Proof that God is for us.

You know Romans 8:31. “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

But do you know the next verse? Take a moment to join me on a short journey of logic and love. Ready?

The word “if” is what your high school English teacher would call a conditional subordinating conjunction. Even though it’s the first word in the above question, grammarians would say it connects the dependent clause, “God is for us” to the independent clause, “who can be against us.”

You may not care about the grammar, but you should care about the promise—or really the lack of promise. As written, Romans 8:31 doesn’t necessarily say “God is for us.” The conjunction “if” is describing the conditions under which something may or may not happen. 

All that to say, the question lingers. Is God for us or not? If He is, than Romans 8:31 tells us we can live without fear. If He is not on our side, than we’re in deep weeds and easy targets for Satan’s evildoing.

One way to prove that God is, indeed, on our side is by looking at history. God made us, in His image no less, so that’s a good sign. As the bumper sticker says, “God don’t make no junk!”

Also, after creating this incredible planet, He put mankind in charge. (See Genesis 2:27-28) That also suggests we have value in His eyes.

What’s more, at the moment of personal justification God grants each new Christian at least one spiritual gift. That could be the gift of encouragement, generosity, discernment, healing, or any number of extraordinary abilities. All of which suggests we are in His favor.

But the greatest proof that God is for us is stated clearly in the next verse: 

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
                                    —
Romans 8:32

That should remove any doubt. God is undeniably for us. Romans 8:32 confirms that He so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son on our behalf. 

In these consecutive verses, the facts line up one after another. God sacrificed His Son for us. Which means God is for us. Which means God will allow nothing to stand against us. Which means God will graciously give us all things. Which means He is unquestionably “for us.”

Make sense? The paragraphs above are essentially the first half of Chapter 57 in the book, The Next Verse. The book grew out of my own gratifying realization that many familiar (or confusing) passages of scripture are clarified, embellished, or elucidated by the very next passage.

So the application point is: If you hit a snag or find yourself lukewarm about a Bible passage, just keep reading. God’s word is always razor sharp and a light to your path.

I love what Jon Gauger, familiar voice on Moody Radio and author of Kids Say the Wisest Things, said about this idea, “We’ve seen some Bible verses so often we stop seeing them. But Jay dares us to trade in bumper sticker theology for something much better: an authentic pondering of God’s holy Word. We need this book!”

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