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God is For You

It’s been said that the climax of the Bible is Romans, the climax of Romans is chapter eight, and the climax of chapter eight is verses 31-39. Heaven touches earth in every word of Scripture but never so clearly and majestically as here. All the beauty in the world is just a faint echo of God’s infinite glory which washes over us in wave after wave with the good news of the cross of Jesus.

wrath-absorbing work

Up to chapter eight in Romans, Paul has been unpacking the Gospel of Jesus. He’s set it against the horrifying backdrop of God’s completely appropriate wrath toward sin and sinners (1:18-3:20). He has said that we can be fully forgiven and declared righteous before God because of Jesus’ wrath-absorbing work on the cross (3:21-26). He has shown that this undeserved salvation is received as a free gift by faith in Jesus, not earned by our good works (3:27-4:25). He has guarded it from some misunderstandings and drawn out some huge implications (5:1-8:30). And now he seems overwhelmed by the sheer goodness of the good news — “What shall we say to these things?!?” (8:31).

the greatest of all news

What can you say after hearing the most stunning news imaginable? Listen again to the simple, four-word summary of that greatest of all news: God is for us. Read that again, slowly. He is for you. You! Knowing what you’ve said, and thought, and done! If you’ve abandoned your sin and trusted Jesus to save you, God Almighty is for you and will never be against you! And the conclusion is obvious: If God is for us, who can be against us? Or said positively, no one can ever truly, successfully be against you!

We don’t easily believe news this good. Even as Christians who’ve maybe known God for most of our lives, this truth is still mind-blowing. It’s so staggering that Paul elaborates to help it really sink down into our souls. “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?” (v. 32). It will take another article to scratch the surface of “God will graciously give us all things.” But take it at face value for now — God will accomplish all of His unimaginably gracious purposes for you, and that certainty is rooted in the cross.

“He… did not spare his own Son but gave him up for [you, Christian].” I have to keep pausing as I write this to shake my head in amazement. But if you were a church kid like me, odds are you’ve repeatedly grown numb to this truth. We’ve heard it so many times that it’s become dull, boring. And our familiarity with the Gospel quickly mixes with our self-love, so that we sometimes feel (though we’d never say), “Of course Jesus died for me. Have you met me? I’m awesome!” We should be amazed at the grace that inspired Romans 1-3; God shows us great love by laying bare our sinfulness and warning us of His holy wrath. We’re bored with the Gospel not because it’s dull, but because our hearts are.

a war worth fighting

Never make peace with your coldness of heart, however familiar it may be and however common it may seem. Make war, at all costs. Soak in this reality — God did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for you. His Son. His only Son, whom He loved. I can’t fathom that. I have three nephews and a niece whom I love dearly. My wife and I are expecting our first baby in a few months. And while I have yet to meet my child, I love him or her like crazy.

But God’s fatherly love is infinitely more than ours. God the Father’s love for His Son is as eternal as they both are — it had no beginning and it has no end. The Father was always beholding His own infinite beauty in the person of His Son and loving the beautiful person He saw. His Son had never done anything to displease His Father even slightly. Before the cross, there had never been a moment when the Father and the Son were separated. This is the Son whom God did not spare but gave up for you.

He didn’t spare His Son the lowliness of being born as a human baby in a cattle stall. He didn’t spare His Son the mockery and rejection of His own people. He didn’t spare His Son the torture and death of the cross. And on that cross, God didn’t spare His Son the full, horrible weight of His holy wrath against our sin. All this the Father planned, and the Son willingly chose — to rescue you from what you deserve and to give you all that the Son deserves.

If God is for us — if He didn’t spare his own Son but gave Him up for us all — who can be against us? “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies!” (v. 33). Paul is saying that no one will ever be able to talk God out of accepting His children! God is the one who justifies — who declares you to be righteous! God will never condemn, reject, or abandon you, no matter what true accusations someone may have against you.

a much-needed intervention

And who can condemn you when the infinitely valuable Son of God is the One who died in your place? “More than that, [when it’s Christ] who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us?” (v. 34).  God wants you to know you are completely safe in Christ. He died for you. He was raised from the dead because His payment on the cross was fully accepted by God — so there was no more need for Him to bear the curse of death! And this perfect, loved, resurrected King is praying for you right now, if you are His. He’s representing His people to the Father and asking for every good thing we need to live for His glory and make it safely home. And God never refuses the prayers of His Son.

You can trust a God like that! If you haven’t yet, I pray you’ll see the glory of God in the cross of Jesus — that He would be this for His people, though they used to be His enemies — and trust Him to forgive and adopt you, too. If you’re already His, take time to just bask in God’s infinite sacrificial love for you and worship Him. God is for you. Forever.

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