The Christian's Security System

Bible Book: Romans  8 : 31-39
Subject: Salvation; Faith; Blessed Assurance; Eternal Security

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington the word on everyone's lips is "security." News reporters and newspapers are talking about the security of airports, airplanes and buildings. The President added a cabinet member in charge of "Homeland Security."

Paul builds a strong case for the Christian security as he concludes his great treatise on the Holy Spirit in Romans 8. In v. 31 he raises the question "What shall we then say to these things?" The term "these things" refers back to v. 18 where he speaks of "the sufferings of this present time," meaning the attacks a Christian confronts in this present evil age.

All of us are familiar with "these things" - - the sorrow that invades our home, the disappointment that breaks our heart, the burden too great to bear, the embarrassment that put us to shame, the disease that crippled our child's body, the premature death that took our loved one, the business that failed and left us destitute, etc., etc., etc. What shall we say to "these things"?

We've heard the shallow answers. Job's friends say, "You are reaping what you've sown. Confess your sin." Job's wife says, "It's God's fault - - curse him and die." Faith healers say "You didn't have enough faith - - send more money and we will send you an anointed handkerchief." Self-appointed theologians say, "It was the will of God - -suck it up and go on." Thankfully, the Apostle's answer is different - - there are four things we can say to these things:

I. God's Position For Us Is Unquestionable - vv. 31-32

"What shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" The little English word "if" suggests questioning and doubt, but not in this Greek, 1st class conditional sentence. Rather, it declares a condition that is true, thus "God is for us - - and on our side, no matter who or what is against us." The proof is in v. 32.

A. What He Has Done - v. 32a

"He that spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all..." The cross of Calvary is overwhelming evidence that Almighty God is on our side - - literally "did not rescue his son" - - something no loving human father could ever do. The cross is the epitome of love and sacrifice.

B. What He Will Do - - v. 32b

"shall he not with him freely give us all things?" Paul's argument is clear, if God met our greatest need - - our sin problem - - by His Son's atoning death on Calvary, he surely will meet our lesser needs, i.e. "all things" - - the sufferings of this present time.

C. What Does It Mean?

The God we serve is for us and no enemy - - either persons or thing - - can breach our security system - - an amazing truth. In primitive pagan religions, adversity was interpreted as the gods being angry - - and must be appeased. Sacrifices were necessary, sometimes human - - even children offered on pagan altars. But our God is different, for when we face adversity i.e. "these things," our defender is the God "who spared not his own Son."

II. The Adversary's Charge Against Us Is Indefensible - vv. 33-34

"Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?...who is he that condemnth...?" Our arch adversary is the devil, that diabolical false accuser, who drags us before the cosmic court to accuse us of colossal failure. He does it to every Christian - - the preacher, parent, husband, wife or youth. But, bless God, the adversary cannot defend the charge against the accused - his case won't stick - for two profound reasons:

A. Christ Is Our Advocate v. 34

"It is Christ...who also maketh intercession for us." Defendants, charged with violations either true or false, need a good lawyer with authentic credentials. Look at our advocate - - when we received the death sentence (cf. Romans 3:23, 6:23), he died in our place - - "...It is Christ that died..."; and when accused again, the jury assuming our advocate was dead, he shows up in court for "...yea, rather, that is risen again..."; furthermore, as we are challenged by the false accuser day by day he " even     at the right hand of God (the Judge's chambers), who also maketh intercession for us." Cf. 1 John 2:1-2.

B. God Is The Judge v. 33

"It is God that justifies...." This legal term means to "acquit." So, our adversary - - the bold accuser - - doesn't have a chance. The accused is a dear friend of the Judge, who quickly acquits the defendant and throws the case out of court. As long as Jesus is the Advocate, no indictment against the Christian will stand up in God's court - - the devil cannot defend his charge.

III. Christ's Love For Us Is Inseparable - vv. 35-37

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ...?" The opponent knows that as long as Christians have Christ for an advocate, he has no chance against us. Therefore, he must separate us from Christ's love. First, he tried to do it with sin - - it didn't work. Christ died for sinners and God forgives sin. So how will the enemy destroy our security system? He will use suffering - - all kinds of it.

A. The Thorough Testing - vv. 35-36

The list is exhaustive "...tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ...we are killed all the day sheep for the slaughter." Even the number of seven things may symbolically suggest complete testing. A distraught man, going through a series of fiery trails, said to me "Pastor, I feel like I just came from hell." Life's suffering can be severe.

B. The Firm Conclusion - v. 37

"Nay (literally "but"), in all things, we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Paul leaves no doubt - - while we may be separated from health, wealth, family and friends, we cannot be separated from Christ's love. To firmly assure us of our security, the Apostle uses a word, found only here in the New Testament, translated "more than conquerors" which means "super-conquerors" or "champion of champions."

IV. Ultimate Victory for Us Is Undeniable - vv. 38-39

"For I am persuaded that neither..." In a blaze of oratorical skill Paul expresses his undeniable certainty that the Christian's security system will stand the final grueling test. Every possible threat is named including:

A. Natural Enemies

"neither life, nor death..." The resurrection assured us of victory over death - - "thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" 1 Corinthians 15:57. But what about the trials of life - - often a greater test? - - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13.

B. Supernatural Enemies

"nor angels (fallen ones), nor principalities, nor powers..." This threat appears to be the general world of the demonic. John says "Try (test) the spirits whether they are of God...greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." Cf. 1 John 4:1-4.

C. Personal Foes

"...nothing present, nor things to come." Concerning the "sufferings of the present time" they are not worthy to be compared to our future glory. And why fret about the uncertainty of the is "a glory that shall be revealed." Cf. v. 18

D. Astrological Attack

"nor height, nor depth..." The ancient world was haunted by the tyranny of the stars, nor is the modern world free from its own horoscope. At their height, stars stand to exert powerful influences; and at their depth they rise to break the code of the security system around the child of God.

E. Universal Threat

"...nor any other creature..." Paul coins the blanket statement to cover all the bases - - literally he says, "No other thing in creation." The term "other" is the Greek word for "other" that means "different kind" not "just another." We are safe and secure even if invaded from outside our natural world.


Three days following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, in a religious service from the national Cathedral in Washington, D.C., President George W. Bush, Chief Commander of the world's greatest military, read the closing paragraph of Romans 8 which says "...nothing shall be able to separate us from God's love..." v. 39. Truthfully, our greatest security is not in military might but in the love of Almighty God.