Community Group Study “Romans 8:31-39 The Inseparable Love of Christ”
Read Romans 8:31-39
If we ever doubt God’s love and care for us, we need only to look at the gift he has given.
Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
Throughout Romans 8 Paul has addressed what has been accomplished for the people of God to give them security and assurance. So far we have learned that God has condemned sin through the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This freed the people of God from living by the “law of sin and death”; instead they are empowered to walk in the Spirit towards life and peace (Romans 8:2). Then we learned that God has adopted his people into his family giving them access to him and assurance of his love and salvation. Next, Paul addressed the real problems we face in this world and the hope that God gives us in Christ. These problems include the ongoing effect of sin on creation and our physical bodies. Romans 8 described creation and our bodies as groaning; both awaiting redemption. It is not difficult to look around the world and see that things are not how they should be. However, the hope for those in Christ is that we have the Holy Spirit groaning in how he intercedes for us in prayer. We also have a promise from God that he works all things together for our good, which means he is shaping his people to be more like his son Jesus (Romans 8:28-29).
Yet, in the face of things like the brokenness of creation, struggles with our physical bodies, ongoing battle with sin and opposition from the world we can be tempted to doubt God’s goodness and his work to secure our salvation and belonging into his family. If we find ourselves facing such a temptation we need look no further than Romans 8:31-39.
These verses are the crescendo of Paul’s argument.
Paul uses a literary device of piling up question after question to emphasize his singular point: nothing can separate a believer in Jesus from the love of God. There are seven questions and answers in this passage given in quick succession to communicate to us the unfailing commitment and love of God and the security he has given his people.
Romans 8:31-39 teaches us that there are many things that are real and practical enemies to our faith. These enemies include both the physical and spiritual world. Yet notice that ultimately no one can stand in God’s way. Who is against us? We have security because of God’s generous love in how he gave the ultimate gift, his son. Who shall bring a charge against the elect? We do not need to fear a charge being brought against those in Christ because God has justified (made righteous) those in Jesus. So those charges that come from your sin nature and the enemy that ring in your ear are actually hollow accusations. Who is to condemn? At this very moment, follower of Jesus, Christ is raised and at the right hand of God interceding for you. Who shall separate us from the love of God? Suffering in this world is not proof that God has abandoned you, suffering is to be expected and God is with his people in it. God has rendered each and every enemy powerless and he is steadfast in his love for his people.
Paul finally shares with us his personal confidence in all these things saying in Romans 8:38 “For I am sure”. He is absolutely confident that our union with Christ and security is never in question. Death nor life, angels nor rules, things present nor things to come, nor powers, height nor depth… and just in case we think he forgot something Paul adds in “nothing else in all creation”. Nothing and no one can separate the people of God from his steadfast lost in Christ Jesus.
Main idea: If we are tempted to look to our circumstances and situations as a measure of God’s love then we will struggle to feel assurance. What God offers us instead is to look to the work he has done in Christ. The believers confidence can be found in the generous, steadfast and overwhelming love of God in Christ Jesus.
Read and Observe:
Take 10-15 minutes and write down observations you have from the passage.
Read through Romans 8:31-39 and summarize each of the questions and answers that Paul gives. Do you find a theme in the questions asked and the answers given?
Look at Romans 8:34. To be condemned is to be disapproved of or punished. We’ve already learned in Romans 8:1 that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Paul is concerned that we know the reality of Romans 8:1, yet he also realizes that we deal with feelings of condemnation. Where do you think these words or thoughts of condemnation come from? What spiritual resource are believers given to fight this?
Many of us are challenged by how “loud” the voice of our circumstances and suffering can be in this world. Why do you think Paul addresses trials, danger, distress, etc in Romans 8:35 and then go through all these things that cannot separate us from God’s love in Romans 8:38-39?
If you are a follower of Jesus, can anything divide you from the love of God in Christ?
Does this passage speak specifically to anything you’re going through in your life right now? How does this give you assurance, encouragement or hope?