Here is Love: Who Can Condemn? - Romans 8:34
Last updated: 14 Apr 2020 11:46
Romans 8:34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Let’s try to find a verse that sums up the whole Bible concerning the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and you will have your choice of a few verses:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 1
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 2
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 3
… just to name a few.
But if we contend that Romans chapter 8 is the summation of the gospel of Christ, then I submit that verse 34 is the summation of the chapter itself.
In verse 33, we gave the possibilities of the list of people who could charge you with one wrongdoing or another. But using the theology and logical thought, we have concluded that no one could bring any charge against the chosen of the Justifier.
In passionate rhetoric, Paul immediately asks one question that you might ask and quickly answers it only to follow up with another pertinent question you might ask and directly refutes it.
You see, in this particular case, when you are reading, unless the author instructs the reader to take a moment to think through what they have written, the author expects the reader to continue reading.
But in this case, the questions asked and the answers given are given in such a way to where the person is reading, equipped and filled with any doubts or disbeliefs, would have no time to build a case against the gospel of God.
“But the author does not know what I have done? How can he be so sure that I am not subject to condemnation?” While it might be true that the author does not know you or I and the time he when wrote this a little over 1930 years ago, Saint Paul does know of all the saints of the past because of the Old Testament that was available at that time. And if we have read our Bibles, we can see that no one born of man was good except God alone.
Let us run down the list of the believers before us, shall we?
Noah – Built the ark to be sure but not only was he wicked and continuously had evil thoughts in his heart 4, you should take the time now and read his mess in Genesis 9. (For the life of me, I cannot figure out we don’t get to hear this side of Noah in church.)
Abraham – Ah yes, the father of our faith, who not once but twice pimped his wife out for fear of losing his own life. 5
Isaac – The sins of the father is in full effect here. 6
Jacob – What hasn’t he done? Whose name means “Trickster,” he has stolen his brother’s birthright through lies, dishonor, and scheming against his father. 7
Joseph – The folly of his pride was his downfall (perhaps don’t tell your brothers that they will worship you someday) but by the sovereign grace of God, it was not his ultimate demise.
Moses – Circumcise every male as a sign of the work of God upon our hearts? Check. Except for Moses forgot that little part of the covenant and consequently, God comes to kill him. 8
And that’s just the ancient patriarchs of our faith!
David – This one is a keeper. Whom God called “a man after my own heart,” who cheated on his wife, got the girl pregnant, and then murdered her husband to cover it up. Hence, we get the 51st Psalm 9 out of it.
And yet, look at what Paul says about all the sins of the Old Testament saints:
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fell short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 10
The old saints were just as jacked up as any sinner who ever lived, but they were not given a free pass. What saved the saints of old is the same thing that saved the saints of the new (including you and me) and that is the cross of Jesus Christ.
The old saints never knew Jesus Christ. They didn’t even know his name. But they knew the explicit promises of God proclaimed by God and his prophets that everything is jacked up, but God will make it right by sending Someone to come and save them.
What the Old Testament saints didn’t know (except John the Baptizer) is that Someone was going to be God himself, becoming fully man and staying fully God, in Jesus Christ His Son.
So, because of Jesus Christ, who lived, died, buried, and rose again to save his people from their sins, His people will face NO CONDEMNATION because of God who loves us.
But you know what? The work of Christ wasn’t all self-contained in his appearances in the Old Testament, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension.
First, he is at the right hand of the Father. That might not mean much to you or me. My kids sit at my right hand all the time when we are watching cartoons. But to God, it is everything:
“As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. 11
And to naysayers who would say, “Nah, I don’t care how obvious the Son of Man reference is. That is not Jesus Christ.” Except, Paul writes:
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. 12
So Christ is ruling and reigning over all creation. Cool, cool, cool. Got it.
But secondly, Christ is interceding for us.
Christ is praying for us. Not the world. Not everybody. But praying and interceding, along with the Spirit 13, for the people who he has definitely and perfectly saved once and for all.
Do you think your King and your God and your Lord who is Almighty and powerful and sovereign and gracious and kind and giving and generous and tender and loving knows you to the core of your being and your heart? Do you think that Christ knows all your wicked thoughts and sins and yet, loves you and saves you?
He does because He is God.
And He never stops thinking about you because He loves you.