What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 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? Romans 8:31-32 (NKJV)
Paul starts off by asking a question. What conclusion should we draw from all “these things”? First we have to understand what “these things” are. It is all that he has talked about in the previous chapters. Paul has laid out so many ways that God has acted for believers and he wants us to know the conclusion we should draw from this. Before we can really appreciate the conclusion, we must have a good grasp on what “these things” are. Get your Bible and walk with me as we do a quick survey of Romans 8.
The chapter starts out with the amazing statement that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (verse 1). Those who truly understand the depths of their own sinfulness will find this to be a most encouraging verse. Think about what it would mean for you if there was no condemnation for you. How is this possible? The answer is in verses 2-4. Since it was impossible for us to save ourselves through good deeds or keeping the law, Christ came and fulfilled the law for us. This makes it possible for us to be justified and free from condemnation.
Then in verses 5-8 we are warned about the dangers of living lives controlled by the flesh. He says in verse 6 that one of the characteristics of a person controlled by the flesh is a carnal mind. Most of the time when we think about a carnal mind our idea is of having sexualized thoughts. While that idea would certainly be included, it means much more than that. A carnal mind is a mind that never or rarely considers Christ or the things of Christ. A carnal mind is a mind that is focused on the things of this world.
Some results of a carnal mind are laid out in verses 6-8. Those who are controlled by their flesh cannot please God. We see in verse 9 why verses 6-8 shouldn’t apply to us as believers. In my mind this is one of the most important verses in the Bible. The reason believers aren’t to be controlled by our flesh is because the Holy Spirit lives within us. He makes the statement that if a person doesn’t have the Holy Spirit they aren’t really Christians at all. There is no such thing as a Christian without the Holy Spirit.
Then in verses 10-11 Paul explains that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives within us and enables us to live righteous and godly lives. In verses 12-17 we are told about being adopted as the children of God. Notice especially what we are told in verse 15. We have not received a spirit that makes us a slave to fear. Instead, we have received a Spirit of adoption that allows us to call God “Abba Father.” Then in verses 18-25 we are told that creation itself groans with anticipation of Christ’s return because it will be delivered from suffering and death.
In verses 26-27 we are told about the Holy Spirit’s role in helping us pray. When our hearts are heavy and we don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit helps us by interceding for us according to the will of God. Then in verses 28-30 we are assured that God is able to work through all situations to accomplish His will in our lives.
What conclusion are we to draw from all of these things that God has done for us and how does this help us in times of suffering? I’ll explain that tomorrow.