Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
Let's be honest, if you are a Christian reading this post today, I'm certain you have asked from time to time: "Is God really there for me?" or "How do I know that God still cares"? The mistake you and I make too often is to gauge God's love for us by the kinds of circumstances in our lives. A person can be in the will of God and yet still experience cancer, loss or disappointment, as well as times of abundance and ease. What specifically does Romans 8:31 mean when it mentions "these things" demonstrating the fact that God is for the Christian?
As we fan out from Romans 8:31, I believe we can find three demonstrations of the fact that God is indeed for the Christian in Romans 8:28-32:
1. The purpose of God demonstrates God is for the Christian.
Notice what Romans 8:28 states: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Paul emphasizes God's Sovereignty operating in the believer's life - i.e, God "causes" all things. God is the Orchestrator of human affairs. Even when mankind sins, God can still use the foolish decisions of sinful men to achieve His ultimate purpose.
Were it not for the Ultimate purpose of God at the end of this verse, the entirety of life and salvation as we know it would fall to the ground. God is for you dear Christian because of the purpose He has for your life. This speaks of the goal God has established for you dear Christian to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. The end has been set by God, and whatever God begin He finishes, guaranteed (Philippians 1:6). However, how does one know God's purposes are sure? This is where the purpose of God in Romans 8:28 is connected to the plan of God in Romans 8:29-31.
2. The plan of God demonstrates God is for the Christian. Romans 8:29-31
For years Bible teachers have referred to these verses as the unbreakable golden chain of salvation. The point of Romans 8:29-31 is to unfold what is meant by God's purpose in Romans 8:28. Sadly, so many Christians skip over Romans 8:29-31 to hasten to Romans 8:32. However unless we grasp God's grand plan and design of Christian salvation from beginning to end, we will have no basis for assurance.
Predestination deals with God's purposes in Christ. Quite literally, predestination has to do with God "marking out" the boundaries of each and every individual Christian's life before they were born. Foreknowledge speaks of God's loving intent for each believer before they were born and predestination can be likened unto a set of blue prints.
The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 explains for us God's elective purpose: "Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility."
The fourth link, justification, has to do with God's judicial declaration over the sinner at saving faith: "not guilty". Let the reader be reminded that justification can only occur when the sinner believes. Salvation is taught consistently in scripture as including both God's Sovereignty (election, foreknowledge, predestination, calling) and human responsibility (justified). No man can be saved lest God draws them and yet, at the same time, no man can be saved until He repents and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. God's promises demonstrate that He is for the Christian. Romans 8:31-32
Romans 8:31-32 states - "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?" How do we truly know whether or not God is for us? Read again that above underlined portion of Romans 8:32 - how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" How much does God truly love His people? He loves them so much that He gave His only Begotten Son (John 3:16). God's promises are yes and amen in Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20-22). Why is it that we doubt God so often? because we get our eyes off the cross. God's purpose and plan is tied to all that was achieved at the cross and empty tomb.
Whenever we doubt Jesus' love for us: look to the cross and empty tomb, look to the scriptures. Emotions are o.k, but not infallible. The Bible alone is inerrant and infallible and the cross and empty tomb are the only proofs that everything that pertains to our salvation is true. As you read down to the end of Romans 8:33-39, you discover that everything Paul wrote about in Romans 8:28-32 is the guaranteed foundation of Romans 8:33-39.