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Focal Passage: Romans 8:31-39

Romans 8:36-37 “As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

As Paul quotes from Psalm 44:22 in verse 36, he is reminding us that it has always been and will always be the lot of God’s children to suffer in this world. But notice that he says “For your sake” the suffering occurs. The persecution unifies us with our Lord Jesus Christ in His sufferings, further signifying our fellowship with Him. Then Paul tells us that in these persecutions and trials of this life, as enumerated in the previous verse, we are “more than conquerors.” That is truly amazing. One would think that once one conquered something, that he or she won; it’s over. But Paul says we are even more than that. We more than conquer in these trials through God, and not in spite of the trials or even just because of the trials. It is through God who loves us that “in all these things we are more than conquerors,” and this conquering speaks to our eternal destiny with this very God who brings us through them. Our triumph is more than winning; it’s forever with our Lord.

Study/Meditation: Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. How does what Paul writes in this letter to the Corinthian church also speak to being more than a conqueror through God in trials?

*Father, help me see the problems and trials of this life as instruments of Your grace bringing me to the triumph of eternity. Help me remember to have an eternal perspective on all things rather than a temporal one. Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 8:31-39

Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”

Paul has gone to great lengths to remind us that even our sin cannot separate us from God.  His justice has been satisfied when Christ took on all of our sins on the cross and cried, “My God, My God!  Why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)  He took the separation we deserve in that moment so that we would forever know union with our Heavenly Father.  Paul continues making his point now by arguing from the greater to the lesser.  In other words, he’s saying, “If your very own rebellion against the Holy of Holies doesn’t separate you from Him, then what else in this world can?”  No earthly contingency, no earthly circumstance, no earthly exigency can ever separate us from God’s love.  Paul knew that the Roman Christians were about to endure the persecution of Nero, so they would need this reminder.  We do, too.  Nothing can affect nor diminish our God’s love for us.  There is great comfort and peace in setting our minds on this great truth.

Study/Meditation:  What does it mean to you that nothing in this world can take God’s love away from you?  In what ways can you be sure to keep this truth focal in your day to day life?

*Father, thank You for Your great and enduring love.  Thank You for never leaving nor forsaking me, loving through and in spite of all things on this earth.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 8:31-39

Romans 8:34  “Who is to condemn?  Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”

In the face of the fear we all face regarding the assurance of our salvation, on what do we place our trust that it is secure?  Paul reminds us that although God’s justice is just, that is that there is a due penalty that must be paid for the sins we commit, His justice has also been satisfied in the death of Jesus.  Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, died on the cross of Calvary in restitution for the sins that we commit so that the verdict levied on us will always be “Not Guilty.”  But even more than that, this Jesus who bore the pain and sorrow of our sins was raised from this death and then seated at the right hand of God.  This signifies that He is God, given all power and reign over the universe.  If the King of kings and the Lord of lords paid our due penalty and now sits on His throne ever making sure that all things work together for our good, how can we fear condemnation?  He is our Savior, our Lord, and our King.

Study/Meditation:  What things make you fear condemnation in your own life?  On what can you meditate that gives you assurance that these things have been paid for and that you do not stand condemned before the eyes of God?

*Father, thank You for saving one such as me.  Thank You that I have assurance that I will not stand condemned on that Great Day.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 8:31-39

Romans 8:33 “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?  It is God who justifies.”

We all struggle with our pasts.  We struggle with the sins we have committed and the sins committed against us.  We struggle with the pain and heartache that life brings and we truly struggle with the way we sometimes handle that pain.  How can we be sure that on that great and glorious Day when Jesus returns and we stand condemned by our lives and our hearts by Satan that God, the just and righteous Judge, is for us?  Paul’s answer again returns to the analogy of a courtroom.  When Satan the prosecutor hurls accusations about our lives, accusations that will ring terribly true, the Judge in the courtroom is also the One who has made us righteous.  The Judge is the Justifier.  God has imputed His Son’s perfect righteousness onto His children so that it isn’t just as if we have never sinned; it is just as if we’ve always obeyed.  Our Father is the Eternal Judge and the Merciful Justifier.  He is for us.  Hallelujah!

Study/Meditation:  What comfort can you take from Paul’s assurances in this verse?  Why does the feeling of condemnation have no place in the hearts and minds of God’s children?

*Father, You are the righteous and holy Judge of all things.  Thank You for also being my Justifier and bestowing on me Your mighty mercy and grace.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 8:31-39

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?”

Now Paul begins to answer the rhetorical question he posed in the previous verse by pointing out the reasons we can trust that God is indeed for us.  Paul is doing so by speaking to the actions of the Father on behalf of His children, most especially at the cost of His only Son, Jesus Christ.  Paul is speaking of the price of free grace.  We sing often of the lavish grace our Lord has given us and that it is free to all to whom it is given, but there is a price that had to be paid for that grace that is free to us, and it was paid by God’s own Son.  When we are drowning in the despair of this life or wandering through the darkness that often pervades our decisions, let us remember that God was not coerced into sacrificing Jesus for us; He wasn’t pushed into it nor did He make some kind of last minute decision to do so.  It was part of His plan to put His very own Son on the cross to bear the shame and sin and grief and guilt that is rightfully ours.  How can we question that this God who willingly did so much is forever for us?

Study/Meditation:  Read Isaiah 53:1-10.  How did the prophet Isaiah foretell the point that Paul makes in Romans 8:32?  What comfort does this bring to God’s children?

*Father, forgive me when I doubt Your love and commitment to me and my life.  You are merciful and full of grace and lavishly concerned for Your children.  I love You.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 8:31-39

Romans 8:31 “What shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?”

How can we, the children of God, in the middle of this life’s disappointments and despair and trials know that verse 28 of this great chapter is true for us?  How can we know that everything will work out for our good in the end?  Paul has written all of the previous letter to the Roman Christians as encouragement because he knew they were asking these same questions.  Now in these rhetorical questions of 8:31 he’s saying, “What can we say and think about everything I’ve been writing to you so far—your sin, your trials, your hope and salvation in Christ?  On what do we ultimately place our hope?”  The answer he gives is another rhetorical question:  “If (or Since) God is for us, who can be against us?”  In other words, given everything you’ve done and everything that has been done to you in this life, God still chose to love you and save you by the blood of His very own Son.  Nothing or no one can stand against that.  He is the Creator God, the Lord of all things, Master of the universe.  Since He is in your corner, and He is, there is nothing that can ultimately harm or destroy you.  He never leaves and He never forsakes.  It is on that premise that hope and peace are found.

Study/Meditation:  Why is despair such a common tool of the enemy when coming against God’s children?  What, according Paul, should be our greatest weapon against this scheme?

*Father, how amazing and tremendous it is to be Your child!  You are awesome and loving and greatly to be praised!  Amen.