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HE WHO OVERCOMES SHALL INHERIT ALL THINGS,

and I will be his God and he shall be My son

ASSURANCE

Book of ROMANS
A Study of Chapter 8

Part 17
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Romans 8:31-39

ASSURANCE
 

“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.”
- Rom 8:31-34 NKJV

All we’ve been studying… The freedom we have in Christ, the promises of Inheritance, Rulership and Immortality, becoming God’s Children, His Purpose for us… “What then shall we say…”?
God is for us, friends. All these things are His desire for us. He is the One who has predestined, called, justified and glorified us. No one can take this from us.

“The Lord is for me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
- Psalm 118:6 HCSB

The risen Jesus “makes intercession for us.” He is our “Advocate with the Father.” (1John 2:1).
The Scripture tells us - “There is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” – 1Tim 2:5 ESV

We see this prophesied in the OT. In the chapter of the suffering Servant in the Book of Isaiah, we read -

“My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.”

- Isaiah 53:11b-12 NKJV

The writer of Hebrews ties this in perfectly. The new covenant brought in through Christ the Servant, and His subsequent Eternal Priesthood and role as intercessor.

“The Lord has sworn
    and will not change His mind,
‘You are a priest forever.’”

22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but He holds His priesthood permanently, because He continues forever. 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.

26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.’
 – Heb 7:21b-26 ESV

Remember Paul wrote his letter we call “Romans” to those “who are loved by God and called to be saints” (Rom 1:7). So, “who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?” For these He “makes intercession.” Our duty is to “draw near to God through Him (Christ)that we may be saved “to the uttermost” (completely, perfectly, finally, for eternity) as the Amplified reads, reflecting the full meaning from the Greek text.

We’ve entered the plan of salvation when we came to Christ and accepted His blood atonement, and His forgiveness for our past sins. But we look forward to the “salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1Pet 1:5). This is our complete, perfect, eternal salvation that Christ Jesus will bring, when He appears the second time, “to those who are waiting for Him.” (Heb 9:28). Are we waiting for Him? Watchful and on guard, keeping from deception by remaining in the Word? Keeping our ‘lamps trimmed & burning’?

Paul’s encouragement to the suffering saints was, “our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” (Rom 13:11). To those who are “saved” is coming salvation. Where we are now when we “get saved” is only the very first step. What is to come for the faithful is the fullness of God’s plan of salvation.
This is what the “love of Christ” keeps us for, and from which no external source can separate us.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

– Rom 8:35-39 NKJV

I believe it is important for us to realize that God’s promise is not to save us FROM “tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword”, but to keep us and save us IN these things.
Jesus’ own prayer for His disciples, then and now, is “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” (John 17:15). (Jesus didn’t believe in a pre-trib rapture.) The tribulation, persecution and death cannot separate us from the love of God. Even the evil one cannot. Only if we listen to the lies of the “evil one” can we separate ourselves from that love of God in Christ Jesus, as we will see shortly.

The cry of the saints, the called, the Christians, is - “For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
(Rom 8:36)

“Because you kept My command to endure, I will keep you safe through the time of testing that is about to come over the whole world, to test those who live on earth. 11 I’m coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one takes your crown.”
– Rev 3:10-11 CEB

“Watch out that you are not deceived.” – Luke 21:8 NIV

He is telling the saints here to “hold on” during that time of Great Tribulation, to stay the course, and obey the command of Jesus, who said “He who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matt 10:22). This is in the context of His disciples (true Christians) being hated and persecuted by many, including their own family and church.

Some in modern Christendom are telling the “called” that the Lord will deliver them from this great tribulation and whisk them away to be safe in heaven from those who would persecute them and cause them great distress. Yet the promise of Jesus for His followers is -
“You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17 You will be hated by all for My name's sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.”
– Luke 21:16-19 ESV

This is happening elsewhere in the world now on a daily basis. Christians in Pakistan, Syria, North Korea and elsewhere are being imprisoned, tortured and killed, “all day long for His sake.” Here in America we don’t see this now, but we are not exempt. Our time is coming.
Persecution and tribulation are not to be feared. For the True disciple, it should almost be expected. But as Jesus also promised, if we are following Him, we “shall not perish”; and if we abide in Him, “no one is able to snatch us out of His hand.”

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”
– John 10:27-29 NKJV

Being in Christ’s hand… being in the Father’s hand… doesn’t mean we won’t have troubles or go through discipline. Suffering, as we studied earlier is a necessary part of our discipleship. (Inheritance & Suffering)
Of the great heroes of faith we read about in Hebrews 11, it is said -

“Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”
- Heb 11:35b-40 NKJV

For His sake, they were “killed all day long.. accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” (Rom 8:36)
Yet they were not separated from God’s love. In fact, “in all these things (they) were more than conquerors through Him who loved (them).” (Rom 8:37). He loves us in the same way. Why would our Good Father allow some of His children to be brought to perfection through necessary suffering, but deny others (namely us from affluent nations) that same opportunity to be perfected by removing them from the very thing that is needed to bring about that perfection. No, He will not. Rather His love will be with us through our troubles, if we keep our eyes on Jesus. The assurance we have is not that we will escape trouble, but that God will bring us through it and use it to perfect us if we allow Him; if we do not separate ourselves from Him.

As mentioned earlier, nothing external can separate us from God’s love, or prevent His eternal purpose from being fulfilled in us. Only we ourselves can. I firmly believe of this we need to be aware. For the deceiver’s lie in the Garden is the same he tells us today – “you shall not surely die.” (Gen 3:4)

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood,
And your fingers with iniquity;
Your lips have spoken lies,
Your tongue has muttered perversity.”

- Isaiah 59:1-3 NKJV

Only we can cause our separation from God, from our inheritance, and even from Eternal Life. This is the “rest of God” that the author of Hebrews writes about.
“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.” (Heb 4:1)

Nothing, physical or spiritual, external to us can make us come short of all that God has in store for each one of us. It is only our sin: that which "comes from our heart" (Matt 15:18) that can "defile" us and separate us from God. Continued, unrepentant sin, whether we are a "believer" or not WILL exclude us from God's Kingdom and separate us from His Eternal promises (1Cor 6:9-10, Gal 5:19-21, Eph 5:3-7)

 

The exhortation is to us personally, to not shrink back as it says later in Hebrews -

“So don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised.

37 For yet in a very little while,
the Coming One will come and not delay.
38 But My righteous one will live by faith;
and if he draws back,
I have no pleasure in him.

39 But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain Life.”
– Heb 10:35-39 HCSB

Truly we have assurance of God, by the “first installment” of the Holy Spirit in our lives when we surrender ourselves to Christ, pick up our cross and begin to follow Him.

“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
– 2Cor 1:21-22 NIV

Our place is to “not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.” (Eph 4:30 NRSV), by the way we live. If we do grieve Him, by the choices we make, and draw back from pursuing the rest of God in Christ, then we will forfeit our assurance of what is to come. Again, no other person or entity, or external thing, can separate us from the love of God in Christ, but ourselves only. Disobedience will surely separate us from His love, even as Jesus, Himself taught us -

“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. 10 If you keep My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. 11 I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
- John 15:9-11 NIV

That complete joy is the fullness of the “Love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”, and all that includes: redemption, adoption, inheritance, Life. To see one enter into the Father’s love brings Jesus great joy. And so He exhorts us to be obedient to Him as Lord, to ensure that God’s love will be with us.

Truthfully, I believe the unscriptural teaching of God’s unconditional love has caused many to “shrink back” from their calling. If we believe that God will always love us no matter what we do once we’ve ‘accepted Christ’ then there is no vital need to know and obey commandments. And if we’ve been taught that we are not saved by anything we do anyway, then God will overlook our shortcomings and welcome us into His Kingdom because of our association with Christ. This is surely “receiving the grace of God in vain” and we will have “let another steal our crown.”
And in that Day, we will be found wanting.

My prayer for those here, my family, and myself is that it will be said of us -
“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

– Eph 1:11-14 NKJV

May we be as Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, whom of all those God had saved and marked for inheritance in the Land of Promise, actually received the promise. May we ever remain in His love, laying down our lives for Him, trusting Him always and in whatever circumstances He brings us through as He is refining us and transforming us into His image.
May we be among those who do not “come short of the rest of God.”

“Beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal Life.”

– Jude 1:20-21 RSV

If we do our part, we can be assured He will do His. Indeed, “the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
Praise His Name!

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of His glory with rejoicing, 25 to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” - Jude 1:24-25 RSV

Amen.

In this I find great hope and am assured that the promises of God are True.
God’s wisdom and understanding to all.

“May you stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.” 
- Col 4:12

Thank you for joining me on this journey through the 8th chapter of Romans, studying all the incredible promises of God. May you clearly see His purpose for your life as you spend time reading the written Word and following the Living Word, our Lord & Savior Jesus.

Blessings on all your house.
Michael D. Biggs

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