Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On Our Side

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

31 Τί οὖν ἐροῦμεν πρὸς ταῦτα; εἰ ὁ θεὸς ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, τίς καθ᾽ ἡμῶν;

This is one of those very simple verses that packs a great punch. This comes after Paul describes what theologians call the ordo salutis, which refers to the order of events by which man is saved. I've heard the previous verses described as a "golden chain" as God links things together for our salvation and His glory. Paul then writes this verse immediately afterward.

The key phrase does not even have a verb in it. εἰ ὁ θεὸς ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, τίς καθ᾽ ἡμῶν; This is a first-class condition. As we read this, we should assume that God is indeed for us. We have to supply the verbs as it literally reads, "If God for us, who against us?" Really that says it all, doesn't it?

If we really believe this and really submit to His will then there is no room for anxiety. The command of Philippians 4:16 is hardly burdensome if we truly believe this verse. How can we be anxious? God is for us. That means that no matter what happens it is ultimately for our good and for His glory.

Now I would probably not lead with that to someone in Joplin, MO whose neighborhood was just devastated by a tornado. But I would try to get there. Most people know Romans 8:28 about how God works all things together for the good of those who love Him. This verse is a corollary to that. If we are children of God then God is for us. Therefore, no matter what happens is ultimately part of His will for our lives.

What we then have to decide is whether or not God is worthy of our trust. How we react to trials will give us the answer to that pretty quickly. Do we trust Him or don't we? He is for us. What can possibly stand against Him? Satan can resist Him, but we know how it will all work out in the end.

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