Romans 8:33 (New Living Translation)
33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one — for God himself has given us right standing with himself.
You’ve certainly earned your coffee this week! We could keep discussing this verse for many more days but I’m going to try to finish it off today so that we can move on the climax of Romans 8 next week.
I don’t know who God’s elect are. I don’t have a list of names. I can’t even say for certain that every person I know who claims to be a Christian actually is. I’m not questioning their salvation but I’m merely stating that I’m not God and I don’t know people as He knows their hearts. All I can do is to continually place my trust in Jesus, to walk after His Spirit and allow Him to witness with my spirit for assurance of salvation. I am called to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. That kind of attitude means that I can’t rest in any sort of work based merit. I can’t look at my skill set and say that because of who I am, God chose me. The opposite is probably true. He chose me DESPITE who I am.
I may have caused some confusion over the past few days and for that I sincerely apologise. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask me or if you do not attend Oasis Community Church, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of focusing on the negative aspects of election. The apostle Paul is writing one of the most positive verses in all of Scripture and yet we are drawn to the negative. For example, if God has chosen me, then why didn’t He choose my relative? I think this is something to be avoided. Someone has said that ‘God uses positive means to save, but not to destroy’. In other words, God is choosing to save you but He’s not choosing to destroy others. Someone else has said ‘The elect are the “whosoever will”. The non-elect are those “whosoever won’t”
I firmly believe that we are called to make disciples of all nations and to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to everyone. I don’t know how God will choose or whom He will call. I’m going to have to trust Him and rest in the knowledge that He knows best.
I believe that we can gain incredible confidence from this verse. Don’t allow anything to detract from the truth that is being declared: As a Christian, as the elect of God, there is no-one who can bring any charge against you. God Himself is the one who brought you into a right relationship. Who dares bring any condemnation?
Satan is the accuser of the brethren, but we can stand firmly on this verse and oppose him directly. God has justified us and that settles the matter!