Answering Difficult Questions
Paul asks some difficult questions in Romans 8:31-35 that he provides answers for in chapters 1-8. But the questions are worth stating here: “ What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 Indeed, he who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is the one who will condemn? Christ is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” Obviously, there is not enough space to provide effective answers to the Apostle’s questions here, but I will make a suggestion with a question of my own, “Will it not be more effective if you were to Read Romans 1-8 to answer Paul’s first question, “What then shall we say about these things?”
The truth is to adequately answer this question one would/should read the entire letter to the church in Rome in order to say anything profitable about ‘these things.’ Grab the writing instrument of your choice whether it be some sort of electronic device or a pen, pencil and paper and give ample time and some prayerful consideration as you begin. The Inspired Writer does give the answers to each of his questions. But, for my purposes here, I will give a few brief answers of my own…
- “What then shall we say about these things?” We should not be surprised to discover Paul’s statement in Romans 1:16-17 to sort of be the ‘cornerstone’ to the entire letter, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.” And there are two phrases that might be said to be the foundation, “Salvation comes by faith and the righteous will live by their faith in Christ.”
- Paul begins chapter 2 with a powerful statement, “Therefore you are without excuse, whoever you are, when you judge someone else. For on whatever grounds you judge another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge practice the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment is in accordance with truth against those who practice such things.” The life we live will stand against the teachings of Jesus that are Truth.
- Our righteousness does not come through practicing the Law of God, “For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (although it is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed— 22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe.” Romans 3:30-22. We are subject to the faithfulness of Jesus Christ by our faith in Him. He is our example.
- Our righteous behavior is not because we are righteous, but rather because we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ the Righteous One, “But the statement it was credited to him was not written only for Abraham’s sake, but also for our sake, to whom it will be credited, those who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was given over because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification.” Romans 4:23-25.
- Paul’s instruction to us in chapter 5 of Romans demonstrates that we are reconciled with God through the Risen Savior who gave Himself for us to destroy what Adam did in the garden. Death came through his sin and our hope for an abundant life comes through the gift of eternal life in Jesus. “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- Paul points out to us in Romans 6 that our sinful nature was crucified and died with Him because of our faith and when we were baptized into his death we are clothed in Him. Now through Jesus, we have received the gift of God, which is eternal life. “
- Romans 7 has been misdirected by so many for a very, very long time. We must understand Paul does NOT say that Believers are in a losing battle with sin and neither does he indicate a dual identity of righteousness and evil exists. Quite the opposite is true in Romans 7:14-24. Reading the 6th chapter of Paul’s letter clearly reveals the victory that Paul achieved on the Damascus Road and in Romans 7 we find Paul describing what his struggle was before God gave him spiritual sight.
In v. 24 of chapter 7 we find Paul asking, “Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” Then he answers his own question in v. 25, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” And completes his thought of his life without Christ, “So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”
- In chapter 8, one of the most powerful chapters Paul gives an insight to Victory:
- We are not condemned.
- We are set free from the law of sin and death.
- We live according to the Holy Spirit not according to the flesh.
- We are children of God.
- Our present sufferings do not compare to what God has for us.
- We are told that God’s Spirit prays for us.
- Everything from God works together for our good.
- Nothing in this life is able to separate the Believer from the love of God; nothing.
In Romans 8:31-35 the Apostle only mentions the ‘things’ of which he details in the previous statements of his letter to Rome. We are victorious over death and are now able to live life in the Risen Savior because He lives in us! This IS the Victorious Christian life found only by grace through faith in Him alone.
Jesus is Lord!!