What Shall We Then Say?
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

“What shall we then say to these things?” This is a question that ought to be in the heart of every individual on the wonderful, glorious things that God has done for the believer. It is not an unusual question for the individual to ask. It is not an unusual question for Paul to ask. It is quite natural. We do the same thing when we are amazed. I remember one of the first things I heard my father-in-law say, and it became a characteristic of him in my mind. When something wonderful would happen or someone would mention some wonderful thing, he would say, “Well, what about it? What about it?” You always knew he was thrilled when he would say, “What about it?” That is exactly what the Apostle Paul had in mind when he said, “What shall we then say to these things? Can you sit idly by when these things are given and not be moved? What do you have to say about it? What can be said about it?”

I said that every question finds an answer and this one does, too—the kind of answer that sometimes provokes us when we ask a question because the Apostle Paul answered this question, “What shall we then say to these things?”, with a series of questions.

I am sure that you have had the experience of asking somebody a question and for an answer they ask you a question. Sometimes you are provoked and say, “I asked you a question. Don't answer with a question. Give me the answer.” Sometimes the best way to arrive at the answer is to hear another question, and so in the answer to the question of our consideration today, “What shall we then say to these things?”, we are going to be looking at a number of questions which provide for us the attitude of heart that we ought to have when we realize how wonderful our God is to us.

If God is For Us

The very first question that we are going to look at is in Romans, chapter 8, verses 31 and the first part of verse 325, where we read:

Romans 8:

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Let's think about that for a moment. “What shall we then say to these things?” Paul said, “I will tell you one thing that I would say. Since God is for us, who can be against us?” The question which begins with the word If here, as you have been taught at other times, indicates not any doubt, but rather assurance. “Since God is for us, who can be against us? Since God is for us, there is no adversary for the believer.”

I have always been interested in the fact that the words can be in our English text are not in the original text. As a matter of fact, the original text would read: “Who (blank) against us?” I rather like that because if you want to meditate upon the Word of God, you can sit down and think about the fact that no adversary can stand against the believer, and you can put in that blank some of the things which the Spirit of God might bring to your mind.

Some folk have done that. For example, one man wrote, “If God be for us, who can ever be against us?” Another wrote, “Who effectively can be against us?” I rather like that because I think most of us have had the experience of being in the battle, whatever the battle might be, and we know we do have a foe, and we do know that folk are against us. We do know that the Devil is a roaring lion, going about seeking whom he may devour, and we have done battle with him from time to time. We know he is there. We know that, but isn't it good to know that in view of all that God has done for us, the Devil or any other foe can't effectively be against us?

It is one thing to know this and another thing to make it practical in your life. Do you recall what is written in Psalm 118, verse 6? The Psalmist was in the battle and he knew what it meant to come face to face with the enemy. He knew that he was no match for his foe. In verse 6, he applied the truth of what we are talking about when he said:

Psalm 118:

6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

Sometimes we read that verse a bit hurriedly. “I will not fear what man can do unto me,” but there is a difference here. “The Lord is on my side. I believe that.” Then he asks the question in the same sense that Paul also asked it, when he said, “What can man do to me?”

Oh, how I wish you could take that truth home to your heart and realize that since God is for us—and all of these wonderful truths in Romans up through chapter 8 prove that—what can anybody do to hurt us? The answer is obvious.

Paul would say again because the question was not exhausted, “What shall we then say to these things?” He said, “How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Look down at verse 32:

Romans 8:

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?

Do you see what Paul is doing? He is delving down deep into the doctrine that he has been teaching, and he is coming up with some precious gems of assurance that stretches the doctrine down into everyday living and he said, “I have taught you in the previous chapters of the book of Romans that God the Father gave His Son without qualification for you, and now, you want to know what I think about all this. What I think about all of this is, how shall he not with Him also freely give us all things?”

Someone said, “Surely He will give us everything else.” Someone else said, “If He gave His Son, can we not trust in God to give us with Him everything else that we need?” Someone else said, “If He gave His Son, surely He will give us everything besides.”

I can almost hear somebody asking, “Do you mean give to me something wonderful? Me? Maybe you, but not me. I am not good enough for God to do anything for.” You are forgetting, God gave His Son. What shall we then say to that? God surely will give us all things.

“Ah,” but someone says again, “I can't help but feel like you have to do something to deserve what you get.” Did you notice when we read the verse? “…how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Those two words, freely give , are the translation of the Greek word charizomai , which speaks of grace . We should be familiar with grace in this assembly because we have made every effort to emphasize it in all facets of truth which we present because we refer to this as a grace ministry , so all I should need to do today is to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance that God will give you everything else that you need because He has given you His Son, and He will do it on the basis of grace.

Someone has written the song, and often have I heard it sung,: “Grace knows no limit,” and I like that. Love has no boundary, and grace has no limit. I am glad today that I can declare with full assurance of faith that there is no limit to what God will do for us by His grace. Most of us are living much, much below our privileges. Most of us are living on much less materially, spiritually, and physically than we need because if He gave His only begotten Son, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?

Whosoever Will May Come

What is our question today? “What shall we then say to these things?” The Apostle Paul is not through. What shall we then say to these things? “Well,” he said, “this is one thing. Who shall lay anything to God's elect?” Look at verse 33:

Romans 8:

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.

Think for a moment what the Apostle Paul had in mind when he said, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?” He said, “Really, who is there to accuse any person who is the elect of God?” Who is the elect of God? In these days when there is so much confusion about truth that has always been held precious, there is sometimes fear in the heart of folk who may consider themselves not elected, for some folk who ought to know better are going about saying that God elects some people to be lost and He elects some people to be saved; and folk who tend to be fearful about the things of God find themselves wondering if they might be included in the number who are elected to be lost.

The simplest way to dispel that kind of false information is to accept the Word of God in its simplest form, meaning exactly what it says. You are well aware that the Word of God says, “Whosoever will may come.” How do you know that you are elect? I like the illustration that D.L. Moody gave in the last century and I haven't seen it improved upon. Since I don't use many illustrations, I fall back on the ones that I think are effective. Perhaps you have heard me say it before. On a beautiful mansion above the portico on the door are the words, “Whosoever will may come.” You go inside because that is what it says. “Whosoever will come on in.” You come inside. You turn around and you look and above the door on the inside is, “Chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.”

You don't need to be worried whether or not you are elected. You don't need to be worried whether or not you are chosen. All you need to do is come in the door. When you get inside, you will see the promise of God: “Chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.”

Why am I sharing this with you? Because we are told in this passage of Scripture that we are considering as an answer to this very, very important portion of the Word, Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? Who will accuse any believer before God? Stronger still: Who will dare to accuse God's chosen people?

You and I are pretty good at that. We are pretty good at laying charges against the elect. We are pretty good at judging folk. Oh, we have more ways to rationalize the righteousness of that than I could take the time to talk to you about, but the emphasis in this portion of the Word of God is that neither you nor I nor anyone else has any right whatsoever to lay any accusation upon God's child. You say, “I believe we need to correct the saints.” Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?

Why can we speak so boldly? Notice the last statement of verse 33: “…it is God that justifieth.” The word justify comes from the Greek word dikaiosis , which simply means “to make righteous.” The whole thrust of the question is based upon that one fact—that God the Father has made righteous every one of His children, so nobody has any right to go around accusing any of God's children because God is the One Who has made them righteous. The summary of the whole matter is, “What shall we then say to these things?” “Well, I will tell you one thing,” the Apostle Paul said, “there is no one to accuse us.”

If you don't receive any other blessing from our lesson today than that, you ought to rejoice that even though folk may have pointed their finger of accusation at you and even though you yourself may have leveled a finger of accusation at your own self when you looked in the mirror, you will know positively that there is no reason for anybody to accuse you before the Lord.

No Condemnation for God's Children

Very closely associated with what we have been talking about—who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect—is another question to which the Apostle Paul gives an answer. Look at verse 34:

Romans 8:

34 Who is he that condemneth?…

Where is the person who condemns a child of God? On what basis does he condemn the child of God? What is the reason for such condemnation? We should say when the question is asked, “What shall we then say to these things?”, one thing we can say to these wonderful things is, “There is no condemnation for the child of God.”

I love what Paul said in the very beginning of chapter 8. Look at verse 1:

Romans 8:

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…

I was talking to a man in the hospital. He had had a serious heart attack. I had been concerned about his spiritual condition, and he mentioned that he wanted to see me. We talked about when he had the heart attack. Everyone that has had one likes to share the experience. He said, “You know, God sure gets your attention.” I said, “I know what you are talking about. There is no question about that.” He said, “But when I had that heart attack, do you know how it affected me? I felt as if I was looking up where it looked good; then I was looking down where there was a deep, dark, black hole.” Then he said, “I didn't know which way I was going to go. I didn't know whether I was good enough to go there. I didn't know.” Then he paused and gave me a perfect opportunity and I called him by name and said, “You know, I am a sinner.” His eyes popped open a little wider and he said, “You are a preacher,” and I said, “No, I am a sinner, and I decided a long time ago that there was no way in the world that I could do enough good to go up. I decided a long time ago that if it depended on my goodness, I would go down to that black hole you are talking about.” Then he said, “Well, what did you do?” I said, “I decided that I would receive Jesus Christ as my Savior, believe in the work that He had done and leave all the matter to Him. It is His obligation; it is His responsibility after I receive Christ.”

When I got up to go, he took my hand in both of his and he said, “You know, I have got it. I don't need to worry. I have got it.” And that is right. Who is he that condemneth? You don't need to condemn yourself. You don't need to have anybody else condemn you. You can rest and rejoice that there is no condemnation. What shall we say to these things? There is no condemnation for any of us. The reason there is no condemnation is that God, in His mercy and in His grace, has made the Lord Jesus four things to you. The Lord Jesus Christ died; He became your Savior. The Lord Jesus Christ arose from the grave; He became your Justifier. He sits at the right hand of God today; He is your Advocate. He sits at the right hand of God today for another ministry described in the words, “maketh intercession.” He is your Intercessor.

Get those facts fixed firmly in your minds and renew the glory of them if you already know them—that there is no condemnation for you today because you have a Savior, a Justifier, a Lawyer to plead your case, and an Intercessor to be constantly in prayer for you.

You can be sure that just because I have said this, Satan will not fold up his tent and go out of business. He will still be around to accuse you. He will still be around to condemn you, but there is one glorious thing to keep in mind and that is that when Satan makes his accusations against you before the Throne of Grace, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is your Advocate, will stand and rebuke him and remind him that He shed His precious blood for your sin and the Devil nor anyone else has any right to accuse you nor have any claim upon you at all.

No Separation from God's Love

What shall we say to these things? The answer is still formed in another question, a very familiar one and you will find it in verse 35:

Romans 8:

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

By way of summary: “What shall we say to these things? There is no condemnation. That is right, but hear this and rejoice in it. There is no separation, for the Apostle Paul says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” We will not take the time to read the paragraph with which you are familiar, but you do keep in mind that after the Apostle Paul lists everything that he can that can't separate us from the love of Christ—that is, that tends to make us think that God does not love us any more. He lists all of those things, and then to make sure that he covers the subject completely and fully and leaving nothing out, the very last thing that he says down in verse 39:

Romans 8:

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.

There is no separation from His love because no other creature than what I have been talking about can do it and very literally, even stronger in the original text, “not any other created thing.”

You know, we are great worriers, aren't we? And we find comfort. “Well, that big bear is not going to hurt you now,” we say to our children when they wake up with a nightmare, sure that a great big bear is going to get them. “That big bear is not going to hurt you. See, that big bear is not here.” You think it is all settled and then they say, “There might be another one.” What the children say, I have discovered in my experience with dealing with people, grown-ups say. They have a great burden, and from the Word of God the burden is dispelled, the worry is nullified, and they then will say, “But suppose this happens?”

We manufacture things, don't we? The Spirit of God knew we did, and to take care of all those manufactured things that we want to use to rob us of the joy that the Lord has for us, the Apostle Paul said, “…not any other created thing.” Someone else has rendered it, “Nothing in all of creation,” and someone else has said, “Anything else in God's whole world.”

That pretty well covers it, doesn't it? God loves you and nothing can separate you from the love of God—nothing that you know about now, nothing that you will learn about later, or nothing that the most fertile imagination that man may have can bring to your attention, can separate you from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Summary

We started out with the question, “What shall we say to these things? Wonderful, what shall we say to them? What shall we say about them? How shall we make them our very own?” Let's summarize what we should have learned. Because of all the wonderful things that God has done for us, described in detail in the first eight chapters of Romans, we can say with assurance today that no adversary can stand against us. There is no adversary who can overcome us. There is no adversary who can gain the victory. If you are living a defeated life, it is not because you have to. No adversary can stand against us. There is no limit to what God can do for us.

Sometimes we say, when we want folk to be free in what they ask, “The sky is the limit.” Well, there is no sky in this promise. There is no limit to what God can do for us. There is no one to accuse us, and there is no separation from His love.

Conclusion

May I suggest to all of our hearts today that we fix firmly in our minds all of the wonderful, glorious things that God has done for us. Then rest in the promise that God has given as we have tried to outline here today, and for a spiritual exercise, ask yourself the question, “What am I going to say about all of God's goodness?”, and then think about all that God's goodness means to you.


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