Romans 8:34-36 Commentary

 

 

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Romans 8:34-36 Commentary
Commentary Updated July 18, 2014

Romans 8:34  who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek tis o katakrinon? (FAPMSN) Christos [Iesous] o apothanon, (AAPMSN) mallon de egertheis, (APPMSN) os kai estin (3SPAI) en dexia| tou theou, os kai entugchanei (3SPAI) huper hemon.
Amplified: Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us? (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us. (
NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us!  (
Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus, the One who died, yes, rather, who has been raised, who is on the right hand of God, who also is constantly interceding on our behalf?  (
Eerdmans
Young's Literal: who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

REFERENCES
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Romans 8:1-4 The Best Chapter in the Bible (1): No Condemnation
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Romans 8:24-28 With Perseverance, Wait Eagerly For Your Hope In Christ 
Romans 8:29-30 For Those God Foreknew He Also Predestined 
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Romans 8:1-17 Living By The Spirit
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Romans 8:34 Romans 8:34-38 Romans 8:35 Romans 8:35

ROMANS ROAD
to RIGHTEOUSNESS
Romans
1
:18-3:20
Romans
3:21-5:21
Romans
6:1-8:39
Romans
9:1-11:36
Romans
12:1-16:27
SIN SALVATION SANCTIFICATION SOVEREIGNTY SERVICE
NEED
FOR
SALVATION
WAY
OF
SALVATION
LIFE
OF
SALVATION
SCOPE
OF
SALVATION
SERVICE
OF
SALVATION
God's Holiness
In
Condemning
Sin
God's Grace
In
Justifying
Sinners
God's Power
In
Sanctifying
Believers
God's Sovereignty
In
Saving
Jew and Gentile
Gods Glory
The
Object of
Service
Deadliness
of Sin
Design
of Grace
Demonstration of Salvation
Power Given Promises Fulfilled Paths Pursued
Righteousness
Needed
Righteousness
Credited
Righteousness
Demonstrated
Righteousness
Restored to Israel
Righteousness
Applied
God's Righteousness
IN LAW
God's Righteousness
IMPUTED
God's Righteousness
OBEYED
God's Righteousness
IN ELECTION
God's Righteousness
DISPLAYED
Slaves to Sin Slaves to God Slaves Serving God
Doctrine Duty
Life by Faith Service by Faith

Modified from Irving L. Jensen's excellent work Jensen's Survey of the NT

WHO IS THE ONE WHO CONDEMNS? CHRIST JESUS IS HE WHO DIED, YES, RATHER WHO WAS RAISED: tis o katakrinon (FAPMSN) Christos (Iesous) o apothanon (AAPMSN) mallon de egertheis (APPMSN): (Romans 8:1; 14:13; Job 34:29; Psalms 37:33; 109:31; Jer 50:20) (Ro 4:25; 5:6-10; 14:9; Job 33:24; Mt 20:28; John 14:19; Galatians 3:13,14; Hebrews 1:3; 9:10, 11, 12, 13, 14; 10:10, 11, 12, 13, 14,19, 20, 21, 22; 12:2; 1Peter 3:18; Revelation 1:18)

Who is he that condemns? - The only One Who can condemn is the Judge and the Judge, Who is not going to do this for as Paul has already declared...

There is therefore now no (Greek = absolutely no) condemnation (katakrima [from katakrino - see below] is the result of judgment and relates to the sentencing for a crime, the focus being not so much on the verdict as on the penalty the verdict demands) for those who are in Christ Jesus. (See note Romans 8:1)

Condemns (2632) (katakrino from kata = down, against + krino = to assess, then to separate or distinguish, then to give an opinion upon, judge, then to decide or determine and finally to judge (to judge one down [kata = down]), pronounce judgment or to condemn) means to give judgment against, pass sentence upon, pass judgment against and hence to condemn, this latter action implying there has been a crime. It means to pronounce sentence against or to adjudge guilty and always denotes an adverse sentence (to sentence to punishment).

Condemn = Old French condemner, from Latin condemnāre from con- (expressing intensive force) + damnare = to condemn, to inflict loss upon from damnum = loss, damage.

Katakrino in secular Greek was  a legal technical term for pronouncing a sentence after reaching a verdict or decision against someone. To declare an evildoer guilty.

In our modern parlance, the word condemn is often used with a "lighter" meaning such as to censure, to express strong disapproval, to denounce, etc. Most Biblical uses of katakrino are not "light" as evidenced by repeated use of this verb to describe Jesus being condemned to death. Similarly all who disbelieve will be condemned, which is not simply censured, etc, but sentenced to eternal separation from God (but see note on Romans 14:23 which describes condemnation by one's own conscience, not eternal condemnation or condemnation to death).

The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia writes that katakrino...

is to be distinguished from the previously mentioned words (krino) in that it refers either to the sentence or to the punishment following the sentence rather than to the simple act of deciding in judgment. Only the context can determine the precise nature of the sentence. (Pfeiffer, C, H. F. Vos & J. Rea, Ed The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia. 1975. Moody Press)

Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary writes that...

Condemn and condemnation are judicial terms, the opposite of Justify and Justification (Mt 12:37; Ro 5:16, 18). God alone is the Judge of people; in His demand for righteousness, sin leads invariably to condemnation and death. (Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary)

The Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - From the standpoint of semantics, condemnation is part of legal terminology. When it is discovered that a crime has been committed, that the law has been broken, the process of investigation may lead to formal charges being levied against a defendant. The process of litigation leads to the outcome, a verdict of acquittal or guilt. The verdict indicates that the defendant is either free from or accountable to the law’s penalty for that crime. Thus the result is either vindication or condemnation. Condemnation can refer either to the legal status of liability to punishment or to the actual infliction of that punishment. At times the word is also used in a broader context to refer to negative evaluations of a person by peers or by one’s own conscience. This legal process is to some extent the background for biblical language about judgment and condemnation. (Click here for full article that goes into much greater detail) (Elwell, W. A., & Elwell, W. A. The Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology . Baker Book House)

Here are the 24 uses of katakrino in the NT (only 2 uses in Lxx = Est 2:1, Da 4:1)...

Matthew 12:41 "The men of Nineveh shall stand up with this generation at the judgment, and shall condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42 "The Queen of the South shall rise up with this generation at the judgment and shall condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Comment: In the passages above (and Lu 11:31,32, Hebrews 11:7 - see below) the idea is that by one's good example another's wickedness is rendered all the more evident and censurable. In other words the good conduct of the men of Nineveh, Queen of the South and Noah, when compared to the conduct of others would show that the latter to be guilty of misconduct and to therefore deserve condemnation.

Matthew 20:18 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death,

Matthew 27:3 Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

Mark 10:33 saying, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and will deliver Him to the Gentiles.

Mark 14:64 "You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?" And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.

Mark 16:16 "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

Luke 11:31 "The Queen of the South shall rise up with the men of this generation at the judgment and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. 32 "The men of Nineveh shall stand up with this generation at the judgment and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

John 8:10 And straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?" 11 And she said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on sin no more."

Romans 2:1 (note) Therefore you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

Romans 8:3 (note) For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

Romans 8:34 (note) who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

Romans 14:23 (note) But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.

Comment: As far as the weak brother is concerned, it is wrong for him to eat anything about which he has conscientious scruples. His eating is not an act of faith; that is, he has a bad conscience about it. And it is a sin to violate one’s conscience.

1 Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord in order that we may not be condemned along with the world.

Hebrews 11:7 (note) By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

2 Peter 2:6 (note) and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter

Spurgeon comments...

What, die for them, and then condemn them? Nobody can condemn them but the Judge; and if he is unable to condemn them, in consequence of what he has already done for them, then none can. But this is not all. Will he blow hot and mild, and first intercede for them, and then condemn them? It cannot be.

The only one who has the right to condemn is the Judge of all men, Jesus Christ (see note 2 Timothy 4:1) -- and Jesus died for us and condemned sin in the flesh (see note Romans 8:3). And more than that, He was raised to life for us, He is now at the right hand of God in power for us, and He is also interceding for us (see note Hebrews 7:25). And we are now identified and in union with Him (see notes Romans 6:2; 6:3;6:4; 6:5; 6:6;, see also In Christ) so it is unreasonable to think that He is then going to condemn us. And so Paul alludes to the power that we possess to lay hold afresh of the life of Jesus. Not only is our guilt set aside, but we have His power imparted to us -- His life in us, His risen life made available to us now. So we can rise up and say "No!" to the temptations that surround us and the habits that drag us down. We can be a victor over them. That is not mere dogma, for believers are in union with a living Person who dies, yes, rather who was raised. That is the glory of Christianity. The unique distinction of Christians is that we have Jesus.

Died (
599) (apothnesko from apo = separation from that which one was previously united, from, away from + thnesko = to die) means to die off from and pictures death as not an annihilation but a separation, the separation being of the soul from the body. In spiritual death, apothnesko pictures separation (eg, from the power of sin in Romans 6:2 [note], from the Law Romans 7:6 [note], the elementary principles of the world Colossians 2:20 [note], etc).

Bengel - Our faith should rest on Christ’s death, but it should rather also so far progress as to lean on His resurrection, dominion, and second coming

Farrar - From the representations of the dead Christ the early believers shrank as from an impiety. To them He was the living, not the dead Christ — the triumphant, the glorified, the infinite, — not the agonized Christ in that one brief hour and power of darkness which was but the spasm of an eternal glorification

Raised (1453) (egeiro) means to waken, rouse from sleep, from sitting or lying, from disease, from death, from inactivity, from ruins. It means to lift up, raise up, arise again, stand up. Metaphorically, egeiro is used in the NT to describe to awaken from sluggishness or lethargy (see note Romans 13:11). It also refers as in the present use to be awakened up from death and so to be raised from the dead.

The resurrection was confirmation of the Father’s acceptance of the Son’s substitutionary death (cf. 1Cor 15). It is worth noting that all three persons of the Trinity were active in Christ’s resurrection: the Father—Acts 2:24; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30, 33, 34, 37; 17:31; the Spirit—Romans 8:11 (note) and the Son—John 2:19-22; 10:17-18.

Resurrection of Christ Jesus is the grand proof of His Divine Sonship and thus Paul writes that Jesus

was established (openly designated, marked out, declared) with (literally "in") power (in a striking, triumphant and miraculous manner) as the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness. (see note Romans 1:4)

The Resurrection was the guarantee of God’s power to carry out the rescue of those who are His and to judge those who are not, for as Luke recorded in Acts...

He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man Whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead. (Acts 17:31) (Note: The Scriptures generally attribute the resurrection of Jesus to the activity of the Father - Acts 2:24; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30,31; 10:40,41)

Another challenge rings out! Is there anyone here to condemn? No one, because Christ has died for the defendant, has been raised from the dead, is now at the right hand of God interceding for him. If the Lord Jesus, to whom all judgment has been committed, does not pass sentence on the defendant but rather prays for him, then there is no one else who could have a valid reason for condemning him.

WHO IS (continually) AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD WHO ALSO (continually) INTERCEDES FOR US: os kai estin (3SPAI) en dexia tou theou os kai entugchanei (3SPAI) huper hemon: (Mark 16:19; Acts 7:56, 57, 58, 59, 60; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 8:1,2; 12:1; 1Peter 3:22) (Romans 8:27; Isaiah 53:12; John 16:23,26,27; 17:20, 21, 22, 23, 24; Hebrews 4:14,15; 7:25; 9:24; 1John 2:1,2)

He it is to Whom all judgment is committed (Jn 5:22, 27, 2Ti 4:1-note).

The mention of His position at God's right hand of authority serves to stress the efficacy of His intercession and our security.

Denny explains that "This is Paul's final security-- the last ground of his triumphant assurance: Jesus Christ, at God's right hand, with the virtue of His atoning death in Him, pleads His people's cause. Cf Heb 9:24, 7:25, 1John 2:1ff) (Romans 8 - The Expositor's Greek Testament)

Intercedes (1793) (entugchano from en = in + tugcháno = to reach a mark, to get, to obtain) according to Vine means "primarily  “to fall in with, meet with in order to converse”; then, “to make petition,” especially “to make intercession, plead with a person,” either for or against others".

Entugchano was sometimes used of bringing a petition before a king on behalf of another.

Vincent writes that the verb entugchano "means to light upon or fall in with; to go to meet for consultation, conversation, or supplication.

The idea of entugchano is first to meet up with or to encounter, then to meet with for the purposes of conversation or an interview, and then to approach someone with a petition. Entugchano thus means to make an earnest request through contact with the one approached. To entreat (in favor or against), to make intercession, to bring a petition to a king on behalf of someone, to ask for something with urgency and intensity, to plead, beg, appeal to or to petition.

Our Great High Priest speaks to His Father on our behalf and He is engaged in this gracious work continually (present tense) He is continuously interceding on behalf of His brethren.

Wiersbe writes that...

It has well been said that Christ’s life in heaven is His prayer for us. It is what He is that determines what He does. In reviewing the reasoning found in this long section (Heb 7:11-25), we are impressed with the logic of the writer. Jesus Christ’s priesthood after the order of Melchizedek is superior to that of Aaron and has replaced it. Both the historical argument and the doctrinal argument are sound. But the writer adds a third argument. (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

In classic Greek entugchano was used to refer to bringing a petition before a king on behalf of another person, a perfect picture of what our great High Priest daily does for us. No act in the ritual of the Day of Atonement prefigured this. The Aaronic high priest offered no prayer of intercession while in the holy of holies.

Jamieson writes that...

There was but the one offering on earth once for all. But the intercession for us in the heavens (He 7:26-note) is ever continuing, whence the result follows, that we can never be separated from the love of God in Christ. He intercedes only for those who come unto God through Him, not for the unbelieving world (Jn 17:9). As samples of His intercession, compare the prophetical descriptions in the Old Testament.

“By an humble omnipotency (for it was by His humiliation that He obtained all power), or omnipotent humility, appearing in the presence, and presenting His postulations at the throne of God” [Bishop Pearson].

He was not only the offering, but the priest who offered it. Therefore, He has become not only a sacrifice, but an intercessor; His intercession being founded on His voluntary offering of Himself without spot to God. We are not only then in virtue of His sacrifice forgiven, but in virtue of the intercession admitted to favor and grace [Archbishop Magee]. (Hebrews 7)

Wuest writes that Messiah's current intercession...

includes every form of Messiah’s identifying Himself with humanity, and includes the idea of intercession. The writer speaks here of the present intercession of Messiah on behalf of believers, which is based upon and follows His once-for-all offering of Himself as the sacrifice for sin. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)

Vincent feels that in Hebrews 7:25 that the idea of entugchano...

is not intercession, but intervention. It includes every form of Christ’s identifying Himself with human interests. The attempt has been made to trace this idea to Philo, who alludes to the suppliant Logos, and the the advocate-Logos. But the Logos is not treated by Philo as a divine-human personality intervening for men, but as a poetical personification allegorically considered (Ed note: Just another fact that should cause the judicious reader to be wary when reading men like Philo and instead to stick very close to the pure milk of the Word!). (Comment: Moffatt wrote that "His intercession has red blood in it, unlike Philo’s conception”)

Dr John Walvoord notes that the verb entugchano is used twice to refer to Christ's intercession and adds that there are...

two other instances where a noun form enteuxis is used, (1Ti 2:1, 1Ti 4:5), in which instances the word is translated intercession and prayer respectively, being used for the prayers of men to God. It is significant that the same word, which is used of Christ’s intercession in its verb form (entugchano), is used of the prayer of men in its noun form. This would imply a close resemblance and would justify the conclusion that the intercession of Christ in some sense is similar to that of human prayer and, therefore, more than mere presence in heaven.

This conclusion is confirmed by the reference in the Scriptures to the intercession of the Holy Spirit in Romans 8:26; 8:27 (note). The intercession of the Spirit is prompted by the fact that believers do not know how to pray as they should and the Holy Spirit therefore presents their petitions. If it may be concluded from this that the Holy Spirit is engaged in real intercession, it would imply that the intercession of Christ is equally real...

Accordingly, it may be concluded that while intercession may not necessarily take the form of words and may not carry out all the forms of human expression used on earth, the fact that similar words for intercession are used both for the intercession of Christ and the prayers of men implies that the reality of intercession is more than the presence of Christ in heaven.

Intercession, therefore, may be considered an act not merely an inevitability due to the nature of His person and circumstances, but an active presentation in some form of the needs of believers on earth. While the nature of communication between two glorified omniscient beings, such as the Father and the Son, is beyond human powers to understand, the fact that this is inscrutable and beyond our comprehension is not necessarily an argument against its reality.

The conclusion therefore is that the intercession of Christ is (1) real; (2) more than mere presence of the life of the glorified Man; (3) may be vocal, but not necessarily; (4) involves active communication between the Son and the Father.

The results of the intercession of Christ. For those prepared to enter into its wonderful truth, the fact that Christ intercedes for His own in heaven is another guarantee of the security of the believer. While the hope of the believer for eternal salvation rests essentially on his possession of eternal life and the finished character of the death of Christ, it is undoubtedly strengthened by the fact of the intercession of Christ. In His intercession in heaven Christ sustains the believer and keeps him from many of the spiritual dangers of life. Such intercession pleads the fact that the believer is in Christ and a partaker of His righteousness. The work of Christ in intercession also pledges the ultimate sanctification of the believer and all that is necessary to effect this end. The doctrine of intercession taken as a whole makes clear that salvation is progressive. While the ultimate purpose of God is sure from the beginning in all of its time factors, salvation is a work of God for man through Christ which once begun is carried on triumphantly to its conclusion in eternity.

The intercession of Christ is also most significant as providing the secret for keeping the believer from the sin of the world. The nature of Christ’s intercession is indicated in His prayer in John 17:11, 15 in which He prays that believers might be kept from evil. Undoubtedly many a spiritual triumph and many a godly life are explainable not by human factors, but by the faithfulness of the Son of God as He intercedes for His own.

The intercession of Christ is also vitally related to the matter of the believer’s fellowship with God. By preventing sin, a basis for continued fellowship is provided. When a believer does sin, Christ in His advocacy provides a way for restoration. On the divine side, adjustment is always made immediately when the believers sin. God is never out of adjustment in His part of His relationship to the believer. On the experiential side, however, that is, the human side, fellowship is conditioned on the believer’s response to the pleadings of God, his confession of his sin, and his resulting restoration through the sanctifying blood of Christ. Accordingly, the continued fellowship of the believer according to 1John 1:5 - 1John 2:2 is based on the blood of Christ and conditioned on confession of known sin.

The doctrine of intercession emphasizes the great truth that Christ never ceases to intercede for His own. While human prayers on earth are limited in both extent and power, the intercession of Christ knows no limits within the will of God. As an infinite person Christ is able to concentrate His intercession wholly on each individual believer without any diminution or detraction from the needs of any other. In effect, the believer is assured of the intercession of Christ in such a manner as would be true if Christ centered all His love and all His intercession on that one believer. Whatever may be the limitation of human prayers, the believer is assured that there is One who never ceases to pray to him and his needs and that this Intercessor has all power and favor with the Father and, accordingly, “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (see note Ephesians 3:20). (Bibliotheca Sacra: Volume 122, page 105)

There are 5 uses of entugchano in the NT...

Acts 25:24 And Festus said, "King Agrippa, and all you gentlemen here present with us, you behold this man about whom all the people of the Jews appealed to me, both at Jerusalem and here, loudly declaring that he ought not to live any longer.

Romans 8:27 (note) and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Romans 8:34 (note) who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

Romans 11:2 (note) God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads (entreat or appeal earnestly) with God against Israel?

Hebrews 7:25 (note) Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

"He is able;
He is willing: doubt no more.
Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome,
God's free bounty glorify:
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings us nigh—
Without money,
Come to Jesus Christ, and buy."

Intercedes for us - Again we note that the preposition for (5228) (huper) Greek preposition  which in the context expresses the idea of substitution (Click here for study of this use of huper in the NT). Instead of for one can render it as Christ intercedes --in place of, for the benefit of, on behalf of-- us. This act of love can never be fully appreciated until we understand exactly who the objects of that love were -- unlovable, unlovely, ungodly, helpless to help themselves, sinners constantly rebelling against God's will for their lives, God's mortal enemies! It is for such as those that constantly Risen Lord constantly makes intercession.

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OUR FULLTIME INTERCESSOR - It was dawn, and I was painfully aware of being only a few weeks into widowhood. After another restless night, I felt too weary to pray for myself. "Lord," I sighed, "I need someone to pray for me right now."

Almost instantly God's Spirit comforted my distraught mind with the words of today's text, reminding me that Jesus was praying for me that very moment. With a wave of relief, I acknowledged Him as my lifelong intercessor. I will never forget how that bleak morning became gold-tinged with hope. Since then, I have drawn courage and strength countless times from my faithful High Priest.

Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843), pioneer missionary to America, testified, "If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me!"

We too can draw courage and strength from Jesus. He is our priestly representative before God the Father.

Are difficult circumstances creating fear in your heart? By all means, ask others to pray for you. But don't forget to count on the prayers of Jesus Himself. By faith, hear Him praying around the clock for you, as if He were in the next room. - Joanie E. Yoder (
Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

I have an Advocate above,
And though I cannot see
His face, I know His heart is love
And that He pleads for me.-- Tydeman

“If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me!”

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Christ's Unfinished Work - We often hear of the salvation Christ provided at Calvary when He died for our sins. But little is said of His continuing ministry of prayer for our spiritual growth. Just as Jesus prayed for Peter in a time of severe temptation (Luke 22:31-32), so also He intercedes before the Father's throne on our behalf. This vital work of the Savior will go on as long as we are in need of His help, comfort, and blessing.

Robert Murray McCheyne, the beloved Scottish minister of the 19th century, wrote, "If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet the distance makes no difference. He is praying for me!"

During a deep personal crisis, I realized the truth of Hebrews 7 in a new and wonderful way. Satan seemed to be attacking me on every side. So I asked the Lord to plead for me. The next day the problem was solved, and I knew it was the Lord's special intervention. Never before had I been so conscious of the Savior's high-priestly ministry (see note
Hebrews 8:1).

If you are having great difficulty, tell Jesus about it. He will present your needs to the Father. Through His intercessory work, you'll experience the remarkable results that only His prayers can accomplish.—Henry G. Bosch (
Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

In the hour of trial, Jesus, plead for me,
Lest, by base denial, I depart from Thee;
When Thou seest me waver, with a look recall;
Nor for fear or favor suffer me to fall. —Montgomery

Satan is powerless against the power of Christ's prayer

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Christ had fully justified us and is presently interceding for us, then no one can possibly condemn us.

And Can It Be That I Should Gain?
by Charles Wesley

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Just Judge + Guilty Sinner = No Condemnation

How does such an equation work? That is what Christianity is meant to answer. 

Just Judge + Guilty Sinner + Death of Christ = No Condemnation.

The condemnation that belonged to us because of our sin was put on Jesus, and the righteousness that belonged to Jesus because of his perfect obedience was put on us.

Hallelujah! What a Savior
by Philip P. Bliss

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned he stood,
Sealed my pardon with his blood:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Paul cited four reasons no one can condemn us. First, He died for us and thereby removed our guilt. Second, He arose from the dead and is therefore able to give life to those who trust Him (cf. John 1:25; 14:19). Third, He has ascended to the position of supreme authority in heaven where He represents us (Ro 8:29-note). Fourth, He presently intercedes to the Father for our welfare (He 4:4ff-notes; He 7:25-note; cf. Ro 8:26-note).

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Why, Paul, Satan will bring thundering accusations against you. Are you not afraid?

"No," says he, "I can stop his mouth with this cry: 'It is Christ that died!' That will make him tremble, for he crushed the ser­pent's head in that victorious hour. And I can shut his mouth again: 'yea, rather, that is risen again,' for he took him captive on that day. And I will add, 'who sitteth at the right hand of God.' I can foil him with that, for he sits there to judge him and to con­demn him forever. Once more I will appeal to his advocacy: 'Who maketh intercession for us.' I can stop his accusation with the per­petual care of Jesus for his people."

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Romans 8:34 "It is Christ that died." - If any confront you with other confidences, still keep to this almighty plea: "Christ has died." If one says, "I was chris­tened and confirmed," answer him by saying, "Christ has died." Should another say, "I was bap­tized as an adult," let your confi­dence remain the same: "Christ has died." When another says, "I am a sound, orthodox Presbyte­rian," stick to this solid ground: "Christ has died." And if still another says, "I am a red-hot Methodist," answer him in the same way: "Christ has died." Whatever may be the confidences of others, and whatever may be your own, put them all away, and keep to this one declaration: "It is Christ that died." C H Spurgeon

 

Romans 8:35  Who will separate us from the love of Christ ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: tis hemas chorisei (3SFAI) apo tes agapes tou Christou? thlipsis e stenochoria e diogmos e limos e gumnotes e kindunos e machaira?
Amplified: Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword? (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?
Phillips: Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, pain or persecution? Can lack of clothes and food, danger to life and limb, the threat of force of arms?  (
Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword?  (
Eerdmans
Young's Literal:  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

WHO SHALL SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST: tis hemas chorisei (3SFAI) apo tes agapes tou Christou: (Romans 8:39; Psalms 103:17; Jeremiah 31:3; John 10:28; 13:1; 2Thessalonians 2:13,14,16; Revelation 1:5)

Denny reminds us that Paul could speak from experience (see his list of troubles - 2Cor 6:4-10, 11:26ff, 12:10) for...

They were those which had befallen Paul himself, and he knew that the love of God in Jesus Christ could reach and sustain the heart through them all. (Ibid)

Separate (5563) (chorizo [word study] from choris = separately, apart from, from) in the active sense means to cause to separate or divide, to put apart putting a space between. The emphasis of chorizo (especially in its literal uses) is on distance. In the passive sense, chorizo means to separate oneself (put some space between), to be separated.

Chorizo - 13x in 12v - Matt 19:6; Mark 10:9; Acts 1:4; 18:1f; Rom 8:35, 39; 1 Cor 7:10f, 15; Philemon 1:15; Heb 7:26. NAS -  leave(5), leaves(1), left(1), separate(4), separated(2)

Chorizo means to be at some distance from something (Paul left Athens or separated himself from Athens, Acts 18:1, cf similar use in Acts 1:4, 18:2) or someone (Philemon 1:15, cf Lxx uses Ezra 6:21, 9:1, Neh 9:2, 13:3). Jesus used chorizo in the Gospels to refer to the union of a man and woman which was not be to separated.

Spurgeon comments that...

“Quis separabit?” That shall be our motto in every time of trial: “who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”

Now faith flings its final challenge: is there anyone here who can banish the justified from the love of Christ? A search is made for every adverse circumstance that has been effective in causing separations in other areas of human life. But none can be found. Remember that in Romans 6:2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (see notes Ro 6:2; 6:3; 6:4; 6:5; 6:6) we have been baptized into Christ, irrevocably died with Him on the Cross, and raised to walk in newness of life. How can you undo a once for all death? You cannot. Nor can any type or quality of affliction or suffering. The worse that it can do is really the best -- because absent from this decaying corrupting body, we are transported instantly into the presence of our Lord.

Who or what is going to separate us? Is there any force, anywhere, that can come between you and Jesus? Here the apostle is facing the question that many people ask. Is there any way to lose your salvation? Who can remove us from Christ, once we fully come to him? Paul's answer is, "Let's take a look at the possibilities."

Vine writes...

To be separated from the love of Christ is death. Death involves separation. The body apart from the spirit is dead. The believer, separated from the love of Christ would be spiritually dead. But this is impossible, according to His own statement in (John 10:28, 29). There is stress on the word “us.” This makes one think of (Php 1:20, 21-see notes Php 1:20; 21)

Earlier in the Epistle the apostle mentions the love of God (Ro 5:5, 8-see note Ro 5:5, 5:8), as he does here again in verse 39, a proof that the love of God is the love of Christ and an intimation of the essential oneness of the Father and the Son and so of the deity of Christ. So believers are said to be beloved of God (1Thes 1:4-note) and beloved of the Lord (2Thessalonians 2:13, 2Corinthians 5:14; Ep 3:19-note)

SHALL TRIBULATION OR DISTRESS
: thlipsis e stenochoria : (Ro 8:17; 5:3, 4, 5; Matthew 5:10, 11, 12; 10:28, 29, 30, 31; Luke 21:12-18; John 16:33; Acts 14:22; Acts 20:23,24; 2Corinthians 4:17; 6:4-10; 11:23, 24, 25, 26, 27; 2Timothy 1:12; 4:16, 17, 18; Hebrews 12:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11; Jas 1:2, 3, 4, 12; 1Peter 1:5, 6. 7; 4:12, 13, 14; Revelation 7:14, 15, 16, 17)

Tribulation (2347) (thlipsis [word study] from thlibo = to crush, press together, squash, hem in, compress, squeeze in turn derived from thláo = to break) originally expressed sheer, physical pressure on a man. It refers to troubles pressing upon someone from without, such as persecution, affliction, or tribulation. Thlipsis  is a strong term which does not refer to minor inconveniences, but to real hardships.

Thlipsis - 45x in 43v - Matt 13:21; 24:9, 21, 29; Mark 4:17; 13:19, 24; John 16:21, 33; Acts 7:10f; 11:19; 14:22; 20:23; Rom 2:9; 5:3; 8:35; 12:12; 1 Cor 7:28; 2 Cor 1:4, 8; 2:4; 4:17; 6:4; 7:4; 8:2, 13; Eph 3:13; Phil 1:17; 4:14; Col 1:24; 1 Thess 1:6; 3:3, 7; 2 Thess 1:4, 6; Heb 10:33; Jas 1:27; Rev 1:9; 2:9f, 22; 7:14. NAS =  affliction(14), afflictions(6), anguish(1), distress(2), persecution(1), tribulation(16), tribulations(4), trouble(1).

Medically thlipsis was used of the pulse (pressure). It is a pressing together as of grapes. It conveys the idea of being squeezed or placed under pressure or crushed beneath a weight. When, according to the ancient law of England, those who willfully refused to plead guilty, had heavy weights placed on their breasts, and were pressed and crushed to death, this was literally thlipsis. The iron cage was stenochoria (see below). Thlipsis thus refers not to mild discomfort but to great difficulty.

Morris rightly notes that...

No one likes troubles of this kind, but they may be seen as difficulties to be overcome, as ways of opening up new possibilities. One who sees them in this light glories in them (Ibid)

Distress (4730) (stenochoria [word study] from stenos = narrow + chôra = place) is literally a narrow space and figuratively describes the "tight places" believers have to go through. Stenochoria has in view the distress which arises from within (usually caused by thlipsis), such as anguish or discomfort. The picture is of a person finding themselves in a tight corner without the possibility of escape, this severe confinement or constriction causing anguish or severe distress.

Stenochoria - 4x in 4v - Rom 2:9; 8:35; 2 Cor 6:4; 12:10

Stenochoria might be used of an army caught in a narrow, rocky defile with space neither to maneuver nor to escape. It might be used of a ship caught in a storm with no room either to ride it or to run before it. There are moments when a man seems to be in a situation in which the walls of life are closing round him -- that is the picture inherent in stenochoria. The opposite state, of being in a large place, was metaphorically used to describe a state of joy as in Ps 118:5 where the psalmist writes "From my distress I called upon the LORD. The LORD answered me and set me in a large place."

OR PERSECUTION OR FAMINE OR NAKEDNESS OR PERIL OR SWORD: e diogmos  e limos e gumnotes e kindunos e machaira:

Persecution (1375) (diogmos from dioko = to pursue) means to put to flight or to pursue with repeated acts of enmity.

Diogmos - 10x in 9v - Matt 13:21; Mark 4:17; 10:30; Acts 8:1; 13:50; Rom 8:35; 2 Cor 12:10; 2 Thess 1:4; 2 Tim 3:11

The Gospels teach that

persecution (diogmos) arises because of the word (Mk 4:17, cf Mk 10:30).

Paul is reminding us that persecutions (note plural) are not electives (2Cor 1:6), but are part of the required curriculum in Christ's school of discipleship, for He Himself warned His disciples that

If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you" (Jn 15:19-20,15:20) "and you will be hated by all on account of My name." (Lu 21:17) and in this school even "A MAN'S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD." (Mt 10:36).

Paul met his old friend persecutions everywhere as described in (Acts 20:23) where

the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me.

Famine (3042)(limos from leipo = destitute) refers to one of food.

Limos - 12x in 12v - Matt 24:7; Mark 13:8; Luke 4:25; 15:14, 17; 21:11; Acts 7:11; 11:28; Rom 8:35; 2 Cor 11:27; Rev 6:8; 18:8. NAS =  famine(7), famines(3), hunger(2).

Nakedness (1132) (gumnótes from gumnós = naked) means to be destitute of convenient or decent clothing suggests indecency on parade. Then it meant a lack of clothes simply because one had no ways or means of getting any.

Gumnotes - 3x in 3v - Rom 8:35; 2Cor 11:27; Rev 3:18

Peril (2794) (kindunos from kinéo = to move) means danger or peril

Kindunos - 9x in 2v - Ro 8:35; 2 Cor 11:26

A
sword (3162) if applied literally would speak of execution. It is the only item on the list that Paul had not yet personally experienced in the course of living for Jesus and preaching the gospel (1Cor 4:11,15:30), but tradition says that eventually he did experience execution by beheading.

These complete a sevenfold series of adversaries, all of which were experienced by the apostle, and which in one respect or another have been the common lot of believers. They are in various ways the instruments of devilish and human hatred, but cannot interrupt the love of Christ toward us.

Will any of the things listed separate us from the love of Christ? "No," Paul says, "In these we are super conquerors." Why? Because rather than dividing us from Christ, they draw us closer to him. They make us cling harder. They scare us and make us run to him. When we are independent and think we can make it on our own, these things strike, and we start whimpering and running for home, and we cling all the closer. We can never be defeated then, so we are more than conquerors.

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Bowwow - I'll never forget Bowwow—a rag dog that Randy, one of my sons, adopted when he was young. Bowwow was Randy's most precious possession. He had other toys that had cost much more, but none was more greatly loved. Bowwow was Linus' blanket and the Velveteen Rabbit all rolled up into one.

Bowwow was hugged and dragged everywhere, and in time he became incredibly dirty. Cleaning was a major problem because we couldn't get Bowwow away from the boy. Washing just made things worse: All Bowwow's stuffing came out. In the end he was just a bundle of tacky, dirty rags. But, my, how he was loved!

We are God's "rag dogs." Although we have been damaged and dirtied by sin, to Him we are precious beyond measure. When we put our faith in Christ as our Savior, He looks at you and me and says, "You're Mine!" We are loved, and He will never let us go (Romans 8:35-39).

That perspective can give us incredible peace and confidence in life. We don't have to run in the fast lane, always seeking the approval of those around us. And we don't have to prove anything to God, because we don't have anything left to prove. We are embraced by His tireless, relentless, infinite, and everlasting love. —David H. Roper (
Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

I love to dwell upon the thought
That Jesus cares for me;
It matters not what life may bring—
He loves me tenderly. —Adams

There is no greater joy than to know that God loves us.

 

Romans 8:36  Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: kathos gegraptai (3SRPI) hoti "heneken sou thanatoumetha (1PPPI) holen ten hemeran, elogisthemen (1PAPI) os probata sphages" (This is a word for word quote from the Septuagint of Psalm 44:22)
Amplified: Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter. [Ps. 44:22.]
 (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: (Even the Scriptures say, "For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.") (
NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Indeed some of us know the truth of the ancient text: 'For your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter'.  (
Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Even as it stands written, For your sake we are being put to death all the day long. We were accounted as sheep destined for slaughter.  (
Eerdmans
Young's Literal: Just as it is written, "FOR THY SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED."

JUST AS IT IS WRITTEN (was written in the past and stands written): kathos gegraptai (3SRPI):

Just as - This introduction implies that such experiences as Paul has just listed in Romans 8:35 are representative of what Scripture holds out as the "fortune" of God's people. This truth is 180 degrees opposite the health and wealth gospel so many are falling prey to in our day in America!

Written (1125)(grapho [word study] from root graph- = primarily means to scratch on or engrave as on an ornament, reports, letters, etc; English = graph, graphic, etc) means to engrave or inscribe with a pen or stylus characters or letters on a surface which can be wood, wax, metal, leather, stone, parchment, dirt (John ), paper, etc.

Grapho - 191x in 180v - Matt 2:5; 4:4, 6f, 10; 11:10; 21:13; 26:24, 31; 27:37; Mark 1:2; 7:6; 9:12f; 10:4f; 11:17; 12:19; 14:21, 27; Luke 1:3, 63; 2:23; 3:4; 4:4, 8, 10, 17; 7:27; 10:26; 16:6f; 18:31; 19:46; 20:17, 28; 21:22; 22:37; 24:44, 46; John 1:45; 2:17; 5:46; 6:31, 45; 8:8, 17; 10:34; 12:14, 16; 15:25; 19:19ff; 20:30f; 21:24f; Acts 1:20; 7:42; 13:29, 33; 15:15, 23; 18:27; 23:5, 25; 24:14; 25:26; Rom 1:17; 2:24; 3:4, 10; 4:17, 23; 8:36; 9:13, 33; 10:5, 15; 11:8, 26; 12:19; 14:11; 15:3f, 9, 15, 21; 16:22; 1 Cor 1:19, 31; 2:9; 3:19; 4:6, 14; 5:9, 11; 7:1; 9:9f, 15; 10:7, 11; 14:21, 37; 15:45, 54; 2 Cor 1:13; 2:3f, 9; 4:13; 7:12; 8:15; 9:1, 9; 13:10; Gal 1:20; 3:10, 13; 4:22, 27; 6:11; Phil 3:1; 1 Thess 4:9; 5:1; 2 Thess 3:17; 1 Tim 3:14; Phlm 1:19, 21; Heb 10:7; 1 Pet 1:16; 5:12; 2 Pet 3:1, 15; 1 John 1:4; 2:1, 7f, 12ff, 21, 26; 5:13; 2 John 1:5, 12; 3 John 1:9, 13; Jude 1:3; Rev 1:3, 11, 19; 2:1, 8, 12, 17f; 3:1, 7, 12, 14; 5:1; 10:4; 13:8; 14:1, 13; 17:5, 8; 19:9, 12, 16; 20:12, 15; 21:5, 27; 22:18f

The verb grapho is perfect tense (gegraphtai) signifying that God's Word has been written down at a point of time in the past (cf Lev 11:44, 19:2, 20:7 were originally inscribed with a stylus by Moses probably on clay tablets under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit circa 1500BC) and remains on record as the eternal, unchanging Word of God.  The perfect tense signifies the permanence of the written word of God. The phrase it is written (in perfect tense) is a regular "formula" in the New Testament (e.g., Mt 4:4, 4:6, 4:7, 4:10, 11:10 - some 60 times in all 4 gospels and by Paul and Peter) and always refers directly or indirectly to an Old Testament quotation and thus it carries great authority for the believer.

 

The idea is that this divine revelation was written down at a specific time in the past and stands written and effective. As Jesus declared...

 

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away. (Mt 24:35)

The original sense of grapho was to carve or to engrave as deduced from uses in the Septuagint (where grapho occurs some 300 times usually for the Hebrew kathab 3789) such as the following...

Write (Lxx = grapho) on them (Lxx = lithos = stones) all the words of this law (Deut 27:3)

Then he (Solomon)  carved (Lxx = egkolapto = cut or carve) all the walls of the house round about with carved (Lxx = grapho) engravings of cherubim... (1Kings 6:29)

...You who carve (Lxx = grapho) a resting place for yourself in the rock? (Isaiah 22:16)

NIDNTT has a historical note writing that...

grapho is found in its original sense in Homer, Il. 17, 599. In Herodotus, 4, 36 the word is used meaning to draw, of lines on maps; and scholars of the 3rd cent. B.C. used it of drawing of mathematical figures. In Homer grapho is already used in the sense of scratching signs on a tablet as a kind of letter (Il. 6, 169). From the time of Herodotus. it is used generally in the normal sense of to write, and from the time of Pindar in the derived sense of to prescribe, to order. From the practice of handing in a written accusation, grapho came in judicial language to mean to accuse (Plato, Euthyphro 2b). (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan

Warren Wiersbe commenting on the significance of the phrase it is written reminds us that

Our Lord used the Word of God to defeat Satan, and so may we (Mt 4:1-11; see note Ephesians 6:17). But the Word of God is not only a sword for battle; it is also a light to guide us in this dark world (Ps 119:105 [Spurgeon's note]; 2 Peter 1:19 [note]), food that strengthens us (Mt 4:4; 1 Peter 2:2 [note]), and water that washes us (see notes Ephesians 5:25; 26; 27). The Word of God has a sanctifying ministry in the lives of dedicated believers (Jn 17:17). Those who delight in God’s Word, meditate on it, and seek to obey it will experience God’s direction and blessing in their lives (Ps 1:1-3). The Word reveals God’s mind, so we should learn it; God’s heart, so we should love it; God’s will, so we should live it. Our whole being—mind, will, and heart—should be controlled by the Word of God....

Does this mean that the Old Testament Law is authoritative today for New Testament Christians? Keep in mind that the early Christians did not even have the New Testament. The only Word of God they possessed was the Old Testament, and God used that Word to direct and nurture them. Believers today are not under the ceremonial laws given to Israel; however, even in these laws we see moral and spiritual principles revealed. Nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the Epistles, so we must obey them. (The Sabbath commandment was given especially to Israel and does not apply to us today. See Ro 14:1-9.) As we read and study the Old Testament, we will learn much about God’s character and working, and we will see truths pictured in types and symbols. first step toward keeping clean in a filthy world is to ask, “What does the Bible say?” In the Scriptures, we will find precepts, principles, promises, and persons to guide us in today’s decisions. If we are really willing to obey God, He will show us His truth (Jn 7:17).

While God’s methods of working may change from age to age, His character remains the same and His spiritual principles never vary. We do not study the Bible just to get to know the Bible. We study the Bible that we might get to know God better. Too many earnest Bible students are content with outlines and explanations, and do not really get to know God. It is good to know the Word of God, but this should help us better know the God of the Word." (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

And so here in Romans 8:36 Paul appeals to Septuagint Old Testament to underscore the truth that suffering is not an unexpected novelty for God’s people. God's children have always been called to suffer for His sake, but in Christ such sufferings become stepping stones on the pathway to glory (Romans 5:1-5, 8:17-23). And so believers should not be surprised when they have to endure suffering for the sake of Christ for the cost of genuine faithfulness has always been high, as witnessed by the many who have been martyred for holding fast to Christ and the Word of Truth.

Before Paul wrote this epistle, God’s faithful people had suffered for centuries, not only at the hands of Gentiles but also at the hands of fellow Jews. They

experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground” (Hebrews 11:36; 11:37; 11:38 - see notes Hebrews 11:36; 11:37; 11:38)

FOR THY SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH (continually) ALL DAY LONG. WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED: hoti eneken sou thanatoumetha (1PPPI) holen ten hemeran elogisthemen (1PAPI) os probata sphages: (Psalms 44:22; 141:7; John 16:2; 1Corinthians 15:30; 2Corinthians 4:11) (Isaiah 53:7; Jeremiah 11:19; 12:3; 51:40; Acts 8:32)

Paul quotes the Septuagint (LXX) translation of Psalm 44:22...

But for Thy sake we are killed all day long. We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered (Psalms 44:22)

Spurgeon's comment on Psalm 44:22: Yea, i.e., assuredly, certainly, for Thy sake, not for our offences, but for obeying Thee. The trials of these suppliants came upon them because they were loyal to their God.

Are we killed all the day long. Persecution never ceased to hound them to the death, they had no respite and found no door of escape; and all in God's behalf, because they would not forsake their covenant God and King.

We are counted as sheep for the slaughter; as if we were only meant to be killed, and made on purpose to be victims; as if it were as easy and as innocent a thing to slay us as to slaughter sheep. In this and following verses we clearly hear the martyr's cry. From Piedmont and Smithfield, from St. Bartholomew's massacre and the dragoonades of Claverhouse, this appeal goes up to heaven, while the souls under the altar continue their solemn cry for vengeance. Not long shall the church plead in this fashion, her shame shall be recompensed, her triumph shall dawn.

Denny commenting on Paul's quotation from Psalm 44:22 writes that

the psalmist (who wrote Psalm 44 - sons of Korah) could not understand (they were making petition for deliverance in Ps 44:17-26). That men should suffer for sin, for infidelity to God, was intelligible enough; but he (the psalmist) and his countrymen were suffering because of their faithfulness, and the psalm is his despairing expostulation (a reasoning with, especially in order to dissuade from an action) with God. But the Apostle understood it. To suffer for Christ's sake was to enter into the fellowship of Christ's sufferings, and that is the very situation in which th love of Christ is most real, near, and sure to the soul. Cf Ro 5:3 [note], 2 Cor 1:5, Col 1:24 [note]). Instead of despairing, he glories in tribulations. (Romans 8 - The Expositor's Greek Testament)

If any of the things in (Romans 8:35) could separate the believer from the love of Christ, then the fatal severance would have taken place long ago, because the career of the Christian is a veritable oxymoron -- a living death. That is what the psalmist meant when he said we are killed all day long, this fate being ours by virtue of our identification with Christ. If a professing Christian turns his back on the things of God or lives persistently in sin, he proves that he never belonged to Christ at all. John describes such persons writing that...

They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us. (1John 2:19)

Such "nominal" (which means being something in name or form only but not in substance) "Christians" have not lost their salvation but au contraire have never received it by grace through faith.   If the things of the world continually keep a person from the things of God, that person bears strong testimony that he or she may well not be a child of God.

Only true believers persevere, not because they are strong in themselves but because they have the power of God’s indwelling Spirit to give them to even the desire to keep on keeping on. There perseverance does not keep their salvation safe but does prove that their salvation is safe! Those who fail to persevere not only demonstrate their lack of courage but, much more importantly, their lack of genuine faith. God will keep and protect even the most fearful person who truly belongs to Him. On the other hand, even the bravest of those who are merely professing Christians will invariably fall away when the cost of being identified with Christ becomes too great. Just as we can only love God because He first loved us, we can only hold on to God because He holds on to us. And yet these words surely express a profound mystery as Divine sovereignty interacts flawlessly with human will and responsibility.

W E Vine writes that in this quotation from Psalm 44:22 Paul sounds a note...

...of triumph (not despair or anguish). Hence we have a striking example of the increased force and new character of many of the New Testament quotations from the Old. The difference is due to the death and resurrection of Christ. A new significance attaches to the words for Thy sake. There is no discrepancy between the Old and the New, but what the apostle is about to say shows by what means the opposition of adversaries is turned to a means of triumph. To suffer for Christ’s sake and so to enter into the fellowship of His sufferings (see note Philippians 3:10), transmutes the affliction into joy and victory, enabling the suffering saint to glory in tribulation (cf note Romans 5:3). (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)

Difficulties are not necessarily obstacles for God's children, but His appointed way. Paul's quotation from (Ps 44:22) reminds believers that suffering has always been the lot of the godly, and therefore their own situation is not peculiar. Whereas the people of God in the OT were often perplexed about the reason for their trials, the saints of NT times can trace their sufferings back to identification with Christ and rejoice that they are counted worthy to suffer for his name (cf. Acts 5:41).

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Closed Gates -  Songwriter Oscar Eliason wrote,

Got any rivers you think are uncrossable? Got any mountains you can't tunnel through?

He responded to these questions by saying,

God specializes in things thought impossible.

Every Christian faces obstacles along life's pathway, and walking in God's will doesn't guarantee that our way will be easy. But no matter how difficult, we can trust God and go forward in faith.

At the entrance to a local hospital is an automatic gate designed to rise when a car activates a hidden sensor near the entrance. When I drive up the ramp toward the gate, it remains down, blocking the entrance. But as I get closer, the arm swings up, allowing me to proceed. If I were to park my car a few yards from the entrance, the gate would stay closed. Only when I move forward does it open.

Someone said,

"If God built a bridge a yard ahead, it could not be a bridge of faith."

It's the first step into the unseen that proves we have faith. Abraham, for example, "went out, not knowing where he was going" (Heb. 11:8). He obeyed God and relied on Him to clear the path.

When we walk in obedience to the Lord and come upon a closed gate, we can confidently take the next step of faith. As we move forward we will see God open the way. —P. R. V. (See related resource
By Faith in Hebrews 11)

Faith is the gate between our peril and God's power.

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Lessons From Jonah - The story of Jonah is one of the most discussed and fascinating accounts in the Bible. But for all the debate, one thing is sure: Jonah did a lot of soul-searching in that smelly underwater hotel.

All of us can identify. Sometimes life just goes badly. When it does, like Jonah we need to ask ourselves some hard questions.

Is there sin in my life? In light of Jonah’s blatant disobedience, God had to do something drastic to catch his attention and lead him to repentance.

What can I learn from this situation? The wicked people of Nineveh were enemies of God’s people. Jonah thought they should be judged and not given a second chance. He obviously needed a lesson in sharing God’s compassion for the lost. “God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster” (Jonah 3:10).

Can I display God’s glory in this? Often our suffering is not about us but about people seeing the power of God working through our weakness. Jonah found himself in a helpless situation, yet God used him to lead a pagan nation to repentance.

Next time you find yourself in a “belly-of-a-whale” problem, don’t forget to ask the hard questions. It could mean the difference between despair and deliverance. —Joe Stowell

For Further Study
For an in-depth study of the fascinating account of Jonah,
read
The Failure Of Success: The Story Of Jonah

We learn lessons in the school of suffering that we can learn in no other way.


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