God did not spare his own Son. 8:31-34
In this wonderful passage on the subject of Christian assurance, Paul makes two points: with God on our side everything is ours, v31-32; if God has acquitted us, no one can condemn us, v33-34.
v31. With the fullness of God's blessings now ours in Christ, our glorification is assured, v28-30. So then, what conclusion can we draw from all this? "If God is for us, who can be against us?" Seeing that God has done all this for us, our future is totally secure. Nothing, no person, or circumstance, can "prevail against" us; we can have complete assurance of our place before God.
v32. If God was willing to give up his own dear Son as a sacrifice for rebellious humanity, undertake an action of immeasurable cost to achieve our right-standing in his sight, it is obvious that he will complete this work by giving us all that is necessary to perfect our salvation in glory.
v33-34. Who then can lay any charge against God's people, or who can condemn us? Imperfection still resides in our lives. We may have asked for mercy, but still each day we can only but aim at perfection, always falling short. Yet, no one can condemn us, or bring any charge against us before God for our sin. We have an advocate before God who speaks on our behalf at the throne of God, cf. 1John.2:1, Heb.7:25. So no one, either ourselves, others, or even the powers of darkness, can bring any sustainable charge against us. In Christ we are perfect, so no charge of imperfection can stick.
Little, or no assurance, is one of the most substantial problems facing believers today. Gladly, our passage for study affirms assurance and therefore has much to say on the issue of our perseverance in the Christian life.
Some believers are not at all confident in their salvation because they are just not fully convinced of the existence of God and/or of the person and effective work of Christ. Yet, this problem is probably not as widespread as we may think it is.
Most often our confidence in the existence of God grows as our belief is confirmed through the experiences of daily life. Mind you, we have to accept the danger of selective reasoning - we absorb what is supportive of our belief and discard what is contrary. None-the-less, life does seem to assure our step of faith. Stepping out for Christ is like stepping out on a pathway covered by mist. We become confident that the path is there as we step out on it. Having made those first steps, our confidence grows. The scene in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when Indiana has to fulfill the last test, the leap of faith, well illustrates this truth.
Yet, there exists in the Christian life a far more subtle lack of assurance. We are often not quite sure that we are truly acceptable to God, given that sin is constantly with us. We can easily doubt our salvation in the face of recurrent sin. Yet, when we understand the simple truth of the gift of "righteousness that is by faith from first to last", we can then identify with the confidence expressed by Paul in Romans 8:31-34. There is no force, no power, no circumstance, no person, no anything that can undermine, interfere, intervene, obstruct, destroy our relationship with God in Christ. Our standing in his sight is totally secure, because we stand perfect in Christ. There is nothing we can do to add to it, or to detract from it. Indwelling and habitual sin is no longer seen by God, and as for overcoming it, that's something he deals with. There is no circumstance or trouble that can separate us from the love of God in Christ. Not even death can take us out of his hand.
Remember, our assurance rests on what Christ has done for us, not on what we may do, or not do, for Christ.
1. "I am persuaded that he is able"........ to do what?
2. Discuss the issue of assurance. Are there any areas where you feel unsure in the Christian life?
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