Romans 8 marks the end of a major doctrinal section in Romans, as Paul goes on to write about Israel in chapters 9 and 10. This week’s Bible study saw the completion of the study on Romans 8, looking at vs 31-39.

These verses have been used to build doctrines and denominations over the years. Whilst it is easy to debate these things (Calvinism vs Arminianism, the idea of man’s free will versus God’s sovereignty), it’s probably true to say that a balance is needed rather than extremism. There are numerous examples of God choosing in the Bible (see Neh 9:7, Ps 47:3-5, Ps 78:70, Jer 1:5, Ps 105:26, Matt 22:14, John 15:16, for example), but equally there are many passages showing us man’s response (1 Kings 8:46-48, Jer 15:19, Ezek 14:6, Luke 13:2-4, Acts 28:24, 1 Pet 1:1-2, 1 John 3:23).

It appears that both views have truth in them: God chooses; people decide to respond. Whatever our theology, however, these verses in Romans 8 point to the ultimate security of God’s people. Paul asks a series of questions (an interesting technique, since it forces us to think for answers ourselves, rather than simply being presented with facts), starting with “If God is for us, who can be against us?” God will not withhold any good thing from us. “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?” It is God who justifies – so no one can bring any charge against us.

“Who then is the one who condemns?” No one can condemn (as Paul has stated in Romans 8:1), because Jesus Christ is interceding for us. We have freedom from condemnation!

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Paul lists a whole host of things that might be thought to have the potential to separate us from God, but he is unequivocal in his assertion that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We don’t need anything else, really, do we?!