Faith's Reasons for Absolute Assurance (Romans Sermon 57 of 120)
February 24, 2002 | Andrew Davis
Perseverance, Assurance of Salvation
I. Building Up to Total Assurance
Turn if you would in your Bibles to Romans Chapter 8. We're looking this morning at verses 31-34. And I am just so excited to preach this message. I am so excited to bring you through these verses. I wish I had 10 sermons, but we don't. We just have this one morning to look at some of the most phenomenal verses in all the scripture. And my goal is simple. I already prayed about it. If you're a Christian, I want you to walk out of here this morning with a firm and settled assurance of salvation. It changes everything. If you're assured of salvation, it changes the whole way you live. It changes the way you put sin to death. It gives you energy and power and strength for service to Christ, and it changes the reasons why you do that service.
It is so important, and that is why God has lavished on us verse after verse in Romans Chapter 8, that we might have a full assurance of salvation. Now some people are word people and some people are picture people. Some people do better with the concepts and words and others just like a picture to be established in their minds. And I want to put up a picture that's not found in the text, but I think it's in harmony with it. A picture of a mighty castle, somewhat like a medieval castle, like Camelot. You know what I'm thinking of. And in that society, the King ruled over that society. And there were powerful walls. It was a fortress, and there were people working in the fields around. There were farmers bringing forth their crops. There were tradesmen that were plying their trades and merchants that were plying their merchandise and all of it under the protection of this liege Lord.
And the King would provide protection, militarily for those people. They were his people and he saw to it. He was committed to provide their protection. And as somewhat a father, he was going to be providing them with all of their provisions, opening his store rooms that they would have all that they needed if there was, for example, a time of famine. Just like the time of Joseph in Egypt, when he stored up so that the people would be cared for in time of need. He was also ultimately the judge and he dispensed justice. And he ruled with fairness if he was a good king. And there were counselors around his throne giving him good counsel and giving him advice. And so it is that I think in our text, we have a picture of God as a mighty king. And in effect he's asking us into the fortress and he's saying, "Come and look at my armory, and look at all the power that's here." And who is powerful enough to come against you as a foe and conquer you? If I am for you, who cares who's against you? A mighty king. And he's saying, "Come and look at my armory, look at my omnipotence, look at my power, and it's at your disposal for your protection."
"Secondly, if I am a generous father, if I haven't spared my own Son, that which is most precious and valuable to me, how much more will I give you all the lesser things you need to accomplish the things you need to do in this world. Come and look therefore at my store rooms and see how full they are, and look at my heart of generosity in which I've already committed myself to give you everything you need for life in Godliness. So look at my store rooms and look also at my courtrooms. Look at my courtroom. I am a judge and I dispense justice. And if I declare you to be not guilty, is there a higher court in the land? Is there any other authority that can come and say, ‘Yes but... There is guilt in this case’?" Who shall bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies, who cares who condemns? If God has justified us, that's the end of the matter. He's the highest court.
And then there is Jesus standing at the right hand of God, interceding for us like a priest. You don't find the word priest in here, but his priestly ministry is all over that verse. He died for us. More than that he was raised to life and he is standing at the right hand of God and is interceding for us. And if you grab all of these four themes and pull them together to your heart, you have a full and solid assurance of salvation. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame of mind, but wholly lean on Jesus' name. That is a solid assurance and the Bible gives it to us today.
For Those Who are IN Christ Jesus
Well, you've had the sermon, you have the whole thing. It's all right there, but let's look at the details because they're so precious. Realize that from verse one all the way through verse 39 of Romans Chapter 8, Paul has been laboring. Really God is laboring through Paul to give us a solid assurance of salvation. "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." All the way to verse 39, "There is nothing in heaven or earth or under the earth that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus." And so it's all about assurance, but he's constantly clarifying those for whom this is true. It is not true of those who have not trusted in Christ as Savior and Lord. It is not true of those who are not born again by the Spirit. There is therefore now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. Just as you will not be drowned during Noah's flood if you're on the ark, but if you're not on the ark you're in danger. So there's no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And he talks also about the ministry of the spirit.
The Centrality of the Holy Spirit
I really think that verses 1-27, to the most part, can be drawn together into the ministry of the Holy Spirit to bring us assurance of salvation. That's all that the Spirit does to minister assurance of salvation. He works in us so that we're living not after the flesh, under the law, but in a whole new way by the power of the Spirit. We're living a new life. We've been born again into newness of life. We're walking in a new life. And then in verses 5-8, he touches on the mind. The mind of the flesh is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. Really the Greek there says the mind in the Spirit, and so we have a sense that we are, if we're in Christ, we're in the Spirit. We've been moved into a new realm. It's like we live in a new country, the realm of the Spirit, and we are no longer under law.
We're in the Spirit, and it also says, the Spirit is in us. We are in the Spirit, and the Spirit is in us. And so he's working a new mind, a new way of thinking. He's renewing our minds all the time so that we see things differently. We think about things differently. As a result, we also have a sense of the indwelling Spirit testifying to us directly that we are children of God. How precious is that? How precious is it that the Holy Spirit is speaking to you and saying, "You're a child of God, you're a child of God." Assuring you like a beacon that you are in fact a child of God. And moving in you to cry out, "Abba, Father." Oh, the preciousness of the Spirit's work. That relationship between us and the heavenly Father. But it's the Spirit's activity all the time. He's assuring, and he's leading us too. He's leading us, we're led by the Spirit. If we're led by the Spirit we're children of God. Isn't that plain? If you're not led by the Spirit, you're not a child of God, none of this applies to you. Please come to Christ, then you can be a child of God and be led by the Spirit. But if you are led by the Spirit, you're a child of God.
And what does it mean to put sin to death daily, to grow in holiness, to hate sin, to fight it, to follow the Spirit, and by the Spirit, put to death the misdeeds of the body? This is all the work of the Spirit, and He gives a hope that doesn't disappoint, even though our bodies are falling apart, even though there is corruption in this world, even though creation is groaning, the world is groaning. We ourselves groan inwardly as we wait for our final adoption, yet we have a hope that can't dim, that hope will not disappoint. God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and we have a solid assurance, even in the middle of our suffering, physical suffering, disease and death. We still have a hope that nothing can defeat. And then in the end, he says that The Spirit intercedes for us. He's praying for us. This is all the ministry of the Spirit. Do you see it? Verses 1-27.
The Father, The Son and The Spirit All Work Together for Our Assurance
Next, he gets to the work of God the Father, how it is God who causes all things to work together for good. It is God who reached back before the foundation of the world and predestined you to be a child of God, and it is God who's working out that decree. So secondly, we have a sense of the working of God the Father in this matter.
Now, you might say, "Why is it reversed?" I don't think it is. It's not like we start in Romans with chapter 8. We've been talking all long about God the Father and his activities. But in Romans 8, The Spirit's work is discussed first, and then the decrees of God, the predestining and providential working of God is talked about. So God the Father… And we're going to look more at God the Father. "He who did not spare His own Son." This is the one that we're talking about, the ministry of God the Father.
And then thirdly, we'll look again at the ministry of Jesus Christ. That intercessor, the one who died for us and rose again, and nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ. Do you see the Triune God in Romans 8? Father, Son, and Spirit all working together for what purpose? To give you a solid assurance of salvation. And why does God want you to have that? I've already alluded to it. Does it not affect everything? Suppose you weren't sure whether you were going to Heaven or not. Suppose you thought you were going to Hell, and then you began to move out and start living a good life, doing good deeds. Would that not be an insult to Grace? That's a dangerous way to live your life, because then you think, "Have I done enough? Have I done enough?" Is there an enough? There's never an enough.
Therefore, we must understand grace. We must understand assurance so that we can live differently. And does God have work for us to do? Oh yes, He does. There is a lost world out there, and we are called by the power of the Spirit to go out. We're called to minister. And if you don't have assurance of salvation, how are you going to do it? Your eyes have got to be on yourself. These are eternal issues. If you don't know whether you're going to spend eternity in Hell or in Heaven, I would urge you with all haste to gain a solid assurance through faith in Jesus Christ. What would it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? So you've got to have assurance of salvation and God's working it in us in Romans Chapter 8. Now, we've already looked somewhat in an overview, but what I'm going to do in these verses, I'm going to put this picture before you of God as an omnipotent King in verse 31. He's made a covenant relationship with you, and he's putting all of his power at your disposal. God is for you. Awesome power at your disposal.
And secondly, we're going to look at Him as a generous Father who didn't withhold His own son, but gave Him up, and He wants to give you all things as well. We're going to talk about that. Thirdly, we're going to talk about Him as judge. "Who shall bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?" You get the sense of, "Who dares to do it?" Who dares to stand up before me and bring a charge? Because I have justified them through faith in Christ. Who cares who condemns? We're going to talk about that and then finally, the priestly ministry of Jesus, standing at the right hand of God, interceding for us.
Now, he asks six questions. I think this is very interesting how Paul proceeds here. He's asking rhetorical questions. A rhetorical questions is a question that's asked by a speaker or a preacher to gain an effect. It's not meant to be answered, but it's meant to make you think about proof.
And he asks a series of six of them, one after the other. Look at the first one.
"What shall we say in response to this?" We're going to end there today. I want to know what you response is to all this. What is your response? What shall we say in response to all this?
"If God is for us, who can be against us?" That's the second question. Do you see it?
Thirdly, "He who did not spare His own Son, how will He not also along with Him, graciously give us all things?" It's a question, isn't it? Do you see the series of questions?
And then, "Who shall lay any charge against those whom God has chosen or against God's elect?" Verse 33.
In verse 34, "It is Christ Jesus who died. Who is He that condemns?" Do you see the question? There's a series of six questions here.
And then finally, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" So he's asking a series of questions to get you to think about a basis of assurance.
In effect, this is how I think assurance works. The Bible establishes certain spiritual facts, it establishes facts. It calls on you to believe those facts and reason out by faith your assurance. If you don't believe the facts, you'll have no assurance. If you don't act out mentally on the facts, you'll have no assurance. You have to work on them. It's kind of like God setting a meal in front of you, and you need to chew the food. If you don't chew the food, you'll have no nourishment. And so you've got to think about the facts that are set before us and then work on them by faith, and then your assurance goes up, up, up as you do it. It happened to me this morning, and you need to just feed on the Word. And then the more you do, the more your certainty goes up. Doesn't that make sense by the way? Faith comes from what? Hearing the word, and as we hear the word and as we work on it, our faith just goes up, our assurance goes up.
II. God’s Omnipotent Commitment as King (verse 31)
Let's look at the first one. God, His omnipotent commitment to us as king. Look at verse 31. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" In a sense He's taken you into Camelot and He's said, "Let's go look at my armory. Let's look at what kind of power I have. Realize who I am. I am the omnipotent God. Is there any power greater than mine? Is anyone [to put it in John Chapter 10 language] able to snatch you out of my hand? Is there any power in heaven or earth or under the earth stronger than me?"
And so therefore, if God is for us, who cares who's against us? Isn't that about the attitude here? Now it says, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" But that's what he's saying. No foe can touch you as long as I rule heaven and earth. You're safe. You're safe. Now, what does it mean "if God is for us?" God for us? He's taking who He is, His resources, and bringing them to you for your benefit. "I am for you," is what He is saying. You know the word Emmanuel, it means God with us. The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel, which means God with us. So in effect He's saying, "I am your covenant Lord, I'm your covenant King, and I am putting my power at your disposal. I am for you. I am going to protect you. I am with you. I'm going to care for you."
Now this is not at all to say that we don't have enemies. If God is for us, who can be against us as though we have no enemies. We do have enemies don't we? Actually, we have very serious enemies. For example, our own sins, and so if God's going to be for us, he has to deal with our sin. And in Matthew 1:21, just before that Emmanuel verse, it says of Mary, "She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus." Why? "Because he will save his people from their sins." Jesus was sent to save us from our sins. If God's going to be for us but not deal with our sins, we're lost. But we are not lost, because Jesus, whose name means salvation comes from Yahweh. That's what it means. He is sent into the world to deal with our sins. You will give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. So God is going to put all of His power at our disposal. He is for us. He's a mighty king. Omnipotent. Listen to what He said to Israel in Isaiah 43:2-3, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned. The flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isn't that powerful?
Protection in the Midst of Enemies All Around Us
No matter what you go through in your life, I am with you to save you. I am mighty to save, and I'm going to get you through it. And therefore, what enemy can defeat us? Now, we do have our sins that threaten us, but we dealt with that through Jesus. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. We'll talk more about that later, but do we have any other enemies? Oh yes. We live in a vicious anti-Christian world, do we not? This world is no friend to your faith. That's why it says in 1 John 2, "If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life comes not from the Father, but from the evil one." There's a sense of evil in this world. And the world is no friend to your faith. You live in a dangerous world. Therefore, Jesus said, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves." We'll talk more about that next week, how all day long we're considered sheep for the slaughter. We're surrounded by a world that's hostile to our faith. We do have enemies.
We have physical enemies, human beings. Some of our brothers and sisters know exactly what I'm talking about. People in totalitarian or oppressive regimes where they don't know if the government's going to send police in the middle of the night and arrest them. House church leaders that are doing work for God. Suddenly they're arrested and they disappear. You never see them again. They have enemies, they know that there are enemies. And there are also people like in the Sudan, maybe not the government oppressing them, but they are roving bands of Islamic fighters that are trying to crush Christianity, and they'll come in the middle of the night and kill you in your bed or steal your possessions. There are enemies out there.
We have them even here in America. If you desire to stand up and live for Christ boldly at work, you'll see what I'm talking about. Pretty soon you witness to your boss. Suppose he doesn't come to faith in Christ, then what? About six months later, you get your review and you did a terrible job all year, and, "I do not recommend him for a raise," and all this kind of thing. It happens. We do have enemies in this world at different levels. Even more, we have spiritual enemies, don't we? It says in 1 Peter chapter 5, "Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Resist him standing firm in the faith because you know that your brothers throughout the world are going through the same kind of sufferings."
So all over the world, we have a personal enemy. Isn’t that wonderful to know that we have a personal Savior, Jesus Christ? Because we have a personal enemy, the devil. And we need salvation. We need protection. So when we look at this verse and verse 31, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" It doesn't mean that we have no enemies. Do you think Paul didn't know what persecution felt like? Don't you think he knew that his enemy, the devil was prowling to destroy him? He knew he had enemies, but the point is, it doesn't matter because God is so powerful. I get the picture of a kind of a scales. And you've got the force of human opinion like an ounce, or if you like the metric system, a gram, okay? Like that. And then you've got demonic oppression and satanic oppression like a pound or kilogram there on the scales. We're Americans. A pound. Leaning like that. And then we've got God whose got all the mass of the universe. And all that really matters is what side He's on. You see what I'm saying? Nothing else matters. If God is for you, it doesn't matter who's against you. You will triumph. You will be more than a conqueror. You will overcome. You will be victorious. But if God is against you, then who can help you? Who can help you?
At one point, He says in Jeremiah, He's speaking actually at that point to Babylon, He says, "‘See, I am against you, o arrogant one,’ Declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty, ‘for your day has come, the time for you to be punished.’" Oh, how terrifying is it to have God as an enemy. Oh, that's terrifying. And I want you to feel the weight of it. Because if you're not a child of God, God is against you. John 3:36 says, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. But whoever rejects the Son will not see life for God's wrath weighs on him, remains on him." God is your enemy if you're not a Christian.
But if you are, everything has changed, and God is not your enemy and He never will be again. And therefore it doesn't matter who's set against you, because you will be more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ. If God is for us, who can be against us? That is God's infinite power as King. So we've gone into the castle and we've seen the armory. We've seen the power of God at our disposal. We've seen that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if the whole world is against you. If God is for you that's all that matters. By the way, doesn't that make things simple in life? Isn't it true that all that matters is what Jesus thinks about you?
It just doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. Matter of fact, Jesus goes so far as to say, "Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you." Woe to you because that's how they treated the false prophets. It doesn't matter what the world thinks. What matters is what God says. And God is for you if you're a Christian.
III. God’s Infinite Generosity as Father (verse 32)
Look at verse 32, we see here God's infinite generosity as a Father. "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all. How will He not also along with Him graciously give us all things?" Isn't that an incredible verse? Could we not spend five hours thinking about that? You really should. Go home and just pick this verse apart. You could be the rest of your life trying to understand all the ramifications of verse 32 of Romans 8. But here we have, continuing with my homely analogy, we're coming into the castle, and we're looking at the store rooms, just like Joseph. Remember how Joseph had huge store rooms of grain to provide for the people during a time famine or lack? So this Mighty King inside the walls of the fortress is saying, "I have got provisions for you. I have everything you need for life in Godliness. And not only that, I have a commitment to give it to you. I'm a generous Father." There's a logic to this verse.
God the Father Delivered His Son Up to be Crucified
"He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all. How will He not also along with Him graciously give us all things?" The central idea to this verse is the preciousness of Jesus Christ to the Father. Do you see that? Jesus is precious to the Father. Is there anything in the universe more precious than Jesus to the Father? Answer, no. Jesus is the most precious thing He could have given. "This is My Son," He said at the baptism, at Jesus' baptism. "This is My Son, My only Son, whom I love. With Him I am well pleased." Do you not sense the flowing out of love from the Father to the Son? That love is what saves you, by the way. It's the love of God in Christ Jesus. Look at verse 38-39, you know what I'm talking about. It's there. But the love of God in Christ, for the Father to the Son, there is no higher love. The Father loves His Son, He's precious to Him. And so it says in I Peter 1, "You know that it was not with perishable things such as silver and gold that you were redeemed from your empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect." The preciousness of Christ, the value, the weight of Christ is the centerpiece here. And what is He saying? Well, a shocking decision. He did not spare His own Son.
Now, what does that mean? Well to spare means to hold back. To say, "You can have all this but not my Son." Now that's eminently understandable, isn't it? Put yourself in the place of a father with children, or a parent with children, and you find out that a neighbor child needs a liver. Not a kidney now, a liver. Would you give up your child's liver so that that one can live? Would you do it? Be honest now. Say no, no way, even. Now I'll give money. I will pray. I will be there. I will do what I can, but there is a limit to what I will do. I would not do it.
Well, let me ask another question. Would you do it for an enemy who hated your guts? But that is the love of God for us. While we were still sinners, He gave His Son. That which is most precious, most valuable. He did not spare it. Did not hold it back. He said, "Of all there is in the universe, there is nothing more valuable than Jesus. And I give Him for you. I give Him up." So what's the logic to the verse? If He's given that, He'll give anything. If there's anything withheld from you, it's not for lack of love or lack of provision. It's for wisdom's sake. He can give you anything. He's given the most. That's the logic of this. Now, what does it mean? We've talked about spare. He did not spare His Son, but gave Him. The idea of gave is delivered. He delivered Him over. Delivered Him to what? Well, think about it. He delivered Jesus to His enemies. He delivered Him up to humiliation. He delivered Him up to scourging. He delivered Him up to rejection. He delivered Him up to trial and to condemnation. He delivered Him up to torment, and to shame, and to darkness. He delivered Him up to wrath. And He delivered Him up to death. Well, who delivered Jesus? Who delivered Him? Well, was it Judas?
Did Judas deliver Jesus? Well, yeah. Actually, this word is used in Matthew 26. Judas said, "What will you give me if I deliver Him over to you?" He said to the high priests. And so they measured out 30 pieces of silver, and Judas watched for an opportunity to deliver Him over." Did Judas deliver Jesus or not? Yes, he did. What about the high priests and the chief priest, and the Pharisees, and all of them? Did they deliver Jesus? Yes, they did. Matthew 27:1-2, "Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. They bound Him, led Him away, and delivered Him over to Pilate, the governor." So Judas delivered Him. The Sanhedrin delivered Him. What about the Jewish people themselves? Yes, they delivered Him too. It says in Acts 3, Peter to the Jewish people, "You delivered Jesus over to be killed, and you disowned Him before Pilate, though he had decided to let Him go." So the people delivered Him up. What about Pilate? Did Pilate deliver Jesus up? Yes, he did. It says of Pilate, "Then Pilate released Barabbas to them but he had Jesus flogged and delivered Him over to them to be crucified." But who really delivered Jesus? This verse tells you who really delivered Him. Those were all the human actors, wicked men who didn't know what they were doing.
God knew what He was doing. And God the Father delivered Jesus up to all of these wicked men who put Him to death. It was God who delivered Jesus. Now, ultimately, these men and Peter knew this. In Acts 2:23, "This man, Jesus of Nazareth, was delivered over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge. And you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death." And here we have the mystery of the eternal decrees of God and human responsibility on who it is that delivered Jesus. The humans delivered Him. But it was ultimately, Romans 8:32, God who delivered Him. Isaiah 53:10, "It was the Lord's will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer." Do you hear that? It was God the Father's will to crush Jesus and make Him suffer. Why? Because He loved to see His Son suffer? No, for the same reason Jesus did it, for the joy set before them. For the joy set before the Father and the Son, He crushed His Son. Why? So that we could be saved, so that we could have eternal life. He did not spare His own Son but delivered Him up for us all.
Now, what is the logical conclusion? That is the greatest blessing that could ever have been given to you. Every lesser blessing is yours as well, as you need it. And He's wise enough to give you the things you think you need but really don't. Are there anything in that category? Things you think you need but you really don't? Many.
Our hearts are constantly yearning for things, aren't they? We want things. We want things. But God is wise. And so He withholds things from us that would not help us. But He gives us those things that will make for life in Godliness. And nothing will be withheld. Now, I'll tell you what. Something just struck me when I hit this verse and I started to meditate, and I realized every single blessing I have in my life is lesser than the blessing of Jesus dead on the cross and risen from the grave. There is no higher blessing I have ever received. That includes my own justification. That includes all of the spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. You see the logic? I gave you Jesus, I will give you justification. I gave you Jesus, I will give you sanctification. I gave you Jesus, I will give you glorification. I will give you all of these things. I will write your name on my hands, my forehead. I will never forget you. I will hold you. But these are all lesser blessings than the one I gave when I gave My son. He is the highest blessing there is. And He's been given for you. Now, this is a rugged verse, isn't it? In one sense, you say, "Wait a minute. My child died last year of Leukemia. How is it that He withheld that from me?" Or "He didn't withhold His own Son, but my spouse died last year. How can that work?" Well, realize this, that God's eyes are on eternity. And in this world we suffer.
Jesus suffered in this world, didn't He? Suffered more than we will. The Apostle Paul suffered in this world. We're going to talk about that next week. All the suffering that God causes us to go through all day long, we're considered sheep to be slaughtered. There's hard things we have to go through in this world. But He knows what's coming next. What did Paul say? For me to live is Christ, and to die is what? Gain. He's got His eyes on eternity.
IV. God’s Final Authority as Judge (verses 33-34)
The third one is God's final authority as Judge. Look at verse 33-34, "Who will bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns?" Now here we're being escorted, we've left the armory, we've seen the provision room, the store room. Now we're in the court room inside the castle. The King was the final authority in medieval society, and he was the Lord. And what he said went. And if the king acquitted you in a matter, it was over. There were no higher courts. Has the King of the Universe acquitted you in His court? Yes, He has justified you by faith in Jesus Christ. We've already been through all that in Romans 3 and 4. Justified by faith. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." God has justified you. Let's remind ourselves what that means. He has declared you legally not guilty of your sins, by cloaking the righteousness of Jesus on you positionally.
He has said "Case dismissed," alright? Well, who's going to bring an accusation against you? Well, just like earlier when I asked about enemies, do we have an accuser? Oh yeah. Well, is there ground for accusation? Yes, there is. We sin a lot, don't we? And as a matter of fact, the more you go on in your Christian life, the more you realize just how much you're not like Jesus every day. And in any ways you're not like Jesus, either actively or passively, you've sinned. In terms of the position and the call, we are called to love God with all of our heart, to put ourselves totally at His plan's disposal the way Jesus did, to love our neighbor even to the willingness to pour out ourselves into death.
Now, obviously, Jesus had a role to play that we don't, but in terms of faithful obedience to the Father, we are called to be like Him. So there's ample ground for accusation. James 3:2 says, "We all stumble in many ways." Did you hear that? 1 John 1:8 says, "If anyone says or claims to be without sin, he's a liar and the truth is not in him." So we've got plenty of sin. Well, is there somebody who'll take up the task of accuser? Oh yes. His name is Satan, and actually the word Satan means opposer in court of law. Prosecutor I guess would be one way to... He's the one that's prosecuting your case. He's accusing you. I think in that way he's the ultimate hypocrite of all time. Has there ever been a being that's sinned as much as Satan? And yet he's there so righteously accusing you of sin all the time, but that's his role. He is called, in Revelation 12, "The accuser of the brethren." He is the accuser of brothers and sisters in Christ all the time. Do you feel that accusation? Do you feel it inside your heart and your conscience? And sometimes, we accuse ourselves as well. There is ground for accusation, but what is this verse saying? He's going to throw out all accusations against you.
There's no condemnation for you on Judgment Day because of justification. It is God who justifies. Who dares condemn when He says the final word? He will silence every tongue accusing you on Judgment Day. Isn’t that beautiful? There's a picture of this in Zechariah 3, of the high priest Joshua. He was a real man, physically alive, etcetera. And he's standing before the angel of the Lord, and he's covered with disgusting, filthy garments. And at his right hand is Satan, the accuser, and he's accusing Joshua. And the Lord says to Satan basically, "Stop it, be quiet." He rebukes him. He says, "The Lord rebuke you Satan. The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you." That's what's going to happen on Judgment Day. And then He says, He gives a command for Joshua and He says, "Take off those filthy robes, take them off and put on him a clean linen garment and a beautiful turban on his head." Picture of the justification by faith in Jesus Christ. He's not going to listen to any accusation against you on Judgment Day. Now, for whom is this true? Well, it's the same people it's been true for throughout the chapter in Romans 8. It's not for everybody. There will be accusations that will stick on Judgment Day.
If Jesus is not your Savior, if He's not died in your place, if you've not had the burden of sin rolled off of Him and received His gift of righteousness, there will be many accusations against you and they will all stand. It says in Job 9 that you can't answer Him once in a thousand times, because they're all true, and that's why we need a Savior. But if you are one of God's chosen, it says, "Who will bring any charge against God's elect?" That's what the Word says, God's chosen. If you're one of those and you have received by faith this salvation in Jesus Christ, there will be no accusation that will stand against you on Judgment Day. Now, we have seen the activity of God the Father, haven't we? He is an Omnipotent King putting all of His power at your disposal. If God is for us, who can be against us? He is also a generous Father opening the storehouses of His bounty to you, giving you anything you need for your life. He is also the final Judge, isn't He? The Authoritative Judge who's declared you not guilty.
V. Christ’s Perfect Ministry as Priest (verse 34)
Now, we have Jesus in His priestly ministry. Look at verse 34, "Christ Jesus who died, more than that, who is raised to life, is at the right hand of God and is interceding for us." Jesus is God's ultimate Counselor at the right hand of God, and He is bringing your name right to the Father and He's saying, "He's mine. She's mine." Just praying for you all the time. Remember earlier we said the Holy Spirit intercedes? We also see here Jesus interceding, and it's on the basis of His Own Blood. He died for us and He's pleading His Own Blood on your behalf. More than that, He was raised to life. He's living, constantly it says, to intercede for you. He is making perfect intercession. Does Jesus ever ask for anything from the Father that the Father doesn't want to give Him? Are the Father and the Son ever at cross purposes? Well therefore, Jesus, whatever He asks for He gets, and He's praying for you. He is making perfect intercession, and what is the focus of His intercession? No question about it. It is your faith.
The night before Jesus was crucified, He said to Simon, "Simon, Simon, Satan demands to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And after you have turned, strengthen your brothers." Is that not a beautiful picture of the intercessory ministry of Jesus? He is interceding to the Father about Simon's faith. To what end? That it would not fail. And will it fail? No, it won't, because God will sustain it constantly.
After you have turned, strengthen your brothers. That is a picture of the intercessory ministry of Jesus, and that is another ground for you to have full confidence in your salvation. It says in Hebrews 7:24-25, "Because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore, He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him because He constantly lives to intercede for them."
VI. Application: “What Shall We Say in Response to This?”
Now, we have seen four reasons why you should have a full assurance if you're a Christian. I guess I want to say, by way of application, verse 31, "What then shall we say in response to this?" What are you goanna say? Well, let's look at the facts.
First, fact number one: God is an Omnipotent King. Is anyone stronger than Him? Well, then reason out that no one will be able to snatch you out of the Father's hand, that God is for you, doesn't matter who's against you, fact number one.
Secondly, is God a generous Father? Has He opened up His storehouses? He's given His Son, that which is most precious. He will give you everything you need for life in Godliness. Nothing will be withheld. Therefore, it is impossible that anything you need to make it to Heaven will be withheld from you.
Number three, fact, God has final authority in His courtroom. When He puts that gavel down, you are dismissed. The case is dismissed, not guilty forever. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Therefore, does it really matter who's goanna be accusing you on Judgment Day? It is God who justifies, who dares condemn?
And the fourth fact is that Jesus died in your place. If you're a Christian, He died in your place and He rose again from the dead, and He stands at the right hand of God and is praying for you. Let me ask you a question, can anything separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus? The answer is no. So what shall we say in response to this?
Well, if you're not a Christian I just want you to say, "Take me Lord, I'm Yours. I want to be saved. I want this. I want full forgiveness of sins." There's no other Savior. There's no other name given to man by which we must be saved. I want to be saved. Come and talk to me, whenever. An invitation in a minute, just come and talk to me. Don't leave this room without trusting Christ as your Lord and Savior. Give yourself to Him. But if you're already a Christian, be assured. Be assured of salvation, realize that what God has put at your disposal will succeed and you will go to Heaven through faith in His name.