Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If God Is For Us, We Should Never Be Afraid

Part 1 of God Is For Us

Text: Romans 8:31-32

What shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (vv. 31-32).

New Series

We are starting a new series of sermons based on Romans 8:31-39. The series is called “God Is For Us.”

  1. If God is for us, we should never be afraid (vv. 31-32) 
  2. If God is for us, we will never be condemned (vv. 33-34) 
  3. If God is for us, we will never be abandoned (vv. 35-39) 

The apostle Paul asks, “What then shall we say to these things?” (v. 31). “These things” probably refers to all that he’s written in chapters 5-8. Paul answers his question with five rhetorical questions. Let’s read what says about “these things.”

God Is on Our Side

When my high school basketball team would go to a tournament, the first thing we’d do was look at the tournament schedule. Who would our first opponent be? Imagine if we could insert into our starting lineup a player like Lebron James. We wouldn’t care who we were playing against. It wouldn’t matter. That’s what Paul means when he says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (v. 31).

“If” means “since.” For God to be “for us” means that he’s on our side. Since God is on our side, it doesn’t matter who our enemies are. We can say with the psalmist, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Ps. 118:6). Jesus said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28).

Paul isn’t saying that God’s children won’t experience any opposition. He’s not saying we won’t ever go through times of trouble. [Talk about things that could make us afraid.] What he’s saying is that nothing can cause us ultimate harm—undo all that God has done, is doing, and will do for us. “Those whom [God] foreknew he also predestined…. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified” we are sure that he will glorify.

[Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.] In the end, all of the opposition and trouble we face in this life, will produce “an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”

God Gave Up His Son for Us

God “did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all” (v. 32). This is the clearest demonstration of God being “for us.” Octavius Winslow said, “Who delivered up Jesus to die? Not Judas, for money; not Pilate, for fear; not the Jews, for envy;—but the Father, for love!”

Paul could be thinking of the story of Abraham and Isaac found in Genesis 22. God told Abraham, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love…and offer him…as a burnt offering” (v. 2). In the end, Isaac was spared. But Jesus was not spared. What Abraham was told to do, God did. He “gave [his own Son] for us all.”

There could be no greater gift than the gift of God’s Son to die for us. Since God has already given us the greatest gift, he will certainly give us everything else we need. If someone has already graciously purchased a new car for you, will they mind giving you a piece of gum? [Read Philippians 4:19, then verses 11-13.] Remember: sometimes we don't actually need what we think we need.

Fear Not

What causes you to fear? If God is for us—and he is!—we should never be afraid. God—who if he were a basketball player would make Lebron James look like me—is on our side!