Romans 8:31-39


Scripture: Romans 8:31-39

Romans 8:31-39

The year 2020 is chaotic with politicians and pandemic. We need to know the key truth: GIFU

God Is For Us

What does it mean when someone is FOR you? 
Teacher helps a student go from bottom to top
Someone listens to you when you're at end of rope
Parent who takes time to help a struggling child

If GIFU: 3 key questions
1. Who can be against us? 
2. Who can condemn us? 
3. Who can separate us from Christ's love?


1. Who can be against us?

Who is against us: Satan and the "world" (that organises itself against God) seeks to take away everything we cherish. 

God, who is for us: He who has given us us his Son will give us so much more. 

In real life, we can doubt GIFU, especially facing job cuts, stresses and uncertainties. 

Respond in prayer to Paul's question in Romans 8: "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?" 
- What were the things (precious to us) that Christ gave up?
- Reflect in the past year: what has he graciously given us?


2. Who can condemn us?

We deserve condemnation. Of course. 

And we condemn ourselves: 
You're driving a car and almost hits someone. You see the person's face: "Dude, you almost hit me!" And you spend the rest of the day feeling lousy. 

But imagine: 
+ You broke your brother's toy and he dissolves into tears for what you have done. But later on, he still invites you to play.
+ You broke someone's heart. But eventually the person forgives you, and still smiles and hugs you. 

Christ's actions are so much more. Here's the gospel in a nutshell:  
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.

He intercedes for us: so we are freed and saved. (It's hard to believe or experience this. So how?)


3. Who can separate us from Christ's love?

Many things cause us to doubt. During the MCO, we can experience 1% of the following: 
tribulation - difficulties that drag on
persecution - police roadblocks
famine - restricted food choices
nakedness - cannot go shopping
danger - Covid-19 the silent killer
sword - cutting words that we use in anger at home

So we experience 1% suffering. (Yeah, pathetic, right?)

But here's the truth about suffering: "Suffering is a stepping stone and pathway toward Christ" (Micah Vickery)

In suffering we are like sheep. Weak, vulnerable. 
Yet Jesus is the sheep who has stepped on the serpent's head, and Jesus has conquered sin. 
Likewise we are like sheep (stepping on the devouring tiger) on the pathway to become conquerors.

Prayer exercise: 
1. Consider how we are like sheep: name the specific things in which we are feeling vulnerable, exposed, or fearful. What approval are we craving? What are our doubts?
2. Proclaim the truth of GIFU penetrating and overwhelming all the things we listed above: "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. 
3. Write on a stone or paper to display in our home: GIFU