What shall we then say to these things? - What conclusion should we draw from the above premises? From all that was already laid down in the preceding chapters, but especially in the preceding verses, from Romans 8:28-30; inclusive. As if he had said: What comfort may we derive from these doctrines? God has called us all to holiness, and to love to him, which is the principle of holiness. We are persecuted and despised, it is true, and we may be more so; but, as God has called us to love him, and all things work together for good to them that love him; and, as his covenant with Abraham, while he was in his Gentile state, shows his gracious purpose towards us Gentiles, whom he has foreknown, who have been objects of his gracious foreknowledge, as well as the Jews, and who have now the fullest proof that we were so, by his sending us the Gospel, and showing us, in it, that if the Israelites were to be a holy priesthood, a royal nation, we are no less favored, as he has predestinated, from the beginning determined, that we should be conformed to the image of his Son, who is to be the first-born among many brethren, the head and chief of all converted Jews and Gentiles, and, in order to our final salvation, has called, invited us to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, has justified those who do believe, and has glorified, highly honored, and adorned them with innumerable gifts and graces, and, if they continue to possess that faith which worketh by love, will bring them, both body and soul, to his eternal glory, their bodies being made like unto his glorious body: - seeing, therefore, all these things are so, what comfort in our tribulations shall we derive from them? - Why this: If God be for us, who can be against us? He who is infinitely wise has undertaken to direct us: He who is infinitely powerful has undertaken to protect us: He who is infinitely good has undertaken to save us. What cunning, strength, or malice, can prevail against his wisdom, power, and goodness? None. Therefore we are safe who love God; and not only shall sustain no essential damage by the persecutions of ungodly men, but even these things work together for our good.
What shall we then say - What fairly follows from the facts stated? or what conclusion shall we draw in regard to the power of the Christian religion to support us in our trials from the considerations which have been stated? What the influence is he proceeds to state.
If God be for us - Be on outside, or is our friend, as he has shown himself to be by adopting us Romans 8:15, by granting to us his Spirit Romans 8:16-17, Romans 8:26-27, and by his gracious purpose to save us, Romans 8:29-30).
Who can be against us? - Who can injure or destroy us? Sinners may be against us, and so may the great enemy of our souls, but their power to destroy us is taken away. God is more mighty than all our foes; and he can defend and save us; see Psalm 118:6. “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear what man can do unto me.” The proposition advanced in this verse, Paul proceeds to illustrate by various specifications, which continue to the end of the chapter.
And those today who bear the message of truth to the world should study the life of Christ, and practice His lessons. Never forget that you are children of the heavenly King, sons and daughters of the Lord of hosts. Maintain a calm repose in God, even when meeting with those who are moved by a power from beneath to uphold falsehood. Be sure that the best weapons they possess are not able to destroy the truth, however they may strive to blacken it by misrepresentation. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” ... LHU 167.4Read in context »
Satan takes advantage of every unconsecrated element for the accomplishment of his purposes. Among those who profess to be the supporters of God's cause there are those who unite with His enemies and thus lay His cause open to the attacks of His bitterest foes. Even some who desire the work of God to prosper will yet weaken the hands of His servants by hearing, reporting, and half believing the slanders, boasts, and menaces of His adversaries. Satan works with marvelous success through his agents, and all who yield to their influence are subject to a bewitching power that destroys the wisdom of the wise and the understanding of the prudent. But, like Nehemiah, God's people are neither to fear nor to despise their enemies. Putting their trust in God, they are to go steadily forward, doing His work with unselfishness, and committing to His providence the cause for which they stand. PK 645.1
Amidst great discouragement, Nehemiah made God his trust, his sure defense. And He who was the support of His servant then has been the dependence of His people in every age. In every crisis His people may confidently declare, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31. However craftily the plots of Satan and his agents may be laid, God can detect them, and bring to nought all their counsels. The response of faith today will be the response made by Nehemiah, “Our God shall fight for us;” for God is in the work, and no man can prevent its ultimate success. PK 645.2Read in context »
The enemy is on the track of every one of us, and if we would resist temptations which assail us from without and from within, we need to make sure we are on the Lord's side, that His truth is in our hearts, that it keeps watch in our souls, ready to sound an alarm and summon us to action against every enemy. Without this defense amid unseen foes we shall be like the willow bending to the blast, driven of the wind and tossed. But if Christ abides in the soul we may be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.26 TMK 301.5Read in context »
Satan will accuse and seek permission to destroy, but it is God that opens the door of refuge. It is God that justifieth him that entereth that door. Then if God be for us, who can be against us? Oh, the bright glorious truth. Why do not men discern it? Why not walk in its bright beams? Why do not all who believe talk of Christ's matchless love? ... UL 377.5Read in context »
“God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. MH 66.1
And “if God be for us, who can be against us? 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?” Romans 8:31, 32. MH 66.2
“I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Verses 38, 39, A.R.V., margin. MH 66.3Read in context »
True workers walk and work by faith. Sometimes they grow weary with watching the slow advance of the work when the battle wages strong between the powers of good and evil. But if they refuse to fail or be discouraged they will see the clouds breaking away and the promise of deliverance fulfilling. Through the mist with which Satan has surrounded them, they will see the shining of the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. 7T 245.1
Work in faith, and leave results with God. Pray in faith, and the mystery of His providence will bring its answer. At times it may seem that you cannot succeed. But work and believe, putting into your efforts faith, hope, and courage. After doing what you can, wait for the Lord, declaring His faithfulness, and He will bring His word to pass. Wait, not in fretful anxiety, but in undaunted faith and unshaken trust. 7T 245.2
“If God be for us, who can be against us? 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? ... Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 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.” 7T 245.3Read in context »
Can we not stand in God, let our surroundings be ever so unpleasant and discouraging? “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 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? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 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. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 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.” 2T 517.1
Many ministers have not an undivided interest in the work of God. They have invested but little in His cause, and because they have taken so little stock in the advancement of the truth they are easily tempted in regard to it and moved from it. They are not established, strengthened, settled. He who understands well his own character, who is acquainted with the sin which most easily besets him, and the temptations that will be most likely to overcome him, should not expose himself needlessly and invite temptation by placing himself upon the enemy's ground. If duty calls him where circumstances are not favorable, he will have special help from God, and thus go fully girded for a conflict with the enemy. Self-knowledge will save many from falling into grievous temptations, and prevent many an inglorious defeat. In order to become acquainted with ourselves, it is essential that we faithfully investigate the motives and principles of our conduct, comparing our actions with the standard of duty revealed in God's word. Ministers should encourage and cultivate benevolence. 2T 517.2
I was shown that some who have been engaged in our office of publication, in our Health Institute, and in the ministry have labored simply for wages. There are exceptions; not all are guilty in this respect, but few have seemed to realize that they must give an account of their stewardship. Means that had been consecrated to God to advance His cause has been squandered. Families in poverty, who had experienced the sanctifying influences of the truth and who therefore prized it and felt grateful to God for it, have thought that they could and should deprive themselves of even the necessaries of life in order to bring in their offerings to the treasury of the Lord. Some have deprived themselves of articles of clothing which they really needed to make them comfortable. Others have sold their only cow and have dedicated to God the means thus received. In the sincerity of their souls, with many tears of gratitude because it was their privilege to do this for the cause of God, they have bowed before the Lord with their offering and have invoked His blessing upon it as they sent it forth, praying that it might be the means of bringing the knowledge of the truth to souls in darkness. The means thus dedicated has not always been appropriated as the self-sacrificing donors designed. Covetous, selfish men, having no spirit of self-denial or self-sacrifice themselves, have handled unfaithfully means thus brought into the treasury; and they have robbed the treasury of God by receiving means which they had not justly earned. Their unconsecrated, reckless management has squandered and scattered means that had been consecrated to God with prayers and tears. 2T 518.1Read in context »