Who is he that comdemns? It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)It is Christ . . .—The remainder of this verse is to be closely connected with the opening of the next. “He that died, rose, &c., is Christ: who then shall separate us from His love?” The two questions, “Who is he that condemneth?” and “Who shall separate us?” are really parts of the reply to the main question thrown into an interrogative form. At another moment the sentence would probably have been differently cast, but the Apostle’s mind is in an attitude of challenge.
Yea rather.—Yea more. The pledges that Christ has given us of His love did not end, but only began with His death.
It is Christ that died - Or as it may be rendered, "Shall Christ who has died, condemn them?" The argument here is, that as Christ died to save them, and not to destroy them, he will not condemn them. His death for them is a security that he will not condemn them. As he died to save them, and as they have actually embraced his salvation, there is the highest security that he will not condemn them. This is the first argument for their security from the death of Christ.
Yea rather, that is risen again - This is a second consideration for their security from his work. "He rose for their justification" (Note, Romans 4:25); and as this was the object which he had in view, it follows that he will not condemn them.
Who is even at the right hand of God - Invested with power, and dignity, and authority in heaven. This is a third consideration to show that Christ will not condemn us, and that Christians are secure. He is clothed with power; he is exalted to honor; he is placed at the head of all things. And this solemn enthronement and investiture with power over the universe, is with express reference to the salvation of his church and people; Matthew 28:18-19; John 17:2; Ephesians 1:20-23. The Christian is, therefore, under the protection of Christ, and is secure from being condemned by him.
Who also maketh intercession for us - Note, Romans 8:26. Who pleads our cause; who aids and assists us; who presents our interests before the mercy-seat in the heavens. For this purpose he ascended to heaven; Hebrews 7:25. This is the fourth consideration which the apostle urges for the security of Christians drawn from the work of Christ. By all these, he argues their complete security from being subject to condemnation by him who shall pronounce the doom of all mankind, and therefore their complete safety in the day of judgment. Having the Judge of all for our friend, we are safe.
who is even—"also"
at the right hand of God—The right hand of the king was anciently the seat of honor (compare 1Sa 20:25; 1Ki 2:19; Ps 45:9), and denoted participation in the royal power and glory (Mt 20:21). The classical writings contain similar allusions. Accordingly Christ's sitting at the right hand of God—predicted in Ps 110:1, and historically referred to in Mr 16:19; Ac 2:33; 7:56; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1; 1Pe 3:22; Re 3:21—signifies the glory of the exalted Son of man, and the power in the government of the world in which He participates. Hence it is called "sitting on the right hand of Power" (Mt 26:64), and "sitting on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb 1:3) [Philippi].
who also maketh intercession for us—using all His boundless interest with God in our behalf. This is the top of the climax. "His Session at God's right hand denotes His power to save us; His Intercession, His will to do it" [Bengel]. But how are we to conceive of this intercession? Not certainly as of one pleading "on bended knees and with outstretched arms," to use the expressive language of Calvin. But yet, neither is it merely a figurative intimation that the power of Christ's redemption is continually operative [Tholuck], or merely to show the fervor and vehemence of His love for us [Chrysostom]. It cannot be taken to mean less than this: that the glorified Redeemer, conscious of His claims, expressly signifies His will that the efficacy of His death should be made good to the uttermost, and signifies it in some such royal style as we find Him employing in that wonderful Intercessory Prayer which He spoke as from within the veil (see on Joh 17:11, 12): "Father, I WILL that they also whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am" (see on Joh 17:24). But in what form this will is expressed is as undiscoverable as it is unimportant.Who is he that condemneth? As none can accuse the elect of God, so much less can any condemn them, see Romans 8:1.
It is Christ that died; and it is he that is the Judge, and must condemn them, if they be condemned. His deatk frees them from condemnation; thereby he hath made a sufficient atonement and satisfaction for all their sins; and that which hath long ago satisfied in heaven for the sins of all the elect, may very well serve to satisfy the heart and conscience of a believing sinner here on earth. Such a one may thrown down the gauntlet, as the apostle doth, and challenge all the world. Let conscience, carnal reason, law, sin, hell, and devils, bring forth all they can, it will not be sufficient to condemnation; and that because of Christ’s death and satisfaction.
Yea rather, that is risen again: the resurrection of Christ hath a special influence upou our justification; and therefore the apostle puts a rather upon it, and that comparatively to the death of Christ: see Romans 4:25, and; See Poole on "Romans 4:25".
Who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us: faith finds matter of triumph, not only from Christ’s death and resurrection, but from his session at the right hand of God, and intercession for us.
it is Christ that died: that he died is certain; the death he died was the death of the cross; the persons he died for were God's elect; the reason of his dying for them was to make atonement for their sins; this came to pass through his substitution in their room and stead; this death of his was but once, yet of an eternal efficacy, and so a full security of them from all condemnation: for sin, the cause of condemnation, was removed by it; the condemnation itself was bore by Christ in their stead; the law and justice of God were satisfied by it; pardon of sin was procured by his blood; and complete justification obtained by his active and passive obedience; all which is confirmed by his resurrection, session at God's right hand, and intercession: wherefore it is added,
yea, rather that is risen again. As the death, so the resurrection of Christ, is the security of God's elect from condemnation; inasmuch as Christ rose again, as a conqueror over death, and over sin, the sting of death, and over Satan, who had the power of death; and also as a surety, having given satisfaction to law and justice: he engaged as a surety for his people; God in justice, and according to his righteous law, dealt with him, and by him as such; he satisfied both, and therefore was set free by them; hence neither law nor justice can condemn; besides he rose again as a common person, head and representative of his people, and for their justification: he first stood charged with all their sins, which by his Father, and with his own consent, were imputed to him; he was condemned and suffered death for them; when he rose from the dead, he was justified and acquitted from them all; and all his people were justified in him, and with him: yea, the resurrection of Christ is rather a greater security from condemnation, than his death; Christ's death expiated sin, but his resurrection brought in the everlasting righteousness; notwithstanding Christ's death, had he not risen again, we should have been in our sins, and so liable to condemnation; Christ's dying showed that he was arrested and condemned, but his resurrection shows that he is discharged, and we in him:
who is even at the right hand of God. The ascension of Christ, his entrance into heaven, and session at the right hand of God, are also a very considerable security of God's elect from condemnation; for when he ascended from earth to heaven in human nature, accompanied by angels, of which they and his disciples were witnesses, he led captivity captive, or triumphed over those that led his people captive, as sin, Satan, the law, death, and every other enemy of theirs; he entered into heaven to prepare it for them, to take possession of it in their name, to appear in the presence of God for them, and as having obtained the eternal redemption of them, where he was received with a welcome, as the surety and head of the chosen ones, and then sat down at the right hand of God; which shows that he had done his work, and to satisfaction, is advanced above all, power is given to him, all things are put under him, and he is head over all things to the church: and since he is at the right hand of God, as an advocate and intercessor for his people, it will be to no purpose, and of no avail, that Satan, or any other enemy, is at their right hand to resist them:
who also maketh intercession for us; which is done, not by vocal prayer, as in the days of his flesh on earth; or as supplicating an angry judge; or as controverting: a point in the court of heaven; but by the appearance of his person for us, by the presentation of his sacrifice, by offering up the prayers and praises of his people, by declaring it as his will, that such and such blessings be bestowed upon them, and by seeing to it, that the benefits of his death are applied to those, for whom they were designed; which intercession of Christ proceeds upon the foot of a satisfaction made; it always continues, and is ever prevalent, and so has a considerable influence to secure from condemnation. The apostle, in this verse, seems to have in view a passage in Job 34:29; which the Septuagint render, "and he gives peace, and who is he that condemneth?"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)34. condemneth] Or perhaps (by a change of Gr. accent) shall condemn (at the Great Day).
It is Christ] Here again, Is it Christ, &c.? should be read.—Observe the level on which “God” and “Christ” are set in the language of this great passage. The One is as truly the Supreme Judge as the Other.
that died]—“for us” (ch. Romans 5:8).
yea rather, that is risen again]—“by reason of our justification,” (Romans 4:25.) The Resurrection is “rather” emphasized because it not only involves the Death, but is the proof of its Divine efficacy.
who is even at the right hand] As the Incarnate, Slain, and Risen One; as wielding, in that character, “all power in heaven and earth;” not merely accepted as our Representative, but so accepted as to be on the eternal Throne.—Cp. Hebrews 1:3; Revelation 5:6-9; &c., &c.—This is the only direct reference to the Ascension in the Epistle; but what a pregnant reference!
who also maketh intercession] Another item in this solemn enumeration. The enthroned Son of God is actually pleading for the justified, in such a sense as to secure “that their faith fail not.” (Luke 22:31-32)—The fullest comment is Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:11-12; Hebrews 9:24; 1 John 2:1; and such O. T. passages as Exodus 28:29.Romans 8:34. Ὁ ἀποθανών, μᾶλλον δὲ—ὃς καὶ—ὃς καί, that died, yea rather—who even—who also) The order of the enumeration of the things contrary, Romans 8:35; Romans 8:38-39, corresponds to these four weighty turning points of his argument. In Romans 8:35, the former are lighter and less considerable [than in Romans 8:38], and may be all referred to [reduced to the one head, viz.] death, Romans 8:38, inasmuch as they are, as it were, previous tendencies towards death. The contraries in the way of the elect, enumerated in Romans 8:38-39, are more weighty ones. That topic will be by and by brought out more fully.—μᾶλλον, rather) ch. Romans 5:10. Our faith ought to lean on the death of Christ, but it ought rather also to make such progress, as to lean on His resurrection, kingly dominion, and second coming.—ἔστιν ἐν δεξιᾷ τοῦ Θεοῦ, is at the right hand of God) He is able to save; He Himself and the Father. The ascension is not previously mentioned, nor does the mention of His glorious coming follow: for the former is the act of sitting at the right hand of God, the latter entirely takes away all, that threatens separation from the love of God, and brings in the state of glory, of which Romans 8:30 treats.—ἐντυγχάνει, intercedes) He is willing to save: He Himself and the Father.
"Our faith should rest on Christ's death. but it should rather also so far progress as to lean on His resurrection, dominion, and second coming" (Bengel). "From the representations of the dead Christ the early believers shrank as from an impiety. To them He was the living, not the dead Christ - the triumphant, the glorified, the infinite, - not the agonized Christ in that one brief hour and power of darkness which was but the spasm of an eternal glorification" (Farrar, "Lives of the Fathers," i. 14).
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