Thursday, June 29, 2017

P1 Blessed Assurances Paid For At The Cross - Romans 8:31-35

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Romans 8:31-32  "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 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?"


Romans 8:28-39 is composed of many "blessed assurances" of salvation. In this particular section of Romans 8:31-36, we discover three wonderful assurances that comprise the bedrock of all Christian assurance - the cross of Christ. Charles Stanley writes on page 9 of his classic book: "Eternal Security" - 

"If our assurance hinges on anything but the finished work of Christ on the cross, we are in trouble."

What Paul has to say about the assurances of salvation in Romans 8:32-39 flows from the Savior's cross. 
Albert Barnes in his commentary notes on this section:

"The argument for the security of all Christians is here derived from the fact, that God had shown them equal love in giving his Son for them."

Barnes then notes:

"The most humble and obscure believer may derive consolation from the fact that Christ died for him, and that God has expressed the highest love for him which we can conceive to be possible."

Today's post wants to begin looking at this section and note a couple of assurances of salvation that result from Jesus' accomplished work on the cross.

God's Unquestionable Commitment to the Christian. Romans 8:31-32

Note what we read in Romans 8:31-32 "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 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?" In that underlined phrase of verse 32, "freely give", we can find it rendering one Greek verb which, according to one Greek dictionary, means: "to give or grant graciously and generously, with the implication of good will on the part of the giver—‘to give, to grant, to bestow generously." 

Think about that definition: "good will on the part of the giver". God's thoughts towards His people whom are redeemed in saving faith come with His good intentions. Thankfully, we need not speculate as to how we can know whether or not God truly wants to supply the Christian with all they need for godly living. 

Why I should ever doubt God's good intentions toward me as a Christ follower is baffling in light of His clear demonstration of such by the giving of His One and Only Son. God demonstrated such by giving the unparalleled gift His His one and only Son! This truth gives me such comfort! As we will see in later verses of Romans 8:31-39, we cannot look ultimately to circumstances, people or material possessions for the assurances needed for daily Christian living. 

This unquestionable commitment of God to His people, as so demonstrated in the giving of His Son and spelled out here in Romans 8:31-32, receives the following observation from the Bible Exposition Commentary:

"The argument here is from the lesser to the greater. If when we were sinners, God gave us His best, now that we are God’s children, will He not give us all that we need? Jesus used this same argument when He tried to convince people that it was foolish to worry and fear. God cares for the birds and sheep, and even for the lilies; surely He will care for you! God is dealing with His own on the basis of Calvary grace, not on the basis of Law. God freely gives all things to His own!"

As Jesus notes in Matthew 6:26-31 -"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!" 

So the blessed assurance of God's unquestionable commitment was paid for at the cross, but notice the second blessed assurance we find flowing from Christ's finished work...

Christ's Unending Representation of the Christian. Romans 8:33-34

Note what we read in Romans 8:33-34
"Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us." Some questions are worth asking of the two underlined words in the text. First, who is the accuser being spoken of in Romans 8:33? Undoubtedly, the accuser, the prosecuting attorney that would try to indict believers (i.e God's elect) is none other than the Devil. The Bible Knowledge Commentary notes: 

"Satan is identified as “the accuser” of God’s people (Rev. 12:10; cf. Zech. 3:1). His accusations are valid, because they are based on the believer’s sinfulness and defilement. But Satan’s accusations will be thrown out of court, because it is God who justifies. The Judge Himself declares the accused person righteous on the basis of his faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:24; 5:1). As a result all accusations are dismissed and no one can bring an accusation that will stand."  

Second question, who is the "who" in Romans 8:35. God the Father is the Judge, and has appointed judgment to the Son appointed judge, since into His hands has been given all authority (see Matthew 28:18). Romans 3:25-26 reminds us: "whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

Therefore, the One who is supplying the assurance of Christ's credited righteousness knows full well about our past and yet, because of what Christ achieved, sees the believer, not in light of rightful condemnation, but rather in the richness of Christ's work on the cross and the credited righteousness which is His to bestow. 

Not only does this text focus upon the right-standing of the Christian before God, but mainly on the unending representation Christ exercises on behalf of believers before the throne. Hebrews 7:24-25 notes: "but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." It is interesting to note that in Romans 8:26-27 we see the earthly intercession of the Holy Spirit for the Christian in prayer whilst we see Christ's heavenly intercession for the Christian to persevere to the end. 

Closing thoughts:

So we have noted two assurances of salvation paid for by Jesus on the cross: God's unquestionable commitment to the believer and Christ's unending representation on the believer's behalf. In the next post we will consider the third and last assurance that flows from Christ's accomplished work on the cross as spelled out in Romans 8:31-37.  

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