Feeling Challenged?

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

Nearly all of us during our youthful days have been “chosen” for inclusion in a “team” of some sort. For me, regardless of the sporting event, I was usually one of the last ones chosen due my lack of skills. That selection process was always a tedious experience, and never instilled much confidence in any of us who were “late selections.” Yet, it was just as great a feeling of triumph for us when our team would win. We’d contributed our best, but always realized the “best” was on our team, and we believed we could not lose with the “best” on our side!

No one ever knew God to be on a “losing team.” As the adage says, “God and I make a majority.” Paul’s admonition at Romans 8:31 is an encouragement of unequaled quality! God can’t lose and so if He is FOR us, no one and no thing can overcome us! Paul continues to emphasize this fact by asking several rhetorical questions:

  1. He did not spare His own Son Jesus the Christ, but delivered Him to die for our sins (John 3:16). In proving that type of love, why would God the Father withhold from us any needed item of salvation?
  2. How can any man lay any charge to God’s elect with unrighteousness? God is the justifier!
  3. How can any man condemn another man? It is Christ who died and is risen again and is at the right hand of God who makes intercession of us (God’s elect.)
  4. Who is strong enough to separate God’s elect from this love of God? Tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril or sword does not have such power!

Reciting Psalms 44:22, Paul shows that God’s faithful ones willingly die in defense of His truth and in the comfort of knowing “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” (Psalm 116:15) Therefore, we must recognize we are MORE than conquerors through Him that loved us! With God being for us, there is no power of the earth strong enough to remove us from His mighty love and protection and salvation (Hebrews 13:5 – 6).

So confident is this fact that Paul adds this emphasis: “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.” How comforting, and assuring this reality. However, something else must be factored into our lives!

Just as every promise of God, His abiding with us is conditional. Granted, none of the things above are strong enough to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus! But each of those items are “external” and controlled when we let the word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom (Colossians 3:16) and do all things by His authority (Colossians 3:17). Some express a strength that appears strong and secure; yet inwardly they are weak, fierce, and void of the commitment to God they confess with their mouth (Matthew 7:15). It is one thing to SAY we love Him and quite another to PROVE this love!

Consider James’ statement of faithfulness: “Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” (James 2: 17 – 26; emp. vs. 18) Jesus noted such hypocrisy as well when He said, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:8 – 9) Therefore, within His sermon on the mount, Jesus said, “Not everyone that sayeth unto e Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

If God is FOR you, it is because you have OBEYED HIM. Some tend to forget God has a wrathful “side” in that those who disobey Him receive eternal punishment (Romans 11:22; 2 Thessalonians 1: 7 – 9). Yet once obeying Him, your life ceases as it was (Galatians 2:20; Colossian 3: 1- 4) and Christ lives in you! (ibid.) God was always with Christ Jesus and Christ Jesus was always with God. With that combination factored into your life via obedience to the gospel (1 Corinthians 15: 1- 4; Romans 6: 1- 6), you can’t lose! Here’s further proof as you consider these things: “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:4 – 6)

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