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30 July, 2013

If God is For Us Who Can Be Against us!

James Smith, 1860 excerpt from: Fruit From the Tree of Life
Food and Medicine for the Soul


Every Christian is exposed to foes. Every believer must expect opposition. In the world, we must have tribulation. But the consolations held out to us by the gospel, afford a stimulus and an encouragement to press forward, notwithstanding all. Our resources are greater than our needs - and our strength is equal to our day. God is with us. God is for us. Therefore we may ask with the Apostle, "If God is for us - who can be against us?" Romans 8:31. Here is,

A Point to Be Ascertained. "If God is for us."

Are we for God?
Are we for his cause - doing all we can to support it?
Are we for his truth - doing all we can to spread it?
Are we for his people - showing kindness and love to them?
Are we for his glory - seeking by all means to advance it?
If so - God is for us.

He is for all whom he has called by grace, and introduced into the fellowship of his Son. He is for all who have the Spirit of adoption, who cry unto him, "My father, my father, the guide of my youth." He is for the poor in Spirit, who hunger and thirst after righteousness. He is for those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for whom he has prepared the kingdom of Heaven. Are we then made partakers of the Heavenly calling? Have we received the Holy Spirit? Are we poor and needy? Are we hated, opposed, and persecuted for Christ's sake? If so - then God is for us.

Look we then at, The Question. "If God is for us - who can be against us?" That is, who can justly be against us, or be justified in vilifying and ill-treating us? Who can successfully be against us - so as to prevail, and finally injure and harm us? Who can reasonably be against us - if God takes our part, and sanctions us? Who can be against us, so as to bring us under condemnation? Who can be against us, so as to separate us from Christ - or, from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus? Who can be against us - so as really to hurt us?

Who can bring us into condemnation? What, when we are in Christ Jesus!

Who can separate us from Christ? What, when we are members of his body!

Who can separate us from the love of God? What, when that love is eternal, and like his nature immutable! If God is our Ally, if God is our Shield, if God is our Strong Tower - who can succeed against us?

Can Satan? He is conquered, spoiled, and reduced to be the vassal and slave of Him who loves us, and who gave himself for us.

Can man? Man, who is less than nothing, and vanity in the sight of God! No, blessed be God, let there be what there may, there shall be no condemnation, to those who are in Christ Jesus! There shall be no separation from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God is engaged for his people. By covenant, by promise, and by oath, he is engaged to be with them, to be for them, and to defend them. He is their light and their salvation, he is their refuge and strength, he is their Father and Friend - therefore they need not fear. He sacredly keeps his engagement. The strength of Israel is not a man, that he should change his mind. He is in one mind, and who can turn him? What he was when he made the engagement - he is now. What he thought, when he pledged himself by promise to us - he thinks now. The love he had, when he swore that he would not be wroth to us - he has now. He is without variableness, or the shadow of a turning.

He allows their foes to try them. In this way he proves and improves them.

Their faith is tried - and being tried is strengthened.

Their courage is tried - and being tried is increased.

Their fortitude is tried - and being tried they become steadfast, immovable, and they abound more and more in the work of the Lord. Thus they are benefitted by their trials, and the Lord being with them, and for them, they come off conquerors, and more than conquerors through him who loved them.

He appears in them, to them, and for them - in answer to prayer. Yes, the Lord is in his people, as well as with them - and he appears in them, strengthening them with all might by his Spirit in the inner man. He appears to them, and comforts, encourages, and assures them of their final victory. And appears for them, scattering their foes, sanctifying their troubles, and giving them the victory over all that opposed their progress. God IS for us!

And this privilege, no unbeliever can claim, no one who indulges in any sin, has any right to. If God is not for us - then he is against us! There is a sense, in which he is against every impenitent sinner, and is bound to oppose and punish every willful transgressor. He cannot be against the poor broken-hearted sinner, or against the poor tried and timid believer; but against the man who loves sin, and lives in sin, he is against - he must be.

If God is for us - who can be against us? But, if God is against us - who can be for us? Who can be for us, to any good purpose? Not one! Not any! Let us therefore, by faith in Jesus, by prayer to God, and by decision for Christ - make sure that God is for us, and so all will be well.


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