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I want to invite you to Romans chapter eight, where we are today. Romans Chapter eight. We are studying together, which is an incredible passage of scripture. I think I’ve shared this with us. I try to make you vow to me something here where I said to you, look, if you’re going to read Romans chapter seven, at any point in your life, you need to always make sure you follow it up by reading Romans Chapter eight. If the book of Romans ended at Chapter seven, it would probably be the most depressing book ever written. Because when you get to the end of Romans Chapter seven, Paul refers to himself as a wretched man. And who’s going to save him from his body of death? The Paul’s saying the good that he wants to do, he doesn’t do. He’s struggling in his inner man. And when you look at the Apostle Paul and all that Paul did for Jesus, you would say if Paul calls himself a wretched person, what hope do I have? Right? And thank God that Romans doesn’t end in chapter seven, but when you get to Chapter eight, you start to discover this beautiful truth that Paul wants all of us to walk in our identity in Christ and how that matters in the way that you live out your Christian life. Because Romans Chapter eight, verse one, tells us there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, which is a great way to start after you refer to yourself as a wretched man.
The beauty of what Jesus has done for us. And then he goes on in Romans and he shares with us the the Spirit of God, which empowers the people of God to accomplish the will of God. We move by by the authority and power of God’s spirit. And and Paul, as it goes on in Romans starts to share for us that that beautiful story of how that spirit works within us that we now can call God Abba, meaning Father, because we’ve been adopted into Him, that we belong to Christ, that even in the struggle, the Spirit of God, when we’re going through difficult times in life, will groan on our behalf when there are no words to describe the hardship that we’re enduring. And even goes on to say We saw last week that God, He for new us, He predestined us. He called us, He justified us, He glorified us that when when the Lord sees you, He sees the perfection of Jesus. This is beautiful story of your identity in Christ. And today, when we look at the latter half of Romans Chapter eight, this is Paul coming to these these last few verses, and he really is shaking the foundation to make sure that it holds in the Christian life. If if you’re going to put your trust here, you really want to know that it’s going to lift you up and and hold you. True. And then your identity really is that secure in Jesus and this beautiful passage.
And you’re going to see the way that Paul does this. He’s approaching it as if as if you were a little bit skeptic or maybe somewhat of a cynic and all the things that Romans eight says that you say, well, these are beautiful truths, but I happen to always feel like the exception to what God tells us, like a sea, what was Scripture is saying. But but my heart is reluctant to embrace that. And the reason is because I’ve learned in life to to not always trust. I’ve been disappointed. I’ve been lied to. And I don’t want that to happen again. And so Paul starts asking these questions in order for us to really come to terms with what Jesus says about our identity in him, in order for us to be able to walk with him and flourish in him. And so this is the the title of this passage. Today we’re going to be calling it Four Truths for a Flourishing Faith. And you’re going to see if you just look through this passage from verse 31 on to the to verse 39 that Paul really he asks four questions and provides for us responses in those questions. Some of these questions come back to back. You’ll see some of them peppered with two together. But verse 31, he asks a question and then provides a response, verse 33, verse 34 and verse 35.
So it’s on the backdrop of those questions that we’re going to provide this answer for, for our faith so that we can find this security in our identity in Jesus and living out our purpose and and not just this idea of saving faith, but we want to discover this flourishing faith, living for God’s glory and blessing others because of our identity in Christ. Point number one in the first truth. In order for your faith to flourish in Christ is to understand this, that God is for us. God is for us. Romans eight, verse 31 Paul asks the question, What then shall we say to these things? He’s thinking about the summation of all of Romans Chapter eight and the beautiful things have been described of our position in Christ. And he says this If God is for us, who can be against us? What can really stand against that? If if God is for you in this question, it’s assuming this thought then that that God is for you, which is a very important position to stand in. If you’re going to follow after the Lord with your life to know that he’s got your back right, that God is watching out over you, that God is for you. And the truth of this statement carries weight based on the nature of who God is. Does that make sense? Meaning if the idea of the God described in this passage is really a wimpy God that only fulfills half of what He promises to you and you don’t know when you can trust him or when you can’t, then there’s not a whole lot of weight that you should put into that.
So the identity of the God making this declaration matters to us because the security of this statement is found within the context of who his identity is. Who is this God really? If God is for us, we really need to know who this God is in order to to want to establish our trust on him. Because in this question, it’s assuming that this God is for us. What is this God like? Well, we know in Scripture we’ve come to see him as as this all powerful God. But I think one of the one of the beautiful illustrations I want to give to you this morning is some of you remember this and some of you might be too old to know what this is. But but for you younger people, let me just teach you what this is. This is this is what we call handheld books, Right? The Encyclopedia Britannica. This this became irrelevant real fast in the last decade or so. But but the Encyclopaedia Britannica, this was all of the world’s information at your hand at the time. Right. And and some of you, in order to get these these encyclopedias in your home, if you’ve ever had these I know we had some of these in in my home.
If you ever had the Encyclopedia Britannica, you know how you probably received them, right? You got to knock at the door. You open the door and there’s a salesman in order to present to you these books. And I don’t know if you’ve what kind of experience you’ve had with salesmen in your life, but I’ve met some really good salesmen. I have this one set rule in my life where if anyone wants to sell me anything at the door, I’m never buying it. Or if I want it, I’ll go find it myself. And. But. But. But when? When good salesmen, they come to your door, They. They typically start with this sort of of pitch. They they start with, well, I’m here to sell this for you and you should probably get it because the Joneses down the street have it right. And well, if it was good enough for the Joneses, you don’t want to miss out on what they’re experiencing. Right. So they’ll let you know. They’ll tell you the person down the street that purchased this. And if they’re trying to say the Encyclopedia Britannica, maybe it would work like this. And when the Joneses bought this, they bought this for little Johnny, and now little Johnny’s got all the world’s knowledge at his fingertips. And, well, if your kids don’t have this, your kids are going to fall behind, right? Johnny is going to be smart and your kids aren’t. You need this information or Johnny’s going to get all the scholarships and your children won’t.
And then as a parent, what are you going to do? Right? You don’t want to limit your children from all the knowledge of the world. It’s at your fingertips right here. But all that aside, the Encyclopedia Britannica, one of the things that’s impressive about this, this is a 30 plus volume work. You think of all the words that went into writing all the knowledge here at your fingertips that you could learn from and all it took. All it took to write all of that Encyclopaedia Britannica was just 26 letters. 26 letters had the ability to formulate. All the words that would be contained within this book. When Paul says to us, God is for us, He wants within our mind to understand really the significance. It’s based on the identity of who this God is. That you don’t have to go outside of him for what you need in finding your purpose, identity, security, and worth in this world. That he is more than sufficient. In fact, in Revelation chapter one, verse eight, Revelation chapter 21 and Revelation chapter 22, it refers to Jesus this way. It says He is the alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. In terms of understanding that God is for us. It comes with understanding the nature of who He is, and He is completely sufficient to do all that he has called us to. But but it does leave us with another question.
If God is for us, we should also be asking the question to what extent? That’s wonderful to know that he is all powerful. He is the alpha and omega. He’s the beginning and end. All everything that you need in your life is found within him. Purpose, value, meaning, worth all of that contained in Christ. Your identity secure. But how far? To what extent? Is that phrase willing to go that God is for us. Is there a limit to God being for us? Does he have a stopping point? Well, in verse 32. Then Paul goes on and he he explains a little bit further just just how far God’s love is willing to go for, he says, or God being for you. He says 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. He’s saying, Do you want to know how much God is for you? So the point that he is willing to give everything. That you could walk in relationship with him. God is so much for you that He sacrificed it all, that you could find life and relationship in him. When Jesus went to the cross, he didn’t go to the cross kicking and screaming. He went to the cross and when they pulled out the nail, he opened his hands wide open. And when he opened his hands wide open to receive the the penalty for you.
He also opened the gates of heaven that you could enter in. There is no stopping point to the extent for which Christ would be for you that you could find life in Him. God is for you. So when you say a phrase like, how does my faith flourish? How can I not be reluctant? What do I need to understand? Well, this idea of God is for us is important, but not to just stop there, too. To add meat to that bone, to understand the extent to which God is for you. So I’m going to ask you to elaborate upon that. God is for us. You could explain it this way. Well, the extent for which he demonstrated his favor towards me, he gave it all willingly. Life laid down that I could find life in him. These are not just words on a page. This has meaning. And it’s lived out that I could see the extent for which Christ would sacrifice for my life. God is for me. Point number two. No charge against us can stand. No charge against us can stand. Not only is God for you, but He goes on and says, Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? This is the second question he asks here Who shall any bring any charge against God’s law? And his answer is this It is God who justifies the same thing. Argument I made with point number one. God is for us and understanding.
Look, it’s not to simply just stop with that phrase. That phrase sounds nice. God is for you, but to understand how that’s lived out, that Jesus gave his life for you, that that is important. Right? And I would say the same thing with point number two. No charge against us can stand. And if someone were to say, okay, elaborate on that, put some meat on that bone, what does what does that look like in your life that no charge against us can stand? Well, he answers it in this question when he says. It is God who justifies. The power of of God. Having no charge against a stand is found in the thought of justification. The significance of that is found in justification. And what I mean by that is this When you study in Scripture, you will find in Revelation chapter 12, verse ten, Zechariah, Chapter three will look at in just a minute those couple of passages identify for us that one of the one of the things known about Satan is that he is an accuser of the Brethren. Satan loves nothing more than to dig up your past and put it before you. And if Satan can get you stuck in your past, he he prevents you from walking forward with the Lord, will cast doubt, judgment upon you. Bring up your your your sins that Christ has paid for and start to make you feel worthless. You’re just you’re just a failure.
How could God possibly love you? But the power. The power is found in this idea of justification. Justification. If I were to maybe give us a crude definition, it would be to say this. It’s as if to say, Just as if I’ve never sinned. When Jesus looks at me, when the Lord looks at me, He sees me justified, which means just as if I have never seen one word. Sb says it like this. Understanding the meaning of justification. Brings peace to our hearts. When God declares the believing center righteous in Christ, that declaration never changes. Our Christian experience changes from day to day, but justification never changes. We may accuse ourselves and men may accuse us, but God will never take us to court and accuse us. Jesus has already paid the penalty and we are secure in Him. When God sees you. He sees the perfection of Christ over you. Because Jesus has already paid for you. God is not a God of double jeopardy. When Jesus died for your sins, He covered the past, the present, and the future. All of it wrapped up in the sufficiency of his sacrifice. Which is why in John 1930, when he says it is finished, paid in full, the magnitude of that statement. Carries with it the understanding that there is nothing you can add to the sacrifice for which Christ has done. In fact, to do so is an insult to what Jesus has accomplished for you.
To think Jesus needs a little more. Is to look at what Jesus has done and say it’s not enough. But the idea of this word justification declares to you it is more than enough. In fact, in the book of Zechariah, there’s this this picture of the priest, Joshua, and he’s standing before the Lord. And it’s this this really this picture of of justification. And in the story you find that the presence of Satan doing what Satan does. Look at this verse one. Then he showed me Joshua, the high priest standing before the angel, the Lord. And Joshua is representing Israel here and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, the Lord rebuke You will Satan. The Lord has chosen Jerusalem, Rebuke you. Is not this a brand plucked from the fire? Now, Joshua was standing before the angel clothed with filthy garments, and the angel said to those who are standing before him, remove the filthy garments from him and to him he said, Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you and I will clothe you with pure vestments justified. When the Lord sees us, He sees the perfection of Christ, the cleansing that only Jesus brings, no charge against us can stand. Question three Then Paul makes this point number three in your notes. Point number three is this Jesus makes intercession for us. What helps our faith flourish? Jesus makes intercession for us.
Paul asks like this Who is it to condemn? Christ. Jesus is the one who died. More than that, who was raised? Who was at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. So. So not only. Has Jesus justified us covering all of our sin? But this idea of intercession carries the active idea of God’s presence with you right now. It carries the the thought, this beautiful thought that not only has Jesus finished an accomplished the work on the cross, but Jesus has an active ministry to your life right now. And that act of ministry is called intercession. Or Jesus is constantly holding you in his saving hands, never letting you go, advocating for you before the father because of the sufficiency of his sacrifice on your behalf. In Hebrews chapter seven, a like verse, it says and verse 25. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. Jesus constantly, even in this hour, as you sit here coming before the Lord and maybe in Christ, hopefully in Christ Jesus, he’s he’s making intercession for you as a as a believer in Jesus, constantly advocating on your behalf. In fact, in Hebrews chapter four, verse 14 to 16, it says it like this that you, as a follower of Christ, should come boldly to the throne of His grace. Especially, it emphasizes in your time of temptation. Hebrews chapter four, verse 14 to 16, carries the note that when you’re tempted in your life, what God wants more than anything is for you to boldly just enter into that throne because you have that access to the Lord because of what Jesus has done for you.
He is your high priest. In fact, in first John, chapter one, verse nine to chapter two, verse two, it even says, And even when you sin. Even if you send. If we’ve confessed our sins. He’s faithful. And just to forgive us and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. So that in our temptation, Christ is there. And even when we’ve failed, Christ is there. He’s for you. His desire is that you thrive in relationship with him and that your faith would flourish as you walk with Christ. In fact, this morning. I think the greatest gift. That I could give you. It’s to not stand in the way of you and your relationship with God. But to be an encouragement to that. And to remind you, there is no one of any priestly position or authority that should be a go between and you and your relationship with God. Because God has already granted you complete access to Him in Christ. To those that are in Christ. Jesus is your high priest. First Peter, Chapter two tells you that you, in verse nine, are already a royal priest to those that are in Christ and Jesus, then being your high priest, you you have permission to enter into his presence.
And any moment no one stands before that. It’s you connected to Christ, which then point number four then. Nothing. Can separate us from the Lord. Nothing can separate us from the Lord. Verse 35. Pass this question. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ. When Paul looks at what Jesus has done for us, he recognizes that there’s nothing. God is never going to leave us. God’s never going to separate Himself from us. But Paul now starts to ask the question, Well, is there anything we could experience on our behalf or anything that we could do as people that would separate us from God? God doesn’t want to separate from us, but what about our experiences? Can we pull ourselves from from him? Who shall separate us in the love of God? He says, like this shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword. Is there any experience that I can go through in this life? Anything that I can do in and of myself that can separate me from from the love which which God has for me? What what can cause me to stray or leave these promises that God has delivered to us. And then verse 36, he says this as it is written For your sake, we are being killed all the day long we regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. What Paul’s saying is, look, you’re going to go through experiences and don’t don’t be shocked when you go through hardship.
Just because you follow Jesus doesn’t mean things in life go rosy from that point forward. In fact, Jesus told us, Take up your cross and follow him. Taking up your crosses is not an easy thing to do. It comes with sacrifice, adversity. And first, Peter, Chapter four and verse 12. Peter said, Don’t be surprised when you go through a fiery ordeal because you’re following Jesus. And first, John, chapter three, verse 13. John says, Don’t be surprised when the world hates you. Just because you follow Jesus. Doesn’t mean life’s going to be easy. In fact, because you follow Jesus, that might add extra adversity. And one of my one of those passages of the Bible I find Christians often take out of context. And it’s such a such a nice verse to read. And I don’t think it’s a bad verse to even quote if if especially if you mean it in context. But Jeremiah 29, verse 11, you go to a Hobby Lobby, you can buy 100 different types of posters or something with this on it and or pictures for your wall. But he says this Jeremiah 2911 for I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for your evil to give you a future and a hope. Christian sometimes will quote that passage, and then they’ll they’ll, they’ll they’ll follow like this, name it and claim it theology.
Meaning because God loves me. Now, now with this verse, I can do anything I want. If I, if I just want to have $1,000,000 because I want that God’s going to let me have that right. If I want a mansion and a Ferrari to go with it, God’s going to let me have that Well, because God’s going to. He knows his plans for me and this is what I want. And why would God not want that for me? Right? That’s sometimes people people mean that when they quote this verse, and I think the verse is true. God certainly has a future and a hope plans for your welfare. God certainly has that for you. But we need to ask the question In what way? Because when Jeremiah wrote this passage. Jerusalem was being besieged. Babylon was conquering it and they were pulling the Jews into slavery, back into Babylon. They were capturing the Jewish people, bring them into slavery, and they were going to be in slavery for 70 years. And it was on that backdrop that Jeremiah is giving this statement. Some of the people that got this verse saw the destruction of Jerusalem, were carried off as slaves in Babylon, and they never returned. They died as slaves in Babylon. Now, what does a verse like this mean for people who were besieged in Jerusalem, carried away as slaves and died in Babylon? Following after Lord doesn’t mean there isn’t adversity. But what it does mean is what you have promised in Christ.
You’ll never lose. What you have in Jesus lasts forever. Whether you were a Jewish person that got to return back from the captivity to Jerusalem again. Or. Or you died in captivity. God had a future and a hope for all of them. And what Jesus offers us is far greater than anything this world can bring. Nothing can separate us from the Lord. From the promises he has. He says in this passage, The reason that we we endure these things, he says in verse 36 that as it is written, it is for your sake. For your glory. God and seeing the beauty of who you are and willing to walk this road. The cousin, he is great. We pursue. Jesus is not for this earthly gain. We pursue the Lord because He alone is worthy. He alone is worth it. When you see the extent of his love and and what he has done for you. How could we do anything less than to give our life and response to him? I will forsake all of this world if I can have but one thing, and that is him. For your sake. What we need to be certain of in putting that kind of trust in God is to know that what we have beyond this world is secure. If the road before you is hard, you need the confidence of what you have in Jesus will last. During the time of the building of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Some of you may be familiar with this story, but during the building of the Golden Gate Bridge, when they first started the building of the bridge, I guess nets hadn’t been invented or something because I knew that they had. But but they first started the building of this bridge. They had some 25 people fall off this off the bridge and die. When they got more than halfway through this bridge, they had a light bulb moment and they thought, you know, we should probably do this, probably spend 100,000 and maybe put a net under this thing. And they did. They put a net under this thing. And it says after they started building the bridge, ten more people fell off the bridge, but their lives were spared because they had put a net under it. But one of the things they noted, they were trying to spare the lives of the workers. But one of the things they recognized when they put the net under the bridge is that the workers worked at a 25% increase in their work speed because of the security they felt, knowing that if they were to fall, the net was there. And guys, I think the same thing is true in your walk with Jesus, that in our lives we’re going to go through hardship. Whether you have Christ or not, you’re going to go through hardship. But people are incredible at enduring hardship as long as they have one thing.
Hope. People can endure some of the most difficult circumstances in life. If they have hope. And if Jesus is who he says he is. And if He can accomplish what he says he can accomplish on your behalf in his promises. What he delivers to you is a hope that lasts forever. He goes on in verse 37, and he wants us to see the significance of that hope. And he says this know in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us, a love that more than conquers you try to think, what in the world is more than a conqueror? I don’t even know what is above a conqueror. Like the conqueror is the winner. You get the celebration of victory. But. But the idea is this that you are a super conqueror. It is one victory to win them all. And the victory to win them all is not because of us. It’s through him that Jesus fought this battle for you. And he’s already declared you the the super victor. You don’t have to fight any more battles. Jesus has had that that that victory for you. I know today is like npfl playoff day. Some of you may may watch the games but but if you were to play in one of those games, this is if before you went into the game, Jesus decided to put on your jersey and play the greatest game that’s ever been played.
And he’s done that on your behalf with your name on the back. More than conquerors in Christ. Our victory, not not based on on our performance, but rather our victory based on his performance. There was a. A poll done in recent years and Southwest Seminary Baptist Theological Seminary. And they asked the students that attended there. Out of all the hymns, you know that exists, what are your two favorite? And the students responded. They all voted and responded. In the top two hymns that came out were this number one was victory in Jesus. And number two was Amazing Grace. And the response to the questionnaire. They just noted how interesting it’s it’s those it’s those two hymns back to back victory in Jesus and Amazing Grace. But it also speaks to what the soul desires, doesn’t it? Victory and grace. Victory and grace. And that’s what this verse is saying to us. What you have is not on your behalf, but by the grace of God, he has given it to you and what he has made you because of it. Is a super conqueror in in the Lord. And Paul, in these final moments, just just to make sure there is nothing hidden that can separate us from these promises of God to help our faith flourish. She then goes on to ask the questions. He says in verse 38, for I’m sure that that neither death nor life, nor nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth or anything else in all of creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Nothing He’s saying absolutely nothing that’s come into existence can separate you in God. That’s the whole idea. Paul’s. Paul’s just giving a list. And this is not an exhaustive list, but anything he can think of that would encapsulate what, what, what life has become in God’s creative hands. He talks about death and life or or the spiritual through the angels or the physical in this in this world, whatever you can think of in any power, no matter how high it goes or how low it goes, it does not matter to Paul. There is nothing that has ever been created that can separate you from what you have in Christ. And he tells us why at the end of this verse. It’s the love of God. The love of God in Christ Jesus. That’s what makes you more than conquers. It’s not what you’ve done to merit his love. But by his grace, it’s his love given to you freely. And through that, then you receive this beautiful identity. That helps your faith flourish and understanding that God is for you. No charge stands against you. He intercedes for you, and nothing will separate you from that. This passage is significant to the life of the believer because. In order to understand your relationship with God.
And in order for that relationship to have life. And to thrive. You need to know his heart is for you. You need that security. Your soul must embrace that truth. Otherwise you’ll never really live to the extent for which God has called you to. There’s a story of a of a father who. I was walking with a son and he asked us, Son. So when does. When does your dad. Love you most. Is it when you’ve been fighting with your sister and getting in a lot of trouble or or is it when you’ve been really helpful to your mom and nice to other people? And the son thought for a second, he said, Daddy. It’s both. It’s both. And he said, That’s right, son. Why? A son thought for a moment again, he said. Because that I’m your special boy. And his dad said, yes, that’s right. Your dad’s special boy. And that is that had been the the pet name that he had referred to his son. Right. Your your daddy’s special boy. But the son knew in that moment. That no matter what he did. One thing he always knew. As if was never out of the reach of his father’s love. No matter what step he chose in life, he always knew his father’s love would be served. And because the same is true for us in this passage. And sometimes we blow it. And sometimes we feel like a failure. And some sometimes we think I can’t even look at myself.
How in the world could God love me? But it’s that love that transform you. It’s that love that doesn’t give up when you fail, that gives you the grace that you need. Continue on. That’s the love of God. He loved you in your worst of moments. He was willing to die for you there. Why in the world would he give up on you now? Second illustration. This the last one close. If you’re going to strive and you walk with God. And do anything boldly for Christ. You need to be confident that there is no greater certainty than what you have in Jesus because it will not be lost. And just as I shared a story about a father, I’m going to give you one as a mother. There was a mother who was English and she had two daughters and she rose those daughters in the Lord. And they came to faith in Christ and they enjoyed a relationship with the Lord. And one daughter tragically passed away and the other daughter decided to move to America. One day the mother decided she wanted to visit her daughter in America. And so she jumped on a boat and she went across the great pond. And while she was towards the end of her journey, just as they got near the shores of America, a great storm came. And the storm was so large that everyone on the ship started to panic.
Everyone’s running around frantically that this is going to be it. The ship’s going down. We’re going to lose our life, except for this mother. And as everyone ran around this chaos saying everything is done and we’re about to sink, we’re all going to lose our lives. One person noticed that the the mother sat there calmly and so they turned to her and they asked, how in the world are you so calm? This is this this is such a difficult moment. And the mother simply responded. She said this. I am on my way, she says. Sorry, I have two daughters. One in America and one in heaven. And I’m on my way to see my daughter. And if the ship survives, I will see the one in America. But if not, I will see the one in heaven. So either way, today I’m going to see my daughter. That confidence. That confidence in the promises of God. Are what carry you through the storm. And not just making it. Thriving in the midst of chaos. A flourishing faith. As one that understands the truth of what God says. And embraces it with all that they are. And it’s in the embrace of that truth, the embracing of that truth that your life thrives in Christ, that God is for us. The cross of Christ declares it. No charge against us can stand. The justification in Jesus is where you find it that He intercedes. In this moment, His work is active on your behalf. And nothing so separate you from the promises you have in Christ.