Bucky Kennedy, evangelist
According to Fearof.net the following are the top 10 phobias of all time:
- Arachnophobia – The fear of spiders.
- Ophidiophobia – The fear of snakes
- Acrophobia – The fear of heights.
- Agoraphobia- The fear of open or crowded spaces.
- Cynophobia – The fear of dogs.
- Astraphobia – The fear of thunder and lightning.
- Claustrophobia – The fear of small spaces.
- Mysophobia – The fear of germs.
- Aerophobia – The fear of flying.
- Trypophobia – The fear of holes.
Many people live with fears so deeply believed that they can’t possibly live in healthy relationships with anyone, even those who love them and want to help them. Fear operates off the premise of what could happen regardless of the likelihood of it ever happening. On the other hand, undisciplined fearlessness can result in both reckless and careless behavior.
In our text today, the apostle Paul is encouraging believers in the security of their salvation in Jesus. This new faith was being attacked both inwardly and outwardly, stirring up doubt in the lives of these new saints.
Romans 8:31-32 – Gods Commitment
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”
The believer still faces opposition from the devil, the world, and the flesh. And because of their operations, suffering and adversity are still part of the believer’s life. The enemy wants the existence of these things to create doubt in our lives. The reality of this verse is if these things are to rob us of our salvation, they would have to be greater than God.
Paul is saying, “What difference does it make who is against us?” If God is for us, is there anything that can be against us than is greater than God?”
Paul then points us to God’s investment in this promise in verse 32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” God did not send His Son to the cross hoping it might work. God delivered Jesus to the cross knowing that it would work, that victory would be won and given freely to all who believe.
Romans 8:33-34 – God’s Advocate
The Christian life isn’t lived in absence of the accuser, but in the presence of our justifier. God, the only one who can clear us of our guilt, has done so through the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus. Since God is the only one who has the power to condemn but has chosen to remove that condemnation by virtue of faith in Christ Jesus, no else can make a case against me.
Some people like to declare that God dismisses the case. Not so. The penalty for my crime was paid; I’m not guilty because Jesus paid my sentence of death on the cross.
Verse 34 tells me that not only does One pronounce you to be free from all condemnation, but that the One who paid for your freedom also intercedes on your behalf. God’s Son, the One who took my place on the cross, now comes to my defense.
Paul is really making a strong case for our security in that the all-powerful and sovereign Creator of the universe has declared us righteous and pledged His protection of that declaration. This security is then strengthened (as though it was needed) by the defense of that righteousness in the person of Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:35-39 – The Believer’s Confidence
In verse 35 Paul is asking, “What’s left?”
In the final verses of this chapter, Paul list some pretty discouraging assaults of this life, including death. Paul shares that based on God’s word and Jesus work on the cross and resurrection from the grave, nothing listed in these verses could separate us from the love of God.
I know of so many believers afraid that their faith is not strong enough, their work not good enough, or their sins are too many and their good works too few. These folks live in fear, always doubting the love and faithfulness of God. Their trust and security is based on their belief that God is someone they must hold on to.
When my children were little, we would sometimes be in some crowded and unfamiliar places. My children at that time were too young to recognize the dangers of them walking independently from me or my wife.
There would be times their desire for independence would tempt them to loosen their grip. I could feel their little hand move from my palm to my finger but as soon as I felt their release from me I would take their hand and hold on to it.
My love for them was not based on their ability to hold on to their Daddy’s hand, but on their Daddy’s ability to hold onto their hands.
I’m more than a conqueror because of the Spirit of God in me. In and of myself any one of these things listed in these verses could absolutely overcome me, but because of the life of Christ in me I can have confidence that regardless of the intensity of the suffering, death itself can’t separate me from the One who defeated the grave.
Satan delivered his best shot at Calvary; three days later Jesus responds, “Is that all you got?”