Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes


Romans 8:33-39
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Romans 8:33
v33: Can we be certain that because of our faith in Christ our sins are completely forgiven? Can the devil, or anyone else for that matter, accuse us of a sin that’s not covered by Christ’s blood? When we stand before God on the judgment day might we discover that He will not accept His Son’s death as payment for our sins? Paul answers these doubts with simple, straightforward logic. He reminds us that God is both the Judge who will decide our case, and the Justifier who designed our salvation. Sending His Son to the cross was His idea and by resurrecting Him from the dead He proved that He accepted Christ’s atonement. And He’s the One who taught in His Word that “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified…” (Ro 3:20), “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Ro 4:5). Seen in this light, what doubt can there be that the judge will accept those whom He has justified (Ro 3:26, 28; 5:1, 9).

Monday: Romans 8:33
v33 (continued): Paul refers to believers as “God’s elect” and the word he uses basically means “to pick out or select,” but when it’s applied this way to God’s people it takes on a special meaning which is deeply rooted in the Old Testament. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint (written roughly between 250 and 150 B.C.) this same work (eklego) is used to describe God’s choosing of Abram (Neh 9:7) and the nation of Israel (Dt 7:7, 8; 10:15) and is the word used to refer to them as His “chosen people” (Isa 43:20, 21; 44:1, 2). It also carries this same special meaning elsewhere in the New Testament (Mt 22:14; Mk 13:20, 22; Lk 9:35; Ac 1:2, 24; 1Co 1:27, 28; Eph 1:4; 2Th 2:13-15; Ro 11:28; Jas 2:5; 1Pe 1:1, 2; 2:9; 2Pe 1:10; Rev 17:14).

Tuesday: Romans 8:33
v33 (continued): In other words, Paul is applying to Christian believers the same special title that belonged to Israel as God’s “chosen people.” The meaning behind his selection of this word would not have been missed by Jewish believers in Rome who undoubtedly were familiar with the Septuagint. In Deuteronomy 7:6-8 and 10:15 Moses tells the nation they were chosen from all the peoples who are on the face of the earth not because they deserved it but because God had promised their forefathers He would bless their descendants. God loved Israel and gave them special care because of their relationship to someone else. Their “choseness” was corporate (as a nation), not individual, and was based on promises sworn to their forefathers, not on any merit in themselves. Here in Romans Paul takes this same term and applies it to believers in Christ. We too have been chosen for the same reasons. In our case we are chosen not because of any merit in ourselves but because of our relationship to God’s chosen Son (Mt 12:18; Lk 9:35). We have been joined by faith to Christ and as His “fellow heirs” (Ro 8:17) we too are loved and share in the promises the Father has made to Him (Isa 8:18; 53:10; Heb 2:11-15).

Wednesday: Romans 8:34
v34: From doubts concerning the sufficiency of the atonement, Paul turns next to doubts arising from ongoing sin. A worry which can plague any believer is the fear that our ongoing sins will accumulate or prove our faith to be insincere. Until we learn to walk in the victory of Romans 8:1-14, we can easily slip back into condemnation as we struggle in the frustrating failure of Romans 7:14-25. And even at best every Christian is painfully aware of falling short of Christ’s example, so doubts may come as to whether or not we have slipped back under God’s condemnation. But Paul again tells us what to “say” when doubts arise. We are to look at Jesus, both His cross and resurrection, and then see Him standing at the Father’s right hand continually interceding on our behalf (Heb 4:14-16; 7:24-28). Then we are to say to the voice which tells us we have fallen from grace that “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous…” (1Jn 2:1) who is “faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1Jn 1:9). We are to declare that God has provided an intercessor for our ongoing sins.

Thursday: Romans 8:35
v35: In this verse Paul shows us how to answer a doubt of a different kind. The doubts addressed in verses 33 and 34 concerned God’s faithfulness to us, but now he turns to the question of our faithfulness to Him. Sooner or later every believer asks himself or herself whether we will continue to confess Christ in the event we are forced to endure severe persecution. We ask ourselves, will the terrors of persecution break down my resolve until I deny Christ? Will I find the strength I need in the hour to “endure to the end” (Mt 10:22; 24:13)? Or will I grow weak and “deny Him before men” with the result that He will also deny me before the Father (Mt 10:32-39)? Paul words the question this way, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?”

Friday: Romans 8:35-37
vs35-37: The phrase “love of Christ” can mean either our love for Him or His love for us. It seems natural, at first glance, to assume it means His love for us, but if that were the case what Paul says next makes no sense. Why would being persecuted cause God to withdraw His love from us? Of course being persecuted doesn’t separate us from His love. Men and women of faith have always been persecuted and the Bible portrays it as a badge of honor (v36). But these verses do make sense if taken to mean, who can separate us from our love for Him. This would address the worry that our salvation might be in jeopardy because at some time in the future we could be persecuted so terribly that we would renounce Christ. Paul’s answer then might be paraphrased this way, “Absolutely not! No matter what adversity might come (tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril or sword) God will give us grace in the moment, and not just enough to survive, but so much grace that we will be overwhelmingly victorious. Scripture warns us that believers will be persecuted (Ps 44:22), yet when it comes we will be given more than enough divine help to withstand whatever attack may come. Because Christ has loved us by going to the cross the Father now “freely gives us all things” (v32).

Saturday: Romans 8:35-39
vs35-37 (continued): By saying this Paul is not implying we have no part to play in the struggle. We, of course, must “love not our lives until death” (Rev 12:11) and we must draw on the resources God provides. But we can rest assured that we will have more than enough grace to face the moment. We don’t need to worry that we might deny Him when tested. vs38-39: So, our faith in Christ will surely save us when we stand before God (v33). Even our ongoing sins are forgiven because of Christ’s intercession (v34). And no form of persecution can force us to deny Christ because God will give us abundant grace in our time of need (vs35-37). Now in these last two verses of chapter eight Paul addresses any remaining fear that our salvation might somehow be taken from us. He lists every possibility and tells us that he is persuaded that there is no force anywhere that can tear from us our salvation. There will be no forces waiting for us on the other side of death that can take us away from God. Nor will we ever encounter a creature or a force in this life so powerful or so deceptive we will be unable to resist it. There are no spiritual beings anywhere whether angels or demons which can deceive or capture us to take us away from God. Because we are “in Christ Jesus our Lord…” God will always love us. Nothing can stop His foreordained plan from being fulfilled, except, of course, our own refusal to stay attached to Christ. The power of God to preserve us is vastly greater than any power that would try to separate us from Him.
 


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