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God Is For You

socialmedia@cityrise.org June 7, 2021 sermons, cityrise, Crosspoint Church - Bellaire, Good News, Roger Patterson, romans, sermon, West U Baptist,

The following is a manuscript of the sermon presented by Roger Patterson on Sunday June 6, at our West U Baptist Church campus. To view the sermon in full, please visit our YouTubpage.

Good Morning everyone! Congrats again to our grads! Great work! Grab your bibles and meet me in Romans 8.  We’re finishing it up today after 6 weeks in this incredible chapter of Romans.

JD Greear tells the story of a guy named Peter Deyneka –a Russian Immigrant who fled to America in the early 20th century to escape the communist revolution. He arrived in Chicago, became of Christian, went to Moody Bible College and was used powerfully by God in the US & Russia.

On the boat on his way over to America from Russia his parents sacrificed everything to get him this boat ticket. He got on the boat with almost nothing – no money, just a bag with a few clothes and his mom stuffed some bread into his bag for him to eat on this journey. Peter would look into the dining hall throughout the journey, wishing he could have some of the food that everyone was eating, instead of the hardened bread he had. On the last day of the trip to America he, with the help of someone aboard the boat, realized that along with the purchase of the boat ticket came 3 full meals a day. Because he couldn’t read what was written on the ticket, he didn’t know what he was entitled to.”[1]

Today, I don’t want you to miss what you’re entitled to.  What is true for you. This is such good news found in the final section of Romans 8.

Look Romans 8:31-39 with me this morning.

Romans 8:31-39

 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Look at the first question that Paul asks.  He says, “What then shall we say in response to these things?”

What are these things? Paul is referencing what he has previously said/mentioned in Romans 8.

  • Good News – No Condemnation – Case Closed on your sin. (8:1-4)
  • Good News – You have the Spirit – Life & Peace (8:5-11)
  • Good News – God has adopted you (8:12-17)
  • Good News – Suffering will Stop (8:18-25)
  • Good News – in every circumstance of your life, God is working good for you. (8:26-30)

So when Paul says, “What then shall we say in response to these things…” It’s as if he pushes back from his desk where he is writing, puts down his pen, closes his laptop, takes a deep breath, props his feet up, closes his eyes and thinks to himself, if all these things are true that I’ve written down in 8:1-30, then it all really boils down to one summary statement.

Here’s the summary statement:  If God is for us, who can be against us?

Here it is, what Paul writes to the Romans and to Houstonians alike – God is for us. Let me say it again. God is for us.

There are some here today that need to hear this.  Maybe even for the first time – God. Is. For. You. Listen, are you…

  • Tired Parents – God. Is. For. You.
  • Struggling Families – God. Is. For. You.
  • Covid Long-Haulers – God. Is. For. You.
  • Business Owners and Bosses – God. Is. For. You.
  • HS/College Students & Singles – God. Is. For. You.
  • Those with Health Concerns – God. Is. For. You.
  • Those with struggling with their faith / doubts / fears / anxiety– God. Is. For. You.
  • Those with strong faith – God. Is. For. You.
  • Those with even no faith/disdain for religion – Listen, this may sound crazy, but it’s true: God. Is. For. You.

I know personally, I need to hear this again! I never tire of hearing Romans 8:31.

With what we have been through this past year or more, I need to be reminded that God is for me.

And when I hear Paul say God is for me, man, I can breathe. A weight is lifted off my chest and a freedom washes over me that is REAL. It’s palpable.

The Prodigal’s Father – Do you know who also felt this weight lifted? The prodigal. His father was for him.

The son comes back home with a shameful, guilty, heavy heart. He’d blown it and he knew it.

So, he makes the decision to come home and face the music. He takes a left and heads down Main Street to the house ready to give the speech to his dad he’s rehearsed. Look at it with me in Luke 15.

Luke 15:20-24

“And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to celebrate.’”

This father was for his son. He didn’t even let him finish his well-rehearsed speech but cut him off. “No need for words, son.” The father didn’t rub his sons face in his mistake(s), in his shame/guilt. He celebrated him. He gave him new clothes and reminded him who he was. “My son.”

This is a picture of our Heavenly Father and how he is for us.

After Paul summarizes that God is for us, he can’t stop himself from proving this point and show us even more about God and how God is for us. So, he gives us 4 proofs.

I want to encourage you to grab hold of one or more of these proofs and park there and experience this truth for yourself that God is for you. Here they are as a list, and we will walk through each of them.

4 Proofs of How God is For Us:

  1. God is a Generous Father
  2. God Has Declared Us Not Guilty
  3. Jesus is Praying for Us
  4. Jesus has Secured our Future

TLet’s look at this first one.

I. God is a Generous Father

You will often hear me say that, “God is the first and most generous giver,” and then I quote John 3:16.  But Romans 8:32 shows us this very same thing, and even expands it.  Notice how God is a Generous Father.

Romans 8:32

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 

One of the clear ways we can be assured and have massive hope that God is for us is this simple truth: God gave us Jesus.  He didn’t spare his son, but gave him up for us all!

God the Father gave God the Son. He chose to send Jesus.  It was God’s plan all along. This was promised from long before Jesus came. Isaiah 53:10 declares…

Isaiah 53:10

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

We need to Memorize this: “It was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief…

The perfect, sinless One was given for us. God gave him up for us all, to make his life an offering for sin!  We get his righteousness & Jesus takes our sin upon himself. What a trade!

We broke God’s perfect world, and so God broke Jesus’ perfect body on the cross.

So, first He gave.  But don’t miss it, secondly, He continues to give.

Paul says God will graciously give us all things. Paul here is saying here God’s giving doesn’t stop with him giving us Jesus. We can expect God to keep on giving what we need!

Do you need…

  • help in your marriage? Check.
  • Wisdom in Parenting? Check.
  • Provision for your needs? Check.
  • Endurance? Strength? He’s got you! God is for you!

John Stott says…

“The cross is the guarantee of the continuing, unfailing generosity of God.”

And here is the thing about generosity. Generosity is the Conduit with which love penetrates a heart.   Generosity is the copper in the wire. It’s the metal on which the current of love flows.

So, a real practical question I have for you is this:  If you have a Generous Heavenly Father who gave his Son so freely for you and He deposited His Spirit into your heart, shouldn’t you be generous?

Freely, you have received…Freely give.

You see, if you want to transform a relationship, you need to learn to be generous.  If you want to improve your marriage, be generous. Be generous with your time. Be generous with your talents. Be generous with your treasure. Be generous with your touch!

Generosity is what our Heavenly Father uses to reach our hearts.  We would be wise to lead with generosity!

Let’s look at this 2nd Proof of how God is for us.

4 Proofs of How God is For Us:

  1. God is a Generous Father
  2. God Has Declared Us Not Guilty
  3. Jesus is Praying for Us
  4. Jesus has Secured our Future

II. God has Declared Us Not Guilty

Romans 8:33

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

Here is the beauty of the good news we have been sharing since we began this study.  Though, no one is righteous…not one…God has dropped all charges against us.

Isn’t that good news?  There are No charges against us. No one can bring any charges against us. Nothing.

When we place our faith in Jesus Christ, because the Father gave the Son as a sin offering, we are declared “NOT GUILTY!”

Application: This means that voice in the past that reminds you of your failure or fault or shame or guilt. That’s not God. That’s the enemy.

It’s easy to play archaeologist and dig up stuff in our past, isn’t it?  That relationship. That regrettable decision. That compromise. That one night. That time you said something or sent that text, and you wish you could get it back. Remember who is writing this! This is the Apostle Paul, who used to be known as Saul, the persecutor of Christ, the church and Christians.

He experienced firsthand what it meant for God to drop all charges!

God’s word spoken over you through your faith in Jesus declares you to be not guilty! The case is closed. All charges dropped. He has justified us. God is for you.

Not only are there no charges against us, but there is no condemnation for us. This echoes 8:1. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. No sentence. Jesus took our sentence. Jesus said yes to being punished on our behalf.

My friends, the cross of Jesus Christ proves that God is for you!

Lets look at this third proof.

4 Proofs of How God is For Us:

  1. God is a Generous Father
  2. God Has Declared Us Not Guilty
  3. Jesus is Praying for Us
  4. Jesus has Secured our Future

III. Jesus is Praying for Us

Romans 8:34

Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Paul has already mentioned a few verses prior that the Spirit intercedes for us (8:27), and now he says not only is the Spirit at work praying for us, but so is Jesus!

I love the phrase here… — “More than that!”  This is the triumphant Jesus!  Don’t miss this – He is triumphant. Paul mentions he died, he was raised, and he is now at the right hand of God.  Listen to Paul in Ephesians 1:20-22…

Ephesians 1:20-22

…he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church…

Think about it…right now Jesus is at the right hand of God and He is our triumphant, victorious, ruling, and reigning Savior.

But he is not only triumphant, what does Paul say he is doing at the right hand of God? He is praying, interceding for us.

He isn’t at the right hand of God, reminding Him of your weaknesses, of your shame, of your sin or shortcomings. No, instead He is praying for you in whatever situation you find yourself in. Your marriage, your faith, your doubts, your struggles, your needs, your concerns. Your anxieties and worries. God is for you.

My friend…do you see it? If God is for you…

Let’s look at this fourth proof.

4 Proofs of How God is For Us:

  1. God is a Generous Father
  2. God Has Declared Us Not Guilty
  3. Jesus is Praying for Us
  4. Jesus has Secured our Future

IV. Jesus has Secured our Future

Look at this dramatic and beautiful way that Paul wraps up chapter 8.  He starts with no condemnation and ends with No Separation!

Look at verses 35-39 with me.

Romans 8:35-39

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

He goes through a list of potential separators from the love of Christ. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it is a great list.

Our adversaries are many. Look at this list…

  • Tribulation – pressure.
  • Distress – tight spot/unable to move/a room that’s closing in on you.
  • Persecution – affliction/treated unfairly.
  • Famine – Job loss, unexpected medical bills, stock market crash, a business partner stabbing you in the back. (JD Greear)
  • Danger or Sword – Terrorism, violence, loss of religious liberty that leads us to being penalized for living out our convictions. (JD Greear)

Yes, our adversaries are many. Paul talks about suffering all throughout this chapter indicating that life will be scary at times. Some of you know this right now as you’re walking through some tough things.

Take a moment with me and name what is weighing you down.  Take a moment and think through what your tribulation is…what your distress is…what the struggle in your life is.

I’ve got good news for you. Our God is stronger. Paul says nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

Paul is saying there is absolutely nothing that can come our way… that can come against us… that can overpower us because we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!

And to be, “more than conquerors,” means that we are “SUPER OVERCOMERS.”

Warren Wiersbe says that…

“…we are Superconquerors through Jesus Christ! He gives us victory and more victory! We need not fear life or death, things present or things to come, because Jesus Christ loves us and gives us the victory. This is not a promise with conditions attached…This security in Christ is an established fact, and we claim it for ourselves because we are in Christ. Nothing can separate you form His love!  Believe it—and rejoice in it!”

If we were to review Romans chapter 8 once more, we would see that we as followers of Jesus, as His disciples, have the way of the Spirit and this is the completely victorious way. It’s a way of life and peace. It’s a way where there is no condemnation. It’s a way where there is no accusation. Instead, we realize we are sons and daughters of the most high and that we have been adopted and now we are heirs with Jesus Christ.

We see that though we suffer, God uses suffering in our lives.  And more than that, God’s response to suffering is the Gospel…that in our suffering and shame, God sent to us His son.

Further, we know that God is at work through the trials and tribulations to work everything in our lives together for good. God is at work to conform us into the image of his son, Jesus and we can absolutely be persuaded and convinced that God is for us and nothing can separate us from his love.

I had a chance to get on the phone with one of our members this week.  Her husband’s health is declining and we began to talk about the end of his earthly life.  In my counsel and praying with her, I had the privilege of thanking God that nothing…not his suffering in the bed, or his weakness in his legs, or even his passing on from this earthly life when God so chooses to take him, can separate him from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

No matter what is before you…listen to me, the cross of Jesus Christ and all that follows that…his resurrection, his ascension, his intercession at the right hand of the father…all of that declares that…GOD IS FOR YOU!

 

[1] More Than Conquerors: The Greatest Chapter in the Bible, part 4, JD Greear

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