“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
This verse serves as a declaration of confidence in God and offers incredible encouragement to Christians on this side of heaven. Though we face trials, difficulties, and suffering this verse reminds us that God is with us and for us. The Romans 8:31 meaning points us to the hope we have in Christ.
This verse deserves a closer look. I believe if you spend a few minutes reading and dwelling on this passage your life and faith will be encouraged.
The Context Of Romans 8:31
In this verse, Paul is summarizing many of his previous points. Therefore to understand the meaning of Romans 8:31 we have to start by looking at what was said in the previous verses.
The book of Romans was written by the apostle Paul to help both Jews and Gentiles understand Jesus’ saving work. This book unpacks Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection to help Christians hold onto the hope we have.
In Romans 8 Paul makes some incredible claims about the implications of Jesus’ work. There is NO condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1) and NOTHING can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:28). In essence, Paul is telling us not to look at what is temporarily in front of us, but rather to look to what is eternal.
Romans 8:28 sets the stage for Romans 8:31. The context reveals a progression of thought that builds up to a climactic affirmation of God’s unfailing support for believers. Romans 8:31-39, sometimes referred to as the “Golden Chain of Salvation,” is a passage expressing the security and triumph for those who are in Christ. And this is kicked off by Romans 8:31.
The Romans 8:31 Meaning
This verse holds both significant theological statements and practical implications for our faith today. To help us better understand the Romans 8:31 meaning we are going to break this verse down into two separate parts. This will help us see exactly what the Bible is communicating to us and how it flows together.
What Then Shall We Say In Response To These Things Meaning
Romans 8:31 starts with a rhetorical question. This invites readers to reflect on what has been said and how they should be living.
The opening of this verse links what Paul is about to say to what he just said. This is why context is so important. If we ignore the surrounding verses we can miss the depth of what the Bible has for us.
Throughout Romans 8 Paul has been talking about how Jesus is greater than anything and everything we face. He’s saying that we should look to God and not at what is in front of us. (Romans 8:18-25)
Paul is pulling from what he just said to further what he’s about to say because Jesus died and rose again. Because we are now children of God. Because our present sufferings pale in comparison to the coming glory…
If God Is For Us Who Can Be Against Us Meaning
Paul summarizes his previous points, God is for us. This is the key to a Christian’s security.
Dr Tom Constable summarizes it this way: “What He has done for us through His Son in the past and what He is doing for us through the Spirit in the present should give us confidence. He will certainly complete His work of salvation by glorifying us in the future (Philippians 1:6). Nobody and nothing can stand in His way.”
In Romans 8:31 Paul confidently proclaims, God is for us and he is with us.
Next, Paul draws a logical conclusion. If God is who he says he is, and if he is for us, then no one can be against us. God is bigger than whatever you and I are facing.
Paul’s words here are not found in human strength but rather rooted in his weakness. Paul makes clear throughout Romans that it’s in our weakness that God’s strength is revealed. This isn’t a self-help message that if we dig deep we can persevere. Rather this is a challenge to keep our eyes on the Lord.
When God is for us, nothing can stand against us. A few verses later Paul extrapolates on this point. Not even troubles, hardships, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, or the sword, can separate us from God. (Romans 8:35) This is the powerful truth that Romans 8:31 reminds us of. If God is for us there is nothing that can stand against us.
How Romans 8:31 Applies To Your Life Today
Now that we’ve looked at the Romans 8:31 explanation, I want to close by looking at how we can apply this to our lives.
1. Don’t Fixate On What’s Temporary
Life can throw some pretty hard punches at us, and we will get knocked down sometimes. When that happens the tendency of many Christians is to start fixating on those problems, on the mountain we are facing. They can’t see past it, and it becomes an immovable obstacle. And they are… for us.
But if God is for us, then whatever we are facing isn’t final. What’s impossible for us is not impossible for God. The meaning of Romans 8:31 isn’t a grin and bear and eventually God will get you through. No, this passage gives us hope amid our suffering. God is with us and for us. We can have hope in the middle of the storm.
So, don’t fixate on what’s temporarily causing us troubles.
2. Dwell On What Is Eternal
We will inevitably notice when things go wrong in our lives. Paul even lists all the terrible things that happened to him in 2 Corinthians 11:24-28. The Bible never tells us that we have to like these things or to just get over them. Even Jesus wept when faced with the death of a friend.
But when these things happen we must remind ourselves of the hope we have in Jesus. Rather than fixating on what is temporary, we should dwell on what is eternal. This doesn’t mean that we downplay or ignore our feelings and struggles. Rather it means that we give them to God. He cares for us, he’s with us, and he will lead us through them.
3. Step Boldly Into What God Has For You
Because God is for us we can boldly and confidently go where God leads. We need not be afraid of what lies ahead of us because of who is beside us.
There will be times when God will call us to do something that maybe we don’t want to do. And other times when the struggles we are facing seem to be getting bigger and bigger. But God is with us even in those moments, and we can be assured that he will lead us through.
So, step boldly into what God has for you. There will be times of difficulty. But if God is for you, who can be against you?
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