“Preserved for Glory”
Introduction: Today we bring to a close our series of messages on this tremendous 8th chapter of Romans. In our last message we learned from Romans 8:28-30 that for a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ we “Know that all things are working together for our good” because God has predestined us for Glory.
This simply means that, once we are saved, in God’s eternal counsels, we are already glorified! But in the mean time we ask, what about all the years between the believer’s conversion and his consummation to glory? Is there a possibility that during these years something might go wrong which may cause you to forfeit your salvation? This is an interesting question that has given rise to two radically different theological schools of thought.
There are those who believe that after having accepted Christ as personal Saviour, it is possible through sins that you commit, that you could fall from grace and lose your salvation. These people are known as ARMINIANIST, named so after a 16th century theologian Gecobus Arminis.
There are those, on the other hand, who believe that once saved it is utterly impossible to lose your salvation. These people are called CALVINIST after the great Protestant reformer John Calvin who taught: once saved – always saved.
This controversy which began in the 16th century as to whether a person once saved is always saved or whether a person once saved could lose their salvation has divided Protestant Christianity even to this very day. Now, our principles are not taken from the view points of John Calvin or Gecobus Arminis. Rather, our principles are taken from the Word of God.
We believe the Bible teaches that the Lord not only had the power to save us, but He also has the power to KEEP those whom he saved. We believe the Bible teaches that once save – always saved.
This is the conviction which your pastor believes and this church also believes. Now it is not my intention in this service to teach on the subject of Eternal Security. However, let me give you one passage that supports the conviction “once saved – always saved,” before we come to our text for today. It is found in John 5:25 where Jesus tells us, “Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that hearth my word, and believeth on Him (that is God) that sent me (that is Jesus) HATH (meaning an action that takes place once and it’s results last forever) Everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgment), but is passed from death unto life.”
Now let’s return to our text which also gives us the basis for saying, that once Jesus saves us by faith we are kept by His power. Someone said, “The closing verses of Romans 8 are a rock upon which assurance may stand forever.” Please focus your attention upon our text for this message found in Romans 8:31-39, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (33) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. (34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Now before we consider this passage, I would like to sound a word of warning. Listen. Don’t think that just because you cannot lose your salvation, you can go on sinning and sinning as a Christian without any consequences. There is a price to pay for sinning, even as a Christian. And even though you cannot lose your salvation, there are other things you can lose that are of spiritual value.
A believer can lose the JOY of his salvation, the JOY of worship, the JOY of reading his Bible and praying.
A believer can lose the PEACE, the sweet peace of God, that should flood his soul on a daily basis.
A believer can lose his REWARDS in heaven. To be sure he will gain entrance to heaven because he is saved, but there will be no rewards there if he continually lives in sin.
A believer can be set aside in His service for God.
A believer can die prematurely as a result of the sin unto death.
So it is possible for a believer to lose many things if he plays with the devil’s toys, and dabbles in the devil’s playhouse of sin. It’s not possible to lose his salvation, but it is possible to lose many other valuable things that God has given to us. Someone said, “He who plays the devil’s game must pay the devil’s price.” So it is a serious thing for a Christian to get involved in sinful activities, because he can lose so much, even though he cannot lose his eternal salvation.
Now in verse 31 Paul poses a very simple question, “What shall we then say to these things?” What do you say to these things in your heart? Here you have become the beneficiary of all that God has done for you in salvation.
God has Predestined you.
God has Called you.
God has Justified you.
God has Glorified you in his sight.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I say “Praise God for all that!” What do you say to the fact that all these things are working for our good and to the Glory of God? Our souls ought to rise up in a triumphal AMEN!
Stop for a moment and realize, “If my salvation were solely based upon my RIGHTEOUSNESS and my HOLINESS and my LAW ABIDING LIVING and my SANCTIFIED MIND, I would have lost my salvation years ago.” And so would you. A poet put it this way, “If it ever could come to pass, the sheep of Christ might fall away, my fickle feeble soul would at last fall a 1000 times a day.” Can you identify with that? I know I can, because I know the wickedness of my own heart.
Thank God! He made the first move in providing salvation and drawing us to himself, but daily, day after day he keeps me close to himself. Holding your place in Romans 8, please turn to the Old Testament book of II Chronicles 17. Here we find David’s prayer of appreciation for God’s dealing with his people, the Jews. Notice verses 20-22 “O LORD, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears. (21) And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out nations from before thy people, whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt? (22) For thy people Israel didst thou make thine own people for ever; and thou, LORD, becamest their God.” If you read your Bible carefully, you know that for a time God has set aside His people the Jews. However, one day God will again be dealing with them.
You will notice in verse 22, that the Jews are His people…for how long? “FOREVER.” Now what God has done for us is not a temporary measure. Remember the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have… WHAT?… everlasting life.”
Our salvation is not based on God doing 80% and you doing the other 20%. Nor is our salvation based on God doing even 99% and you doing 1%. No! God provided everything there is needed for our salvation. He provided salvation, justification, and glorification. Once you receive it, it is yours FOREVER!
Here in I Chronicles 17 notice verses 23-24, “Therefore now, LORD, let the thing that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant and concerning his house be established for ever, and do as thou hast said. (24) Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David thy servant be established before thee.” Now there are two little, two letter words in verse 24. They are the words “OF” and the word “TO.” “God is the God OF Israel and He is the God TO Israel.” Those words are vastly different from one another. There is a difference between a man being a Father OF HIS SON, and a man being a father TO HIS SON.
Now I am a father OF 5 children. Somehow I trust that over the years I have also been a father TO my children. That means I am concerned about them, I am caring for them, I love them, I pray for them. My life is involved in their lives.
Unfortunately, and tragically in today’s world, there are those who are fathers OF their children, but not fathers TO their children. They begat them, but do not bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
But when it comes to our Heavenly Father, God not only begat us, and placed us into His family by faith, he is also the Father TO us. He remains with us, and He guides us all the way to our journey’s end. That’s the picture that God wants us to have of Himself.
Now with those thoughts as a foundation, let’s return to Romans 8:31. Paul asks “What shall we say to these things?” If we have by faith received the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we should be able to say “Praise God for so great a Salvation!”
There are no other religions in the world that have a concept like this. Except Christianity, all other religions are based on a system of good works, in which we hope and we wish and we work and we pray that we have done enough. So that at the end of our journey, God will be appeased.
Now in the rest of our text, the Apostle Paul raises four thought provoking questions and then answers them with some dogmatic statements. All his questions begin with “Who?“
Verse 31, “WHO can be against us, if God be for us?”
Verse 33, “WHO shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?”
Verse 34, “WHO is he that condemneth?”
Verse 35, “WHO shall separate us from the love of Christ?”
Question One: Verse 31, “WHO can be against us, if God be for us?” Paul is saying “If God is for us, and He is, then who can overpower us and cause us to lose what God is working together for our good?” Who is going to do that? No one else can do that, because God is Omnipotent.
In verse 32 God presses the issue, and reminds us of the awesome price that He paid in order to procure our eternal salvation. “He (God) that spared not His own Son (speaking of the Savior Jesus Christ), but delivereth him up for us all (not just for a select handful, but for all of us who are born again ), how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
Now as I read that, I have to say to myself, God the Father “…spared not His own Son as He delivered Him up to be crucified on the cross.” If God did all of that to get us, wouldn’t you think He would do as much to keep us? Listen, God paid dearly for you to get saved. God paid your debt of sin with his only begotten Son. And because God paid so much for you, he is not about to let you slip through His fingers and lose you.
All that we need is found in Jesus. When we take Christ, we take all. Charles Wesley expressed it this way in the hymn, Jesus Lover of My Soul, “Thou, O Christ, art all I want; More than all in Thee I Find.”
Question Two: Verse 33, “WHO shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” In other words who is going to accuse us of being unworthy to enter heaven?
When we come down to the end of life’s journey, is God going to condemn us, after calling us, justifying us, and glorifying us? Would He repudiate his own work? Of course not! Listen, if that were the case, then the only thing I would lose is my won soul, but God would lose His honor. God has much more to lose than I do.
Who is going to lay anything to the charge of god’s elect? Is God going to do it? No, God was the one who justified us. It was God who declared us just, as if we had never sinned. In Romans 8:1 we read, “There is, therefore, NOW NO CONDEMNATION to them who are in Christ Jesus.”
Question Three: Verse 34, “WHO is he that condemneth?” The Bible tells us in II Corinthians 5:10 that believers are going to stand before the judgment seat of Christ. When we stand there, who is going to be in a position to condemn us?
Who is going to stand up and point their finger at you and say, “He claims to be a Christian and yet he lied and cheated?”
Who is going to stand up and accuse you and say, “You claim to be a Christian and yet you passed on some gossip?” Who will do that?
Who will stand up at the judgment seat in heaven and say “He committed this sin and that sin; he ought to be cast out of heaven?” Who is going to do that?
Are the unsaved going to do that? The unsaved won’t be there.
Is the Devil going to do that? The Devil isn’t going to be there.
In verse 34 Paul asks an unbelievable question, “Is Christ who died for us going to do that?” Will Christ condemn us after all He has done for us, loving us, dying for us, rising again for us?
Yes, Christ did that for us, but there is more. Jesus is there making intercession for us at the throne of God in heaven. Why is He doing that? Well the answer is found in Hebrews 7:25, “Wherefore, He is able also to save them to the UTTERMOST (that means forever) that come to God by Him, (He is able to do this, because) seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
In other words after a believer has sinned, the Lord before the father says, “I died for all his sins including that one.”
Jesus not only died for our past sins, he also died for our present sins and our future sins as well. Day after day after day Jesus is in heaven interceding for us saying to the Father, “And for that sin and that sin and that sin he committed, I died for all of them.” Every day He makes intercession for us.
Perhaps there are some sitting here in the house of God in this service and you know you are saved, you know you have been born again; you know you are on your way to heaven, but because of some sin in your life:
You have lost the joy of your salvation.
You don’t have that glorious peace you ought to have.
You are not serving the Lord as you once did.
May I suggest that you need to confess that sin, and thank God that Christ intercedes there for you. Oh, my friend, Christ isn’t going to condemn you. No, He died for you. He went to heaven for you to pray for you and to secure that reservation you have forever in Heaven.
Question Four: Verse 35, “WHO shall separate us from the love of Christ?” This is the crowning question of them all. In verses 35-39 we find that absolutely nothing can shake our eternal security.
In verses 35-37 we read that no FOE can DAUNT us! There is no serious enemy that can break us away from the love of Christ.
Shall tribulation? We may be tried, we may be tested.
Shall distress? We may find ourselves in distress of soul, or body.
Shall persecution? We may be persecuted beyond reason.
Shall famine? We may suffer famine until it seems we will starve.
Shall nakedness or peril or sword? We may die by the sword.
But none of these things can separate us from the love of God. Notice in verse 37 that in these things we can not only be conquerors but “more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”
In verses 38-39 we find that no FEAR can HAUNT us!
Can DEATH separate us from the love of God? Of course not! Death ushers the believer into the glory and the joy of heaven.
Can LIFE separate us from that love? No indeed, for Jesus said, “Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
Can ANGELS separate us from God’s love? No! “Are not angels ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation?”
Can PRINCIPALITIES or POWERS separate us from God? No, for arrayed in the whole armor of God, we can put them to flight.
Can THINGS PRESENT or THINGS TO COME separate us from the love of God? Of course not, for He is the great I AM…”
Can HEIGHT or DEPTH separate us from the Love of God? No! Thank God, No!
The love that took the initiative in lifting us from the miry clay will lift us to the halls of heaven. WHAT MORE COULD WE ASK FOR? Fanny Crosby captured this truth in the words she penned:
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchased of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His Blood.
My hope is built on nothing less, Than Jesus blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.
At the beginning of this chapter we found that it opened “in Christ Jesus,” verse 1. And now it closes “in Christ Jesus,” verse 39. All of the promises between verse 1 and verse 39 are ours in Christ Jesus.
However, there may be someone here today who has never invited Christ to become their Saviour. Perhaps:
There is no JOY in your life.
There is no PEACE in your life.
There is no HOPE for the future in your life, and
There is reason to fear that future.
As we close in prayer, just pause and say “Dear God save me for Jesus sake and take me to heaven when I die.”
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon on “Preserved for Glory,” then right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, would you please let me know? Please send me an e-mail to pdmikBBM@aol.com. And in return I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
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