This precious chapter reminds us
of the description of the land of Havilah, “where there is gold, and the
gold of that land is good.”
This wonderful chapter is the very cream
of the cream of Holy Scripture. What a grand key-note the apostle strikes in
the first verse !
Some people talk about “getting out of the 7th chapter, into the 8th.”
But who made this into an eighth chapter? Certainly, the Holy Spirit did
not. There are no chapters in the Epistle as he inspired Paul to write it,
the whole of it runs straight on without a break: “Therein therefore now no
condemnation” — while struggling, fighting, warring, contending, —
There is no condemnation to them; that is
gone, and gone for ever. Not only is part of it removed, but the whole of it
is gone: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in
Christ Jesus.” This is their legal status before God,-in Christ Jesus,
without condemnation; and this is their character:-
Their daily conversation (conduct) is
according to their now spiritual nature, and according to the guidance of
the Holy Spirit; and not according to their fleshly nature, and the guidance
of self and Satan.
“No condemnation” — that is the first
note of the chapter. In the last verse it is “no separation.” What
glorious music there is here, — no condemnation to those who are in Christ,
no separation of them from Christ! Happy are the people who have a share in
this double blessing, and unhappy are the men and women who know nothing of
it. We will read it again: “There is therefore now no condemnation, “There
is a great deal of accusation, and a great deal more of tribulation, but
there is no condemnation not the least hint of it. Some condemnation we
might have expected, but “there is therefore now no condemnation to them
which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the
To my mind one of the sweetest words of
that verse is that little word now. “There is, therefore, now no
condemnation — at this very moment. Walking under the power of the Spirit of
God in Christ Jesus, there is, therefore, now no condemnation to believers.
It is a logical conclusion, too, from something that went before. You and I
are not absolved from sin apart from the truth, but there is a great truth
at the back of it which necessitates it.” There is, therefore, now no
condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the
flesh, but after the Spirit.
Romans 8:1 In Christ No Condemnation
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no
condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.
like the old translation. There was a martyr once summoned before Bonner.
After he had expressed his faith in Christ, Bonner said, "You are a heretic
and will be damned."
"No," said he, quoting the old version, "There is therefore now no damnation
to them that believe in Christ Jesus."
Oh, for faith to lay hold on this! Oh, for an overpowering faith that shall
get the victory over doubts and fears, and make us enjoy the liberty with
which Christ makes men free! You that believe in Christ, go to your beds
this night and say, "If I die in my bed, I cannot be condemned!" Should you
wake the next morning, go into the world and say, "I am not condemned!"
When the devil howls at you, tell him, "You may accuse, but I am not
condemned!" And if sometimes your sins rise, say, "I know you, but you are
all gone forever. I am not condemned! "
As "there is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ
Jesus," so we may solemnly say, "There is therefore now a most weighty
condemnation on you who are not in Christ Jesus, who are walking, not after
the Spirit, but after the flesh."
They are not condemned and cannot be,
They struggle, they mourn, they weep, but condemned they are not. These
happy men are known by their character, the old nature does not rule them,
the Holy Spirit guides their lives, both in their secret walk with God and
in their public conversation among men.
“Hath made me free” — that is, the real “I” of which he wrote a
little while before — the true man himself: “’ The law of the Spirit of
life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ I
have broken its bonds, I am a free man. Contending against its usurpation, I
have escaped from under its yoke, and I shall yet tread sin under my feet,
and God shall bruise even Satan himself under my feet shortly.”
“It cannot any longer rule me; and it
cannot now condemn me. I am free from it, for I am now under the new and
higher law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.”
I have broken away from its thraldom; the
new law, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, the law of grace has
set me free from the domination of the law of sin and death. Happy is the
free man who is thus liberated by the grace of God.
Sin and death cannot govern me — cannot
condemn me — cannot destroy me. Another law has come in. The Spirit of life
in Christ Jesus has brought me into another kingdom wherein I cannot be
affected, so as to condemn me, by the law of sin and death.
That he has done most effectually.
God has done by his grace: “ What the
law could not do,” —
The law of God was a good law, a just and
holy law. It was weak, not in itself, for, verily, if righteousness could
have been by any law, it would have been by the law of God. But it was weak
through our flesh. We could not keep it. We could not fulfill the conditions
of life laid down under it. Therefore, what the law could not do, God has
now done for us. He has found a way of making us righteous through the
righteousness of his own dear Son, whom he has sent in the likeness of
sinful flesh. He has found out a way of condemning sin, without condemning
us. He condemned sin in the flesh, but we escaped. And he has found out a
way of making us practically righteous, too, through the abundance of his
grace, enabling us to walk no longer after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Blessed be God for this, for when we had broken his law, he might justly
have left us to take the consequences; but he has stepped aside: he has gone
beyond all that might have been expected of him, and brought in a law by
which a remedy is applied to all our ills. Glory be to his name!
God had condemned sin be-fore, but never so efficiently as in the person of
Romans 8:3 How God Condemned Sin
Romans 8:3 Sin Condemned and Executed by
Romans 8:3, 4 The Law's Failure and
Unregenerate men, the men who remain in
the state in which they were born, the men who allow their lower nature to
have the predominance, “they that are after the flesh do mind the things of
the flesh.” That is all that they care about, all that they think about,
all that they toil for, all that they really “mind.”
Oh, what a blessed thing it is to walk, freely, “not after the flesh, but
after the Spirit” even though, all the while, there is, within the soul,
this strife that the apostle has been describing!
If there are any men in the world who do
keep the law of God, they are the very persons who do not hope to be saved
by the keeping of it, for they have by faith found righteousness in Christ,
and now by love and gratitude are put under the power of the law of the
spiritual life in Christ and they so live, by God’s grace, that they do
manifest the holiness of the law in their fires.
The principle of law produced no holiness
in us, but Jesus has condemned sin and created a new life in our hearts, and
thus he has brought forth in our lives the conformity to God which legal
terrors never produced.
They care for nothing else: they are satisfied so long as their appetites
are gratified. They are of this world, and the things of this world fill
them to the brim.
They live to eat and drink. They live for
self-aggrandizement. They live for the world and its pleasures alone. It is
according to their nature. Everything acts according to its nature. The wolf
devours; the sheep patiently feeds. They that are after the flesh do mind
the things of the flesh.
Spiritual joys, spiritual hopes, spiritual pursuits,-these belong only to
those who are spiritual.
Those in whom there is a new life
begotten by the Holy Ghost — these mind the things of the Spirit. Each
nature seeks its own things, — the flesh seeks the things of the flesh, the
spirit seeks the things of the Spirit. Judge ye, my hearers, to which case
ye belong by this test, — for what are you living? That which you live for
is the true index of your nature. Do you mind spiritual things or the things
of the flesh?
God has given us, then, the Spirit to
dwell in us, and now I trust we can say that we desire holiness, and
righteousness, and peace, and joy, in the Holy Ghost, for these things are
the things of the Spirit.
To be fleshly minded-
That is what it comes to, for the flesh comes to death at last, and, after
death, it goes to corruption, If we live after that carnal fashion, this
will be the end of our living: “death.”
The old nature never will obey the law of
God; it never can do so. What then is to be done with it? Improve it? Nay,
my brethren, the only thing to be done with it is to let it die, and then to
bury it. In baptism you have a most significant symbol of what is to be done
with the flesh; you are to treat it as a dead thing, and therefore to bury
it. Let the old life be crucified and put to death with Christ, and let the
new life take its place.
Romans 8:6. But to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
For the spirit will never die, and the spirit has that within it which will
bring it perfect peace.
It is so deeply vitiated, so thoroughly
depraved, that so long as the fleshly mind exists, it will be in rebellion
against God. “Ye must be born again,” for that which is born of the flesh
is flesh, and only that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Unless we are
renewed, then, by the Spirit of God, we never shall be subject to the law of
God; neither, indeed, can we be.
Romans 8:7 The carnal mind is enmity against
Paul uses a noun, not an adjective. He does not say thatthe carnal mind is
opposed to God merely, but it is the positive enmity. It is not black, but
blackness. It is not at enmity, but enmity itself. It is not corrupt, but
corruption. It is not rebellious; it is rebellion. It is not wicked; it is
wickedness itself. The heart, though it be deceitful, is positively deceit.
It is evil in the concrete, sin in the essence. It is the distillation, the
quintessence of all things that are vile.
The Carnal Mind Enmity Against God
Romans 8:7 A Traitor Suspected and
Romans 8:7 A Fatal Deficiency
Romans 8:7, 8.
Those who are still in the old nature, living for it, living to it, — Those
that have never been born again, so as to be “in the Spirit,” are still
just as they were born “in the flesh,” so they cannot please God. Do what
they may, there is an essential impurity about their nature so that they
cannot be well pleasing unto God. We must be born again, we must become
spiritual by the new birth which is wrought by the Holy Spirit, or else it
is impossible for us to please God. O you who are trying your best to please
God apart from the new birth, and apart from Christ, see how this iron bar
is put across your path: “they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Go then to him and ask him to give you of his Spirit, that you may be
spiritual, and no longer carnal.
Men may wash this old nature, they may
clothe it, they may decorate it, they may educate it, but there is no
evolution which can produce grace out of nature. The child of nature may be
finely dressed, but it is a dead child however gaudily it is attired. There
is a vital eternal difference between the old nature and the new.
Since their mind is enmity to him, their
acts cannot please him; renewed men are at peace with God, and their persons
are acceptable to him, and hence their lives please him.
Christ does not own any that are not
indwelt by his Spirit. They may wear the Christian name; they may perform
some acts which look like Christian acts; but all this avails nothing. You
must have the Spirit of God within you, or else you are none of his; and
what a thing it is to be “none of his.” “Verily,” says Christ, “I never
knew you.” “But, Lord, we ate and drank with thee: thou didst preach in
our streets.” But he says, “I never knew you.” They are none of his. Oh!
dear friends, the highest point to which human nature can reach of itself
falls short of being in Christ. There must be the Spirit of God dwelling in
us, or else we are none of his.
Romans 8:9. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the
Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he
is none of his.
It does not matter what he calls himself; he may be a preacher, he may be a
bishop; but if he has not the Spirit of Christ, “he is none of his,” and
if he has the Spirit of Christ, though he may be the most obscure person on
earth, he belongs to Christ.
Ye saints of Rome to whom Paul was
writing, and ye who believe in Christ now: “Ye are not in the flesh, but in
the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.”
Romans 8:9. Now if any man have not the
Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
If Christ’s Spirit has not quickened you, you do not belong to Christ. Some
ministers preach a very general sort of gospel in which everybody has a
share, but the Bible knows nothing of that sort of gospel. “If any man have
not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Do you know what it is to
have the Spirit of Christ ? If not, my hearer, do not deceive yourself you
are none of his. “If any man” — be he prince or magistrate, a member of
Parliament or a doctor of divinity, — ” if any man have not the Spirit of
Christ, he is none of his.”
Romans 8:9 ". . . the Spirit of God ... the
Spirit of Christ."
He is called in the first part of the verse, "the Spirit of God," and then
he is styled, "the Spirit of Christ." Christ and God are essentially one.
The Holy Ghost stands in intimate relationship both to the Father and to the
Son, and is rightly called by either name.
Romans 8:9 If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
If it were possible (which it is not) for you to produce the same virtues in
yourself which are produced by the Holy Spirit, yet even those would not
suffice, for the text is absolute. It does not say, "If any man have not the
works of the Spirit" or "the influences of the Spirit" or "the general
character which comes from the indwelling of the Spirit." It goes deeper and
declares, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." The
difference between the regenerate and the unregenerate is not one of degree,
but of kind.
Though our inner nature is transformed,
the body still suffers and tempts us to sin; but even the body is the Lord's
and is yet to be changed.
The grace of God has not changed that body; it still remains earth, dust,
worms’ meat, and it must die unless Christ should come, and transform it by
his coming. “The body is dead because of sin;” and hence come those aches
and pains, that heaviness, that weariness, that decay, those infirmities of
age which we experience so long as we bear about with us this body of death.
Hence the body suffers, the body is sick, the body decays, the body is
under the dominion of death because of sin, but the Spirit is full of life
because of righteousness.
There is a living power within us which
triumphs over this dying, decaying body. So we rejoice notwithstanding all
our afflictions, trials, and depressions.
Therefore, it suffers disease and pain,
for the soul is regenerated, but not the body. If I may so speak, the
regeneration of the body happens at the resurrection. It is then that it
will receive its full share of the blessed work of Christ. “The body is
dead because of sin.”
So there is a complete deliverance
provided for body, soul, and spirit. As Moses said to Pharaoh when he agreed
to let the people of Israel go, but said that they must leave behind their
flocks, “Not a hoof shall be left behind,” so no particle of our real
manhood shall be left under the thraldom of sin and death. The soul is
already emancipated, and the body shall be, by the Spirit which dwells in
There is to be an emancipation even for this poor flesh, a translation and a
glory for it yet in Christ.
You believers may have a good hope
concerning your bodies: “He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also
quicken your mortal bodies.” Wait a while, therefore; what God has done for
your souls he will is due time do for your bodies also. This should make you
long for the day of Christ’s appearing, as Paul says in the 23rd verse of
this chapter, “waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our
body,” when Christ shall appear, and we shall be raised —
“From beds of dust and silent clay,” —
the body itself born a second time, regenerate like the soul.
Romans 8:12. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live
after the flesh.
Certainly not, for we owe the flesh nothing. It keeps us down and hampers
us, it is a hindrance to us, but we certainly owe it nothing; so let us not
be subservient to it, let us not consult or even consider it, and especially
let us never come under its fatal bondage.
We owe the flesh nothing; I mean the law
of sin in our members, we owe nothing to that. It has been a curse and a
plague to us; we are not debtors to the flesh, so we must not “live after
For we owe the flesh nothing by way of
gratitude or service. The flesh has dragged us down. The flesh has ruined
us. We owe it nothing, except mastery of it. We are not debtors to it, to
live after it.
Romans 8:12: The Christian--A Debtor
Romans 8:13. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:
It will die, and so will you, who make it your master.
It is a dying thing, and “ ye shall
die” if ye live after its dying fashion.
If you live simply to gratify your
ambition, if you live for avarice, if you live to please yourself, if you
live for any earthly object which can be comprised under the term “after
the flesh,” you will certainly be disappointed, for you will die, and your
hope will die with you.
Romans 8:13. But if ye through the Spirit-
That living, immortal poorer-
If you reek, by the Holy Spirit’s power,
to kill sin, if you try to crush all sinful desires, if you keep evil with a
rope about its neck, if you mortify it put it to death, then you shall live.
Holiness is the mode of the Christian; life, sin is the way of the sinner’s
Romans 8:13 If ye live after the flesh, ye
If you will not have death unto sin, you shall have sin unto death. There is
no alternative. If you do not die to sin, you shall die for sin. If you do
not slay sin, sin will slay you.
Romans 8:13, 14. Do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many
as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God:
“Mortify,” kill, put to death.
Oh, high dignity and blessed privilege!
As soon as ever we get away from the dominion of the flesh, and come to be
led by the Spirit of God, and so become spiritual men, we have the evidence
that we are the sons of God, for “God is a Spirit,” so his sons must be
Romans 8:14 The Family Likeness
Romans 8:14 The Leading of the Spirit, the Secret
Token of the Sons of God
Romans 8:14-17: Heirs of God
Romans 8:14. Wait, I say, on the LORD.
Now let us read just a few verses to remind us of our union with our
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of
There may be a great many weaknesses and infirmities about them, but if they
follow the divine leadership of the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
You can judge yourself, dear friend, by
this test. Do you follow the Spirit’s leading? Do you desire continually
that he should be your supreme Guide and Leader? If you are led by the
Spirit of God, then you have this highest of all privileges, you are one of
the sons of God. Nothing can equal that honor; to be a son of God, is more
than anything of which ungodly kings and emperors can boast, with all their
array of pomp and wealth.
Leading implies following; and those who
are enabled to follow the guidance of the Divine Spirit are most assuredly
children of God, for the Lord ever leads his own children. If, then, you are
following the lead of God’s Spirit, you have one of the evidences of
Not those who say they are “the sons of
God,” but those who undoubtedly prove that they are, by being led,
influenced, gently guided, by the Spirit of God.
Romans 8:15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear;
Is this true of you? “Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we
cry, Abba, Father.” Dear friends, hearing these words, can you respond to
them? Are they true of you?
Ye did receive it once, and it was a
great blessing to you. This came of the law, and the law brought you under
bondage through a sense of sin, and that made you first cry for liberty, and
then made you accept the liberating Savior; but you have not received that
spirit of bondage again to fear.
We did have it once, and it wrought some
good effect upon us for the time being; when we were under the law, we felt
ourselves to be in slavery, and that made us go to Christ for liberty.
We did receive the spirit of bondage
once. We felt that we were under the law, and that the law cursed us. We
felt its rigorous taxation, and that we could not meet it. Now that spirit
’has gone, and we have the spirit of freedom, the spirit of children, the
spirit of adoption. I suppose that the apostle, when he thus spake and said.
“ve,” felt so much of the spirit of adoption in his own bosom that he
could not talk of it as belonging to others alone. He was obliged to include
it thus’, and so he puts it,
“Ye have received the spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” He
wanted to intimate that he himself also was a partaker of this blessed
spirit. And woe to the preacher who can preach an adoption which he never
enjoyed. Woe to any of us if we can teach to others concerning the spirit of
sonship, but never feel it crying in our own souls, “Abba, Father.”
A noble cry, with far more true eloquence
in it than all the orations of Cicero and Demosthenes. Can we look up to God
and cry "Abba, Father"? Then are we miracles of divine grace.
Romans 8:15. But ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba,
We who believe in Jesus are all children of God, and we dare to use that
name which only children might use, “Abba;” and we dare use it even in the
presence of God, and to say to him, “Abba: Father.” We cannot help doing
it, because the spirit of adoption must have its own mode of speech; and its
chosen way of speaking is to appeal to the great God by this name, “Abba,
The spirit of bondage is the spirit of
servants, not of sons; but that servitude is ended for us who are made free
in Christ Jesus. We are no longer afraid of being called the children of
God. We are not afraid of our own Father; we have a filial fear of him, but
it is so mixed with love that there is no torment in it. Whether Jew or
Gentile, we cry, “Abba, Father.
Romans 8:15, 16 The Spirit of Bondage and
Romans 8:16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the
children of God.
Our new nature claims kinship with God, the Holy Ghost confirms the claim,
and hence comes our full assurance.
Many of you make a profession of being the children of God. Can your own
spirit say that it is true? And is there, in addition to the witness of the
Spirit within you that it is true? If not, unless there is a witness to our
testimony, it avails nothing. Our Lord Jesus Christ said, “If I bear
witness of myself, my witness is not true”; and if he chooses to put
himself on a level, as it were, with the rest of humanity in that respect,
we cannot expect that our witness will stand for ought if it stands alone.
No, there must be the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we
are the children of God.
There are two witnesses, then, and in the
mouth of these two witnesses the whole truth about our adoption shall be
established. Our own spirit — so changed as to be reconciled to God, and led
in ways which once it never trod, — our own spirit bears witness that we are
the sons of God; and then God’s own Spirit bears witness, too, and so we
become doubly sure.
Our spirit knows that we are God’s
children and then God’s Spirit adds his testimony to the witness of our
spirit that we are the children of God.
Oh, blessed, blessed state of heart to
feel that now we are born into the family of God, and that the choice word
which no slave might ever pronounce may now be pronounced by us, “Abba”!
It is a child’s word, such as a little child utters when first he opens his
mouth to speak, and it rune the same both backwards and forwards,-AB-BA. Oh
to have a childlike spirit that, in whatever state of heart I am, I may
still be able to say, in the accents even of spiritual infancy, “Abba,
What better testimony can we have than
that of these two witnesses, first of our own spirit, and then of the Holy
Spirit himself, “that we are the children of God”? Note that this is not
spoken concerning everybody. The doctrine of the universal Fatherhood of God
in a doctrine of the flesh, and not of the Spirit; it is not taught anywhere
in God’s Word. This is a Fatherhood which relates only to those who are
spiritual; we are born into it by the new birth, and brought into it by an
act of grace in adoption. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God,” this is a
special privilege that belongs only to those who are spiritual.
It corroborates the testimony of
conscience. We feel that we are the children of God; and the Spirit of God
comes forward as a second, but still greater and higher witness, to confirm
the testimony that we are the children of God.
Romans 8;16-17: The Sons of God
Romans 8:16-17: The Sons of God
Romans 8:17. And if children, then heirs;
Romans 8:17 Heirs of God
Romans 8:17 Heirs of God - Notes
Romans 8:17: Joint-Heirs and their Divine Inheritance
For all God’s children are heirs, and all equally heirs. The elder-born
members of God’s family, such as Abraham and the rest of the patriarchs, are
no more heirs of God than are we of these latter days who have but lately
come to Christ. “If children, then heirs.” Heirs of what?
Oh that if — “if children.” There are
some that get over all that. They believe in a universal fatherhood, which
is not worth the words in which they describe it. This is a different
It is to be all with him. With him in the
suffering; with him in the glory; with him in the reproach of men; with him
in the honor at the right hand of the Father. But if we shun the path of
humiliation with him, we may expect that he will deny us in the day of his
This is a chain made of diamond links. It
leads us from the cradle of regeneration to the perfection of glory, by sure
steps, each one firm as the throne of God. Are we children? Then we shall be
glorified with Christ.
Romans 8:17. Heirs of God,
Not only heirs of what God chooses to give, but heirs of himself. There need
be nothing else said, if this is true: “The Lord is my portion, saith my
soul.” “Heirs of God,
Romans 8:17. And joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that
we may be also glorified together.
Do you ever have in your heart a longing to behold the glory of God? Do you
feel pressed down when you see abounding sin? Are your eyes ready to be
flooded with tears at the thought of the destruction of the ungodly? Then,
you are having sympathy with Christ in his sufferings, and you shall as
certainly be an heir with him, by-and-by, in his glory.
This would not necessarily be true of any
man’s family, for he might have children who were not his heirs; but, in
God’s family, all who are born into it are born “heirs of God, and
joint-heirs with Christ.” We must take our part of Christ’s portion,— his
portion here, and his portion hereafter; the rule for us who are in him
shall be, “share and share alike.” He himself has said, “Where I am,
there shall also my servant be;” and all that he has he will divide with
us. Are you willing, dear brother, to take shares with Christ? If not, then
I question whether you can be rightly reckoned among his saints.
Oh! this blessed co-partnership — this
fellowship: joint-heirs with Christ: taking part in the whole heritage — as
well the heritage of suffering as the heritage of glory. “It shall bruise
thy heel, but thou shalt bruise his head.” There is to be the heel-bruising
for the Christ, as well as for us; but there is to be the head-crushing of
sin and Satan for him and for us, too.
Do we suffer now? Then let us wait for
something better that is yet to come. Yes, we do suffer, and in this we are
in accord with the whole creation of God, for the-whole creation is just
now, as it were, enduring birth pangs. There is something better coming;
but, meanwhile, it is troubled and perplexed, moaning and groaning.
Here the rule of proportion is calmly applied, and by heavenly arithmetic it
is shown that our present griefs are hardly worth a thought, for eternal
glory so infinitely transcends them. Blessed be the Lord God of our
salvation for ever and ever. Amen.
If in my Father's love
I share a filial part,
Send down thy Spirit, like a dove,
To rest upon my heart.
Judge, count it up, and calculate. These sufferings, however, sharp, are
short, compared with eternal glory, infinitesimal, not worthy to be taken
account of; like one drop falling into a river and lost in it.
“Light afflictions” are contrasted with
“an exceeding weight of glory.” Temporary afflictions, but for a moment,
are to be followed by everlasting crowns that fade not away. What a
“Not worthy to be compared with the
glory which shall be revealed in us.” That glory is not yet fully revealed;
it is revealed to us, but not yet in us. What, then, shall we do in the
meantime? Why, wait with patience, and bear our appointed burden until the
time comes for us to be relieved of it; — wait, however, with hope, — wait,
too, as we must, quietly enduring the pains and pangs which precede so
glorious a birth. In this respect, we are not alone, as the apostle goes on
to say, —
Paul made “the sufferings of this
present time” into a matter of simple arithmetic and careful reckoning. He
added them all up, and saw what the total was, he seemed to be about to
state a proportion sum, but he gave it up, and said that the sufferings were
“not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed.” Did
they stand as one to a thousand? No, else they had been worthy to be
compared. Did they stand as one to ten thousand, — or one to a million, — or
one to a million of millions? If so, they would still have been worthy to be
compared; but Paul saw that there was no proportion whatever between them.
The sufferings seemed to be but as a single drop, and the glory to be as a
“Not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
That glory is not yet fully revealed; it is revealed to us, but not yet in
us. What, then, shall we do in the meantime? Why, wait with patience, and
bear our appointed burden until the time comes for us to be relieved of it;
— wait, however, with hope, — wait, too, as we must, quietly enduring the
pains and pangs which precede so glorious a birth. In this respect, we are
not alone, as the apostle goes on to say, —
Glory in us! Only think of that! You know
the revelation that is in the book; but how grand will be the revelation
that is in the man! “The glory which shall be revealed in us.” We shall be
full of glory. And a part of God’s glory, which otherwise must have lain
concealed, will be revealed in his people to his own praise forever and
ever; but also to our own eternal joy.
The whole creation is in a waiting posture, waiting for the glory yet to be
All creation is, as it were, watching and
waiting on tip-toe for the day when God shall manifest his sons who are at
present hidden. In due time, they shall come forth, acknowledged of God, and
then shall the whole creation rejoice.
There is something that the whole
creation is waiting for, and it cannot come, till God’s children are
manifested — till the glory is revealed in them.
See how it often weeps in the
superabundant rain that seems like a minor deluge. Note how, at times,
creation’s very bowels seem to be tossed and torn with pain and agony by
volcanoes and earthquakes. Mark the tempests, tornadoes, hurricanes, and all
kinds of ills that sweep over the globe, leaving devastation in their track,
and the globe itself is wrapped in swaddling bands of mist, and Shines not
out like its Sister stars in its pristine brightness and splendor. The
animal creation, too, wears the yoke of bondage. How unnecessarily heavy
have men often made that yoke!
Romans 8:19, 20, 21, 22
We live in a world that is under a curse,
— a world that was made subject to bondage through human sin. What means
this cold? What mean theae fogs? What mean the general mourning and sighing
of the air all through the winter? What mean the disturbances, and
convulsions, and catastrophes that we hear about on all hands? It is the
creation groaning, travailing, waiting, — waiting till there shall be a new
heaven and a new earth, because the former things shall have passed away.
There is a future even for materialism.
That poor, dusky clod in which we dwell is yet to be illuminated with the
light of God; and these poor bodies which are akin to the dust of the earth,
and still remain as if they were not delivered, being subjected to pain, and
weakness, and death — even they are yet to be brought into the glorious
liberty of the children of God.
Romans 8:20, 21
Everything here is blighted, and subject to storm, or to decay, or to sudden
death, or to calamity of some sort. It is a fair world, but there is the
shadow of the curse over it all. The slime of the serpent is on all our
Edens now. “The creation itself was made subject to vanity,” but it “also
shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty
of the children of God.”
The birth-pangs of the creation are on it; the living creature within is
moving itself to break its shell, and come forth.
“The whole creation.” It is the same
word all through; so I have put the same word. The whole world is in its
pangs and birth-throes, and there can never come its complete deliverance
into the new heavens and the new earth, except there shall also be the
manifestation of the children of God, and their deliverance from all that
now hampers and hinders the divine life that is within them.
Romans 8:23: Creation's Groans and the Saints' Sighs
The soul has obtained its redemption.
Therefore, our heart is glad, and our glory rejoicing. But our body has not
yet obtained its redemption. That is to come at the resurrection. Then will
be the adoption. “Waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our
body.” Oh I blessed fact! Though now, in common with the whole creation,
the body is subjected to bondages, yet it shall be delivered, and we — the
whole man, body as well as soul and spirit — shall be brought into the
liberty of the children of God.
This is what we are looking for. Our manhood is not all soul: it is body,
too. And here, as yet, this poor body seems to lie outside the gate, like
Lazarus, while the soul rejoices in God. But its time of glorifying is
coming. The trump of the archangel shall proclaim it.
We have already obtained salvation for
our souls, but our body is still under bondage,— subject to weariness,— to
pain,— to infirmity,— to death; but, by-and-by, with the new creation, our
newly-moulded bodies shall be fit to live in the new world, and fit for our
newborn souls to inhabit. This is the full redemption for which we are
That is what we are waiting for: “ the
redemption of our body; “ and we shall not wait in vain for it, for Christ
is the Savior of our body as well as of our soul, and the day shall come
when even our bodies shall be free from pain, and weakness, and weariness,
and sin, and death. Happy day! we may well look forward to it with the
Our soul has been delivered from the
curse. The redemption of the soul is complete, but not yet that of the body.
That must suffer pain and weariness, and even descend into the tomb, but its
day of manifestation shall surely come. At the appearing of our Lord from
heaven, then shall the body itself be delivered, and the whole creation
shall also be delivered, so we wait in a travailing condition; and we may
well be content to wait, for these pangs within us and around all signify
the glorious birth for which we may wait in hope.
That is our state now; at least, it is
the condition of the most of us. Some of our brethren have gone ahead so
tremendously that they have passed out of the world of groaning altogether;
they are perfect. I regret that they are not in heaven; it would seem to be
a much more proper place for them than this imperfect earth is. But as for
us, our experience leads us, in sympathy with the apostle, to say that we
are groaning after something better. We have not received it yet; we have
the beginnings of it, we have the earnest of it, we have the sure pledge of
it; but it is not as yet our portion to enjoy; we are “waiting for the
adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body;” for, though the soul be horn
again, the body is not. “The body in dead,” says the apostle, in the tenth
verse of this chapter, “because of sin; but the spirit is life because of
righteousness.” There is a wonderful process through which this body shall
yet pass, and then it shall be raised again, a glorious body, fitted for our
regenerated spirit; but as yet it remains unregenerate.
Romans 8:24. For we are saved by hope:
Hope contains the major part of our salvation within itself.
Romans 8:24, 25 Saved in Hope
Romans 8:24, 25
This is our present position,-patiently
waiting for “the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus
Christ,”-patiently waiting for “the manifestation of the sons of God,”
for “ it cloth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he
shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
Ah! brethren, if we could be all we
should like to be, there would then be no room for the exercise of hope. If
we had all that we are to have, then hope, which is one of the sweetest of
the graces, would have no room in which to exercise herself. It is a blessed
thing to have hope. Though I have heard that faith and hope are not to be
found in heaven, I very much question it. I do not think they will ever die.
“Now abide these three — faith, hope, and love”; for in heaven there will
be room, surely, for trust in the ever blessed God that he will never cast
us out from our blessedness — room for the expectation of the second advent
— room for the expectation of the conquest of the world — room for the
fulfilled promise of bringing all the elect to glory; still something to be
hoped for; still something to be believed. Yet here is the main sphere of
hope, and therefore let us give it full scope; and when other graces seem to
be at a non-plus, let us still hope. I believe the New Zealand word for hope
is “swimming thought,” because that will swim when everything else is
drowned. Oh! happy is that man who has a hope that swims on the crest of the
Romans 8:24, 25, 26
That same Spirit who gave us the spirit of adoption, that same Spirit who
set us longing for something higher and better, “also helpeth our
infirmities;” and we have so many of them that we show them even when we
are on our knees.
This is our attitude and our condition
now, — waiting for the glory which is to be revealed in us, and accepting
the sorrow which is appointed to us as an introduction to the joy which is
to come to us mysteriously, through it But while we are waiting, we are not
without present comfort.
That is a grand thing. We have got the
first-fruits of the Spirit to be the pledge of all the glorious harvest. The
very fact that the Spirit dwells in us is the conclusive proof that our
bodies shall be raised from the dead. Meanwhile, the Spirit of God is
helping us, as we groan and labor, towards the complete perfection. “The
Spirit helpeth our infirmities.”
Our weaknesses, our insufficiencies, our
inabilities: the Spirit of God comes in to be a helper to the children of
God. We do not know our own infirmities. Perhaps we think that we are
strong, where we are exceedingly weak. The Spirit of God spies out the
infirmities, and puts the help where the strength is required. “We know not
what we should pray for as we ought.”
Those great things in prayer that we
cannot ask for, which can never be expressed in human language, the Holy
Ghost translates into groans, and so we are made to groan when we cannot
speak; and those groanings bring us blessings which words cannot compass.
Have you been into your prayer-chamber lately, pleading with God, and have
you felt as if you could not pray? We often pray best when we think that we
are praying worst. When there is the most anguish, and sighing, and crying
in prayer, there is most of the very essence of prayer.
And especially our infirmities in prayer,
for there is where infirmities are mostly seen.
I should have thought that it would have
read, “But the Spirit itself teaches us what we should pray for.” But it
does more than that. He goes beyond teaching us what we should pray for. He
“maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Do
you know what those groanings are? I am afraid that those who never had
groanings which cannot be uttered will never know anything of that glory
which cannot be expressed, for that is the way to it. The groanings that
cannot be uttered lead on to unutterable joy.
There is much in this chapter about
groaning, and that is but natural, for it so largely concerns our present
imperfect state; but, by-and-by, there will be-
“No groans to mingle with the songs
Which warble from immortal tongues.”
There seems to be a good deal of this
groaning; it is only in heaven that there are-
“No groans to mingle with the songs Which warble from immortal tongues.”
But down here a groan is sometimes the fittest wheel for the chariot of
progress. We sigh, and cry, and groan, to grow out of ourselves, and to grow
more like our Lord, and so to become more fit for the glory which shall be
revealed in us.
You must, I am sure, as children of God,
often have felt that Spirit within you groaning in prayer what you could not
express. How often have you risen from your knees feeling the utter
inadequacy of words to express the desires of your heart! And you have felt
that you had larger desires than you have been able to interpret. There have
been mighty pangs within you telling of the presence of this wrestling
Our ignorance shows itself in prayer, and
is our great infirmity, we cannot tell what blessing we most require. What a
mercy it is that the Holy Spirit knows all things, and moves us to ask for
what is best. Before we pray we should wait upon the Spirit for his
guidance, and then we shall go in unto the King with an acceptable petition.
Romans 8:26 The Spirit itself maketh
intercession for us
It is a mark of wondrous condescension that God should not only answer our
prayers when they are made, but should make our prayers for us. That the
king should say to the petitioner, "Bring your case before me, and I will
grant your desire," is kindness. But for him to say, "I will be your
secretary. I will write out your petition for you. I will put it into proper
words so that your petition shall be framed accept-ably," this is goodness
at its utmost stretch. But this is precisely what the Holy Ghost does for
us poor, ignorant, wavering, weak men. Jesus in his agony was strengthened
by an angel; you are to be helped by God himself. Aaron and Hur held up the
hands of Moses, but the Holy Ghost himself helps your infirmities.
Romans 8:26-27: The Holy Spirit's Intercession
The Spirit knows what we want. God knows:
what the Spirit is asking for; and so our prayer makes the complete round,
and God sends us the blessing.
Nor is it only the Holy Spirit who is
thus helping us onward towards the grand finale.
This explains what to many is the mystery
of prayer. The Holy Spirit, being himself God, knows the secret purposes of
the divine will, and therefore moves the saints to pray in accordance with
that will, and makes their supplications effectual through his own
That is the whole process of prayer. The
Spirit of God knows the will of the Father, and he comes and writes it on
our hearts. A true prayer is the revelation of the Spirit of God to our
heart, making us desire what God has appointed to give to us. Hence the
success of prayer is no difficulty to the predestinarian. Some foolishly
say, “If God has ordained everything, what is the use of praying?” If God
had not ordained everything, there would be no use in praying; but prayer is
the shadow of the coming mercy which falls across the spirit, and we become
in prayer in some degree gifted like the seers of old. The spirit of
prophecy is upon the man who knows how to pray; the Spirit of God has moved
him to ask for what God is about to give.
When you do not know your own mind, God
knows the mind of the Spirit, and that is the very essence of prayer. He
“knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,” —
That is the philosophy of prayer.
Whatever God’s will is, the Spirit of God writes it on the hearts of praying
saints, and they pray for the very thing which God intends to gave. As the
barometer often foretells the weather that is coming, so the spirit of
prayer in the Christian is the barometer which indicates when showers of
blessing are coming. It is well with us when we can pray. If we cannot do
anything else, if we feel that we can pray, times are not so bad with ,us as
we might think.
So that he inclines our hearts to request
the very blessings which the Father has determined to give, and hence our
prayers are but the transcripts of the divine decrees.
Romans 8:27. Because he maketh intercession
for (or, in) the saints according to the will of God.
Whatever the spirit of God prompts us to pray for, is according to the mind
of God, for it is not possible that the Holy Spirit should ever be otherwise
than in perfect accord with the Divine Father. The eternal degrees, if we
could read them, would convey to us the same truth as the impulses of the
Spirit in our heart. And this is the true exploration of prayer, — that what
God intends to do, his spirit leads his people to ask him to do; and thus
there is no conflict between the eternal predestination of God and the
earnest entreaties of his people. They are, in fact, the outcome of that
Romans 8:28 And we know-
Paul, like John, was no Agnostic; he did
not even say, “ We think, we imagine, we suppose.” No; “ we know “-We
know it: we are assured of it.
Romans 8:28: The True Christian's Blessedness
Romans 8:28. That all things work together
We must not stop there, otherwise the statement will not be true, for all
things do not work together for good to all men, but only-
Romans 8:28. To them that love God, to them who are the called according to his
How are we to know who they are who are the called according to God’s
eternal purpose? The previous clause informs us, for both relate to the same
individuals; “ them that love God” are “ them who are the saved according
to his purpose.” We cannot peer into the pages of the Lamb’s book of life,
yet we can tell by this simple test whether our names are recorded there,-do
we truly love the Lord? If so, all things are working for our present and
eternal good,-all things visible and invisible, all things friendly and
unfriendly, all things in providence and grace.
We know this, for we have proved it in
our own experience. “All things work.” There is nothing inactive in the
providence of God. “All things work together.” There is a unity in
providence. God sets one thing over against another. Blessed be the name of
God, all things work together for good. The purpose of God to his people is
good, and only good; and though this or that might be injurious, yet, all
put together, they work for good to them that love God. Come, my soul, dost
thou love God? Canst thou say to-night, “Thou knowest all things. Thou
knowest that I love thee”? All things work together for thy good. Not only
shall they work, but they are working, they work now, for thy good. And
learn another sweet lesson. Thou art one of those whom God calls, according
to the sweet purpose of his electing love, for so it stands: they that love
God are the same as those who are called according to his purpose. If thou
lovest God, God loves thee. Thy love to God, poor and faint though it be, is
the assured token that he loves thee with an everlasting love, and,
therefore, with bands of loving-kindness has he drawn thee.
Romans 8:28, 29, 30
These great truths must never be
separated. Any one of these things befog true of us, it is most certain that
the rest are also true. Now, my dear brother, you cannot read God’s
foreknowledge, neither can you enter into the secrets of predestination; but
you can tell whether you are called, or not; you can know whether you are
justified by faith, or not; and if you get hold of those links, you have got
a grip of that endless chain which is firmly fastened to the granite rook of
eternity past, and which is also fastened to the rook of the glorious
eternity which is yet to be revealed.
Romans 8:28. And we know that all things work
together for good to them that love God,
“All things.” That is a very comprehensive expression, is it not? It
includes your present trouble, your aching head, your heavy heart: “all
things.” “All things work.” There is nothing idle in God’s domain. “All
things work together.” There is no discord in the providence of God. The
strangest ingredients go to make up the one matchless medicine for all our
maladies. “All things work together for good” — for lasting and eternal
good, — “to them that love God,” that is their outward character, —
Romans 8:28. To them who are the called according to his purpose.
That is their secret character, and the reason why they love God at all.
“We know that all things work together
for good.” That is a wonderfully positive statement, Paul. There are
certain persons, nowadays, who say that we know nothing; yet the apostles
constantly say, “We know this,” and “We know that.” These people tell us
that there is a great distinction between believing and knowing,— but,
evidently, it is a distinction of which the inspired apostles knew nothing
at all. Read the Epistles of John, and note how he continually says, “We
know, we know, we know,” and how frequently he adds, “We believe,” as
though believing and knowing were the same thing. Agnostics may declare that
they know nothing, if they please; but, as for us who do know, because we
believe what we are taught of God in this Book, we will speak He who has
something to say has s right to say it; we know, and therefore we speak.
Mark, brethren, how the apostle speaks here; he does not say that all things
shall work together for good; no, but that they do work together, they are
now working for your present good. This is not merely something which shall
eventually turn out right; it is all right now, “We know that all things
are working together for good to them that love God, to them who are the
called according to his purpose.” No sooner does the apostle mention that
word “purpose” than he must needs found a long discourse upon it. He was
not afraid or ashamed to speak of the purposes of God. There are some
preachers who say nothing about God’s purpose, or God’s decree; they seem to
be afraid of it, they say it is “Calvinistic doctrine.” Why, it was here,
in the Scriptures, long before Calvin was born, so what right have they to
call it by his name?
Romans 8:28 All things work together for good
to them that love God
To the sinner, however, all things work together for evil. Is he prosperous?
He is as the beast that is fattened for the slaughter. Is he healthy? He is
as the blooming flower that is ripening for the mower's scythe. Does he
suffer? His sufferings are the first drops of the eternal hailstorm of
divine vengeance. Everything to the sinner, if he could but open his eye,
has a black aspect.
Did you ever hear of a man who got his health by being sick? That is a
Christian. He gets rich by his losses, he rises by his falls, he goes on by
being pushed back, he lives by dying, he grows by being diminished, and
becomes full by being emptied. Well, if the bad things work him so much
good, what must his best things do? If he can sing in a dungeon, how sweetly
will he sing in heaven!
When that eminent servant of God, Mr. Gilpin, was arrested to be brought up
to London to be tried for preaching the gospel, his captors made mirth of
his frequent remark, "Everything is for the best." When he fell from his
horse and broke his leg, they were especially merry about it. But the good
man quietly remarked, "I have no doubt but that even this painful accident
will prove to be a blessing."
Romans 8:29 Glorious Predestination
Romans 8:29 Portraits of Christ
That is, look upon with pleasure and delight from before all worlds. Whom he
did love and call to be his own. Christ is the man, the archetype. He is not
to be a lone man. It is not good for man to be alone, not even for the man;
and there are to be other men called by God’s grace who are to be made like
him, who are to be his brethren. These, whom God foreknew, with fore-love he
has ordained, determined, predestinated to be made like his Son.
And you know that he is the first-born in
this sense — not only as the greatest, but that as the first-begotten from
among the dead, he has risen from the dead. He has risen from the dead, and
in this he leads the way for us all. “That he might be the first-born among
Oh, what a glorious privilege is yours
and mine, if we are indeed children of God! We are, in some respects,
children of God in the same sense as Christ himself is; he is the firstborn,
and we are among his “many brethren.”
What an eternal honor for all
believers,-that they might be among the “many brethren” of Christ, God’s
firstborn and well-beloved Son! Here too we see the purpose of God’s
foreknowledge and predestination, that we should be “ conformed to the
image of his Son.”
No breaking of these links. Where God
gives one of these blessings, he gives the rest. There is no intimation of a
failure somewhere in between. The predestinated are called, and the called
are justified, and the justified are glorified.
Not with the common call with which he
calls other men, but with the special call. The hen, when she is about in
the yard, keeps on calling; but when she wants her own little ones to come
and run beneath her wings, then she has a special cluck for them, and they
know it, and they come, and run and hide beneath her.
Romans 8:30 Justification and Glory
Romans 8:30: Predestination and Calling
Like links in a golden chain, each one of
the blessings of grace draws on another. The central links are within our
view, and if we know them to be ours, we may be sure that the others which
belong to the past and the future are securely fastened to them. He who is
called is most assuredly predestinated, and shall, beyond all question, be
in due time glorified.
He regarded them as just. He made them
just through the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ.
No slips, no gaps or chasms, by the way.
The foreknown are predestinated: the predestinated are the called: the
called are justified: the justified are glorified.
There is no break in this chain. The
foreknown are predestinated, the predestinated are called, the called are
justified, the justified are glorified. It is a wondrous chain. He that
getteth a hold of it anywhere hath a hold of the whole of it, for this
Scripture cannot be broken. If thou art called by grace into the fellowship
of eternal life, thou shalt be justified and glorified.
There is no separating these golden links
of love and mercy. That foreknowledge, to which all things future are open
and present, begins the deed of love. Predestination comes in, and chooses a
people for God who shall be eternally his. Upon this, in due time, follows
effectual calling, by which the chosen ones are brought out, from the impure
mass of mankind, and set apart unto God. Then follows justification by
faith, through the precious blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ; and
where this is, glory will certainly come, for “whom he justified, them he
Notice that personal pronoun “he” — how
it comes at the beginning, and goes on to the end. “Salvation is of the
Lord.” This is so often forgotten that, trite as it may appear, we cannot
repeat it too often: “Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate Whom
he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom he called, them he also
justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” You might
suppose, from the talk of some men, that, salvation is all of the man
himself; — that is free agency pushed into a falsehood, a plain truth puffed
into a lie. There is such a thing as free agency, and we should make a great
mistake if we forgot it; but there is also such a thing as free grace, and
we shall make a still greater mistake if we limit that to the agency of man;
it is God who works our salvation from the beginning to the end.
You see that these great declarations
relate to the same persons right through the whole series: “ Whom he did
foreknow, he also did predestinate;... whom he did predestinate, them he
also called,... them he also justified,... them he also glorified.” There
is not a single link missing from the eternal purpose and foreknowledge of
God to the everlasting glory in which the saints’ bliss shall be
consummated. The practical question’s for each one of us to answer are just
these,-have I been “called” by grace out of nature’s darkness into God’s
marvelous light? Have I been “ justified “ by faith, and have I peace with
God through our Lord Jesus Christ? Then, being called and justified, I may
rest assured that I have been predestinated, and that in due time I shall be
“There, where my blessed Jesus reigns,
In heaven’s unmeasured space,
I’ll spend a long eternity
In pleasure and in praise.”
Who shall? Who may? Who dares?
Shall we succumb under the sufferings of
the body? Shall we yield to doubt because of all our heavy feelings, and the
dullness that comes of the flesh? By no manner of means. We can get through
all these difficulties, if God be with us.
If God is that great working One who does
all this, who can be against us? “Why, a great many,” says one. But they
are nothing, nor are all put together anything at all, as compared with him
who is on our side.
After having given us his own Son, what
is there that he can withhold from us if it is for our real good? Nay, he
has already virtually given us all things in giving him to us.
I do not know what we can say. Wonders of
grace, mountains of mercy mercy without limit — what shall be say to these
things? This, at least we can say: — A great many can be against us, but we
reckon them as nothing at all, if God be for us.
And so it was, for, as he could not
travel quickly, the journey was prolonged, and he arrived at London some
days later than had been expected. When they reached Highgate, they heard
the bells ringing merrily in the city down below. They asked the meaning and
were told, "Queen Mary is dead, and there will be no more burning of
"Ah," said Gilpin, "you see, it is all for the best." It is a blessing to
break a leg if thereby a life is saved. How often our calamities are our
Romans 8:31 God is With Us
Romans 8:31 God is With Us
Romans 8:31 If God be for us, who can be against us?
There is an opposite to this, and it belongs to some who are here: If God be
against you, who can be for you? If you are an enemy to God, your very
blessings are curses to you. Your pleasures are only the prelude to your
pains. Whether you have adversity or prosperity, so long as God is against
you, you can never truly prosper. Take half an hour this afternoon to think
this over: If God be against me, what then? What will become of me in time
and eternity? How shall I die? How shall I face him in the day of judgment?
It is not an impossible "if" but an "if" which amounts to a certainty, I
fear, in the case of many who are sitting in this house today.
This is the master argument in prayer. If
we understand its force we shall not be afraid of asking too much.
There can be no end to the bounty of God
after he has given his Son. He that has given the jewel of the universe, the
very eye of heaven — what! will he not give to us all else really needed,
and give freely, too?
Romans 8:32 The Gospel of Abraham's Sacrifice of Isaac
Romans 8:32 The Saints Riches
Romans 8:32. 33
For so we think it ought to be read. That is another question. Can God lay
anything to our charge after having justified us? Will he contradict
No, that is impossible; and if he does
not lay anything to their charge, what cause have they to fear?
Notice, it is not simply “freely give us
all things;” but, “with him also freely give us all things.” You shall
get all things with Christ; but you shall get nothing without Christ, for
all the other gifts come in this one. God erst gave us his Son; and he gives
us everything in him.
Dear children of God, feed on these words. They are like wafers made with
honey, like cold waters from the rock Eat drink, and be filled. “Who shall
separate us from the love of Christ?”
Well might the apostle ring out these
confident challenges to heaven, and earth, and hell. As it is God that
justifieth, who can bring any charge against his elect? Who can condemn
those for whom Christ died, for whom he has risen, and for whom he is now
making intercession at the right hand of God?
Ring out the challenge in heaven itself;
trumpet it through all the caverns of hell; let the whole universe hear it:
“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect ?” None can, for
“it is God that justifieth,” and his justification blocks every charge
that is brought against his people.
Who shall the Lord’s elect condemn?
’Tis God that justices their souls;
And mercy like s mighty stream,
O’er all their sins divinely rolls.
Romans 8:34. Who is he that condemneth? Christ that died?
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.
There is only One who can, for there is
only one Judge, and that Judge is Jesus. So, the apostle puts it again in
the form of a question, — shall he condemn us?
Romans 8:34: The Believer's Challenge
Romans 8:34 A Bold Challenge Justified
Romans 8:34: A Challenge and a Shield
Romans 8:34 Jesus, the Substitute for His
Shall he condemn us? It is altogether impossible. Will he blow hot and mild,
and first intercede for them, and then condemn them? It cannot be.
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth?
Why, Paul, Satan will bring thundering accusations against you. Are you not
"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."
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."
Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
All these have done their worst.
Oh, this blessed question — this touching
question! It seems to come at the end of all the others,— a rear-guard which
effectually prevents oar treasures from being taken from us. “Quis
separabit?” “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”
“Quis separabit?” That shall be our
motto in every time of trial: “who shall separate us from the love of
What a long list of ills! They seem to
make up a Jeremiah’s roll of sorrow. Can they separate us from the love of
Christ? They have all been tried; have they ever succeeded?
Well, these things have been tried. As it
is written, “For thy sake we are killed all the day long. We are accounted
as sheep for the slaughter.” In Paul’s day they were being hunted to the
death, by thousands, and tens of thousands. Were they separated from
The enemy grew tired of persecution before the saints were wearied by it.
You remember how, in the days of the Roman Empire, the Christians came to
the judgment-seat and confessed Christ, even when they were not sought after
as if tempting their enemies to throw them to the lions, or put them to
death. They were destitute of all fear, and though Emperors were worse than
brutes, these Christians defied them, outbraved them vanquished them. They
could not put down the Christians.
Romans 8:35. Shall tribulation ?
That has been tried. Have not the saints been beaten like wheat upon the
threshing-floor? Has not addiction been to them a stern test of the reality
of their faith? But Christ has loved them none the less for all the
suffering that he has permitted to fall upon them.
Romans 8:35. Or distress, or persecution, or
famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
When they have been in famine or poverty, has Christ ever forsaken his
saints? Ah, no! he has loved them all the more. Have any of these things
separated us from our Savior? No; but they have, to oar own consciousness,
knitted us even more closely to our Divine Lord. Cruel men have tried every
form of persecuting the saints of God; they have been more inventive in the
torments which they have applied to Christianse than in almost anything
else; yet no torture, no rack, no imprisonment, has ever divided them from
Christ. They have clung to him still, after the manner of John Bunyan, who,
when they said, that he might go free if he would promise not to preach the
gospel, said, “I will lie in prison till the moss grows on my eyelids
rather than I will ever make such a promise as that. If you let me out of
prison to-day, I will preach to-morrow, by the grace of God.”
Romans 8:35. 36
They have all had their turn; but did any of them, or all of them put
together, ever divide the saints from Christ?
But there has been no triumph over the
saints in this case.
But did they succeed in separating saints
from the love of Christ even in the days of martyrdom?
But have they divided the saints from the
love of Christ? Have they made the saints leave off loving Christ, or Christ
cease from loving his people?
Romans 8:37 We are more than conquerors through
him that loved us.
Jesus is the representative man for his people. The head has triumphed, and
the members share in the victory. While a man's head is above the water you
cannot drown his body.
So far from being divided from the love
of Jesus, the saints were in persecuting times driven closer to their Lord,
so that they enjoyed yet sweeter communion with him. No earthly trial can
make Jesus forget the souls for whom he died; he changes not in the purpose
of his mind or the affection of his heart.
Romans 8:37 More Than Conquerors (Pdf)
Romans 8:38, 39 1 am persuaded, that neither death, nor life....
Someone asked me the other day, "What persuasion are you of?" and the answer
was, "I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor
height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from
the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38,39 Paul's Persuasion
“All these things” have only made the
saints cling the more closely to their Lord, instead of separating them from
him. Their persecutors thought they were triumphing over them, but it was
the martyrs who were the victors all the while.
Not all that men on earth can do, Nor
powers on high, nor powers below, Shall cause his mercy to remove, Or wean
our hearts from Christ our love.
Glory be unto his holy name! Amen.
For which blessed be the name of the
adorable Trinity, world without end!
Blessed, forever blessed, be his holy name! Amen.
Paul had good reason for being persuaded
that there was no separation for those for whom there was no condemnation,
may we be among them by God’s grace! Amen.
“Wherefore, comfort one another with
The apostle began with No condemnation
and he ends with No separation, filling up the space between with priceless
covenant blessings. No chapter in the Bible is more crowded with sublime and
consoling teaching. Lord, grant us to know and enjoy all the inestimable
privileges which it reveals.
He lives, he lives, and sits above,
For ever interceding there;
Who shall divide us from his love?
Or what shall tempt us to despair?
Shall persecution, or distress,
Famine, or sword, or nakedness?
He that hath loved us bears us through,
And makes us more than conquerors too.
Faith hath an overcoming power,
It triumphs in the dying hour:
Christ is our life, our joy, our hope;
Nor can we sink with such a prop.