Sermon/Study Guide: Romans - Christianity 101
Author: Steve Hixon
Table of Contents
|As Paul finishes chapter 8, he is also concluding the whole vast doctrinal section of Romans 1-8, one of the greatest documents in history. He ends with a flourish! As Kent Hughes points out: “If he were sitting at the keyboard of a great organ, all the stops would be completely out - fortissimo.”|
|WHAT DOES IT SAY?|
31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all -- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died -- more than that, who was raised to life -- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
|WHAT DOES IT MEAN?|
Verse 31. The phrase "what...then" is a formula Paul uses to introduce a conclusion he is making. Paraphrased, it would be something like, "Based on what I just said, what logically follows?" Look up the other 3 verses where he uses this "formula" and record them below. (Note: what is common to each of the 3?)
Verses 31-39. Just as Paul gave five “links in the golden chain” of verses 29-30, so here he gives five “unanswerable questions” in response to what God has done, is doing, and will do for us. Not counting “What shall we say...?”, what are those five questions?
The teaching of the New Testament is that this very moment, there is a Man in heaven appearing in the presence of God for us. He is as certainly a man as was Adam or Moses or Paul; he is a man glorified, but His glorification did not dehumanize him. Today he is a real man, a visible and audible man, whom any other man would recognize instantly as one of us. But more than this, he is the heir of all things, Lord of all lords, head of the church, firstborn of the new creation. He is the way to God, the life of the believer, the hope of Israel, and the high priest of every true worshiper. He holds the keys of death and hell, and stands as an advocate for everyone who believes in Him.
Salvation comes by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, the whole, living, victorious Lord who, as God and man, fought our fight and won it, accepted our debt as His own and paid it, took our sins and died. Under them, and rose again to set us free. This is the true Christ; nothing less will do.”
|LIFE RESPONSE: What Does it Mean to Me?|
Romans 8 begins with the idea that God does not condemn us because we are in Christ. Similarly, 8:31 says that “God is for us”. You may understand that when you read it, but do you usually believe and feel that God is for you? (If not, what do you think is keeping you from it?)
What difference could it make in your life to constantly sense that God is on your side?
Does our own sin separate us from the love of God?
The Greek word in verse 37 for “more than conquerors” is really “super-conquerors”. How are you and I “super-conquerors” in this life? (see 2 Corinthians 2:14)
What truth in this passage are you most thankful for,
and when in your life has it been most important to you?
In 1660 John Bunyan sat in deep despression wondering if he could go on, worrying about the future... "I remember that I was sitting in a neighbor’s home, and was very sad, when that word came suddenly to me: "What shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" That was a great help to me."
When John Chrysostom was brought before the Roman Emperor in A.D. 400, the Emperor threatened to banish him if he remained a Christian. Chrysosotom replied:
you will have no friends left."