Many of us know the words of Paul in Romans 8 quite well, including verses 33-34: “Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is the one who will condemn? Christ is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us” (NET). J.I. Packer said that in these words Paul gives us a “reminder of God’s sovereignty in judgment.” This is comforting for the Christian, and a source of solid assurance:
‘It is God who justifies; who is to condemn?’ If it is God, Maker and Judge of all, who passes the justifying sentence – that is, who declares that you have been set right with His law and with Himself, and are not now liable to death for your sins, but are accepted in Christ — and if God has passed this sentence in full view of all your shortcomings, justifying you on the explicit basis and understanding that you were not righteous, but ungodly (cf. Romans 4:5), then nobody can ever challenge the verdict, not even ‘the accuser of the brethren’ himself. Nobody can alter God’s decision over his head – there is only one Judge! – and nobody can produce new evidence of your depravity that will make God changed his mind. For God justified you with (so to speak) His eyes open. He knew the worst about you at the time when He accepted you for Jesus’ sake; and the verdict which He passed then was, and is, final.
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015