Well let's open our Bibles to Romans 8 and begin at least what will have to be a great adventure for us as we come to the conclusion of this monumental eighth chapter. And honestly, one would think that Paul had already said everything that could possibly be said about the believer's security.
If you've been with us in our series in Romans 8, you know that he's been talking about the security of the believer throughout this chapter. And especially did he climax his teaching on that in verses 28 through 30. And our study of those verses has proven, at least in my own heart, to be the greatest experience that I've ever had in my life in understanding the security of the believer.
In fact, by the time you're finished with verses 28 to 30, you are sure nothing more could be said. And that's when Paul drops another nine verses on us, just to say he isn't quite finished yet. There is more. And he closes this chapter with really an...just an incredible crescendo of questions and answers to conclude his teaching on the doctrine of security.
He really wants to nail this truth down. It is as if he anticipates that this truth is going to be rejected. It's as if he anticipates that there are going to be objectors who are going to bring up their objections. It's as if he knows full well under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that people are going to come along and say, "No, you're not secure in Christ. You could lose your salvation. There are those persons who could take it away from you. There are those circumstances that could cause you to abandon it."
He knows that that's going to happen. And so he reacts to that by giving us further word in verses 31 to 39. And although it is a part of his argument, it comes off as a great crescendo, a great, triumphant hymn of security. But it isn't just emotion. And it isn't just praise. It's also a very important part of his presentation.
Now let me just pick up some past thought for you. The concept of the security of the believer was really introduced in chapter 5, because in chapter 5, Paul was beginning to talk about the results of justification. And in the fifth chapter, he said the results of justification are these: Peace with God, standing in grace, hope of glory, assurance of love, certainty of deliverance, and joy.
And when we studied those results of justification or salvation in chapter 5, we noted at that time that those things also speak very, very clearly to the issue of security. If we have peace with God, we're secure with Him. If we stand in grace and grace covers our sin, then we're secure. If we have the hope of glory then we're secure. If we have the assurance of God's undying love, we're secure. If we have the promise of His deliverance, we're secure. And if we have joy in God, it is because we are secure. So we saw him really introduce indirectly the doctrine of security in chapter 5. But it is in chapter 8 that he makes a direct hit on this marvelous doctrine of the security of the believer. And we've been going through this chapter and seeing how secure we are in Christ because of the plan of God, the work of Christ, and the work particularly of the Holy Spirit.
So chapter 8, then, is an unequalled presentation on the eternal security of everyone who embraces the gospel of Jesus Christ in faith. Now as the case has been mounting, for me anyway, it came to a great climax in verses 28 to 30. But he isn't done. Now comes the coup de grace. And he ascends even beyond that through this great hymn of triumph, this great hymn of security. And it is the final element in this presentation.
Now here's what he does. Any classical presentation or argumentation of theology must anticipate its objections. For example, very often when you read a theology or you read a commentary you will find that the writer will present his view. And then he will present the opposing views, anticipate what they are, and rebut them. Now that's just classical technique in presenting an airtight argument. And that’s exactly what Paul does in the final verses of Romans 8. He anticipates the objections that could come, and answers them all, and literally defangs and defuses the enemy. He takes the argument right out of the enemy's mouth, articulates it, and argues against it. And, therefore, silences any possible objector.
Now the whole thing begins with the question — look at Verse 31. And you hardly need and outline here because you're taken through this thing so very clearly by the text itself. "What shall we then say to these things?" Now that's the question. What is our response? I mean, we have just heard the unbelievable reality, unbelievable to the human mind, that all things that work together for good to them that love God, to them that who are the called according to His purpose, because God has set it in motion that He has got everybody who is planned by His foreknowledge in eternity past to be glorified in eternity future.
We are secure in the fact, then, that if God predetermined that we would be glorified, everything in the middle's going to work out for our glory and our good. That marvelous thought has been our thought over the last few weeks. And now He says, "So what do we say to that? What do we say to the teaching about eternal security or the perseverance of the saints?" That is that they, having been saved, will persevere all the way to glory. What do we say about that? What is our reaction? What is our conclusion? What is our response?
I think the phrase "these things" simply refers to the truths about our eternal security. It could go beyond that and encompass the whole doctrine of justification by faith because that doctrine includes security as well. But I think he's particularly emphasizing the fact that we are eternally secure once we're redeemed. How do we respond? Well in the back of his mind, he knows that some are going to object to that.
Some people are going to say, "No, we're not secure. We can lose our salvation. We could commit certain sins or God could to certain things or the devil could do certain things or Christ might be upset with us because of the way we're living. Maybe demons or temptation from the world or the flesh could encroach upon us and we could choose to walk away from the things of God in disobedience. We might even change our mind about things.
We might be tempted to be drawn away. And so the objector will say, well, there is a possibility that we could lose, so we object to that doctrine." And so Paul wants to answer that objector. In fact, the objections that Paul deals with are obvious and very comprehensive. Basically, they could be divided into two categories.
Some people object and say, yes, you can lose your salvation because there are certain persons who could take it away. Secondly, there are certain circumstances that could cause it to be rejected. Or you can only have persons or circumstances. And so in that sense, his argument is rather comprehensive. Let's talk about persons. Are there any persons anywhere who could remove our salvation under any circumstances? Verse 31 to 34 deals with that. Let's pick it up again in verse 31. "What shall we say then to these things?" What's our response? Well somebody might come along and say, "Well, God could always take it back. Or maybe the devil could take it back."
In other words, if we fall prey to Satan, he would put us in a position where we would forfeit our salvation and God would remove it because we've chosen to disobey. And so his response that anticipated objection, without ever stating the objection, he just says, "If God be for us," what? "Who can be against us?" And that's the way he deals with that objection. Well somebody might take away our salvation. And so he says, "Well, if God is for us," here it comes, "who,” just who could do that?
I mean, the who, who did that would have to overcome the God who was for us. Whoever it is that's against our salvation would have to overcome the God who's for it, right? You know any person who can overcome God? That's a tremendous statement. Is there any person anywhere in the universe who can remove our no- condemnation status? Is there anyone who's stronger than God? Is there anyone who's greater than God? Is there anyone who's purer than God? Is there anyone who has a higher standard than God, a more holy obligation than God, a greater law than God?
Is there anyone beyond God who can take away our salvation or cause it to be removed? How 'bout the Judaizers? Could they do it to the Galatians when they accused them of not really being saved because they hadn't kept the Mosaic law, being circumcised and obeying all the law? Did they really take away their salvation? How 'bout the Roman Catholic Church when it excommunicates someone for a mortal sin? Do they remove salvation if, in fact, that person possesses that? They have, you know, removed certain people from their church, excommunicated them, and burned them at the stake because they believed in the doctrine of justification by faith. In doing that, do they take their sin away? Can the Roman church take their sin away? Rather take their salvation away? Can the Judaizers remove salvation? How 'bout us, ourselves? Can we remove our own salvation?
You know, let's be honest about it. There are folks who would like to get us away from Christ, right? Very often, I'm sure that there are people who have unsaved family members who would like to draw them away from Christ, who would like them to lose their salvation. Secular educators in our country and secular philosophers and hedonistic people and those who live for the flesh would like to draw us away from Christ and abandon us to the things of lust, pride.
Legalists would like to draw us away from the purity of the gospel, cults, false prophets, false teachers, false religion, Satan, demons. There are plenty of persons who would like to do that. They would like to draw us away from salvation and cause it to be lost. But will God ever release us? Are those who are against us greater than the God who is what? For us? Certainly not, and so the objection that there might be some persons who would take us away, some person strong enough to remove us, some persons who are so against us that they could pull us away.
He says, well, if God's for us, who could possibly successfully be against us? And that's the idea. Who could possibly, successfully be against us? Let me give you an illustration. Turn in your Bible to Luke 22 for a moment. In Luke 22:31 our Lord Jesus is speaking to Peter. And whenever Peter acted in a less-than-obedient manner, He called him by his old name, Simon. He was acting like his old self and the Lord said, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired you that he may sift you as wheat.” Satan wants you. That's right. Now Satan is the most powerful personage in the universe outside of God and the Trinity, right? The most powerful. He is the highest of all the fallen angels. And in the sense of being outside the sphere of that which is holy and pure and the angelic host, He's the most powerful. And Satan desires the believer, not just Peter, but all believers. But verse 32 says, "But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not." Who'd He pray to? To the Father. "And when thou art turned around, strengthen thy brethren." When you come out of this test, then you can strengthen others. What is the Lord assuming? That His prayer is going to be what? Answered. Why? Because he knows the heart of the Father; He knows the mind of the Father. And He knows there's no power in the universe, not even Satan himself, who could ever wrest, W-R-E-S-T, a believer from the arms of God. If God is for us, who can successfully be against us? The answer to the question is no one. Absolutely no one can be against us.
Some people will try, as I said. Matthew chapter 10 gives us another illustration. "For I am come," it says in verse 35, "to set a man at variance against his father, and his daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And the man's foes shall be they of his own household." Sometimes it's the household. A lady said to me this morning, "I have just gone through a tragedy in my life and I came here to meet God. My husband doesn't believe and doesn't want me to be here. But I'm here anyway because I need God." And there is that family pull very frequently. And so the Lord says, "A man's foes will be they of his own household. But if you're willing," He says, "to lose your life and pay the price, you'll find it.” If you'll come to Me in spite of that, you'll be wonderfully and eternally rewarded. So we have those who are against you.
In Acts 20, there's another illustration in verse 29. And here it occurs even in the church as Paul speaks to the Ephesian elders, he says, "I know this, that after my departing, grievous wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. And their desire is," it says in verse 30, "along with those of your own selves who rise up speaking perverse things, to draw you away."
I mean, believe me, Satan and all of his demons and all of his agents in the world, and all those who are a part of his kingdom of darkness would like to cause believers to lose their salvation. It may be directly from Satan. It may be from his demons. It may be from your family. It may be false teachers that rise up in the fellowship or that hit the fellowship from the outside. But who can be against us if God is for us? Right?
You say, "Well I'd like to know if God is for us." Have you been reading Romans with us? God is for us. That's the whole point. Paul doesn't even prove that in Romans 8. He doesn't even make a statement to affirm it. He just says, "If God be for us." And by the way that's what we call a conditional particle, ei, “if,” signifying a fulfilled condition. And it should be better translated, and you might just mark in your margin, "since God is for us." Since God is for us, who can harm us? Anybody more powerful than God? There's so many scriptures that speak to this issue. But let me just have you look with me at two Psalms. Psalm 27, Psalm 27. It starts this way, "The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I," what? "fear." I mean if the Lord is my salvation, who is greater than the Lord? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid? And what's the answer? No one.
"When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes come upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. And though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. Though war should rise against me, in this shall I be confident. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord and inquire in His temple." In other words, he says, "When I came to the Lord I wanted to come on these terms, that all my life I would be in His presence, that all my days I would dwell in the house of the Lord, that always I would behold His beauty. And I came to Him on those terms and He took me on those terms." That's the implication. "And so I have no fear."
Verse 5, "For in the time of trouble, He'll hide me in His pavilion. In the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me. He'll set me up upon a rock." In other words, there's no way you can get to this guy. He's protected. He's insulated. He's covered. "And so now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies 'round about me. Therefore, will I offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of joy. I will sing, 'Yea,' I will sing praises unto the Lord." What a great thought.
And he closes in verse 14 by saying, "Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say in the Lord." Do you have a weak heart and you feel you might turn against the Lord in times of doubt. Wait on the Lord. He'll strengthen your heart. He never lets go of His own. And no one is more powerful than He is.
Go to Psalm 46, Psalm 46. Verse 1 says, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried to the midst of the sea. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof." We're not afraid of that.
Verse 10: "Be still. Know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I'll be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge." He's for us. I want you to notice the 40th chapter of Isaiah, such comforting words, the 40th of Isaiah. It says, "It is He who sits," in verse 22, "It's He who sits on the circle of the earth and the inhabitants thereof are like grasshoppers, who stretcheth out the Heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in, who brings the princes to nothing. He makes the judges of earth as vanity, yea. They shall not be planted. Yea, they shall not be sown. Yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth. And He also shall blow upon them and they shall wither and the whirlwind shall take them away like stubble. To whom then will you liken Me? Or to whom shall I be equal?" What's the answer? No one, no one.
"So lift up your eyes on high and behold who hath created these things, who bringeth out their host by number. He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for He is strong in power." Verse 28, "Hast thou not known? Has thou not heard that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the faint. And those who have no might, He increases strength. Even the youth shall faint and be weary. Young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. Strength is there for those who are weak and weary because who is like the Lord," he says. No one.
God is for us. Romans chapter 3 verse 21 to chapter 8 verse 30: All that entire section tells us God is for us. God is for us. He sent His Son to redeem us. God has so loved us that His Son came into the world to purchase our salvation. God is for us. And because God is for us, no one, no time, under any circumstance, can successfully be against us. We are ultimately — mark it somewhere, will you? — we are ultimately invincible. We are ultimately invincible.
I love what God said to Abraham in chapter 15, I think verse 1, "I am thy shield." Tremendous. A shield goes out in front of the soldier to deflect the blows so that they never touch the soldier. God says, "I got in front of you. I'm your shield." And God had told the children of Israel on several occasions, "When you go to battle, I go in front of you." That's why very often when they fought the choir went in front of the army, if you can imagine that, because God was out front. The angel said to Gideon, "The Lord is with thee. The Lord is with thee." "All men forsook me," said Paul, "but the Lord stood by me." And God said, you remember, "Fear not, Paul, for I am with thee." Oh what a comfort. "Fear not, for I am with thee." Do you remember the word of the Old Testament, "Fear not for they that be with us are more than they that be with them?" God is for us. God is for us. Who can be against us successfully? Absolutely no one. Absolutely no one. What a tremendous confidence. Now look at verse 32: "He that spared not His own son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not, with Him, also freely give us all things?"
Now somebody might come in and say, "Oh, yes. God is going to protect you as long as he's for you. But God might stop being for you." I mean who's to say that God isn't going to look at you and say, this guy's more trouble than he's worth. If I'd a known this when he came in, I wouldn't have accepted. I mean if we're going to believe that men are saved by their own act and that God's simply responding to their act, maybe God responds finally, by saying, "They're not really living the way I want. I'm just going to put them back out again." Maybe God is the one. Maybe God is the one person who could remove our salvation. God is the one person who could just push us out.
Say, you know, "You're not good enough to stay in. You're not good enough to say in here. You've sinned and you've been disobedient and so forth. And you really can't stay. You're going to go out. I gave it and I'm taking it back." And so in verse 32 He says, look, "He that spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all. How shall He not, with Him, also freely give us all things?"
I mean if He had to give us His Son to save us when we were wretched sinners, don't you think He'd do lesser things to keep us now that we're in? I mean, if He did the greatest thing to redeem us, will He do less than that to keep us? It's a very typical argument of Paul's. It's an argument from the greater to the lesser. That's its essential character, very typical.
And he is saying, if God loved us enough when we were wretched, vile sinners, to give His only Son on the cross to redeem us, won't He give less things than the gift of His Son to keep us? I mean, if He would do that to save us, wouldn't He do whatever it takes to keep us that's less than that? That's Paul's argument.
Now you have to keep this in mind that the reason God gave His Son for us is very simple, one basic primary over-arching motive. It is this. "God so" what? "Loved...that He gave His only begotten Son," John 3:16. God gave His Son because He loved. And He loved us when we were wretched. He loved us when we hated Him. He loved us so much He gave the greatest thing that He could give. He gave Himself in the form of His Son on the cross. His love is so strong. His love is so far beyond our ability to conceive that He gave His Son to save us. Will not love that would do that do lesser things to keep us? Like forgive our sins? You see, the Father having given the most in our salvation, the Father having given the best in our salvation, knows no way to hold back the rest. He knows no way to hold it back. Having given the best, how can He give the least? To do so would defy the character of His love that gave the most to begin with, and also would undo the work which Christ did.
I mean, do you think really that God would give His Son to die on a cross, to redeem men, and then take away the salvation the Son paid the price to purchase? Hardly, hardly. I want you to notice verse 32: "He that spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, will He not also, with Him, give us” the rest? If He would do that to save us, won't He do whatever it takes less than that to keep us?
Turn to Genesis 22, and a familiar passage. It is a passage about Abraham and Isaac. And he said in verse 12, that is, the angel to Abraham. Abraham's got his son stretched out. Takes the knife, lifts it in the air ready to kill him on the altar. The angel says, "Lay not thine hand on the lad. Neither do thou anything to him. For now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not spared thy son, thine only son, from me."
Isaac was a picture of Christ, wasn't he? Sure he was. Isaac was an only son. Isaac was a child of promise. Isaac was one in whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Isaac was one through whom ultimately salvation would come. And Isaac was to be offered as a sacrifice in death. And as Abraham would not withhold his son, Isaac, so God would not withhold or spare His Son, Jesus Christ. The parallel ends at that point, because Isaac was spared. And the analogy becomes an analogy of comparison and contrast.
In Verse 15, "The angel of the Lord called to Abraham out of heaven the second and said, 'By myself have I sworn,' says the Lord, 'for because thou has done this thing and has not withheld thy son, thine only son.'" And he goes on to say, I'm appreciative of your wonderful willingness to give your son and you'll be blessed for that. But you don't have to it. Because in verse 13: "God provided another offering." And so the parallel, in a sense, breaks down at that point and becomes an analogy of comparison and contrast. When it came to God the Father, He was like Abraham, willing to give His son, not sparing His Son. Now back to Romans 8:32. So He says, "He that spared not," didn't hold back. In fact, Isaiah... Didn't Isaiah... Isn't it in 53 where he says it pleased the Lord to bruise him? It pleased the Lord to bruise him. And it says, "He," that is the Lord, "hath put Him," that is Christ, "to grief."
God didn't spare anything. God didn't mitigate the judgment. God didn't hold back His fury. And would you notice verse 32 again? "He spared not," and this is a beautiful thing, "His own Son." Ideas in the Greek. Not just His Son, but His own Son. Why put that in there? Because it emphasizes the peculiar, intimate, private possession in which the Father held the Son, His own Son, as if to say His own private possession that He didn't have to give to anybody. I mean didn't hold back the giving of someone He didn't have to give. It wasn't required by any other higher power.
Nobody told God that He had to give Christ. But He did. And listen, if He, under no duress from anyone, but by His own free choice based upon His own overwhelming love chose to give His Son as a sacrifice and not spare His son to redeem us, Paul says, how in the world could you ever imagine that He would not do something less to hold onto us? You understand? Inconceivable.
An understanding of the cross then, beloved, is the foundation of an understanding of security. You understand the cross. You understand the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. You understand the giving of the Father. And you will understand security. He delivered Him up. He delivered Him up. What does that mean? Well, in Luke 22:53 — you don't need to look it up — it's an interesting statement. The Lord says, "When I was daily with you in the temple you stretched forth no hands against me. But this is your hour," when He was being betrayed. And He says this, "This is your hour, and the power of darkness." I believe we can safely say that He delivered Jesus Christ over to the power of darkness, to Satan, to Satan.
The Father delivered the Son to Satan, for it was Satan who had in his hand the power of what? Of death. And so He was delivered to the power of darkness. And that is why on the cross He said, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?" God gave Him over to Satan for Satan to use the weapon that he has, which is death, to execute the Son of God for the sins of the whole world.
Second Corinthians 5 says, "He," that is God, "made Him," that is Christ, "to be sin for us." You get that? Why did He do that for us? Because He what? 'Cause he loved us. Why did He love us? Don't ask me. Only He knows. Galatians 3:13 says, "Christ was made a curse for us." And the point is simple. Galatians 1:4: "Who gave Himself for our sins."
If He would give Himself for us — if the Father would give Him for us, if He would deliver Him over to the devil to be killed for us, will He not do less than that to keep us saved? That's absolutely apparent. There's no argument against that kind of thinking. There is a little kind of a...I suppose you could call it a free verse poem that expresses that thought. "Who delivered Jesus to die? Not Judas for money. Not Pilate for fear. Not Jews for envy. The Father for love."
And it says in verse 32, "He did it for us all." Can I be so... so bold in this particular text to say that the prepositions that appear here or the form that appears here “for us all” does not just stop with the idea “for our benefit,” but carries the implication also of “in our place”? So that you see “for us all”, although you can't really see it in the Greek grammar, it's inherent in the act of Christ that "for us all" means "in our place." And there is vicarious death there. You say, "Who's the “us”?" Well the “us” must be the same “us” in verse 31, "If God be for us," and the “us” in verse 31 must be the “us” of verse 28, "All things work together for good of them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose. The ones He foreknew, predestinated, called, justified, and glorified."
So the “us” is the “us” of those who believe, the redeemed. He delivered Him for us, for all believers. And how shall He not also give us all things. “All things” there at the end of the verse means all spiritual blessings. Ephesians 1:3, "He's blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies." People miss that verse; that's a great verse on security, too.
Because if when you became a Christian you were blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies then you got everything there is to get, right? And one of the things there is to get is eternal glory. And so if you've got eternal glory, you've got it all, folks. If the Father didn't spare the Son, but gave Him up to save us, will He not also give us everything else? Tremendous thought, tremendous thought.
By the way, can I just draw another little footnote that I think is very fascinating in this verse? At the end of verse 32 it says, "How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" Now that verb is very interesting. And I was kind of challenged in my mind this week as I looked at that verb. And I began to look it up and chase it around the New Testament. Charizomai.
The verb is used frequently in the New Testament to translate this, "forgive freely." Now here it says, "Freely give." But in other places in the New Testament, it is translated to "freely forgive." For example, in 2 Corinthians 2:7, it says, "So that on the contrary you rather, to forgive and comfort lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up." It's the same verb form, same concept, forgive. Also appears in the same verb in verse 10 with the word forgive.
Now look back at the verse, with that in mind. It's a marvelous thought. "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely forgive us all things?" Now if, in fact, that's the emphasis, and the proper emphasis, then what it's saying is that no matter what sin we might commit He'll, what? He'll forgive it. So we could never be taken out of our salvation, because we can never have any sin which God holds against us.
Now I don't know whether we can say dogmatically that that's the way the verb ought to be translated. But I do know we can say dogmatically that that's the truth. Because 1 John 1:9 says, "If we're the ones confessing our sins, then He is the one continually being faithful to forgive us our sins." And so we can never be held accountable for a sin which the Savior bore. And God will not turn against us, because if He's done the greatest thing, He'll do the least thing to care for us.
Now somebody else comes along and says, "I have another objection. What about Satan? You sure Satan can't go to God and convince Him that we ought not to be believers any longer? Can't we be condemned by our sins? Can't the accuser go to God and accuse us?" Look at verse 33, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" You mean somebody's going to do that? Sure they are. But the point here is who can successfully do that? Who can successfully go and demand a retrial for us? Who can go before the tribunal of God and say, "Look I want to bring this case up again. I think this guy ought to be condemned."
You say, "Does anybody do that?" By the way, the word "lay to charge" means to bring a legal charge against someone. It's a law-court kind of word. Can somebody go before the tribunal of God and say, "This guy shouldn't be saved. This guy shouldn't have possession of salvation. This woman shouldn't have salvation. Look at this. Look at that. Look at this sin. Look at this other sin. Look the way they live their life. Look what they do and don't do, and so forth.
And if we fall into sins, doesn't someone come before the throne of God to accuse us? Well, the answer is yes. In verse 34, "Who is he that condemneth?" Assumes again, that some people are going to go before God and condemn us. Really, the question at the beginning of 33 and 34 are just worded... It's the same question worded two ways.
The point here is who can successfully condemn us? Who can successfully lay a charge against us that can remove our salvation? Now who is it that is the accuser? Who would do this? Who has access to God's presence to do this? Satan does. In Job chapter 1 verse 9, he comes before God and he says, "Look, you don't have anybody on this earth. You don't have anybody on this earth that'll be faithful to you and true to you if you let them have it with all the calamity that can possibly come. If you'll tolerate that kind of calamity, everybody'll abandoned you and turn their back on you. You don't have anybody faithful."
And he was accusing all of those who belong to the Lord. And, of course, he was proven wrong, as God pointed out in the life of Job. But Satan is ever and always the accuser. In Revelation 12 it says, "The accuser of our brethren is cast down to accuse them before our God day and night." You know you said, "What's Satan doing?" You say, "Oh, he's running around the world doing it." No, Satan spends a lot of his time up in heaven bugging God about us. That's right, day and night.
He's up there saying, "MacArthur has no business coming into this place. He's unholy. He belongs in my kingdom. And you have no business holding on to the guy or anybody else who works with him or goes to his church." He sweeps us all in, I'm sure. Satan is the accuser. Can he successfully accuse? Can he successfully come before God and accuse us so that God will reject the salvation He has given us?
There's an illustration of this in Zechariah chapter 3, "He showed me Joshua, the high priest, standing before the angel of the Lord." And the prophet, in his vision, sees Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. In other words, Satan is against this man. And the Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you, oh Satan. Even the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you. Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" I love that.
Here's the guy there and Satan's really laying it on him and God says, "Nothing doing, Satan. This is one of mine, a brand I plucked out of the fire. I rescued him." And the truth of the matter was he stood there in filthy garments. But even in his filthy garments, he was under the protection of God. Tremendous thought. So, verse 33 says: "Who's going to lay a charge to God's elect?" Verse 34 says: "Who's going to condemn?" And here comes the answer, verse 33. "Shall God,” the justified, or justifies. God literally says, "God, the one justifying." "Shall God?" I mean is God going to condemn one that He just pronounced righteous? It's impossible. God alone condemns. And He alone justifies. But He can't condemn and justify at the same time. He can't condemn and justify the same person. And the point is this, if God, the highest source of truth in the universe, the highest court there is, pronounces a person righteous, then the same God can't pronounce the same person damned. And if God has already said he's righteous when we were in sin, then sin isn't going to be a problem. We didn't get in there by our goodness. We don't stay in there by our goodness. And we can't get out by a lack of goodness. Listen, if we could get unsaved by a lack of goodness, we could never get saved to start with. But the point is this, if God declares us just, then the same God who declares us just cannot be a God who condemns us. And so we are always being accused. I know the devil is always up there saying that they shouldn't get what you're giving them, to God.
But the highest judge has already rendered His verdict. And once the high court of all heaven and all eternity renders the verdict, just, just, just, righteous, righteous, righteous, then no accusation can make God change that verdict. God wrote the law. God enforces the law. God interprets the law. God knows it was satisfied in Jesus Christ. And God knows who He redeems and brings to Himself and declares to be just. He imputes to them the righteousness of Jesus Christ. And once that is done, there can be, therefore, no, what? Condemnation. Once God justifies, that settles it.
It caused John Wesley to write, "Bold shall I stand in that great day. For who ought to my charge shall lay? Fully through thee absolved I am from sin and fear, from guilt and shame." And who are these who are absolved? Verse 33: "God's elect." God's elect, those chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. "Those by His foreknowledge," from verse 29, "predestined, called, and justified." And there's that key again, beloved. Our security is tied up in God's electing purpose.
"Those who stand at the bar,” says, Marcus Loane, "are not some outlaws. They are God's elect." And you can't go to God's bar and accuse his elect successfully. Our safety, then again, is found in our election. It is found in the fact that before the world began, we were chosen in Him.
And that is why in John chapter 10, that very hopeful and familiar text, "My Father who gave them to Me is greater than all. And no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand." What a thought. No one can take that believer out of the Father's hand, no one. There is safety in the Father's hand. And we're not in there because of our goodness, but because of His electing purpose, because of His predetermination to love us. And we stay on that same basis.
In Luke 18:7, "And shall not God avenge His own elect, who cry day and night unto Him." Isn't God going to make sure He takes care of His own chosen ones? That's the source of our safety. You say, "Well, all right. God can't take us out. And the devil can't take us out because he'd have to convince God that we should be condemned. And the same God that justified us can't condemn us. And by the way, He's not going to hear from Satan anything He didn't already know anyway." Well maybe Christ could do it? Maybe Christ could come along and He could stop pleading for us. And He could no longer ask the Father anything in our behalf. And then we'd be out.
And so verse 34 says, "Who is He that condemns?" Christ? Christ? Who died, who is risen again, who is at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us? You got to be kidding. God can't justify and condemn us at the same time. Christ can't redeem us and condemn us at the same time. And Christ can't intercede for us and condemn us at the same time.
Christ isn't going to condemn us. He died for us. You think He wants to undo His death, undo the meaning of His redemptive work? John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned. But He that believes not is condemned already because he's not believed.” He that believeth on Him is not condemned. That's what He says.
In Romans 8:34, here just restates that truth. God isn't going to turn against us. After all, He chose us. After all, He gave us the greatest gift. Will He not give us lesser ones to keep us saved? And no person can come to God and accuse us, not even Satan himself successfully. And no matter what they may try, if God is for us, who can be against us? And now, finally, in this part of the argument, even Christ, He's not going to come against us.
There's a four-fold protection and we'll close with this in verse 34, a four-fold protection. First, Christ died. Christ died. Beloved, the point is that when Christ died, He received the penalty for our sin, right? He received the penalty for our sin. If He already paid the penalty for our sin, He already bore the condemnation for us, then there's nothing to condemn us for. If He, in fact, condemned the believer to hell, He would be saying that what He did on the cross was inadequate. Right? His death is the only condemnation we'll ever know. Think of that. The death of Christ is the only condemnation a believer will ever know.
And then secondly, the second of the four-fold protection, "Yea," or, "What is more," would be a better way to translate that. "What is more, that is risen again?" If all it said was, "Christ died," we might say, "Well, maybe He tried His best. He tried His best to take our condemnation, but it didn't work." But when it says He's risen again, oh, it showed that He accomplished it. Christ's death blotted out our sins. And this is affirmed by His resurrection. You remember Romans 4:25? "He was delivered for our offenses and raised for our justification." He wasn't just delivered to death for our offenses. He was raised for our justification. That's the corollary. His death paid the price for our sins. And His resurrection proved that the price was paid. The resurrection was the verification. When God raised Jesus from the dead, He demonstrated that Christ had offered satisfaction, that the sacrifice pleased Him, that sufficient atonement has been made by His death. And so Christ died, rose again.
And then the third of the four-fold protection: "Who is even at the right hand of God." That basically is an echo of Psalm 1:10:1, where it says, "The Lord had said to my Lord, sit thou at my right hand." What does that mean? That means that the Father took the Son into glory and He sat Him at His right hand. And that's the seat of exaltation. That's the seat of honor. You say, "Well, what does that mean?" That means that the Father was satisfied with what the Son did, right? So Jesus died, paying our penalty, suffering our condemnation. He rose, showing that indeed it was successful. He is exalted to the right hand of God, showing that the Father says it is a satisfactory offering. No other offering needs to be made.
And that is why Hebrews 1 says that when He had made sacrifice for our sins, He sat down. No priest ever sat down, never. There wasn't even a seat to sit on in the tabernacle because the work was never done. But Jesus sat down. The exaltation to the Father's right hand, to the place of honor and the place of majesty is the Father saying, "I am well pleased. I am well pleased." And so we are secure, beloved.
Some objector might come and say, "Well, Christ might remove you. You've sinned so many times and you've done this so many times and you failed the Lord so many times, Christ will remove you." Are you kidding? The Christ who died for that sin, whose work was so perfect that He was exalted to the right hand of God, the Father for having perfected our salvation in that act? That Christ is going to condemn us when He, Himself has accomplished the paying of that condemnation? Not so. Impossible, impossible.
And then there is a fourth: “Who also makes intercession for us.” That's the high point. It's not what He did. It's what He did and what He continues to do. He keeps on interceding for us. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah said it would be so. The last part of that 53rd chapter says, "He made,” the last phrase of Isaiah 53, "He made intercession for the transgressors." He keeps on interceding for us. He keeps on interceding for us. "We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous," says 1 John 2:1.
And Hebrews, that thrilling, marvelous, wondrous look at the priesthood of Jesus Christ, in Hebrews 7:24 it says, "He has an unchangeable priesthood. He is able also to save them to the uttermost." In other words, He saves us all the way to the uttermost, all the way to glory. How? Seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them. And whenever we sin, He pleads our case. He intercedes on our behalf. He comes to our defense.
So, on the one hand you have Satan and all his accusation. On the other hand, you have the lawyer for the defense, the Lord Jesus Christ who speaks to the Father, and the Father always responds to the intercession of the Son. For like the Spirit, the Son always prays according to the will of the Father. John 11:42, Jesus said over the grave of Lazarus when praying to God, He said, "And I know, Father, that You always hear Me.” You always hear Me. Oh, we are secured.
We are secured by the first priestly act of Christ, His death on the cross, and by every other priestly work of intercession, every time we sin and He intercedes on our behalf. That's the first half of this great section. And let me just sum it up in a few words. What do we say to these things, that we're eternally secure. Oh, somebody's going to come along and say, "No, you're not. Boy, if you fall into sin over here you're going to find that you're going to lose it. God'll let you go. Christ'll let you go. Satan'll get up there and he'll accuse you and God'll turn you loose."
And Paul's answer to that is, that is absolutely absurd. Shall God... Shall God be intimidated by someone else? If He's for you, who successfully can be against you? Shall God let you go? When He gave the greatest gift to redeem you, will He not give a lesser one to keep you? Shall Christ, who died for you and paid the price for your sin, undo His own work, a work for which He was raised from the dead, exalted to the right hand of God? Shall He cease to intercede for you while He's alive, when He already died to redeem you? And so the objection that some persons might cause you to lose your salvation is absurd. In the remaining passage the objection is, "Well, there might be circumstances that would cause you to give up your salvation." And this is always the old Arminian argument. "Well, nobody can do it. But you can do it yourself." And that's what He'll answer in our next study.
Let's pray. What a joy is ours tonight, Father, to learn Your Word. Oh, what wondrous things. Help us to hear these things as though they were water to a thirsty, dying person. May we hear them as living words from the mouth of the Spirit of God? May they fill our hearts with joy and praise, we, who take for granted this great salvation.
While we close just in a moment of quietness with your head bowed, offer your thanks. My heart is so overwhelmed with these things. I know my words perhaps cannot come close to conveying what I feel. But what a salvation! And oh, how thankful we ought to be that God, in His elective purpose has foreordained us to glory. A mystery? Oh yes, an infinite mystery, ours not to understand. Oh, but ours to be thankful.
Offer thanks that no one can ever successfully accuse you to God. No one can ever lay any charge against you that will stick. No one can ever successfully condemn you, because God is for you. And no one is greater than He. If you're not a Christian, come to Christ. Come to Christ. Open your heart to Him that you may know the security that He brings.
And now, Father, we ask that as we go from this place, we might not forget, as we are often prone to do, the greatness of what we have learned, the glory of it. We thank you, oh God, that you have not withheld anything from us. You've not left us in some kind of mystery, thinking that if we thought we were insecure we might behave better. You're not like that. You've told us, in fact, you've reinforced it so much that it's staggering to us to see how secure we are.
And we know, Lord, that if we have that hope in us it really purifies us, for it fills our hearts with praise and humility, because we're so unworthy, and drives us to desire to return love to one who loves us so greatly. Bless every life. Bring to the prayer room those whose hearts are open. Cause us all to live lives of praise and worship to the one who has given us so much. We offer our praise and our thanks in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
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