Is God for or against us? – YES!

Ray Ortlund:

God is for us.  Romans 8:31

But I have this against you.  Revelation 2:4.  See also 2:14, 20; 3:3.

So, which is it?  Is God for us, or is God against us?  If we are in Christ, the answer is: maybe both.  God is certainly for us, and God might also be against us.

God is for us in an absolute sense, in Christ.  We have peace with God (Romans 5:1).  There is now no condemnation threatening us (Romans 8:1).  God foreknew us, predestined us, called us, justified us and promises to glorify us (Romans 8:29-30).  God is for us, and nothing can change that.

I can sin my way out of my marriage, I can sin my way out of the ministry, I can sin my way out of physical health, and a lot more.  But I cannot sin my way out of Christ, and neither can you, because God is for us.

God might also be against us at times.  Not that he de-justifies us, but he might discipline us (Hebrews 12:5-6).  He might oppose us (James 4:6).  He might send out wrath against us (2 Chronicles 19:232:25).  Not condemning wrath, but purifying wrath, for a time.  How could it be otherwise?  The smile of God is not an all-approving grin.  What kind of Father would that be?

But even when he is against us, still, he is for us.  It is possible for God to be both for us and against us at the same time, his love burning away whatever keeps us from pressing more deeply into his mighty heart.

“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19).

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

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