on Romans 8 :31
What shall we then say to these things? - What conclusion should we draw from the above premises? From all that was already laid down in the preceding chapters, but especially in the preceding verses, from Romans 8:28-30 inclusive. As if he had said: What comfort may we derive from these doctrines? God has called us all to holiness, and to love to him, which is the principle of holiness. We are persecuted and despised, it is true, and we may be more so; but, as God has called us to love him, and all things work together for good to them that love him; and, as his covenant with Abraham, while he was in his Gentile state, shows his gracious purpose towards us Gentiles, whom he has foreknown, who have been objects of his gracious foreknowledge, as well as the Jews, and who have now the fullest proof that we were so, by his sending us the Gospel, and showing us, in it, that if the Israelites were to be a holy priesthood, a royal nation, we are no less favored, as he has predestinated, from the beginning determined, that we should be conformed to the image of his Son, who is to be the first-born among many brethren, the head and chief of all converted Jews and Gentiles, and, in order to our final salvation, has called, invited us to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, has justified those who do believe, and has glorified, highly honored, and adorned them with innumerable gifts and graces, and, if they continue to possess that faith which worketh by love, will bring them, both body and soul, to his eternal glory, their bodies being made like unto his glorious body: - seeing, therefore, all these things are so, what comfort in our tribulations shall we derive from them? - Why this: If God be for us, who can be against us? He who is infinitely wise has undertaken to direct us: He who is infinitely powerful has undertaken to protect us: He who is infinitely good has undertaken to save us. What cunning, strength, or malice, can prevail against his wisdom, power, and goodness? None. Therefore we are safe who love God; and not only shall sustain no essential damage by the persecutions of ungodly men, but even these things work together for our good.
on Romans 8 :31
What shall we then say ... - What fairly follows from the facts stated? or what conclusion shall we draw in regard to the power of the Christian religion to support us in our trials from the considerations which have been stated? What the influence is he proceeds to state.
If God be for us - Be on outside, or is our friend, as he has shown himself to be by adopting us Romans 8:15, by granting to us his Spirit Romans 8:16-17, Romans 8:26-27, and by his gracious purpose to save us, Romans 8:29-30).
Who can be against us? - Who can injure or destroy us? Sinners may be against us, and so may the great enemy of our souls, but their power to destroy us is taken away. God is more mighty than all our foes; and he can defend and save us; see Psalm 118:6. "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear what man can do unto me." The proposition advanced in this verse, Paul proceeds to illustrate by various specifications, which continue to the end of the chapter.
on Romans 8 :31
8:31 What shall we say then to these things - Related in the third, fifth, and eighth chapter s? As if he had said, We cannot go, think, or wish anything farther. If God be for us - Here follow four periods, one general and three particular. Each begins with glorying in the grace of God, which is followed by a question suitable to it, challenging all opponents to all which, I am persuaded, and c., is a general answer. The general period is, If God be for us, who can be against us? The first particular period, relating to the past time, is, He that spared not his own Son, how shall he not freely give us all things? The second, relating to the present, is, It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? The third, relating to the future, is, It is Christ that died - Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?