Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chapter 26  
 (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.
(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? “He,” God the Father, spared not His “own Son” — a Person one in nature with Him, and infinitely dear to Him. “His own Son” speaks of the Son as a proper Son, of a Son according to Divine relationship prior to His incarnation; the eternal Son of God, not by adoption as the sons or children of God, but as eternally begotten (Prov. 8: 22-23). The eternal Father and the eternal Son shared eternal glory — the glory which God the Son shared with God the Father before the world was (John 17: 5). This doctrine of the Sonship of our Lord Christ that He propounded to the caviling Jews involves a declaration of equality in all aspects with the Father. “Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore, the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5: 17-18). So the Jews knew exactly what Christ meant by His statement on His unique Sonship with the Father. God distinguished His Eternal and Essential Son from His adopted sons. Christ is called the “only-begotten Son of God” (John 3: 16; Heb. 11: 17; 1 John 4: 9), and the essential equality of the Son with the Father is distinctly declared in the quotation which the apostle makes from one of the Messianic Psalms, and applies it to the Eternal Son of God (Heb. 1: 5-6). All the angels of God are commanded to worship Christ because He is “equal with God” the Father.
God “spared not his own Son.” For the salvation of the elect redemption required — justice, stern and inexorable, demanding full satisfaction — the Law, rigid and unbending, demanding perfect obedience — He withheld not the only Sacrifice that could meet the case. God did not withhold Him, the sinners Substitute, the constituted Surety of His people, from the abasement and suffering which must needs be borne in the execution of His function, but dealt with Him according to strict justice (Isa. 53: 4-12). Though essentially a Divine Person, Christ is here considered as the Son of God assuming our nature with the sin and punishment which are properly ours. God’s beloved Son was the supreme object of His Father’s love and the sinless fulfiller of the Law (John 10: 17-18). But He also was the object of punitive visitation, and not spared, as the Surety and Sin-Bearer (Heb. 7: 22).
The loving Father spared not His Darling Son for the everlasting love which Father and Son had for the elect could only be realized by our Redeemer’s Substitutionary work in their stead (Gal. 4: 4-5). He would have spared His Son had He wished to execute upon us the punishment we had incurred. He would have spared His Son, and removed the cup of suffering from Him, had He not proposed to confer upon us all conceivable good. But, in love to His elect, He spared not His own Son. To spare His people, He spared not His Son — He spared not the Surety, that He might rescue us (2 Cor. 5: 21).  
“Delivered him up for us all.” Our Blessed Lord Christ was delivered up not by Judas, for money; nor Pilate, for fear; nor the Jews, for envy — but by God Himself for the love of His people. “Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2: 23). Christ was tried and sentenced at a human tribunal, which was but the visible foreground of an invisible trial in which the righteous God was judging righteously, for the human guilt of the elect was laid upon the Person of the Substitute. Sentence from a higher tribunal took effect upon Christ’s soul, and brought home the wrath of God. “It pleased the Lord to bruise him, he hath put him to grief” (Isa. 53: 10).
And for whom was He thus delivered up? “For us all”; for the elect purchased with His own Blood. “Us all,” plainly refers to those whom God predestinated, and called, and justified, and glorified, yea, the elect of God. The whole discussion refers to them — for the true Church purchased with His own blood, and them only. Christ died for His sheep and He did not die for those who are not His sheep (John 10:15-16, 26).
“How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” God will, in connection with His Son, give His elect people, without desert on their part, freely — in the exercise of His abundant grace give us all things. The gift of His Son was the security and the channel of every other mercy. When we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son (Rom. 5: 8), thus being reconciled, He will freely give us all things. “According as his Divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1: 3). Holding the security in our hand of faith, we may ask our Heavenly Father for all that we need. He has already given us the highest proof of His love (John 3: 16): He will not withhold inferior manifestations when necessary. He gives the Spirit to seal, to sanctify, to comfort us. He provided the supreme Sacrifice for our sin, and He freely pardons and bestows the forgiveness of our sin. He has given us the Reservoir of grace, and is as willing and “able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Cor. 9: 8). Are we in need of comfort? Having given us the “Consolation of Israel,” will He not prove to us the “God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1: 3)? Is your necessity temporal? The same God-given faith that assures us that God will pardon our sins and save our souls for Christ’s sake will also trust Him to provide us with food and raiment while we are left here below (Matt. 6: 11). As we look to God who loved us in Christ, both our desires and our expectations are raised, so that we ever look to and depend on Him, counting on His giving us all things necessary for our holiness, happiness, and satisfaction.
Verse 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Before the calling and justification of the elect, God’s Holy Law brings the same charge against them as against those who are never called and justified (Eph. 2: 3). It justly condemns them. The elect, who were “chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4), and “predestinated unto the adoption of children” (Eph. 1:5), were yet “by nature children of wrath, even as others”). But when election is experimentally applied in the sinner and brings forth calling and justification, the sinner is reconciled to God, and none can lay anything to the charge of God’s elect. Those who press charges against the children of God are doomed to disappointment, for, they fight against God’s decree. It is impossible to curse or condemn those whom God has determined to bless (Num. 23: 19-20). The child of God has enemies on every side, but his numerous, powerful, crafty enemies shall not be able to effectuate his ruin. “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?” Who in Heaven; who on earth; who in Hell? God will not; sin cannot; Satan dare not? The saints of God certainly can be and are accused, but no accusation brought against them shall reverse God’s sentence of justification which He has freely favored them with by His free grace. If there remains a sin unpardoned, a stain unremoved, a precept unkept, by our Mediator, let it appear. But there is none (1 John 1: 7)! The finished work of Christ is honorable and glorious and has completely satisfied the claims of a just and holy God in the stead of the elect. On the basis of this complete Atonement, God, while He ever remains just, is the Justifier of him that “believeth in Jesus.”
“Paul’s intention in tracing every blessing to its ultimate source in God’s sovereign choice, is to lay the only foundation for a genuine sense of Christian assurance even as he demolishes all possibility of pride in the creature. If imaginary merit could never constrain God’s love, neither could real demerit extinguish it. All the glory and all the praise belong to God alone. Election is never taught in Scripture as a speculative dogma, but as a practical reality of Christian experience. Those who know that they have been ‘loved with everlasting love’ will not surrender this precious truth simply because it arouses the antipathy of carnal minds” (Geoffrey B. Wilson).
“God’s elect.” It is clear that those on whom this challenge is made, are a people, who, like their Lord and Master, are “chosen of God and precious” (Matt. 24: 22; Tit. 1: 1; 1 Pet. 1: 2; Luke 18: 7). The elect are the people whom God foreknew, chose, or selected to save out of a fallen world of mankind and are precisely the individuals whom He predestinated (Eph. 1: 4, Acts 15: 14). Election is the immutable purpose of God, by which, before the foundations of the world were laid, He chose out of the whole human race — fallen in Adam by their own fault from their primeval integrity into sin and destruction — according to the free good pleasure of His own will, and of pure grace, a certain number of men and women, neither better or more worthy than others, but lying in the same misery with the rest, to salvation in Christ Rev. 17: 14). One of the true Church’s names is “elect of God”; and each child of God is a living member whose name is written in the book of life from the foundation of the world (Rev. 17: 8).
Election is eternal (Eph. 1: 4); Personal (Acts 9: 15; Sovereign (Rom. 9: 11-16); Unmerited (Rom. 9: 11); totally of God’s grace (Rom. 11: 5-6); through God-given faith (2 Thes. 2: 13); Recorded in Heaven (Luke 10: 20); known by effectual calling (1 Thes. 1: 4); and is by God’s foreknowledge (2 Pet. 1: 3-4) which proceeds from His determinate counsel (Acts 2: 23).
In every sinner elected to salvation in Christ the results are: Adoption (Eph. 1: 5); Salvation (2 Thes. 2: 13); Conformity to Christ (Rom. 8: 29); Good works (Eph. 2: 10); Eternal glory (Rom. 9: 23); Inheritance (1 Pet. 1: 2, 4, 5). And the proof in the sinner that they were of the election of grace was: Effectual calling and saving faith (2 Pet. 1: 10); Holiness (Eph. 1: 4-5); God’s protection (Mark 13: 20); and they manifest it in the life lived (Col. 3: 12).
“It is God that justifieth” — God who justified them. We had violated His Holy Law, and from the lips of the Lawgiver we waited the sentence of condemnation. But He declared Himself on our side. Descending, as from His tribunal, He comes and stands in our place, and avows Himself our Justifier. Upon us, chiefs of sinners, trembling at His bar, He throws His own righteousness, “which is unto all, and upon all them that believe;” and from that moment we are justified (Gal. 3: 8). Our Justifier is the ultimate authority in the universe — the supreme and universal Judge. He has justified us. None can forgive, or justify from sin, but that Holy One against Whom we have sinned. The “one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy” (Jam. 4: 12), has declared that, having believed in His Son, we “are not condemned, and shall never come into condemnation’ (John 3: 18; 5: 24). In the revelation of the grace of our God we see the transfer of all our sins to our suffering Surety, who was thus made “Sin” for us, and bowed to the stroke of Infinite Justice, and in bowing bore them all away. In Him, our Law-fulfilling Righteousness, we stand, not merely as pardoned offenders, or justified sinners, but as accepted sons, “justified from all things from which we could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13: 39). Not only justified, or made righteous, but “made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5: 21) Who is “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer. 23: 6; 33: 16).
Verse 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 maketh intercession for us. Who can condemn those whom God justifies (Job 34: 29)? It is He who is the supreme and only Potentate — who alone has the right and power to determine men’s spiritual state, and character, and destiny — who alone can carry such sentences of condemnation or acquittal into execution — He has justified; and the condemnation of all other beings, in opposition to His sentence, avail absolutely nothing. The condemnations of all evil men and evil forces, so far as the children of God’s highest interests are concerned, are nothing. The Saint of God is secure (Luke 22: 31-32).
None can condemn for the Father has justified His elect and the Mediatorial work of Christ shuts every mouth, meets every accusation, and ignores every indictment that can be brought against those for whom our Redeemer died, rose again, ascended up on high and makes intercession for. “There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8: 1).
It is Christ that died” by which He made an all-availing atoning sacrifice for His people. His redeeming death paid the ransom for their transgressions which could not be expiated under the first covenant (Heb. 9: 11-23). “It was as a suffering Messiah, as an atoning High Priest, as a crucified Saviour, as a Conqueror, returning from the battle-field with garments rolled in blood, that the Son of God was revealed to the eyes of the Old Testament saints. They were taught by every type, and by every prophecy, to look to the ‘Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’ Christ must die. Death had entered our world, and death — the death of the Prince of Life — only could expel it. This event formed the deepest valley of our Lord’s humiliation. . . But in what character did Christ die? Not as a martyr, nor as a model, but as a Substitute. His death was substitutionary. ‘God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us’ (1 Thes. 5: 9-10)” (Octavius Winslow).
This Christ who died for His people, as to His Person, is God’s own Son, “God over all, blessed for ever” (Rom. 9: 1): and as to His office, He is Christ, the Messiah, the anointed One — the Divinely appointed, qualified, and accredited Saviour. “His blood cleanseth us from all sin’ (1 John 1: 7); and “in Him” — “who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature,” the Prince of the creation — “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1: 14-15). His obedience unto death, in our place, is the foundation for our Sovereign Ruler and Monarch to render a sentence of justification in favor of those in whose stead He stood. Christ fulfilled every requirement and purchased our redemption by His death (1 Pet. 1: 18-20). He died the death of the Cross for the elect.
“Yea rather, is risen again.” Of this we have abundant Scriptural evidence; for He who “died for our sins, according to the Scriptures,” has “risen again, according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15: 3-4). He who was “delivered for our offences,” has been “raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4: 25). Had our Lord not risen, we would yet be hopelessly in our sins. His failure to come out of the grave would have been proof that His declared substitutionary work was a farce; it would have been proof that He was not who He declared Himself to be. But “God has raised Him from the dead, and given Him glory, that our faith and hope might be in God” (1 Pet. 1: 21), as “the God of peace” (Heb. 13: 20) — the pacified Divinity — the “just God and the Saviour” (Isa. 45: 21) — “just, and the Justifier of him who believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3: 26). Our Lord stated that His atoning work was a finished work and nothing could be added to its perfection. “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17: 4). But we wanted proof and the fact of our Lord’s resurrection was essential to show that God was completely satisfied and the Atonement and hope of elect sinners is a reality. “This Jesus hath God raised up” (Acts 2: 32). And grounded on this fact the believer’s acquittal is complete. Christ’s resurrection testifies of the accomplishments of His death and His acceptance with a Holy God as the sinners Substitute. Our triumphant Saviour speaks peace and assurance to the hearts of His children in His words in John 14:19, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.”
“Who is even at the right hand of God” that is, He reigns along with God (1 Cor. 15: 25) — has “all power in heaven and earth” (Matt. 28: 18) — is “Lord of all” (Acts 10: 36); and it is appointed that He shall “judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17: 31). The phrase “the right hand of God” is expressive of power and dignity. “When he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1: 3). “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels, and authorities, and powers, being made subject unto him” (1 Pet. 3: 22). What stronger assurance has the believer that no impeachment against him can be successful, than this? Our Saviour, our Advocate, our best Friend, is at the right hand of the Father, advanced to the highest post of honor and power in Heaven. All power and dominion is His and the government is upon His shoulders. This glorious exaltation of our Mediator to the place of supreme authority and power in Heaven is itself great assurance that His people shall follow Him there (John 14: 2-3). He entered Heaven to prepare it for us and to take possession of it in our name. Having finished the work He came to do (Heb. 10: 11-13), He sat down, and now we are seated with Him in the Heavenlies (Eph. 2: 6).
“Who also maketh intercession for us.” The exaltation of our Lord Christ in Heaven is associated with the dearest interests of His people on earth. Christ continues, in His exalted state, to interpose in the elect’s behalf; He appears in the presence of God for us as our Advocate; the merits of His atonement are ever before the eye of the Supreme Judge — for He is in the circle of the throne a Lamb as it had been slain; and “He is able to save them to the uttermost, seeing He thus ever lives to make intercession for them” (Rev. 5:6; Heb. 7:25). Christ makes intercession for us by His presence before the Father on our behalf, by the presentation of His sacrifice in our stead, by offering up the prayers and praise of His people, and by applying to us the benefits of His death (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 10:19-22).
“It is an individual, an anticipative, and a present intercession. It embraces all the personal wants of each believer, it precedes each temptation and each trial, and at the moment that the sympathy and the prayers of the Saviour are the most called for, and are felt to be the most soothing, it bears the saint and his sorrow on its bosom before the throne. Just at a crisis in his history, at a juncture, perhaps, the most critical in his life; and when the heart, oppressed with its emotions, cannot breath a prayer, Jesus is remembering him, sympathizing with him, and interceding for him. Oh, who can fully describe the blessings that flow through the intercession of the Son of God? The love, the sympathy, the forethought, the carefulness, the minute interest of all our concerns, are blessings beyond description. Tried, tempted believer! Jesus makes intercession for you. Your case is not unknown to Him. Your sorrow is not hidden from Him. Your name is on His heart. Your burden is upon His shoulder; and because He not only has prayed for you, but prays for you now, your faith shall not fail. Your great accuser may stand at your right hand to condemn you, but your great Advocate stands at the right hand of God to plead for you. And greater is He that is for you, than all that are against you” (Octavius Winslow).
Verse 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? With the words “Who shall separate us” Paul argues that, so far from the things which he enumerates shaking the constancy of Christ’s love or periling the safety of the true believer, they but developed our Saviour’s affection to him more strongly, and confirmed the fact of his security (Rom. 11: 29). Though Satan mobilizes all the forces of nature together with the forces of evil spirits against the Christian, no one can separate us from Christ or condemn us. Who can take us out of the hand of God or separate us from His love in Christ? Not any thing; no one can separate us from God in Christ. Nothing can remove us from His love or alter His Divine determination to save us, or place us in circumstances which makes it impossible for us to enjoy the blessings of God’s complete and final salvation. In no sense can any of the circumstances or sufferings of the present life separate us Christians from the God.
“The love of Christ” in this verse is substantially the same as “the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” in the 39th — an expression meaning the love of God manifested to us through the mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is clear from the context the expression “the love of Christ” is to be understood of His love for His people, and not of their love to Him. Our assurance is derived from “Him that loved us” (vs. 37). In the face of His substitutionary death and sufferings and all He has done for us through His matchless love, what is there left to say? What is there in history that can approach the magnitude of that which our Saviour has shown to us of His heart for us? He loves His people (John 10: 14-15).  “The love of Christ was eternal, for it was that love which moved Him to leave Heaven’s throne and come down to this earth to redeem us. That love was deep, for it was that love which urged Him on to the end of the road as He humbled Himself to the death, even the death of the Cross. That love was broad, for it was that love which opened the arms of God to all the (elect) world of sinners, the very ones who nailed Him to the Cross, to be forgiven and come back to the Father’s heart. And that love is unchanging, for it is that love that comes to us today in the midst of our need and takes us out of darkness into light, and from doubt to certainty, and from death to life” (Donald Grey Barnhouse). “May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breath, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3: 18-19). The final argument underlying the security of the believer is presented in verses 35-37, that none can separate us from the love of Christ after our union is established with Him. The words of Christ are in full accord with this statement: “Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand (John 10: 29). This is further expressed when the apostle says, “For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Tim. 1:12). It is further expressed in the seal of the Holy Spirit — we are sealed “unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4: 30).
“The pages of religious persecution are very bloody. Confiscation of property, expatriation from country, and hounding pursuit of the exile in foreign lands, exposedness to famine and nakedness and sword and other perils, and yet never has this persecution been able to effect a separation of the believer from his Lord” (B. H. Carroll).
“Shall tribulation” — vexation from without, multiplied and severe sufferings from our enemies? But our Lord warned that this was to be expected by those whom He had called out of this world — this world that is hostile to Him. “In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).  Our Lord said in His prayer to the Father “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them because they are not of the world even as I am not of the world” (John 17: 14). Paul declares, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). “Beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you, but rejoice inasmuch as ye are PARTAKERS OF CHRIST’S SUFFERINGS; then when his glory shall be revealed ye may be glad with exceeding great joy” (1 Pet. 4: 12-13). Tribulation works in the saints of God, not apostasy, but perseverance. When in danger of apostatizing, Christ prays for His own, and we are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” (1 Pet. 1: 5).
The consequence of this tribulation of which believers might be involved in is “distress” — inward anxiety — the depressed state of one’s mind or the afflicted state of one’s heart. They might be “persecuted” — driven from their homes and pursued by their bloodthirsty foes whose intent is to injure or destroy. This refers to pain or wrong brought on saints of God for their true religion. Hebrews chapter 11 speaks to the persecution, in every form, raged toward the early Christians. Our Lord Christ gave His followers notice of such treatment. “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15: 20). They might suffer from want of food, hunger, or even be reduced to “famine.” The early Christians often suffered hunger when their prosperous, cruel neighbors had bread enough and to spare. “Nakedness,” not from idleness or general want, but from confiscation, robbery, violence or some form of persecution. Human cruelty was involved (2 Sam. 24: 13-14). Christians might be deprived of the shelter both of house and of clothing, even in the rigors of winter. In these circumstances, they might be in constant “peril” of more severe sufferings. Paul mentions the many different forms of peril in his enumeration of them in 2. Cor. 11: 26. It was no improbable thing that a violent death by the “sword” might bring the end of life. The sword was the last resort of a good government, but often the first resort of tyrants and persecutors; and by the wicked wielded wantonly and wickedly. This list forms a picture of what the primitive Christians often suffered in consequence of their love and obedience to the cause of Christ. The apostle, speaking of himself and his apostolic brethren, gave but a picture of what happened to many of their disciples: “We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. . . Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place. . . reviled . . . persecuted . . . defamed . . . we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things” (1 Cor. 4: 9-13).
Verse 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. This quotation is of Psalms 44:22 and it is introduced by the apostle as graphic representation of the extreme and constant sufferings of followers of our Lord Christ. This is what God’s faithful people may expect from their enemies at any period when their hatred of righteousness is roused, and there is nothing to restrain it (Gal. 4: 29).It shows the character of the sufferings — sufferings for the cause of God — sufferings inflicted for refusing to obey men rather than God (Acts 5: 41). The children of God are persecuted because their God is hated by this world. For “thy sake” — the sake of God — true worship of Him and the Gospel of redemption, the people of God have been persecuted, despised and put to death, reckoned by the world as nothing but sheep to be slaughtered (John 16: 1-2). These sufferings of true believers are “all the day long,” meaning the entire duration of the believer’s life. Not until this body of clay is laid in the grave, and our souls take their flight to that Heavenly city to be with our Lord, will sufferings cease. Sufferings to the death — killed; and the barbarity of the persecutors and helplessness of their victims — “accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” John Calvin wrote’ “Lest the severity of the Cross should dismay us, let us always have present to our view this state of the Church, that as we are adopted in Christ, we are appointed to the slaughter.”
Verse 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Paul argues that, so far from all these things which he enumerates shaking the constancy of Christ’s love, periling the safety of the Christian, they but developed the Saviour’s affection to him more strongly and confirmed the fact of the true believer’s security. “Nay,” they cannot separate us from the love of God or of His Son. “Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee” (Psa. 31: 19) — that is, “reserved in Heaven” (1 Pet. 1: 4) beyond the reach of our enemies.
These afflictions cannot alter our Lord’s decree or determination. “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips” (Psa. 89: 34). His promise is sure: “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand”(John 10:28-29). Nothing can bring our Lord’s sheep into circumstances which would make their obtaining final salvation impossible. Though they can kill our body, they cannot destroy our being, or touch our spirit. Christ prays for His people, and we are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” (1 Pet. 1: 5).
We are more than conquerors” — “Who is he that overcometh the world but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5: 5). In the faith of Christ every living child of God triumphs over sin, death, Hell, yea, all these things. All the soldiers of Christ must be conquerors for it is in His strength they fight, and He Himself hath subdued all our foes, even death the last enemy, and Satan, whom the God of peace shall bruise under our feet shortly (Rom. 16: 20). It is His working into our lives unceasing vigilance and care that ensures preservation and overcoming. Conflict is to be the rule of the life of the Church of God on earth. There is no crown without the Cross; no finishing without continuing. Overcoming is not a description of a higher state of spirituality attained by a few Christians in this life (as some schools of the Higher Life so erroneously have taught). It is the essential element of all true faith and belongs to all true Christians in the final triumph of their souls over sin and death (John 16: 33).
“We are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” We do not take flight, but go to battle as holy warriors in our passage through this fiery contest. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb, by the sword of the Spirit, and by the shield of faith. We are more than conquerors by the power of the inworking Holy Ghost. It is not the believer himself who conquers; it is the Divine Spirit within the believer.  First, there is the conquest of God-given faith as is abundantly evidenced in the great eleventh chapter of Hebrews which proclaims that the grace of faith won these many spiritual and glorious victories recorded there. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith” (1 John 5: 4). Faith in the truth of God’s Word — faith in the veracity of God’s character — faith in the might, and skill, and wisdom of our Lord, Commander, and Leader — faith that eyes the prize, gives the victory to the Christian soldier, and secures all glory to the Captain of our salvation (Heb. 2: 10).
Secondly, there is the triumph of patience. “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise” (Heb. 6: 12, 15).  It is real victory of the Holy Ghost in the believer, when beneath the pressure of great affliction, passing through a discipline the most painful and humiliating, the suffering believer is enabled to cry, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him” (Job 13: 15). Ah, suffering child of God, “let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (Jam. 1: 4).
Thirdly, there is the victory in joy. “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost” (1 Thes. 1: 6). “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations,” or trials (Jam. 1: 2). Our trials are occasions of joy because they are the triumphs of the Holy Ghost in our souls. Christ said, “Ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy” (John 16: 20).
“More than conquerors” — more than a mere victory is what true believers gain. By union with our Lord Christ believers have power with God and prevail. Our armor, riveted upon our soul by the Holy Ghost, we cannot lose. Our life, hid with Christ in God, cannot be endangered. Our Leader and Commander, once dead, is risen, ascended, living and reigning forevermore. The Holy Spirit matures all His graces within us in this battle. Faith is strengthened — love is expanded — experience is deepened — knowledge is increased. Even in the midst of the believer’s afflictions they have often the most delightful manifestations of their Precious Saviour and His wonderful love, in sustaining them under their afflictions, and in the manner in which the Lord alleviates and removes them. The saint comes forth from the trial holier and more valorous than when he entered. In his weakness he is taught in Who his only true strength is. His necessity has made him better acquainted with Christ’s fulness. Yea, the believer is “more than conqueror” — he is triumphant!
“Through him that loved us.” In the Person of Christ is the great secret of our victory, the source of our triumph. Here is the mystery of how a weak, timid, trembling believer is “more than a conqueror” over his many and mighty foes. It is “unto him that loved us, and hath washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God , even to his Father” (Rev. 1: 5-6). To our Lord Christ who loved us, who gave Himself for us and died in our stead, and lives to intercede on our behalf, the glory of the triumph is ascribed. Throughout our earthly life the testimony of the saint is, ‘Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15: 57). Death received a death-wound when Christ died in our stead; therefore, in our “last enemy” we face a conquered foe. The death of the saints shall be another victory over our last foe. We shall then join the Lord’s redeemed Church in glory in praising Him that we “overcame him (the accuser) by the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 12: 11).
Verse 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Paul expresses his absolute confidence when he says “I am persuaded,” not due to any man, but God. It was not a matter of opinion, but of assured faith. His assurance rested on the promise and oath of Him that cannot lie. This confidence was based on his coming to savingly know Christ and in the provisions of the covenant of grace (Jude 24-25).. What the apostle says he says, not as an apostle, but as a believing sinner, and all believing sinners may adopt his language. In any or every point of view “neither death,” “nor life,” under any consideration whatsoever, “nor angels,” good or bad, “nor principalities,” earthly or heavenly potentates, “nor powers,” all created power, “nor things present,” nothing in this life, “nor things to come,” nothing in the future,” can separate us from the love of God in Christ. This great chapter begins with a strong declaration of no condemnation in Christ and it closes with an equally strong declaration of no separation from our Lord Christ.
“Neither death,” although there is a separating power in death for it separates the soul from the body, and man from all the pursuits and attractions of earth. It separates human relationships, husbands and wives, parents and children, friends and companions. But there is one thing that death cannot separate the Christian from and that is the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, and all the blessings which that love bestows. “But my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee” (Isa. 54: 10). Death to the children of God is but our Father of mercies calling us to our eternal home with Him to the full enjoyment of Him and His love and its blessed effects. “Nor life.” The life of the saint of God is spent in a world which is in revolt against God, full of snares and temptations, difficulties and afflictions; but whatever in the course of life he may lose, assuredly he shall not be separated from the love of God. “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s” (Rom. 14: 8). Both life and death shall but confirm us in the assurance of our inalienable interest in the love of God.
“Angels” are either good or bad; and neither can separate us from the love of God. Bad angels — devils — put forth every effort to do this but all their efforts shall be in vain. “Satan shall be bruised” shortly “under the feet” (Rom. 16: 20) of the people of God; and neither his ensnaring temptations, nor his malicious charges and accusations, can affect their security in Christ, or make any alteration in the love of God towards them. All is powerless to deprive a single believing sinner of the special, distinguishing love of God. There is no reason to fear any attempt on the part of the elect angels to separate us from our Father’s love, for “are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Heb. 1: 14). “Principalities,” a word applied to earthly potentates and here refers to magistrates, civil authorities (Tit. 3: 1). These were generally most hostile to the people of God in the primitive age, and inflicted on them many and severe evils. The same is continuing against the Lord’s true people in our day. But though the kings, presidents, and governments of the world could rob, and oppress, and torture, and even murder them, they all united cannot sunder a soul from their Heavenly Father who loves them with an everlasting love. The word “powers” is sometimes rendered miracles, mighty works, and wonderful works. It is often rendered strength, power, might, violence. Gather together all create powers, great and small, celestial, terrestrial and infernal, and they can do nothing to cut off the saints from the favor and love of God.
“Things present” cannot separate us from the love of God. None of the events of the present state can do this. Things temporary and transient, be they sad or joyous, pleasant or painful. Indwelling sin, trials and temptations, neither health nor sickness, neither riches nor poverty, neither obscurity nor aggrandizement ; no personal circumstance, and nothing in the state of things around the saint of God, whether in the physical or in the moral world — no earthquake or deluge — no revolution or war — no change in church or in state, can affect, dissolve, or even weaken, the band of love which binds God to His elect. “Things to come.” None of the futurities of time, none of the futurities of eternity, none of the events which follow death — not the personal judgment, nothing that shall take place in the eternal state — not the resurrection of the body, not the general judgment, none of its results throughout eternity, can separate the believer from the love of God. Be that future what it may, shady or sunny, stormy or serene, God will stand fast to His covenant with His Church, and Christ with His union with His people. The blood of Christ ratified that everlasting covenant and assures that it shall bring the elect to eternal glory with God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Verse 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. “Nor height, nor depth,” anything in Heaven, earth or Hell, “nor any other creature,” any person, or thing, within the compass of created beings, “shall be able to separate from the love” with which God loves His people, and that is “in Christ Jesus our Lord;” then those who have a God-given interest in Him cannot perish, or fail of eternal glory; for it is impossible that any should perish who are the objects of God’s love. His love is as unchangeable as Himself, and unalterably fixed upon His sheep. Nothing in the heights above, nor any thing in the depths beneath; nothing present, nor any thing future, can separate the Good Shepherd from His chosen sheep.
“Nor height,” of honor and prosperity. No elevation to which the Lord may advance His children, no height of rank, or wealth, or honor, or influence, or usefulness, shall peril their place in His love. “The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hind’s feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places’ (Hab. 3: 19).  “Nor depth” and oh how deep these depths may be — deep poverty (2 Cor. 8: 2), the depths of disgrace and the deep plots of Satan (Rev. 2: 24). From the loftiest height to the lowest depth of adversity, Almighty God can bring His servant, yet love him still with an unchanged and deathless affection. No depth of soul-distress, no depth of poverty, or suffering, or humiliation, shall disturb the repose, or peril the security of a believing soul, in the love of God. Yea, no being that exists — no event that takes place in Heaven, or earth, or Hell, can prevent the child of God from obtaining the happiness which God in His great love has destined for him (Isa. 40: 8-11).
“Nor any other creature:” There is not any created being — any supposable event, which is not comprehended in the apostle’s enumeration. The apostle has challenged accusation from every foe, and condemnation from every quarter; but no accuser can rise, and no condemnation can be pronounced. For nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God.” Standing on the finished work of Christ and God’s free justification, the elect are now lifted up in triumph above all their enemies.
“The love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The love of the Father is seen in giving us Christ (1 John 4: 9), in choosing us in Christ, and in blessing us in Him with all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1: 3-4). Indeed, the love of our Heavenly Father is the fountain of all covenant and redemption mercy to the Church. “For the Father himself loveth you” (John 16: 27) and He so loved that He gave His only begotten Son in our stead (John 3: 16). “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us’ (1 John 3: 1). And from this love we trace all the blessings which flow to us through the channel of Christ’s Cross. It is the love of God, exhibited, manifested, and seen “in Christ Jesus”. Out of Christ there is no spiritual blessing for any soul, but in Him there is blessing abundant for poor sinners for all eternity. The words “in Christ” signify in union with Him: a mystical, legal, and vital union. It is in Christ that we are loved by God. It was in Christ that God drew us to Himself (Eph. 2: 13). Our Lord Christ was the beginning, and He is the ending — and Christ, in His personal glory, in His mediatorial work, in His inexhaustible fulness, in the close and tender relations which He sustains to His people, forms the sum and substance of all that intervenes between no condemnation of verse one and no separation which closes our chapter. The central figure is CHRIST. He is the Magnet which attracts all the affections awakened by these great and glowing truths. He is the Object around which the truths themselves closely, exclusively, and indissolubly entwine. Christ Jesus our Lord is the Alpha and the Omega — the beginning and the end — yea, Christ is all and in all. Oh, that He is all in all in our hearts.
“Which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Do we, do you, gladly and lovingly acknowledge Christ as our Lord? “A sure comfort it is that I belong to Him. For the fact of my relationship to Him as my Lord is not my work, nor of my choosing. It is of grace, of sovereign grace, and absolutely of grace only. It is a relationship that is rooted in eternity, in the unchangeable good pleasure of the Almighty God Himself. For He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He ordained Him Lord of all. It was His good pleasure that He should be the firstborn of every creature, and the firstborn of the dead, and that in Him all the fulness should dwell. It is He, too, that predestinated His own to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He should be the firstborn among many brethren. He gave me to Him. He is my Lord from before the foundation of the world. He it was, Who sent His Son into the likeness of sinful flesh, and Who caused Him to die for me, an ungodly in myself, in due time. And my Lord purchased me at the price of His own precious blood. He it is, that established the unity between Him and me, by ingrafting me into Him by a living faith through His Spirit. And so I am assured that I belong to Him, and that nothing can separate me from His love. Christ, the Lord of life and death, is my Lord forever; to Him I belong with body and soul. And that is my all sufficient and only comfort in life and death!” (Herman Hoeksema). By the pure free grace of God in Christ we shall stand, eternally extolling the WORTHY LAMB, through Him who, because He died, there is for us no condemnation from Divine Justice, and through or Lord who, because He lives, there is for His elect No Separation from God’s eternal, everlasting love. RCLVC.

Worthy Doctrinal and Spiritual Notes and Quotes on Romans 8: 32-39.
Verse 32. If Christ on His Cross intended to save every man, then He intended to save those who were lost before He died. If the doctrine be true, that He died for all men, then He died for some who were in Hell before He came into this world, for doubtless there were even then myriads there who had been cast away because of their sins. Once again, if it was Christ’s intention to save all men, how deplorably has He been disappointed, for we have His own testimony that there is a lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, and into that pit of woe have been cast some of the very persons who, according to the theory of universal redemption, were bought with His blood. That seems to me a conception a thousand times more repulsive than any of those consequences which are said to be associated with the Calvinistic and Christian doctrine of special and particular redemption. * * * To think that my Saviour died for men who were or are in Hell, seems a supposition too horrible for me to entertain. To imagine for a moment that He was the Substitute for all the sons of men, and that God, having first punished the Substitute, afterward punished the sinners themselves, seems to conflict with all my ideas of Divine Justice. That Christ should offer an atonement and satisfaction for the sins of all men, and that afterwards some of these very men should be punished for the sins for which Christ had already atoned, appears to me to be the most monstrous iniquity that could ever have been imputed to Saturn, to Janus, to the goddess of the Thugs, or to the most diabolical heathen deities. God forbid that we should ever think thus of Jehovah, the just and wise and good.  — (C. H. Spurgeon 1834-1892).
A DILEMMA FOR UNIVERSALISTS. God imposed His wrath due unto, and Christ underwent the pains of Hell for, either, (1) All the sins of ALL men, or; (2) All the sins of SOME men, or; (3) SOME of the sins of ALL men. If the last is true, "some of the sins of all men," then all men have some sins to answer for, and so no man shall be saved. If the second is true, "all the sins of some men," which we affirm, then Christ actually suffered in the room and stead of all the elect in the world. If the first is true, "all the sins of all men," why, then, are not all freed from the punishment of their sins? You will say, "Because of their unbelief; they will not believe." But this unbelief, is it a sin, or not? If not, why should they be punished for it? If it be, then Christ underwent the punishment due to it, or not. If so, then why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died from partaking of the fruit of His death? If He did not, then did He not die for all their sins. — John Owen (1616-1683).
Here we will notice a few of God’s gifts to His people as so many tokens and pledges of His grace and love. His first, choicest, and unspeakable gift was His own dear Son. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3: 16). This is the Love of all loves and the Gift of all gifts. It is love inexpressible and inconceivable. It is a gift stupendous and unparalleled. It was the Gift of the Father’s Son to all His elect brethren and sisters — the Gift of the Head to the members of His mystical body — the Gift of the Husband to His bride the Church. This Son given became the Child born. The Child born grew into all that the Church can desire, or the Father can delight in. He is the Remover of all Zion’s sin, and the Deliverer of Zion from all wrath and evil. In the enjoyment of, and eternal delight in, this Gift, not a soul, for whom He so willingly gave Himself, shall come behind. And then notice, “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also feely give us all things?” Having given Him for the salvation of His people, with Him He has also given everything to secure their enjoyment of that salvation, and to ensure their eternal glorification with Him. — Thomas Bradbury (1831-1905).
There is a holy art, and I would wish you to learn it, and that is, to take all your temporal mercies out of the hand of Christ. — William Romaine (1714-1795).
If the Christian be trusting in God and attending to duty, he need have no fear that he will be deserted by Him and left to starve. God called us into being and furnished us with a body without our care, then is He not well able to sustain the one and clothe the other?  Dependence is the law of our being: we are obliged to leave unto God the size, form, color, and age of our body: then count upon Him for its maintenance. As long as God means us to live, He will assuredly feed and clothe us. He who brought Israel out of Egypt with a high hand and delivered them from death at the Red Sea did not suffer them to perish from lack of food in the wilderness. “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?” such a guarantee should be amply sufficient to quieten every fear and allay all anxiety about food and raiment. — Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952).
"When Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed"   (Isaiah 53:10).
Our LORD Jesus has not died in vain. His death was sacrificial: He died as our substitute, because death was the penalty of our sins. Because His substitution was accepted of God, He has saved those for whom He made His soul a sacrifice. By death He became like the corn of wheat which bringeth forth much fruit. There must be a succession of children unto Jesus; He is "the Father of the everlasting age." He shall say, "Behold, I and the children whom Thou hast given me." A man is honored in his sons, and Jesus hath His quiver full of these arrows of the mighty. A man is represented in his children, and so is the Christ in Christians. In his seed a man's life seems to be prolonged and extended; and so is the life of Jesus continued in believers. Jesus lives, for He sees His seed. He fixes His eye on us, He delights in us, He recognizes us as the fruit of His souls travail. Let us be glad that our LORD does not fail to enjoy the result of His dread sacrifice, and that He will never cease to feast His eyes upon the harvest of His death. Those eyes which once wept for us are now viewing us with pleasure. Yes, He looks upon those who are looking unto Him. Our eyes meet! What a joy is this! — C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892).
If this is not a promise in form, it is in fact. Indeed, it is more than one promise, it is a conglomerate of promises. It is a mass of rubies, and emeralds, and diamonds, with a nugget of gold for their setting. It is a question which can never be answered so as to cause us any anxiety of heart. What can the LORD deny us after giving us Jesus? If we need all things in heaven and earth, He will grant them to us: for if there had been a limit anywhere, He would have kept back His own Son. What do I want today? I have only to ask for it. I may seek earnestly, but not as if I had to use pressure and extort an unwilling gift from the LORD's hand; for He will give freely. Of His own He gave us His own Son. Certainly no one would have proposed such a gift to Him. No one would have ventured to ask for it. It would have been too presumptuous. He freely gave His Only-begotten, and, O my soul, canst thou not trust thy heavenly Father to give thee anything, to give thee everything? Thy poor prayer would have no force with Omnipotence if force were needed; but His love, like a spring, rises of itself and overflows for the supply of all thy needs. — C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892).

Verse 33. Oh, embrace this truth, ye who, in bitterness of soul, are self-accused and self-condemned before God! Satan could accuse, and the world could accuse, and the saints could accuse, but more severe and true than all, is the self-accusation which lays your mouth in the dust, in the deepest, lowliest contrition. Yet, as a poor sinner, looking to Jesus, resting in Jesus, accepted in Jesus, who shall lay anything legally to your charge, since it is God — the God against whom you have sinned — who Himself becomes your Justifier? May you not with all lowliness, yet with all holy boldness, challenge every foe, in the prophetic words of Christ Himself — “He is near that justifieth me: who will contend with me?” — Octavius Winslow (1808-1878).
In the light of Romans 8:29-30, it is impossible for one of God’s elect to go out of this world uncalled by grace or unregenerated!  — Wylie W. Fulton (b. 1939).
Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, He has out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of His own will, chosen from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault from the primitive state of rectitude into sin and destruction, a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ, whom He from eternity appointed the Mediator and Head of the elect and the foundation of salvation. This elect number, though by nature neither better nor more deserving than others, but with them involved in one common misery, God has decreed to give to Christ to be saved by Him, and effectually to call and draw them to His communion by His Word and Spirit; to bestow upon them true faith, justification, and sanctification; and having powerfully preserved them in the fellowship of His Son, finally to glorify them for the demonstration of His mercy, and for the praise of the riches of His glorious grace; as it is written "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." (Eph 1:4-6). And elsewhere: "And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified." (Rom 8:30). — Canons of Dort (1.7)
THEY who believe there is any power in man by nature whereby he can turn to God, may contend for a conditional election upon the foresight of faith and obedience: but while others dispute, let you and me admire, for we know that the Lord foresaw us (as we were) in a state UTTERLY INCAPABLE EITHER OF BELIEVING OR OBEYING unless He was pleased to work in us to will and to do according to His own good Pleasure. — John Newton (1725-1807).
WOULD YOU BE JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD?  Then learn one thing!  Jesus Christ is ALL in our justification before God!  Only through Christ can a sinner have peace with the Holy God.  Only by Christ alone can a sinner be accepted and admitted into God’s presence.  HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS is the only robe which will cover us.  HIS BLOOD is the only mark that will save us from eternal death.  HIS NAME is the only name by which we shall obtain an entrance through the gate of eternal glory.  I pity those who try to obtain God’s favor by their works; and I sound a clear warning—you are building on sand; you are spending money for that which is not bread; you will hear Him say, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  BUT THIS I KNOW—not one person has ever entered heaven’s courts with any testimony but this:  “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood … to Him be the glory” (Rev. 1:5, 6).  — Pastor Henry T. Mahan (b. 1626).

Verse 34. What did Christ suffer?  He suffered that which answered the justice of God.  He suffered that which answered the Law of God.  He suffered that which fully repaired the glory of God. Brethren, let us encourage ourselves in the Lord.  If there be any demands to be made of you and me, it must be upon the account of the righteousness and justice of God; or upon the account of the Law of God; or upon the account of the loss that God suffered in His glory by us.  If the Lord Jesus hath come in, and answered all these, we have a good plea to make in the presence of the holy God.
1.  He suffered all that the justice of God did require.  Hence it is said that "God set Him forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins" (Rom.
3: 25).  And you may observe that the apostle uses the very same words in respect of Christ's suffering that he uses in respect of the sufferings of the damned angels (Rom. 8: 32): "God spared Him not."  And when He would speak of the righteousness of God in inflicting punishment upon the sinning angels, He doth it by that very word,  "God spared them not."  So that whatever the righteousness of God did require against sinners, Christ therein was not spared at all.  What God required against your sins and mine, and all His elect, God spared Him nothing, but He paid the utmost farthing.
2.  The sufferings of Christ did answer the Law of God.  That makes the next demand of us.  The Law is that which requires our poor, guilty souls to punishment, in the name of the justice of God.  Why, saith the apostle,  "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us" (Gal.
3: 13); by undergoing and suffering the curse of the Law, He redeemed us from it.
3.  He suffered everything that was required to repair and make up the glory of God.  Better you and I and all the world should perish than God should be endamaged in His glory.  It is a truth, and I hope God will bring all our hearts to say, Christ hath suffered to make up that. The obedience that was in the sufferings of Christ brought more glory unto God than the disobedience of Adam, who was the original of the apostasy of the whole creation from God, brought dishonour unto Him.  That which seemed to reflect great dishonour upon God was that all His creatures should as one man fall off by apostasy from Him.  God will have His honour repaired, and it is done by the obedience of Christ much more.  There cometh, I say, more glory to God by the obedience of Christ and His sufferings than there did dishonour by the disobedience of Adam; and so there comes more glory by Christ's sufferings and obedience upon the cross than by the sufferings of the damned for ever.  God loses no glory by setting believers free from suffering, because of the sufferings of the Son of God.  This was a fruit of eternal wisdom. — John Owen (1616-1683).

Not only is Christ’s character faultless, complete and glorious, but His work is finished also. He died, He rose, He is at God’s  right hand, He intercedes. By His death He paid our dreadful debt.  By rising He obtained God’s testimony to the fulness of His satisfaction. By sitting at God’s right hand, He evinces His sovereign authority over all, by interceding He shows Himself our Advocate on high. This is not after the manner of men. The ransom has been paid, plenteous redemption procured, eternal life made sure to all of (His elect). No marvel that He has a name above every name. No marvel that the virgins love Him, that the angels adore Him, that His Father crowns Him with glory and honor. — William S. Plumer (1802-1880).

Somewhere in my reading I came across the expression, ‘The richness of the ascension.’ I was struck by the expression because so little is said or written these days about the tremendous act of both the Father and the Son, by which the Gospel of God concerning His Son is brought to its climax. A gospel that does not speak of an ascended Lord is not the Gospel of God! If the Gospel is Christ and Christ is the Gospel, and surely this is true; we must proclaim a Christ risen, exalted and reigning.  He must be preached where He is now identified as the pre-existent, virgin born, sinlessly living, vicariously dying, Son of the living God.  Always the apostles preached the living Christ and worked backward, a decided reverse from the gospel of today. This is God’s good news.  How can Christ be preached if He is not preached where He is now?  If Christ be risen and exalted, the rest is easy to accept!  If not, the virgin birth and everything else cannot be accepted. The whole pattern of the Gospel story sinks or swims on the truth or falsity of the resurrection and exaltation.  By the resurrection Jesus is seen to be Victor over death and corruption.  By the ascension He is seen to be Lord, with all power in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18).  As sin was shown to be subject to Him by His sinless life, as death was shown to be subject to Him by His resurrection, so all things in Heaven and earth are shown to be subject to Him by His ascension.  It was not that the ascension affects His Lordship any more than the resurrection affects His victory over death. Rather, the ascension is the designation and demonstration of His Lordship. — Rolfe Barnard (1904-1969).

The intercession of Christ defines the scope of His atoning sacrifice. The death and intercession of Christ are co-extensive. Define the extent of the one and you determine the extent of the other. That must be so, for the latter is based upon the former and is expressive of its grand design. Scripture is too plain on this point to allow of any uncertainty or mistake. “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 maketh intercession for us” (Rom. 8: 33, 34). “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7: 25). To make assurance doubly sure on this important matter our great High Priest has expressly declared “I pray not for the world” (John 17:9). Thus there must be a “world” for whom He did not die. For whom did He say He prays? “But for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine.”
There are those who suppose that the doctrine of particular redemption detracts from the goodness and grace of God and from the merits of Christ, and therefore conclude it cannot be true. But this mistake becomes manifest if we examine the alternative view. Surely it is not honoring the goodness and grace of God to affirm that the whole human race has nothing but a bare possibility of salvation, yea, a great probability of perishing, notwithstanding all that He has done to save them. Yet that is exactly what is involved in the Arminian scheme, which avers that Christ died to make the salvation of all men possible. That love and grace must indeed be greater which infallibly secures the salvation of some, even though a minority, than that which only provides a mere contingency for all. To us it seems to indicate coldness and indifference for God to leave it a second time to the mutable will of man to secure his salvation, when man’s will at its best estate ruined Adam and all is posterity.
If infinite love and goodness was shown to all men in giving Christ to die for them, would it not also give the Holy Spirit to all of them to effectually apply salvation — to subdue their lusts, overcome their enmity, make them willing to comply with the terms of the Gospel and fix their adherence to it? The Scriptures set forth the love and kindness of God as one which makes not merely a bare offer of salvation to sinners, but as actually saving “by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3: 4-5). The Word of Truth declares that the “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)” (Eph. 2: 4-5). How would God’s love and mercy toward men appear if He gave Christ for all only to make it possible that they might be saved, and then left by far the greater part of them ignorant of even the knowledge of salvation, and a large number of those who are acquainted with it, not made willing to embrace it in the day of His power? — Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952).

Verse 35. Paul continues this series of questions. “What shall we say to these things? Who can lay anything to our charge? Who is he that condemneth?” Now he asks who can take us out of the hand of God or separate us from His love. No one! Not tribulation (trials, afflictions and burdens), not distress (of body or soul), not persecution (from the world or false brethren), not famine (want of food and drink), not nakedness, peril or sword (which has not been the lot of many believers). Christ’s love for us is eternal, infinite and unchangeable. Nothing that this world affords can change that love (Rom. 11:29; Mal. 3: 6). — Henry Mahan (b. 1926).

Earthly jewels sometimes get separated from their owner, Christ’s jewels, never . . . Earthly jewels are sometimes lost, Christ’s jewels, never . . . Earthly jewels are sometimes stolen, Christ’s jewels, never! — Thomas Brooks (1608-1680).

When God permits them, wicked men and fallen angels can do a good deal. They can send tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril and sword. They cannot do even these things till God lengthens their chain, John 19: 11. But sometimes they are permitted to do such things. They are the sword in the hand of the Lord, Psa. 17:13. They are the rod of God’s anger and the staff of His indignation, Isa. 10:5. — William S. Plumer (1802-1880).

It is no ground of confidence to assert, or even to feel, that we will never forsake Christ; but it is the strongest ground of assurance to be convinced that His love will never change. — Charles Hodge (1797-1878). 

Verse 36. The argument seems to be this: The saints of old have endured all manner of sufferings, and yet were not separated from the love of God; therefore such sufferings cannot separate them now. For thy sake; not for our sins’ sake, but for Christ’s, or for righteousness’ sake, Matt. 5:10; 10: 18, 39; 1 Pet. 3: 14. We are killed: how could they say this? Killing takes away all complaining, and makes the parties so dealt with incapable of saying how it is with them. This expression notes the danger and desperateness of their condition. It is usual in Scripture to set forth an eminent danger under the notion of death: see 1 Cor. 15: 31; 2 Cor. 1: 10; 4: 11. All the day long; i.e. continuously, without ceasing: see Psa. 38: 6, 12; 71: 24; 73: 14; Prov. 23: 17; 10: 21. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter; i. e. we are designed for destruction. Our enemies make account they can destroy us, as men do sheep, that they have by them in the slaughter-house. They reckon they have us at command, and can cut us off when they list. Or rather thus, they make no reckoning of our destruction; they make no more of killing us, than butchers do of killing sheep: our death is very cheap in their account, Psa. 44: 11, 12. — Matthew Poole (1624-1679).

Religion and Eternal Life — The Difference Religion is to know biblical facts; Life is to know God!   (I John 5:20). Religion is to know what I believe; Life is to know Whom I believe (2 Timothy 1:12). Religion is to be baptized into the church; Life is to be baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3). Religion is to be reformed; Life is to be regenerated (John 3:3). Religion is to be a new convert; Life is to be a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
 A man was asked, “And what is your religious persuasion?” He replied, “I am persuaded that nothing can separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). Amen. — Henry T. Mahan (b. 1926).

Verse 37. We are more than conquerors; or, we overcome. We conquer when we ourselves are conquered; we conquer by those which are wont to conquer others; we beat our enemies with their own weapons. The meaning seems to be this: The devil aims, in all the sufferings in God’s children, to draw them off from Christ, to make them murmur, despair, &; but in this he is defeated and disappointed, for God inspires His children with such a generous and noble spirit, that sufferings abate not their zeal and patience, but rather increases them. — Matthew Poole (1624-1679).
 Two small words, “in Him,” which in and of themselves are insignificant.  One is a common preposition and the other a personal third-person pronoun. Yet these two words are full of grace and truth.  In these two words are found the very essence of the Gospel.  Why?  Because the person of the pronoun refers to the Lord Jesus Christ, the God Man, the Saviour of sinners, and the simple preposition describes the glorious position and relationship of every believer in Christ. God “chose us in Him” (Ephesians 1:4); we are “justified in Him” (1 Corinthians 6:11); we are “the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21); we have “the forgiveness of sins in Him” (Ephesians 1:7); we are “sanctified and redeemed in Him” (1 Corinthians 1:30); we have “peace with God in Him” (Romans 5:10); in Him we have died to sin (Romans 6:2); in Him we are “alive to God” (Romans 6:11); in Him we have assurance of faith (I John 2:5); in Him “the love of God is perfected” in all those who believe (1 John 4:12); and in Him we have “obtained an inheritance” of eternal riches (Ephesians 1:11).   —Tom Harding.
SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE of Christ will be a personal knowledge. I cannot know Jesus through another person’s acquaintance with Him. No, I must know Him myself; I must know Him on my own account. It will be an intelligent knowledge — I must know Him, not as the visionary dreams of Him, but as the Word reveals Him. I must know His natures, Divine and human. I must know His offices — His attributes — His works — His shame — His glory. I must meditate upon Him until I “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” It will be an affectionate knowledge of Him; indeed, if I know Him at all, I must love Him. An ounce of heart knowledge is worth a ton of head learning. Our knowledge of Him will be a satisfying knowledge. When I know my Saviour, my mind will be full to the brim — I shall feel that I have that which my spirit panted after. “This is that bread whereof if a man eat he shall never hunger.” At the same time it will be an exciting knowledge; the more I know of my Beloved, the more I shall want to know. The higher I climb the loftier will be the summits which invite my eager footsteps. I shall want the more as I get the more. Like the miser’s treasure, my gold will make me covet more. To conclude:  this knowledge of Christ Jesus will be a most happy one; in fact, so elevating that sometimes it will completely bear me up above all trials, and doubts, and sorrows; and it will, while I enjoy it, make me something more than “Man that is born of woman, who is of few days, and full of trouble;” for it will fling about me the immortality of the ever-living Saviour, and gird me with the golden girdle of His eternal joy. Come, my soul, sit at Jesus’s feet and learn of Him all this day. C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892).
Verse 38. Neither death. That is, cut off in this world, their connection with Christ is not thereby destroyed. “They shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand,” John 10: 28. Nor life, neither its blandishments nor its trials. “Whether we live, we live unto the Lord, or whether we die, we die unto the Lord. So that living or dying we are the Lord’s” Rom. 14: 8. — Charles Hodge (1797-1878).
For I am persuaded; or, I am fully assured, not by any special revelation, but by the same spirit of faith, which is common to all believers, 2 Cor. 4: 13. — Matthew Poole (1624-1679).
The final perseverance of the saints is a doctrine so clearly made known in the Scriptures, and so largely insisted upon, that I find it difficult to compress.  It is established by the joint will and unerring counsel of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and asserted by prophets and apostles, who spake, being “moved by the Holy Ghost.”  It is a doctrine rejoined in by all those poor sinners who feel that in them (that is, in their flesh) dwells no good thing; and who know by experience, sufficient to convince them, that their holding out to the end, and dying in the faith, depends not on themselves, but upon the promise, oath, decree, faithfulness, love, grace, and mercy of Him who has said, though the mountains may depart, and the hills be removed, yet His counsel and covenant of peace shall never be removed. Many of the saints have labored under fears touching the certainty of their safe arrival in their Father's house; but their fears never defeated God's design in the endless felicity of their souls.  He who denies the doctrine of the saints' final perseverance makes God a liar, and reproaches every attribute and perfection of His nature.  Such a character as is referred to above is as injurious to the church of God, and ought to be held in the same light by them, as a robber is held in by society. — Henry Fowler.
A pious wife shares with her wicked husband the poverty and misery which his vices bring on them like an armed man. An invading army overwhelms saints and sinners with evils which are common to all. The event is the same, but the design, uses and effects are quite different. The purpose of God in afflicting His real people is to make them more useful, more humble, and in the end more glorious. His design in afflicting incorrigible foes is to punish them for their sins, show His wrath, and make them examples of His terrible justice, as they have been the thankless receivers of countless mercies. So also prosperity awakens the gratitude and refines the feelings of the pious man, but hardens the heart of his wicked neighbor. Thus the prosperity of fools destroys them. — William S. Plumer (1802-1880).
Verse 39. NEVER can Christians sink beneath the everlasting arms; they will always be underneath you. You may be sorely tried—painfully bereaved—fearfully tempted—deeply wounded. Saints and sinners, the Church and the world, may each contribute some bitter ingredient to your cup; nevertheless, the heart of Jesus is a pavilion within whose sacred enclosure you may repose until these calamities be overpast. Your greatest extremity can never exceed His power or sympathy, because He has gone before His people, and has endured what they never shall endure. Behold what glory thus springs from the humiliation and sufferings of our adorable Redeemer! — Octavius Winslow (1808-1878).
In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him."  We could have had no life but through the Redeemer; and we could not have had Him, but through the tender love of the Father.  Nothing can more forcibly shew the love of God towards us than this, that He should give up Christ to the deepest humiliation and sufferings, for our rescue and redemption,  Had there been any possible method of salvation beside this, consistent with the Divine attributes, surely the bitter cup would have passed away from the blessed Jesus, and God would not have permitted Him to drink it.  But God did not, and therefore could not, in this case, spare His Son, but delivered Him up to death for our sakes; and this, in a most admirable manner and degree "commendeth His love toward us, while we were yet sinners," who therefore as such, could have done nothing to deserve it.  "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
All this ensued according to the covenant of grace, which was settled between the Divine Persons upon the throne of Heaven; and when the Lord Jesus was sacrificed, then was this covenant ratified and established, Jehovah interposing Himself therein, and through the divided flesh and spirit of Messiah, satisfying the Law and justice for the remission of sins. By this new testament in the blood of the Saviour, His people are not only admitted into fellowship with Himself as their brother, yea, as flesh of their flesh and bone of their bone, in more than espoused nearness; but they are also entitled, by a gracious right, to approach unto God as their Father.  They are adopted into His family; and the covenant, established in the hands of the Mediator, is the testimony and seal of it.  Hence, they are no more strangers and foreigners, much less slaves and enemies, but sons and heirs, children and heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ Jesus: and so when they look up and pray, they do not take God's name in vain and speak falsely, when they call Jehovah Himself, Abba, Father; but they utter what they have a right and privilege to utter, and what the Lord delights to hear. — Ambrose Serle (1742-1812).
This Scripture is final in its exhausting of the futility of the opposing forces of the believer, and it is sublime in its assurance of the eternal love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. The believer who is so weak in himself triumphs over worlds, and principalities in Christ. We may be weak and poor, unworthy creatures in this world — we may live and move, but we live and move and have our being in Christ, who has subjected everything in His government, and whose footstool is in the earth and who cries out above the din of noise in this world, “who shall separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” — L. R. Shelton, Sr. (1898-1971).
Christ is to be answerable for all those that are given to Him, at the last day, and therefore we need not doubt but that He will certainly employ all the powers of His Godhead to secure and save all those that He must be accountable for. Thomas Brooks (1608-1680).
Did Christ finish His work for us? Then there can be no doubt but He will also finish His work in us. — John Flavel (1627-1691).