Too Late to Fail… We’ve Conquered Already!

Romans 8:31-34 comes towards the end of a pivotal chapter in the Bible. Working back from verse 31 to Romans 8:28-30 is a passage that merits memorization and frequent repetition. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

In this sub-section, the key verse is Romans 8:28.  The Believer in Christ is not the object of random, chance occurrences, nor is he or she the victim of fate, or even “destiny. We are in constant motion in different directions, including standing positions, and always under the control of our omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient loving Heavenly Father. We do not worship a “Deist God” who allegedly sets the world in motion, establishes its laws, and then retires after placing everything on auto-pilot determined by cause-consequence interaction.  We worship the God and Creator of the Universe who not only establishes the laws of nature and of the Universe, but who also never sleeps and constantly takes an active role in the minutest details of our lives, and allowing not a single strand of hair from our head to fall to the ground without His notice.  He reserves the right to intervene, suspend, redirect or reverse the laws of nature at will, because He is bigger than the laws of nature. That is the God we serve how grants favor to who He wills, whenever He wills.

Now what we learn from Romans 8:28-30 is that this Amazing God has us covered and calculated even before He created us. There is no leakage in the seamless links in Romans 8:29-30. For ALL those that God foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son. And ALL those who He predestinated, he also called. And ALL those who He called, he also justified. And ALL those He justified, He also glorified.  Does anybody not know what ALL means? It means all.

Now, remember that we are not expected to understand everything about God.  If we did, that would make us equal to God.   His thoughts are always going to be higher than our thoughts. Romans 8:28-30 clearly establishes God’s sovereignty, but it does not negate man’s responsibility to accept and receive the grace of God. In John 17:12, Jesus made it clear regarding Judas – While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” Though he walked and talked with the Disciples, and was even named an Apostle, Judas was never saved. He was at all times the “son of perdition” and doomed to destruction. Romans 8:28-30 therefore stands.

The implication of Romans 8:28-30 is that as far as the outcome of the Believer’s life on earth is concerned, the end-result is a done deal. Our obedience to, and cooperation with God’s Holy Spirit will affect the quality and fruitfulness of our Christian lives, and will definitely determine the extent to which we will be subjected to disciplinary action from time to time.  Our fleeing the Devil and drawing near to Jesus will determine the rate at which the Fruit of the Holy Spirit displaces and replaces the Works of the Flesh. Our study of the Word of God and obedience to the Holy Spirit will influence how we build on the Foundation that has been laid… and whether our works constitute “gold, silver and precious stones” on the one hand, or “wood, hay and stubble”, on the other hand.   And if the latter, our works will be destroyed by fire and we will suffer loss, but we ourselves will be saved (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

It is against this background that Romans 8:31-34 becomes self-explanatory.  “If” God is for us, really means “since” God is for us. Who can be against us, means it does not matter who is against us, because God is greater and bigger and “badder” than everybody and everything including the Devil, put together. Continuing his reflex logic, Paul refers to the accomplishment of the greater as positive proof of God’s ability and willingness to accompany the lesser.  Sherwin Williams had a brilliant advertisement that vaunted the accomplishments of its paint in covering the Apollo spacecraft and one of the largest submarines on earth, and one of the largest stadiums in America. Then it said, “chances are, we can handle your bathroom.” Paul is saying that because God did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for US – that is the greater thing. It is inconceivable that He will not be able and willing to do the much lesser thing… graciously give us all things.

He then shifts his imagery to a court of law. Who will bring a charge against those whom God has chosen? The Devil will, and people will. But it does not matter. When our accusers lob their most destructive charges and accusations against us, the One hearing the charges will simply say, “paid in full”… and, “I should know, because I am the one who paid for that accusation that you are now leveling against my Son or Daughter.” And when it comes to condemnation… that is under the purview of the Judge.  Anyone can accuse or bring a charge against anyone, but only the Judge can pass an innocent or guilty verdict, and on the basis of that, pass sentence. In the case of the Believer, that verdict has already been passed. Ephesians 2:11-16 sets out the legal case beautifully.  There is no denying that at one time we WERE… but now because of what Christ has done for us and is doing through us, we ARE…


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