If God is for us, who can be against us?
Dr. Andrew C S Koh
A rhetorical question is a question that requires no answer. The question is asked in order to make a point rather than to get an answer. Paul’s favorite way of teaching is by asking and answering his own rhetorical questions. In this passage, Paul asked an imaginary opponent four rhetorical questions and answered all of them.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.Romans 8:31-34
The first question is found in verse 31, ”what then shall say to these things?”
What things was Paul referring to? All the things preceding Romans 8: 31, for example, the wrath of God, the grace of God, and so on. How do we respond to these things? We must take heed and do what is required.
The second question is found in verse 32, ”If God is for us, who can be against us?”
God is for us. He does not condemn us. He justified us by grace through faith in Christ. He adopted us into His family as children of God. He sanctified us.
If God is on our side, then we have nothing to worry about at all. Martin Luther said, ”with God, one is a majority”.
The third question is found in verse 33, ”who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?”
If we ever start to doubt the love of God, we must look back to the cross again. On the cross, God did not even spare his One and Only Son whom He loved. Paul’s argument is this, if God gave us His very best, He cannot give us anything less. If God gave us His Only Son, He can give us anything.
Our hearts can condemn us, but God promised no condemnation for those who are in Christ.
The fourth question is found in verse 34, ”Who is he who condemns?”
there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ JesusRomans 8:1
because if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our hearts don’t condemn us, we have boldness toward God1 John 3:20-21
Satan can condemn us, but God justified us. John Newton said,
I am a great sinner but Jesus is a great SaviourJohn Newton
for the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled downRev 12:10 b
The final answer is found in verse 34 b
Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead so that we can live. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven to make intercession for us.
Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, seeing that he lives forever to make intercession for them.Hebrews 7:25
Do you have trials and temptations? Do you have troubles anywhere? Are you discouraged?
You can carry everything to Jesus in prayer. He gives you peace and bears your sorrows. He knows all your weaknesses. If Jesus is for you, who cares what others think?
Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus, Your final answer to Paul’s rhetorical questions. You gave us Your Son to die for us on the cross to give us eternal life. Thank You for salvation by grace and justification by faith in Christ. We claim the promise of Ephesians 2: 8-9,
for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boastEphesians 2:8-9
in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen