Reflection on Rom 8:31

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us,
who can be against us?"

When is God for us? When we are with Him, turn to Him, and give Him our sins and our weaknesses. He gave His Son for us to redeem us. Therefore, we should not wait until we go to confession or think that we will confess to a priest before death. Let us give even our small sins to God immediately. If we have told a minor lie or committed a minor evil, let us make an act of contrition within a few seconds in spirit as soon as we become aware of it. We can say, “Lord, have mercy!” and look in spirit at the cross of Christ with faith. In the precious blood of Jesus our sins are forgiven and our union with God restored. Then the words which we reflected on for the past two weeks are true about us: “All things work together for good to those who love God.” In this intimate relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, we need not be afraid of illness or persecution, ridicule or death, demonic attacks or attacks by evil people, or apocalyptic times. If we love God, all these things work together for our good, because God is for us, and if He is for us, we have nothing to fear. If God is for us, who can be against us? Our task is to do our utmost to be with Him. He is with us all the days of our life, but we ususally forget God’s presence. We forget to enter into union with Him by admitting even our small sins and bringing them to the cross of Christ.

If we truly love God, we also love ourselves, especially our immortal soul which we want to be saved, and at the same time we truly love our neighbours because we wish their supreme good – the salvation of souls – the same as we wish for ourselves. If we love God, all things – even afflictions or trials – work together for our good if we accept them out of love for Him.

Verse 29 reads: “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” The word foreknew means that God knows everything beforehand and yet He respects human freedom. Predestined, in other words, means what the Lord Jesus said: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you.” Therefore, no one can boast or exalt himself above others, because all he has is from God. If anyone interprets predestination as a kind of fatalism and thinks that he is free to sin and hazard, as preached by Bergoglio, and that he need not be afraid of hell, he has fallen into the same heresy as Bergoglio. According to the Catechism, it is the sin of presumptuous reliance on God’s mercy. Bergoglio one-sidedly emphasizes that God loves us, but he maliciously exploits this truth to boycott and abolish God’s commandments and to legalize the sin of sodomy and thus prevent sodomites from repenting. This does not help them but drives them onto the broad way leading to destruction.

God wants all people to be saved, and that was why He delivered His Son to death for our sake! However, the necessary condition of salvation is to receive Jesus and to show true repentance without which no one can be saved.

Byzantine Catholic Patriarchate