Many people have found hope and encouragement from this question in Romans 8. People who are often in the midst of chaos; they are surrounded by pain, stress or anxiety, but this question brings to light an important truth. If God is for us, who can be against us? God is on your side and, no matter what you are facing, He is for you.
There’s just one small matter that we have to contend with. How do you know if God is for you? The peace of mind that comes with this passage is conditional.
“If” is a conditional word. It means that a result will occur “if”, and only “IF“, you qualify for it. The word “if” is a very powerful word which means there are requirements that must be met for the outcome to be fulfilled.
This passage is not unique. Every promise of God comes with conditions.
The very first time the word “if” is used in the Bible is in Gen. 4:7.
Gen 4:6 The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
Cain’s ability to bring an offering that was acceptable to God was conditional on whether Cain “did well” or “did not do well.”
The Levitical Law and all of God’s promises to the Children of Israel were conditional, and you can’t make the case that this isn’t an Old Testament, out of date theology.
Jesus liked the word “if” too. He put conditions on how we treat our enemies (Matt 5:39-47), to the extreme we should go to remove sin from our lives (Matt 5:29-30), and He put conditions on our forgiveness (Matt 6:14-15).
But there are a couple of other times that Jesus used “if”.
Joh 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
So what is the condition? We love Christ “if” we keep His commandments.
Joh 15:10 If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love.
Condition? To remain in Christ’s love we must keep His commandments.
We all like to sing “I am a friend of God” but do you know that’s a conditional position that only He can make?
Joh 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.
Going to church doesn’t do it, reposting a status isn’t good enough and calling yourself a Christian doesn’t even come close. You must submit your life to Christ and put in the work. It’s not a legalistic requirement, but an irresistible response to what Christ has done for us.
If you want to claim His promises, here are a few conditions that come with the deal.
- Believe in Him. John 3:16
- Stand fast in the Lord. 1 Th 3:8
- Examine yourself and make sure you are obeying His commands. 2 Co 13:5
- Remain true to the faith. Col 1:21 – 23
- Die to yourself on a daily basis and follow Him. Luke 9:23