The Challenge and Triumph of Faith
The doctrinal part of our chapter closes with verse 30. In this golden chain of doctrine we have reached a glorious consummation, beyond which it is impossible to go. Now we have the application of the truths we have learned and also our response to all the marvelous grace of God. Far beneath us in the eternal depths are all our sins, bright above us shines the hope of eternal glory, and round about us is flung the mighty guerdon of God’s providence. In view of all this the apostle asks the question, “What shall we then say to these things?” The answer to this is a series of questions in which heaven, earth and hell are challenged. There is no answer to the challenge and the believer is seen in the chariot of grace “more than conqueror.”
No Opposition, vs. 31
Question 1.—“Who can be against us?”
If all the world should oppose us, God is greater than all our foes. He is for us and “If God be for us who can be against us?” Are we sure God is on our side? How can we doubt it? Look at what He has done. He could not do better for us, He gave His own Son, delivering Him over to all the anguish of the cross for us.
He spared not His Son.
’Tis this that silences the rising fear:
’Tis this that makes the hard thought disappear:
He spared not His Son.
That Son was the Father’s ALL. So we are assured of “all things” when we have Him. All that is needed until we reach the Father’s house above we have in and with Christ.
No Accusation, vs. 33.
Question 2.—“Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?”
We know there are hosts of accusers. Can any one of them lodge a charge against God’s chosen ones? Satan leads them all, he is the great accuser of the brethren, can he? No, the blood of the Lamb is the effective answer to every charge. God is the only One who has a right to accuse us and He is on our side, He justifies us.
No Condemnation, vs. 34
Question 3.—“Who is he that condemneth?”
Will Christ? Oh no, He is the blessed answer to every question of condemnation. The four great facts in vs. 34 stand out like the horns of the brazen altar ready to be gripped by any trembling soul. No one can condemn us because Christ died for us. Christ arose for us, Christ is at the right hand of God for us, Christ intercedes for us.
No Separation, vs. 35-39.
Question 4.—“Who shall separate us?”
There is One Who loves us, He is in heaven. But His love reaches us here, His arms encircle us in a tender embrace. Are we safe in the arms of Jesus? Will they never tire of holding us? Is there no power that can loosen their grip and snatch us out? Look at the great and mighty forces of separation gathered together in these closing verses. We find two hosts. First in vs. 35 we see the seven great leaders—the outward trials of our pilgrim way. Like angry personalities they stand before us, Tribulation, Distress, Persecution, Famine, Nakedness, Peril and Sword. But they are all defeated in their attempt to sunder us from the love of Christ.
Then follows the martyr’s song from Psa. 44. If our blessed Lord was led as a lamb to the slaughter, to suffer for His sake can only cause His love to be stronger and sweeter. In all these things we are more than conquerors for not only are all our foes discomfitted but we are the gainers.
The chapter closes with every conceivable foe and force tugging away at the bond of love that unites Christ and His own. But it holds in spite of all.
“And round my heart still closely twine,
Those ties which naught can sever.”
1. Name the four great “Who’s” of these verses.
2. These questions settle our unbroken peace. What question suggests God’s bountiful provision?
3. The righteousness of God gives me peace. What attribute of God in these last verses is the believer’s confidence and joy?
4. When will this great victory be fully realized by the people of God?