our text authorizes us to do: “God” and “us.” There is a way the names of God the Father and those of God the Son and those of God the Spirit are linked together that prove the deity of all. In the way that we are linked to God in this verse there is to be found all our relationship and all our security.

PERFECT SALVATION

Our salvation is a divine work, absolutely perfect and absolutely complete. It began in the heart of God, issued in His eternal decree, and was brought to us by Christ. In Him we were effectually called, justified, and glorified, in order that we might be conformed to His image, that He might be the firstborn among many brethen.
What then shall we say to these things? The first was to answer by faith that since God is for us, nothing can be against us. The second reply is now set before us. “God spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all.” This brings a sure guarantee of the accompanying blessings, that in Christ we have all things.
The fact that God had to deliver Christ to die for us, that He could not spare Him, shows the intrinsic evil of sin and the necessity of salvation through the atonement.
Now, of course, this verse is not introduced at this point to supply a theory of the atonement, but it does illuminate the atonement in a wonderful way. There was a crisis that demanded solving and a price that had to be paid. There was no way to meet this need except through the death of the Son of God. The Father did not hesitate. He did not spare His Son; He delivered Him over to death. Nothing could show us more clearly that the atonement is an act of God that proceeded forth from the heart of God through the will of God. It is an act and a fact in history, entirely beyond human beings, though man inflicted the death and many men profit by it. Everything in salvation is derived from the grace of God, while that grace is itself underived.

DELIVERANCE FROM SIN

When a believer first comes to the consciousness of his own salvation he has the idea that now, having received Christ, there will be complete victory over sin and deliverance from all its bondage. Then, often within a few hours of the flooding joy of faith, there comes the revulsion of doubt when sin’s presence is recognized and its unchanged nature is seen to hunger for control of the life. I know that when I was first saved I was horrified when I realized that sin was still within me. I wondered if I were truly saved. Fortunately the Holy Spirit led me to say, “Well, if I didn’t do it right the first time I will do it over again, and right this time.” Once more I was in the joys of victory and lived on in that joy until sin once more made its presence felt. Again I thought that perhaps I was not truly saved and rushed once more to the cross to “accept Christ” as I thought, all over again. I had long been quickened and was very much alive in Christ, but these wrestlings were grievous, and I needed the comfort of the Holy Spirit. In my own mind I was going back and “getting saved” all over again. Now I know what was really happening—the Holy Spirit was applying the finished work of Christ to me and was bringing me into growth and strength. Every young child of God needs this last section of Romans eight in order to triumph in the struggle that arises in the early phases of the Christian life before we have grown up, in some measure, to know what is really happening within us.
When I learn that God the Father spared not His own Son, then I can rest quietly in the certainty that He has dealt with my sin and my sins, and I am at peace. Nothing else can silence the voice of conscience and bring the heart to full rest in the Lord. As long as we live there will be within us the consciousness of sin’s presence, but as long as we look at this passage of Scripture we can be quiet in our hearts.

BROKEN FELLOWSHIP

One evening I was the dinner guest of a young minister in Toronto, Canada. A beautiful little girl, Jean, aged three, sat at the table in her high chair. Seldom have I seen a child more bright, and so well disciplined. At one moment in the meal, however, she did some childish act that caused her father to pronounce her name with severity. “Jean,” he said in a firm tone. Quick as a whip the child looked up, raising her hand against his as a policeman might lift a hand to halt traffic. “Don’t speak, Daddy,” the child said, as though she were in command of the situation, and then repeated, “Don’t speak.” Thus quickly had her sense of guilt been aroused. Thus quickly she had felt that she had offended against love. Thus quickly did her hand arise as though to ward off the separation of fellowship that might come even for a moment.
The child of God who has his sense of guilt aroused, who knows that he has offended against a holy God and a loving Father, who feels the chill that comes from broken fellowship, is in a situation quite different. We need not raise our hand to say to God, “Do not speak.” For God has spoken, and God has acted. His word of grace and His act is the act of the cross. If for a moment I am tempted to lift my hand as though to ward off some blow from Him, I hear Him say: “Put down your hand, child. Fear not. I did not spare My Son; I delivered Him up for you. You have all things in Him.”
The argument that God now sets forth for the comfort of our souls and the stilling of our fears is that the greater is more than the less. The whole is greater than any of its parts. God gave Christ for you and to you; how is it possible that He could withhold any lesser blessing?

ALL THINGS

With Christ God freely gives us all things. Freely. What are the things he gives us? “All things,” says the text. With an answer so complete are we justified in analyzing it in order to find some of its component parts? I think that we must do so because of the context in which we find the promise. As we have seen, the believer, though justified, finds himself suffering, groaning, and filled with infirmities. What do we need to meet the sufferings of this present time? It is true that we are told that these sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us (vv. 17, 18). But in spite of that fact the sufferings must be lived through while the glory is, as yet, a distant hope. You may tell a man who is in the fire that when he is tried he will come forth as gold, but there is a moment when the flames are more real than the gold.
In the midst of our sufferings, our text assures us, we have certain spiritual things. They are available for us when we need them. We need to know that life with its sufferings has a definite purpose, and that we are not alone in those sufferings. Both of these things God has provided for us. What nobler purpose could there be than that we should be conformed to the image of the Son of God? To make us like unto the Lord Jesus Christ is the great purpose which God had in choosing us before the foundation of the world. Thus when the blow falls and useless chips are taken away, thus when the acid eats deeply and we find stains being removed, thus when the abrasive cuts deeply and we find ourselves being polished by God’s processes of pain, we must rest quietly in the assurance that the goal is likeness to Christ. God wants to make you more like Jesus.

SAFE FOREVER

The purpose of this section of the Roman epistle is to strengthen the child of God in his assurance of salvation and to let him know that, being in Christ, he is safe forever. The apostle is answering his own question, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Having taken us into the inner councils of God and shown us our eternal position in Christ he then takes us to the cross and points out that the greater gift of Christ for us includes all the lesser gifts which the Father possesses.
Our text goes on to ask: “Who shall lay anything to your charge?” and answers by assuring us that God has declared us justified! There will be those who cry out against the injustice of this and will say that God has no right to clear the guilty. The answer is that He has put your sins on Christ and has seen them paid for there at the cross. He has punished Christ so that He might justify you. Let us remind ourselves once again that justification is the act of God whereby He declares an ungodly man to be perfect while he is still ungodly. This is the reason why no one can lay anything to your charge.
In the last book of the Bible the devil is called “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10). But though he may cry out his anger and hatred against the believer, he can never be heard. He speaks the truth when he announces that you are a sinner by nature and a sinner by choice. But God knows that your sins have been laid upon the Savior and that they are gone forever.
Accusations against men are brought by God Himself, by men and by the devil. But God knows that His righteousness was satisfied in the death of the Savior so that He, Himself, will never think of bringing a charge against you. He knows that men are puny creatures, incapable of seeing the hearts of others or knowing the heart of God toward men. He will, therefore, never listen to a man bring a charge against another man. He knows that Satan is an enemy and that he hates the believers only because he hates Christ with the greater hatred. God, therefore, will never listen to an accusation from the devil.
Who, then, shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? God has justified us, and the question answers itself. There can never be an accusation brought against the soul who has been touched with life by the Holy Spirit because of the work of Christ on the cross. We are saved, and we are safe.
It is impossible for any soul to be condemned except by God. God alone has the right of life and death in the spiritual realm. It is true that He has a case against all humanity, a case that brings all to condemnation and from which none can escape. But he has intervened because of His love and has justified a multitude because of the work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. The soul must be brought to an admission of personal guilt and then brought to an acceptance of God’s decree concerning His Son Jesus Christ. To realize and accept as a fact that great truth that God has nothing against an individual is the proof of the quickening work of the Holy Spirit. To believe God’s Word about salvation is a proof that He has implanted eternal life.
When the Holy Spirit has shown you your own sin, you are convicted of your guilt. You agree with God’s declarations. You say that you know you have come to the end of your resources in the struggle against God, and you realize that judgment must come against you ultimately if you do not yield, so you are ready to capitulate.
The resurrection of Christ is our receipted bill. God is satisfied with the death of His Son instead of our death. God Himself will never look upon our sin and will never open a hearing in any case involving us in a cause that might bring us into eternal jeopardy.

OUR HIGH PRIEST

Christ makes intercession for us, He prays for us, He lives in order to pray for us. Did you ever wonder why the ancient formulators of the creed took the trouble to say that our Lord Jesus Christ, after He arose from the dead and ascended into Heaven, sat down at the right hand of God the Father Almighty? What is so important about Christ’s being seated in Heaven? Simply this: the great difference between the priesthood of Christ and that of Aaron and his successors is that Christ sat down when He entered Heaven.
The tabernacle of Israel in the wilderness was ornamented with gold worth approximately two million dollars today, and yet there was not a chair in the tabernacle, nor in the temple which was later built in Jerusalem to take the place of the more temporary structure. There was no provision for a priest to sit. The reason that the priests who practiced the ancient liturgy could never sit down was that their work was never done. But when Jesus Christ finished His work on the cross as God’s high priest, He arose from the dead and ascended into Heaven where He sat down at the right hand of God.
Our text states that Christ is making intercession for us. A parallel verse in the epistle to the Hebrews states, “Christ is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). This leads us, then, to a discussion of Christ’s work for us as a priest, our great high priest, as the New Testament calls Him.
The work of a priest in the Bible was twofold. The priest offered a sacrifice for sin, and he served as the mediator between God and man in behalf of the people.
The priestly work of Christ in dying for us on the cross was finished forever at the moment He bowed His head and yielded His spirit back to the Father. And since that work was finished it would be a terrible thing for us to think that it was incomplete and that we had to do something to prolong it, or add to it. This is why we who hold to the faith of the Scriptures will never allow ourselves to be called priests except in the sense that all believers are priests (Rev. 1:6). Rather, we are more than content to be pastors who feed the flock, or ministers who serve in the teaching of the people.

OUR UNIVERSAL PRIESTHOOD

When Peter tells us that we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood (1 Pet. 2:9), he is not talking about my sacrifice for sin, but is setting forth that there is no difference whatsoever in the sight of God between believers, or between what we call clergy and laymen. All members of the human race are equal in God’s sight and all who believe in Jesus Christ become equal before Him in the true Church, which is the body of all believers—not an organization, but the organism. Our universal priesthood is that grace of God which finds it possible for Him to accept a spiritual gift from us, even though He is perfect and we are sinners by nature.
The second phase of Christ’s priesthood, in addition to His atoning work in dying for us on the cross, is all that work which He now accomplishes for us at the right hand of God. He is our Mediator, and the only Mediator that can exist between God and man. It is because Christ has died for us that we have access to pray directly to the Father through Christ. No one can get to the Father except through Christ and Christ alone. It follows that prayers through any but Christ are futile, and that if we come through Him, we may be sure of being received.

THE ALL-SUFFICIENT CHRIST

If we are honest with the plain words that were given to us by Jesus Christ, we are forced to admit that while He was here on earth He announced that He would never be moved by any intercession on the part of a member of His family. Jesus was not to be approached by brother, sister, or mother. The story that sets forth this truth is found in Matthew 12:46–50. Christ had been preaching to the people of Israel and He spoke very sharply against the leaders who led the people astray. He called men by the worst names that have ever been addressed to others. No one in all history has been able to go beyond the terrible things that Jesus Christ called these men. He called them generation of vipers, which came to them as a lash of a whip. “You son of a snake” would be an adequate translation of the passage. The leaders drew back from Him, cut to the quick, and with the determination that He should be murdered. The outburst, so different from the normal speech of Jesus up to that time, caused some people to run to his mother, the Virgin Mary, who came with some others in order, as the passage suggests, to lead Christ away quietly.
In the meantime the Lord had continued to talk further with the common crowd. Someone approached Him as one might approach a mad person, not knowing what might be the volcanic result. Timidly he told Him that His mother and His brothers were outside. If they had thought Christ beside Himself before, what were they to think now? For He answered with what might be called insanity of deity, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Then pointing to those who stood around Him, perhaps extending His finger to touch grizzle-bearded Peter, Christ said, “Behold my mother and my brothers. For whosoever does the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my mother, my sister, and my brother” (vv. 49–50). As plainly as plain words can be spoken the Lord Jesus said that no one was ever to approach Him pleading the intercession of a member of His family. He denied that He could be reached through any earthly relationship. If we understand Heavenly things, we will have no difficulty in accepting that truth. Christ is all-sufficient.
But though there are examples of people who approached Christ through His mother and were refused, we know that no one can approach directly and be refused. He is closer to us than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet. He knows us completely, and can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities (Heb. 4:15).

CONSTANT INTERCESSION

But if you have bowed before God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, then know that even now the Lord Jesus Christ is seated upon the throne of God occupied with only your best interests. We might think it strange if the President of the United States met with the Prime Minister of Britain and the heads of other states and spent a large amount of time discussing, for example, a common standard of wage payment for street-sweepers in the various capitals of the world. There would be many who would think that these men in positions of great power should spend their time on more important issues which affect the peace of the world and the flow of history. In like manner it might be thought strange that the Lord Jesus Christ should be on the throne of Heaven considering the matters that are now before Him. Yet the Bible shows us that He is not now concerning Himself with the great plans of governments and the movements of the nations. These things have been planned before the foundation of the world and written down in their permanent form. Nothing can change the course of events that God has determined for this earth. The wonderful fact is that Christ has all the time in the world and in Heaven to be occupied with the flood of His love toward those whom He redeemed with the price of His blood.

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