“Wrestling With Romans”
What Have I to Fear? (Chapter 8 Verses 28-39)
The thought of bringing an accusation is bad enough (v33), but to condemn, that takes it a stage further (v34). But notice it is not the judicial authority of God that answers this one, it’s the gospel of Jesus Christ. None can condemn the Christian for the breathtaking reason that Jesus has died, risen from the dead, and lives as our heavenly Barrister (1John 2.1). In other words the work of Christ answers for all our condemnation. It is therefore impossible for a Christian to be condemned. God gave his own Son (v32), to die in our place (Romans 3.25), to shed his blood (Romans 5.6), for ungodly people like we once were, so that through his completed work we be reconciled to God (Romans 5.8-11). It all points to the sufficiency of the saving work of Christ, it answers all our need. If this Jesus intercedes for us, if his work clears us before God? Where does that put our accuser’s accusations? Their condemnation? Furthermore, how does their accusations and condemnations reflect upon God himself, and his Son’s atoning work? Is there a suggestion in the accusation or condemnation that Jesus’ work was insufficient? We really take something upon ourselves when we condemn a Christian.
The intercession of our Saviour is a perpetual one, ceaseless, what a lovely climax to all that Paul says here. The Lord’s position of authority, exalted, crowned with glory and honour (Philippians 2.5-11), with every principality and power under him, and the ability to silence every word of condemnation against you, to resist any plot or scheme of Satan’s against you (2Corinthians 2.11; Ephesians 6.11). He has our every interest upon his heart. You know how that sometimes we sincerely, and meaningfully, agree to pray for people on certain occasions, yet how often we forget. You remember how Joseph was forgotten by the Butler who promised to intercede on his behalf (Genesis 40.23). But Jesus in spite of all the honour that has been lavished upon him, all the glory that he enjoys in heaven, yet in it all, he never forgets one of us. Isn’t that amazing? He is aware of our every temptation and trial, our every sorrow and tear, those moments when we can’t even breathe a prayer? Jesus is remembering us. O the love, the sympathy of heaven, there is nowhere where sorrow is felt more deeply than at Heaven’s right hand. Your burden is his burden, and because he has and does pray for you ceaselessly, your faith cannot fail (Luke 22.32). What have you to fear (v1)?
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)