God Is… For Us

This morning, we continue to commit to know God by diving into the depths of who He is.

Last week, we learned of how God is love.  We’re reminded that God demonstrated His love for us by making a way where there was no other way.  We’re reminded that through Jesus alone, we can be forgiven of our sins and become a brand new creation; the old self is gone and the new self is here.

This morning, we’re going to dive into the depths of how God is for us.

The truth is that God held nothing back in order for us to have a right relationship with Him.  When Adam and Eve chose their own desires over God’s provision for their lives, God could have easily ended it all right then and there.  Instead, God’s love that always hopes, always trusts, and always perseveres made a way for them to be reconciled in their relationship with God.  God first pursued Adam and Eve and encouraged them to confess their sin.  Then, God’s love covered their sin and shame.  God’s love then put consequences for their sin in place to keep them from returning to it and further hurting themselves.  There is absolutely no question that God was for Adam and Eve and He is still for us today!

Romans 8:31-39
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

In response to what things, though?

1. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death! (Romans 8:1-2)

Is God for us?  He sure is!  He set us free from the law of sin and death and has given us a new and abundant life!  The law is good in that it reveals how we ought to live.  It reveals God’s standards that all of us were created to uphold.  They are sort of the user’s manual for our lives.  When we live according to them, we will live abundant, productive, and effective lives.  When we make poor choices outside of them, we become broken and hurt.

Unfortunately, God’s revelation of His user’s manual for our lives and of His standard for living is a bit of a two-edged sword.  Although it is good for us to know God’s standards, it is also bad.  The law also reveals that none of us have upheld it and that we are all guilty of breaking His law and misusing our lives.  This means that we all have in common the death sentence for breaking this law, which makes the law seem not so good.

Praise be to God, though!  He knew that none of us could meet His standards because of our birth into sin, so He made a way for us to be pardoned.  He made a way for our lawlessness to be atoned for so that we can be redeemed.  Though we are deserving of death, He chose to give us life!

God is so for us that He sent His only Son to earth to live a life tempted to sin just as we are, yet followed the law perfectly.  Then, He took on the punishment that we owed by being sentenced to death on a cross and taking on that punishment that we deserve.  He who knew no sin became a sin offering for us.  Now, through simple faith in Jesus, we are forgiven and righteous in His sight, just as though we have followed the law perfectly.  Jesus came and fulfilled the law on our behalf to demonstrate that God is for us!

2. The same Holy Spirit that rose Jesus from the grave lives in us!  (Romans 8:11)

Is God for us?  He sure is!  We now no longer are slaves to our flesh, but can overcome the desires of our flesh by the power given to us by the Holy Spirit.

What an incredible reality!  The same Holy Spirit who had the power to raise Jesus from the grave, the same Holy Spirit who heals all sickness and disease, the same Holy Spirit brooding over the deep at creation, the same Holy Spirit who knows all things dwells inside of us if we have put our faith in Jesus.  That should have an unbelievable impact in my life!  If the Holy Spirit created all that we see in the natural world full of beauty, power, and glory, just think about the potential that each of us, His new creations created in the image of God, possess.

We have been given God’s very presence to go with us wherever we go and whatever we face.  The Holy Spirit gives us all that we need to persevere, endure, and overcome all things!  The Holy Spirit gives us the power, wisdom, and direction to overcome sin and temptation.  The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts in order to manifest God’s love and His kingdom in our lives and in he lives of others.  The Holy Spirit gives us knowledge, wisdom, and guidance.

God didn’t abandon us as orphans, He gave us His very presence to dwell within us to demonstrate that God is for us!

3. God adopted us, we are now His children! (Romans 8:15)

Is God for us?  He sure is!  When we put our faith in Jesus, we were adopted by the greatest father that is, was, or ever will be; the Heavenly Father.  Having God as our father means that we are now royalty, princes and princesses of the King most High!  We now have access to all of the glorious riches found in our daddy’s kingdom.

What many of us were left longing for in our natural families, we now find in our spiritual family.  Though we were found by Him so unlovable, so rebellious, so wretched, God adopted us as His sons and daughters and poured into our lives His transforming love.  This inspires us and gives us the desire to be obedient children because we’ve been forgiven, washed clean, and made whole.

God adopted us as His children to demonstrate that God is for us.

4. God helps us to pray! (Romans 8:26-27)

Is God for us?  He sure is!  Even when we are at a loss for words or left with a lack of understanding, the Holy Spirit gives us utterance.  The Holy Spirit intercedes between us and our Heavenly Father.  The Spirit knows our thoughts and our hearts and also knows full well the will of our Heavenly Father.  He intercedes on our behalf in an utterance and tongue not known by us, but known to God.

When we pray in the Spirit, our spirits are built up and the Holy Spirit enables us to pray the perfect prayers even when we’re not sure what to pray or how to pray.  Praying in the Spirit is an incredible privilege that all Christians possess.

The Holy Spirit intercedes in prayer through us to demonstrate that God is for us!

5. God works all things together for our good! (Romans 8:28)

Is God for us?  He sure is!  Even when we sin, even when we get ourselves into a mess by either doing what we ought not to or when we don’t do what we should, God is still for us.  God, the creator, is able to turn our messes into blessings as only our Creator can do!  God brings beauty from ashes and we are never too broken to be healed nor too damaged to be restored.  Just like Bob Ross turns his mistakes into happy little trees, God takes our mistakes and works them together for our good.

Many of us have baggage from our past that the enemy tries to use to shame and condemn us.  However, God calls us not to hide these things in shame, but to confess them to one another.  When we bring our baggage out into the glorious light of Christ, God turns our failures into testimonies of His faithfulness and goodness.  No, He doesn’t take them away and erase them as we desire, but He works them together for our good and His glory!

God does this to demonstrate that nothing, not even our past, can change the fact that God is for us!

So now, understanding from the beginning of Romans chapter 8 just how powerfully God has demonstrated that He is for us, we continue on.

Romans 8:31-39
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 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.

If God is for us, then who can be against us?  Many may stand against us, but none can prevail for our God is greater and stronger!  If this is the case, however, then why do we struggle in life and why do we so often fail?

I believe that the root issue in life is that all too often, God is more for us than we are for Him.  All too often, God is rooting for our success, but our eyes are fixed on our failures.  God provides all that we need and points us to the path we should take.  All too often, in our foolish pride, we instead take the path more desirable to our flesh or are simply too busy to see His path and hear His voice.

God has given us everything that we need in order to live the lives He created us to.  God has given us everything that we need to be more than conquerors of anything that stands against us.  Nothing in all of creation can separate us from the unfailing love of God that overcomes sin and death.

Nothing, that is, but our choice in the matter.

This morning, God reminds us that He is for us.  God has demonstrated that He is for us over and over again.  God has provided all that He can to ensure our success.  However, there is something that God will never do.  God will ever manipulate us or force His will on us.
Living life as a Christian is all about a cooperation between ourselves and God through relationship.  As we follow His lead, we will prosper and be successful in life and represent Him well.  As we follow our own will and desires, we will become broken and hurt in life and misunderstand God.
God will show us the way and give us all that we need to follow it, but it is up to us to choose it.  It is up to us to either walk out our desires for ourselves or to walk out God’s desires for us.  That is why we are held accountable to God for the lives that we live.  He is totally and completely for us, but are we for Him?
Galatians 5:6-8;13-25
6b For in Christ Jesus the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

God is encouraging all of us this morning to follow Him and to find life and life abundant.  God is calling all of us this morning to simply deny ourselves and to keep in step with the Spirit  After all, our God is for us!