Who can be against us?
..And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power… And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
The last verses of Romans chapter eight are both well-known and well loved by many believers. By a series of rhetorical questions the Apostle sums up the teaching of the previous chapters.
C15.1 Everything in Christ
What shall we say then? If God be for us who can be against us? He that spared not His Son but delivered Him up for us all how shall He not with Him freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth ? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
In the early chapters of Romans Paul explains in clear terms the sinfulness of the human race. He then shows, in a brilliant exposition, that Christ’s death paid the penalty for our sins and by faith in Him we are justified, that is we are declared not guilty in God’s sight.
After a further discussion of what Christ’ death means for the believer we come across these final verses of this chapter. They are a wonderful declaration of the believers’ position in Christ Jesus.
The whole of the previous chapters in Romans had been written to show that despite us being enemies of God, He loved us and took the initiative and did all He could to save us and to make us His children, Rom.5:8-11.
So we have Paul’s set of questions: what shall we say then? Indeed this act of eternal grace whereby the eternal Godhead planned and executed the plan of redemption at great cost to triune God is staggering. It is beyond human understanding, but blessed be His Name He did it for us!
Because of all this Christ’s death meant that the penalty for sin is now, once and for all paid, there is no more sacrifice for sin. The debt was paid in full. Consequently, for those who put their trust in Christ by faith, are no longer under condemnation. That is they are no longer not guilty of the charges that were laid against them. Instead the believer is justified, that is pronounced not guilty.
If that is the case no one can lay any charge against the believer. There is no authority higher than God, therefore if God justifies us then no one else can condemn us. Not even the Devil! He may try with his suggestions but we need to resist his attempts and rest on the Word of God.
But God has not left us alone, the work of Calvary is ever effectual in the believer because of Christ’s work of intercession. He who upholds the physical universe by the word of His power, upholds His people by the word of His powerful intercession day by day!
There is one further thought in the passage quoted. By giving us His Son the Father gave us everything, there was nothing more He could have given. Therefore He is not going to withhold anything from us in Christ.
This is the great love and generosity of God, He pours out blessing upon blessing on His people. God have given us all things necessary for us to live this life, and to walk as He walked. Let us, therefore, by faith continue in that path as we began.
C15.2 No separation
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written For thy sake we are killed all the day long We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Sin separated the human race from God. It brought shame and condemnation. The plan of redemption undid all that Adam lost, and more. Through the salvation Christ secured for us we are no longer separated from fellowship with God. Instead the way to the Father is now open and all may enter.
The Christian life is not a bed of roses by any means. There are many things that will be contrary to us. But no matter what those things are they will never be able to separate us from the love of God. Such trials can be external circumstances, from other people, friends, relatives or other agencies including the Satan himself. It can also be trials that cause great distress of mind in the normal daily events of life.
But no matter the circumstance, the trial, the distress or whatever we have the certainty that we cannot be separated from God’s love. This is a great assurance especially in those difficult times that invariably come our way.
Let your conversation (=behaviour) be without covetousness and be content with such things as ye have for He hath said “ I will never thee nor forsake thee So that we may boldly say The Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me”
C15.3 More than conquerors
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul ends with a great note of triumph We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us!
It is in these things that we are more than conquerors. It seems strange to say that in the great trials and tribulations of life we are conquerors let alone more than conquerors! All those things which the world would seem as defeats and disaster Paul says in them we are more than conquerors.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God to them that are called according to His purpose .
As Christians we cannot expect to be immuned from the trials and tribulations of life. Jesus certainly wasn’t, in Isaiah’s prophecy He was called the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief Isa.53:3. Instead we are to face up to these trials and believe God knows what He is doing. In it all God is working His purposes out in our lives. At times it is not easy to see the way ahead nor how these things are working for good, but scripture tells us God is doing that and so we must trust Him, our Father knows best!
The final declaration of the Apostle in this passage is that nothing can separate us from the love of God! Look at the list. Not death nor life or angels. It includes principalities and powers. Not even the supernatural forces that are against us can separate us from God’s love. How can they? They have been thoroughly and comprehensively defeated at Calvary.
Nothing present ,nor anything yet to come can separate us either. The present conditions of the world, or any future event however calamitous they may be can not separate us. Neither height nor depth, nor any created thing can do that.
Whatever the details of the list the point is very clear. There is nothing at all in the whole of creation, nor anything in our experience whether good or bad that can separate us from the love of God.
We are more than conquerors indeed, nothing can defeat us nor exclude us from God’s love.