From Romans 8:31 (American Standard Version), the Apostle Paul prefaced one of the most quoted scriptures in today’s Church with the question “What then shall we say to these things?” The popular scripture I’m referring to is “If God is for us, then who can be against us?”
The first question (What then shall we say to these things) can be linked to several issues Paul raised in the previous verses. Issues like: the Holy Spirit helping our infirmities and His activity, which includes interceding for us; knowing how to pray in every possible scenario; all things working for our good; predestination; us being conformed to the image of Jesus; our calling; justification, just to name a few.
The second question is more rhetorical. Paul already knows the answer to the question and, for the most part, assumes the reader of his letter also knows the answer. In light of this, this second question can just as easily be used as a declaration.
In last week’s leadership post (The Emphatic Leader), I proposed the need to get rid of options and discover God’s will in every situation. The Emphatic Leader finds resolution to each issue and quiets every argument of the devil by declaring what God has already stated. If we really believe “God’s Word is truth”, then, like Jesus at His temptation, we can settle each issue with the words from scripture.
“God is for you”. “He is on your side”… Let us not be so easily blinded by problems and difficulties to the point we cannot see what God is doing. Like the blind man that cried out to Jesus, let us arise and throw off anything that would try to identify us differently than what the Word says we are. As he arose, the blind man threw off blindness. What do you need to throw off as you arise? Remember Paul’s words: “If God be for us, then who can be against us”?
Again, this is mostly rhetorical. You and I know there are many things that will try to come (and stand) against us in our life time. The issue as Paul understood it is: nothing can prevail over us. This would be consistent with what Jesus stated while in Capernaum, saying, “The gates of hell shall not prevail…”
The Hebrew definition of “Prevail” means: will not be able to withstand the offensive maneuvers of the Church. Let’s pull out of the defensive mode and stop circling the wagons (for our international readers, this is a term used from the Cowboy and Indians days of the Old West here in the USA). Jesus stated that our position should be more offensive where we are taking ground from the enemy and bringing expansion to the Kingdom of God.
Isaiah told us about how we can participate in the Divine exchange: beauty for ashes, etc. This is another occasion to make an exchange: from the defense to offense. If we are convinced “Nothing can prevail against us”, then we will hesitate to co-labor with Christ and bring expansion to His kingdom. We’ll see you on the frontlines…
Posted on Mon, May 2, 2011
by Bill Faught, Jr. filed under