“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
Did you know that God is for you? Think with me for just a moment about how God being for you gets to the heart of what motivates Him to love you so well. In Romans 8:31, Paul reminded those believers how God was for them, and then he provided a few practical examples to prove his point (Romans 8:29-30). Paul talked about God’s active goodness on behalf of those that He loves. Here is how he said it.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified (Romans 8:29-30).
The believers in Rome were not left to wonder about God’s “for-ness” toward them. They felt the assurance of His love, based on His activity, which you see in Paul’s language. He reminded them of five powerful benefits that flow from the Father’s love: foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification, and glorification.
What is even more profound is the context in which those believers lived. Do you remember? People were killing the Christians in Rome. It was a public slaughter, a time of personal disappointment and defeat. The culture had turned against them, and Paul wanted them to know that they were not alone: God was there, and He was for them. But Paul did not stop with affirming proof of God’s love.
Paul continued to hammer the gospel nail by repeatedly reminding them of Sovereign God’s protective care. (Read Romans 8:32-39.) He believed in gospel redundancy—using different words and ways to say the same thing until his audience understood what he was saying and was experiencing transformation by this sweet knowledge.
Now, let’s apply what Paul was teaching the believers in Rome. What better thing could you give to your spouse? If the Lord is for your undeserving spouse and you are for your undeserving spouse, your spouse is in the best place any human could be. The two most significant things that could ever happen to a couple are for them to live in the overflowing awareness of God’s unmerited pleasure while exporting and experiencing each other’s undeniable affection.
You would do well to follow Paul’s example by examining your heart as it pertains to how you think about and treat your spouse. These questions will aid you as you practically work out the gospel in your marriage.
Ask the Spirit to illuminate your mind to see where you may be failing. Ask the Father to give you the power to set aside what you want, while enabling you to be Jesus to your spouse. Be prepared to write down the thoughts that He brings to your mind. Take your soul to task while resisting temptations to make this about any areas where your spouse may have failed you.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).