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No One Can Separate Us (Romans 8:31-34)
The Work and Ministry of the Holy Spirit
No One Can Separate Us
Romans 8:31-34
We are almost to the end of our study of Romans 8 and what it has to say about the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit.  I trust what we've learned will help you to understand first of all, how significant and critical is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to every part of your life. 
I think it is unfortunate that the third person of the Trinity sometimes gets treated as if He is less than or not as important as the other two persons of the Godhead.  In fact, I don't know if I have ever read or heard anything about the worship of the Holy Spirit.  He gets completely left out of our worship, and yet it is the Holy Spirit of God that is the most significant in our daily walk and experience.   
But if we are to worship God fully and totally, we must worship Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  And if we are going to worship Him rightly, then we need to have a right understand of why He is to be worshipped. And that's really what this chapter helps us to see.  
While God the Father planned our redemption and God the Son provided the means of our redemption through His death and resurrection, it is God the Spirit who produces and guarantees our redemption. 
And that is really the focus of these closing verses of the chapter - how the Spirit guarantees our future glorification.  In fact, that truth is really where all the chapter says is pointing.  Paul, writing under the inspiration and direction of the Holy Spirit wants his hearers to know that one day they will be with the Lord and like the Lord.
And the majority of the chapter is devoted to that theme, all the way from verse 18 to verse 39.  That entire section focuses on one glorious reality and that is that salvation is forever. And I will tell you, if ever there was a reason to worship the Holy Spirit, that is it!
So Paul mentions glorification in verse 17, then starting in 18, running all the way down to verse 30, he gives this great, glorious argument for the eternal security of our salvation.  And the culmination of his argument comes in verse 30 when he says that God not only begins the process, He completes the process of our salvation.
Now obviously, like any good Baptist, when Paul completes the presentation, he anticipates some objections.  Do you ever hear anyone question that salvation is secure?  Those who don't understand the clear teaching of Scripture always want to argue about the nature of salvation! 
So when Paul gets through, he anticipates that some aren't going to agree, or they will have questions. He knows somewhere, someplace there’s a group of people who have stayed up all night and they’ve figured out some objections.  And he knows what they’re going to be because there are only certain things you can argue about. 
In fact, there are only two possibilities that cause people to believe you can lose your salvation.  Either some person can cause you to lose your salvation or some circumstance can cause you to lose it.  That’s all you’ve got.  That’s all the categories there are. 
So the argument is that, in spite of the work of the Holy Spirit, in spite of the provision of Christ, and in spite of the purpose of God question, some person can cause you to lose your salvation. 
And if not some person, then some circumstance could cause it to happen?  Those two things are the subject of verses 31 to 39.
The first part, verses 31 to 34, answers the question:  Is there a person who can cause you to lose your salvation? 
Then, verses 35 to 37, deal with the possibility of circumstance that might cause you to lose your salvation. 
Tonight we'll deal with the possibility of persons and next time, we'll deal with the circumstances.
So what about it?  Can some person cause us to lose our salvation? 
Well, Paul addresses the questions with a question.  
verse 31
In other words, how shall we respond to these great doctrinal and biblical truths regarding the nature and security of our salvation?  Those are "the things" he is referencing.
The subject at hand is concerning eternal salvation and how God has secured us in His purpose, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, God works all things together for our eternal good, that if we have been foreknown and predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, we will get there and none of us will be lost, that all who are called are justified and glorified – all those things that relate to an eternal salvation that cannot be lost. 
What shall we say to these things?  What’s your response?  That’s the question.  What is the conclusion you want to draw?
Well, Paul knows that there are going to be people who will protest this.  They’re going to say salvation can be lost.  It’s a wonderful thing, but it can be lost because there are certain persons and there are certain circumstances that can cause us to abandon it or to have it taken away from us, to forfeit it. 
So Paul says, “Okay, let’s consider the possibilities.
First of all, is there
- a person or persons
Is there a human being or human beings who can take away our salvation?  Can they have such power over us, such influence over us that they can remove what God has given for us? 
Then the answer is given in verse 31.  “If God is for us, who’s against us?”  The "who" is thinking in terms of any person, group of persons, or personality.  Is there anybody anywhere who can take away your salvation? 
And by the way, there are some out there that, if they could, they would.  I've know husbands and wives who hated the faith of their spouse. 
Lots of people out there are offended by your Christianity. 
There are some kids out there that resent the faith of their parents.  There are business owners and politicians who wish they didn't have to be confronted with the complications Christianity creates for them and they wish it would just all go away.
Our society is overflowing with secular educators who do everything they can to destroy the influence and sway of faith in the life of their students.   Society as a whole has as their goal to neutralize the influence of Christianity.
They don't like what you and I believe about marriage, creation, God, eternity, heaven, hell, raising kids or virtually any other subject you want to advance.
The whole culture is opposed to the things of God.  And there are all kinds of people  operating in the kingdom of darkness who would do anything they could to separate you from your faith and your salvation. 
In fact, there are a whole lot of churches and religions that would do it also.  There are plenty of people who would do it and plenty of them have influence and power and impact and sophistication.
But Paul says. "If God be for us, who can be against us?"
So what does he mean by that?  Well, the best way to understand the verse is to remove the word "if" and replace it with "since". 
It is a conditional statement.  It's not about probability, it’s about actuality.  It’s an actual reality put in a conditional clause, so it would be read this way:  “Since God is for us, who successfully can be against us?”  It’s a pretty simple argument, isn’t it?  Is anybody more powerful than God? 
God has predetermined our eternal destiny to be conformed to the image of His Son, that His Son might be the preeminent one among many brethren.  God has predetermined the end at the beginning.  God called us, justified us, and He promises to glorify us.  That’s His purpose.  His Son intercedes for us.  His Spirit guarantees it's going to happen.  So who is going to interfere in the process?
After all, we know what God has said.  We know His plan and  purpose is to bring us all to glory and lose none of us and to give us everlasting life.  And we will never perish.  And Jesus said, “No one will take them out of My Father’s hand.”  That’s God’s promise, that’s God’s pledge.  And since God is for us, what person would be more powerful than God?
Doesn’t matter who comes against us.  God is for us.  God is for us.  It’s really the flipside of verse 28.  God positively causes all things to work together for our eternal good. 
And verse 31 tells us, the negative is no one can undo that.  If God causes everything to work to our good, then no one can make anything work to our evil.  No one can remove our no-condemnation status indicated in chapter 8 verse 1.  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.  No one, no person, no human. 
So that's the first point. No human person can do that because God is greater than any and all humans.  So the possibility of humans evaporates in the simple statement at the end of verse 31:  “If God is for us” – or since He’s for us – “who could successfully be against us?”
There is a second possibility and that is
- God Himself
Can God Himself take away our salvation?  What did Job say?  "The Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord."  After all God is sovereign, so can He take our salvation away?  Can He change His mind about us?  Can He be so disappointed in us? 
Can we follow a pattern of sin to the degree that He takes back what He gave us?  Can He see us sinning and see us being disobedient and remove from us the life that He gave us?  Does He reverse course and return us to being dead in our trespasses and sins?
After all, He made us alive.  We were born again and given new life.  Does He kill us and now we’re dead again?  Is keeping us saved just too much trouble?
Paul answers that possibility in
verse 32
Now I'm going to suggest to you that this is a really simple verse in spite of how it sounds.  Its sounds a little bit wordy and hard to follow, but it’s really very simple to understand.
It is a classic Jewish argument from the greater to the lesser.  It’s a simple argument.  Follow the thought:  God didn’t spare His own Son but delivered Him over for us all.  Right?  God could have protected Jesus and let us go to hell, but He didn't.  He placed Him in the hands of His enemies and allowed them to take His life so you and I could be saved. 
So if God did that, if He gave us His Son to save us, doesn't it make sense that He’ll give us lesser things to keep us saved?  That’s the argument.  The argument is from the greater to the lesser.  God’s love is so strong for those He chooses to redeem that He gives His own Son.  The best, the most, the purest, the divine one, the highest price, the greatest cost, His own beloved Son was given to save us.  Don’t you think He would do less than that to keep us?
It is a repeat of the argument Paul makes back in chapter 5.  When you were saved, you were saved strictly by grace.  You didn’t do anything to earn it or deserve it. 
Romans 5:6
We were helpless, without strength and ungodly.  But God gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for the helpless and the ungodly, and we could also add, the spiritually dead and the blind and the ignorant and the wicked. 
Now you know as well as I, people just don't do that.  They don't give good stuff for sorry things and they sure don't give their life for others, especially if they are ungodly.  
verse 7
Now and then you see somebody give his life for somebody who’s a good person but that’s pretty rare.  We read about parents dying for their children and things like that. 
But I'll guarantee you if somebody is willing to give his life, the person he’s going to give his life for is going to be a good person, somebody that he has great admiration and respect for.  They’re not going to give their life for a bad person, and especially not a criminal or an enemy.
But God, in verse 7, demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  We were sinners.  Wretched, lost, blind, dead, godless, helpless, and yet
verse 8-9
Look, if God gave His Son in death to make our justification possible, don’t you think the life of the Son of God will secure our glorification?  That’s the whole point.
Verse 10
We were literally redeemed at the most infinite cost, the death of Christ, and we will be kept by the living interceding Christ.  Even Christ gave the greater gift to save us and the lesser gift to keep us.  He died to save us; He lives to keep us.  If the Father gave His Son to save us when we were ungodly, gave His Son in death to save us, will He not give His Son and His Spirit in life to secure us? 
I mean, it’s that simple a concept, that God has done the greater in justifying us when we were unworthy, ungodly, wretched.  Will He not now that we belong to Him and have been transformed and made new creatures and have righteous longing and holy affection, will He not do what He needs to do to keep us, which is far less than the giving of His Son in the sacrifice of the horrors of the cross?
The language, “He delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”  Since He delivered Him over, that’s a very graphic term.  Delivering over was handing somebody over to the executioner – technical term.  Since the Father delivered the Son to the destruction and damnation and punishment that sin required, the rest of the verse then, “will He not also with Him freely give us all that flows out of that?”  All we need to be secure?
And by the way, don't miss the little phrase "us all" in verse 32.  Everyone is included.  The “us all” in verse 32 is the “us” of verse 31.  “If God is for us, who is against us?”  Those “us’s” are the “these” of verse 30.  “These whom He predestined, called, justified, these He also glorified.” 
Whoever is in the plan, the provision for them has been made, and God will add to that provision in the gift of His Son anything else that is necessary to get them to glory.  And I love the fact that it says “freely give us all things.”  It continues to be grace.  We don’t earn it, we don’t deserve it, but we receive it.
Somebody says, “Okay, if persons can’t take away our salvation, and if God Himself can’t take away our salvation because He’s already committed Himself to give the greatest gift and lesser gifts come easily after that, maybe there’s another person.  How about
- Satan
No doubt,  Satan would like to do it.  He wanted to destroy Job’s faith.  He went before God in the book of Job and he said the only reason – to God, he said, “The only reason Job is faithful to You is because You bless him.  Take away his blessing and he’ll curse You.  I’ll shatter his faith.”
God turned Satan loose, said, “Go do it all, anything but take his life.”  And Satan moved, and all his animals were killed, all his children were killed, and then Job was sick, then he had a bunch of stupid counselors telling him all kinds of things that weren’t true, and he was isolated in the agonies of confusion because the conversation between God and Satan wasn’t known to him. 
He had no idea while this was going on what the cause was, what the motive was, what the reason was.  But in the middle of it all, Satan still couldn't take his faith away.
Even when Satan had killed his family and left him only with a wife who said things she shouldn’t have said and was no help, even when Satan had removed everything that he owned and possessed, when he left him so sick and so covered with boils and sores he was scraping them off with a piece of broken pottery, it didn't work. 
And that would probably be the kind of extremity that would make most of us say, “If you’re going to lose this thing, I’m going to lose it here.”
And Satan was essentially the tormentor through all of that.  But in the middle of it all, what does Job say?  “Though He slay me, yet will I” – what? – “trust Him.”  In the middle of all the tragedy, Job got down on Hi knees and blessed the Lord.  You can’t kill that kind of faith because God sustains it in the midst of everything.
Satan wanted to destroy the faith of Peter.  Jesus said, “Peter, you better be careful because Satan desires to sift you like wheat.” 
Satan is the accuser of the brethren according to Revelation 12.  He’s the accuser of the brethren day and night before the throne of God, accusing the brethren.  He did it with Job.  He’s coming to Jesus about Peter.  He’s going after Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 with a messenger from Satan being like a thorn in the flesh.  Satan is the accuser of the brethren.  He is the tormentor. 
So with that background, you come to verse 33:  “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect?”  Well, the one who is always trying to do that is Satan. 
Or the beginning of verse 34.  “Who is the one who condemns?”  The one who does that is Satan.
Both those questions, really, are the same question.  One, wanting to bring a charge that would result in condemnation.  Going to God and saying, “You never give me access to this person!  Let me torment this person and I’ll destroy his faith.  He’s not a worthy person.  He’s only serving You because things are going well.  And if we make life tough enough for him, he’ll curse You.  I’ll show you what he’s really like.”
This is what Satan does all the time.  He’s night and day before the throne of God, bringing accusations against the saints.  Can he succeed?  The answer comes in
verse 33
Literally, “God is the one justifying.”  God alone condemns and God alone declares righteous.  And if God declares that we are righteous in Christ, He can’t at the same time declare we are guilty.  There is no higher judge.  Believers are always being accused.  I think that goes on in heaven all the time. 
Satan is always trying to make a case against our salvation, against God loving us, against God declaring us righteous and just. 
But God has already rendered His final verdict, and the final verdict, based upon his own sovereign purpose, the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, the provision of Christ in His death and resurrection, activated by our faith, is that we have been declared righteous, we have been declared just, and that settles it.
There’s no higher court, that’s the whole point.  There’s no court of appeals above God.  God is the only court.  God is the only court in the universe when it comes to sin and judgment and justification.  There is no other court.  And it is God who is justifying His people, and no accusation from Satan against them can stand.  And no effort on the part of Satan to bring destruction into their lives can stand.
Well, there’s only one possible person left outside of us who might decide to let us go, turn us loose, and that would be
- Christ
So what about Christ?  Could He give up on us?  He brought us in, could He throw us out? 
verse 34
Christ died, was raised and is at the right hand of God interceding for us.  Does that sound like He's going to throw us out?  He’s not going to be the one.  In fact, there are four statements in this verse that guarantee that's not going to happen. 
First,  He’s the one who died, the obvious point.  And  when He died, He received in full the punishment for all our sins.  That’s why He died.  He was sinless.  There was no guilt in Him.  He died in our place, bearing our punishment.  He’s not going to condemn us when He took our condemnation.
Secondly, not only did He die, but He was raised.  In other words, His atonement, as we saw this morning, satisfied God and God validated His work on the cross by raising Him from the dead. 
His resurrection is the affirmation of the accomplishment of His atoning work on the cross.  Christ’s death paid in full the penalty for all the sins of all the people who will ever believe through human history and to indicate that, God raised Him from the dead.
And that’s not all, there’s a third element.  So you have Christ paying in full for our sins, you have the Father validating that His payment was in full for our sins by raising Him from the dead, and then thirdly, who is even at the right hand of God, like Psalm 110:1, “The Lord said to My Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand.’” 
God highly exalted Him because of His work on the cross, gave Him a name above every name, seated Him at His right hand, and every knee bows to Him.  He ascended to the right hand of the throne of God because He had fully accomplished our eternal salvation.
So you pull those together, the complete work of Christ on the cross, through the resurrection, and in His exaltation and His ascension all indicates that our salvation has been paid for in full and God is totally satisfied. 
And as if that’s not enough, end of verse 34, “He also intercedes for us.”  That’s the high point.  He keeps on interceding, keeps on, keeps on interceding.  Hebrews tells us that He’s our great high priest and that He ever lives to make intercession for us. 
He stands at the very throne of God at God’s right hand and He intercedes for us.  Any accusation that comes against us, He becomes the lawyer for our defense who says, “Paid for in full by Me personally.”  He is our high priest forever, Hebrews 6 says, who anchors our hope, which is sure and steadfast within the veil.
So persons that could take away our salvation?  Not any humans, not God, not Satan, not Christ.  Only one possibility.  What about
- ourselves
You say, “I know people like that.  I wouldn’t blame God.  I wouldn’t even blame Satan.  They were in the church, they believed, they sang the songs, they came to Bible study, they said they believed and then they left and they denied Christ and they went away.  They lost their salvation.” 
Did they?  Is that what happened?  They seemed saved to me, some of them are in your family, some of them are close, maybe your children.  Are you asking yourself what happened?  What about those who believed or seemed to believe and then they left?
First John 2:19 gives us the answer to that. 
1 John 2:19
They were never real.  Tares among the wheat.  Rocky soil.  A little life starts to appear to show, no fruit, and they wither and die.  Weedy soil, choked out by the love of the world and riches and the cares of this life.  We all have people like that. 
But they went out from us because they never were really of us.
But for those of us who are real and genuine believers and we have the witness of the Spirit in our hearts in that regard, we’ve seen His fruit evidenced in our lives, our love for the Lord, our love for the truth, our love for the Word, our love for other believers, all these things, our love for things that are holy and pure and good, our salvation is forever secure. 
This is the pinnacle capstone ministry of the blessed Holy Spirit.  And if you don’t believe in that and you like to argue against it, then you have insulted the Holy Spirit that guarantees it.  That is an insult to the Spirit who is doing in the life of a true believer something that that true believer denies that he’s doing and rejects.  The Father planned our eternal salvation, the Son provided and purchased our eternal salvation, and the Holy Spirit produces and perfects our eternal salvation.
So much for persons.  There is no person who could take away your salvation.  Jeremiah 31:3 sums it up.  God says this:  “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” and I rest my weary soul in this confidence. 
Let’s pray.
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