“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” (Romans 8:31b-34)
In these days of social unrest and violence, we may feel that our whole world is changing and not for the best. Yet Paul’s words remind us that God is in control. He knows what is going on and is working in His people to counteract the forces of sin and Satan as well as to build us into the image of Jesus Christ.
Nevertheless, sin and violence are on the increase because many people no longer feel or desire the restraining influences of the government and laws. This is because many no longer believe in Almighty God as He has revealed Himself in the Bible. And so they lash out against all authorities including the Church of Jesus Christ in an attempt to silence God and His people. Christians are accused of racism, homo and trans-phobia and intolerance because the Church teaches that the word of God condemns sin. Many of them use shame as a whip to intimidate and wound us or enforce compliance to their code of external standards they have compiled without reference to the gospel or God’s word or have actually twisted around. Yet people who do not believe in God will never find peace because they accuse others while denying their own guilt and sin. They stand condemned before God no matter what they do or say.
Paul’s words here bring hope and comfort to us in the midst ofthese uncertainties of contemporary American life. His words tell us that neither God nor His people can be silenced. He tells us of the Lord’s unalterable acceptance and love of those who have faith in Him. If God has acquitted a believer, who can condemn that believer? Who can shame the believer by reminding Him of sins and flaws that have been forgiven? While the believer still sins, he can repent and confess the sin, rejoicing in the knowledge that God forgives and throws the sin into the sea of His forgetfulness. God does not condemn those He has justified and declared righteous. His verdict is the only one that matters and it is final. And it is written indelibly on our hearts by His Spirit.