Think about how special it is to give gifts and receive gifts.
Joni Eareckson Tada is a Christian quadriplegic. She writes about Christmas before her diving accident, which made her a quadriplegic, listen to this:
Every Christmas I think about what it was like to be on my feet during the holidays. There were parties and plays, dates and decorating, and hittin’ the malls. My sister Jay and I would traipse through stores, searching for the perfect gifts for everybody.
Then came my diving accident. That Christmas I spent at a rehab center in Baltimore. One of the things that hurt me most was that I couldn’t buy gifts. It added to the hurt I was already feeling. The way I saw it, God was asking way too much of me. Not only was the use of my body taken away at Christmastime, but I was also deprived of the joy of gift giving. Nothing was right; everything was wrong. On the afternoon of Christmas Eve I felt like a martyr.
But Christmas morning my heart softened. Maybe I’m concentrating too much on what God is asking of me and not enough on what he’s given me. Was my relinquishing everything unreasonable? Of course not. He gave more than everything. As Romans 8 says, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Things like profound peace. A settled soul. Rock-solid contentment.
As I focused on Christmas’s meaning, I realized the best gift I could give him and others was myself. My mother didn’t want a new dress; she wanted to see me smile. My father didn’t need a new bridle for his horse; he needed his daughter to laugh. Jay didn’t need another sweater; she needed to see me grab hold of hope.
What about you? What gifts from your heart—the ones you can’t buy—can you give?
Wow! Realize how profound it is that God did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all. God gave for you. Think about that. We all can have a free gift of salvation because God gave for you.
We are walking through Romans and we come to the end of Romans chapter 8.
My theme today is “Our Victory in Christ.”
- God gave His Son for us, this shows that he is for us (verses 31-39).
- Remember, this is in context of God’s logical order of salvation.
Look at verse 31: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
- Really, think about this, God is for us. Who cares if mere humans are against us? The creator of the cosmos is for us. The creator of the cosmos wants a relationship with us.
- The argument is from the greater to the lesser.
Verse 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?
- God, the Father, did not spare His own Son. What does that show? It shows that He greatly cares about us. He was willing to send Jesus to the cross for us.
- How will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? This is a question anticipating an obvious negative answer. He will graciously give us all things. That means all things needed for salvation and for our life in Him. God will graciously give us the Holy Spirit and what we need to live for Him. This is not meaning that He will graciously give us all things like a big house and a BMW, or a Mercedes. I prayed for a Mercedes and God gave me one but that does not happen with everyone (sarcasm, since my daughter is named Mercedes). No, God will graciously give us all we need to be saved.
- Remember the point of Romans. God gifts us with salvation. We could NOT be saved by the law. The gentiles need a Savior, the Israelites need a Savior. God graciously gifts us with salvation.
Piper shares: Romans 8:32 is a quintessential summary of the argument (and argument is the right word!) of the first eight chapters of Paul’s letter to the Romans. There is a logic to this greatest-of-all letters. I call it the logic of heaven.
This kind of logic has a technical name. You may or may not know the name of the logic, but you definitely know how to use it. You can call it an argument, or a logic, from the greater to the lesser. The technical name is a fortiori, which is Latin for from the stronger. The idea is this: if you have exerted your strength to accomplish something hard, then surely you can exert your strength to accomplish something easier. That’s an a fortiori argument.
So, suppose you say to your child, “Please run next door and ask Mr. Smith if we can borrow his pliers.” But your child says, “But what if Mr. Smith doesn’t want us to borrow his pliers?” How can you persuade your child that Mr. Smith will surely loan you his pliers? By using an a fortiori argument!
It goes like this: you say to your child, “Yesterday, Mr. Smith was happy to let us borrow his car all day long. If he was happy for me to borrow his car, he’ll be very willing for us to borrow his pliers.” Even children grasp a fortiori arguments. Loaning his car was a greater sacrifice than loaning his pliers. Therefore, it was harder to loan his car than it will be to loan his pliers. If he was inclined to do the harder thing, then he will be willing to do the easier thing. That’s the way we use a fortiori arguments.
Now watch Paul use this kind of argument for the greatest event in the history of the world. He says, God did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. That’s the harder thing. Therefore, he will most certainly give us all things with him. That’s the easier thing. When this argument penetrates through the callouses of familiarity, it becomes gloriously hope-filled and all-encompassing.
Verse 33: Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
- This is a question with an implied negative answer. NO ONE can bring a charge against God’s elect. Why? God justified. God has declared us righteous.
- Once we are saved by the blood of Jesus your sins are washed away. They are gone. The devil can accuse you all he wants but Jesus has paid for your sins. No one can bring a charge.
Piper writes: Paul could have said here, “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?” and then answered, “No one! We are justified.” That’s true. But that is not what he said. His answer instead is, “God is the one who justifies.”
The emphasis is not on the act but on the Actor.
Why? Because in the world of courts and laws where this language comes from, the acquittal of a judge might be overturned by a higher one.
So what, if a local judge acquits you, when you are guilty, if a governor has the right to bring a charge against you? So what, if a governor acquits you, when you are guilty, if the emperor can bring a charge against you?
Here’s the point: Above God, there are no higher courts. If God is the one who acquits you — declares you righteous in his sight — no one can appeal; no one can claim a technicality; no one can call for a mistrial; no one can look for other counts against you. God’s sentence is final and total.
Hear this, all you who believe on Jesus, and become united to Christ, and show yourself among the elect: God is the one who justifies you. Not a human judge. Not a great prophet. Not an archangel from heaven. But God, the Creator of the world and Owner of all things and Ruler of the universe and every molecule and person in it, God is the one who justifies you.
The point: unshakable security in the face of tremendous suffering. If God is for us, no one can successfully be against us. If God gave his Son for us, he will give us everything that is good for us. If God is the one who justifies us, no charge against us can stand.
- The next verse builds on this:
Verses 34-36: 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. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
- Who is to condemn?
- If you are in Christ no one can condemn you. Jesus has saved you.
- Jesus died, and was raised for you. Jesus is at the right hand of God, that is the place of authority, interceding for you.
- Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Remember if God sent Jesus to the cross for us what more can God do to show that He cares? No one can separate us. Tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword, no, nothing can separate us from God’s love.
- Paul then cites Psalm 44:22.
Look at verses 37-39: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- We are more than conquerors, but how? Through God, who loved us.
- Because of the salvation that God freely gives us we are more than conquerors, but not because of what we do, but what He has done. It is all about Jesus.
- Paul repeats with great detail that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Notice the end, “in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”
There was a pastor Robert Bruce and this happened in 1631:
In August of 1631 Bruce was very elderly and weak in body. At breakfast one morning having eaten his normal portion of eggs, he asked his daughter for more. As she went to prepare it, he called her to wait for his master was calling. After a short time of meditation he asked his daughter to get his Bible and open it to Romans 8. Having read the chapter he turned to his family and said “Now God be with you, my children; I have breakfasted with you, and shall now sup with my Lord Jesus Christ this night.” He died shortly thereafter.
We have salvation and eternal life freely given through Jesus.
We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus, but we do have to go through life, but WITH Jesus.
In a Leadership Journal article, John Ortberg argues that sometimes stressful and painful situations can actually help us grow. Ortberg creates the following scenario:
Imagine you’re handed a script of your newborn child’s entire life. Better yet, you’re given an eraser and five minutes to edit out whatever you want. You read that she will have a learning disability in grade school. Reading, which comes easily for some kids, will be laborious for her. In high school, she will make a great circle of friends, then one of them will die of cancer. After high school, she will get into her preferred college, but while there, she will lose a leg in a car accident. Following that, she will go through a difficult depression. A few years later she’ll get a great job, then lose that job in an economic downturn. She’ll get married, but then go through the grief of separation.
With this script of your child’s life and five minutes to edit it, what would you erase? Psychologist Jonathon Haidt poses this question in this hypothetical exercise: Wouldn’t you want to take out all the stuff that would cause them pain?
If you could erase every failure, disappointment, and period of suffering, would that be a good idea? Would that cause them to grow into the best version of themselves? Is it possible that we actually need adversity and setbacks—maybe even crises and trauma—to reach the fullest potential of development and growth?
Ortberg contends that God doesn’t always erase all our stress and pain before it starts. Instead, God can use the failures, disappointments, and periods of suffering to help us grow. Ortberg writes, “God isn’t at work producing the circumstances I want. God is at work in bad circumstances to produce the me he wants.”
This is a powerful passage about our awesome salvation.
 Taken from More Precious than Silver; By Joni Eareckson Tada; Copyright © 1998
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids
 See reference below but I heard this from Ray Ortlund Jr at the Aug 28 Cedarville University chapel
 Source: John Ortberg, “Don’t Waste a Crisis,” Leadership Journal (Winter, 2011)