What Does The Bible Mean When It Says That God Is “For Us”?

God is for Us

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).

As the above title and passage say, the Bible teaches that God is, indeed, “for us.” But what does this really mean? In exploring the answer to this question, we’ll see that it involves YHWH, the one and only true God, being (1) our Friend, (2) our Helper, and (3) our Victory

…Our Friend

As our Friend, God is on our side, willing and able to help us remain faithful to Him. As such, He has anticipated, and graciously supplied, our every spiritual need: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). This is precisely what the apostle Peter was writing about when he said:

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter 1:2-4).

As our Friend, God has graciously given us the Holy Spirit as a “deposit” of our salvation:

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a deposit (2 Corinthians 1:20, 22).

In 2 Corinthians 5:1-6a, this deposit is called a “guarantee,” and is connected to the resurrected bodies we’ll possess in our glorified state in the heavenly abode:

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. Therefore we are always confident….

Receiving this guarantee or deposit is referred to, in Ephesians 1:13-14, as being “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

Clearly, then, God is the Friend who provides us with everything we need to become saved and, praise God, to stay saved. Therefore, with God on our side, as our Friend, we do not fear that, apart from our own wills, we can somehow lose our salvation.

This is verified again in John 10:28-29, which says:

And I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

And again in Colossians 1:2-6, where Paul says:

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth.

In other words, because God is our Friend, there is laid up for us a heavenly home, and it is in this hope that we are sustained, knowing that God is able to do for us exactly what He has promised He would do. Paul was referring to this very thing when, in 2 Timothy 4:8, he said, “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Finally, the apostle Peter emphasized this same point when he wrote:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).

…Our Helper

Not only is God our Friend, but He is our Helper as well. In this regard, it is helpful to view Jesus as our Elder Brother who is not ashamed to identify us as His brethren. This relationship is addressed in Hebrews 2:11-12, which says: “For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: ‘I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will sing praise to You’” (latter quote is taken from Psalm 22:22). At the same time, Jesus, our Elder Brother, functions as our Mediator: “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:5-6a).

But this is not all, for the Scriptures inform us that He also serves as our Advocate. Addressing this, John wrote:

My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1).

In the very next verse, John links Jesus’ advocacy on our behalf with the idea of propitiation, which is a concept that carries with it the idea of turning away God’s wrath which, as sinners, we were unable to do for ourselves. In other words, not only did He give Himself for us, propitiating God’s wrath, but in being resurrected from the dead, He now lives to make intercession for us on a regular basis (cf. Hebrews 7:25). As such, He is our merciful High Priest:

Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted (Hebrews 2:17-18).

Consequently, it is not just that God, through Christ’s blood, has saved us from our past sins, but He continues to do so through that same blood:

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7-9).

As our Helper, the Lord delivers us from temptation. This is made clear in 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says:

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

And as if this is not enough, as our Helper, the Holy Spirit, we are told in Romans 8:26, makes intercession for us:

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Even angels, according to Hebrews 1:14, come to our assistance:

Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

Again, in Hebrews 12:22, it is said:

But you have come to Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels.

Furthermore, we are assured in Ephesians 3:16 that God, as our faithful and dependable Helper, strengthens us in the “inner man.” This is further amplified in Philippians 4:13, which says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Such wonderful and exhilarating help caused David, in Psalm 28:6, 7, to exult:

Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplications! The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I amhelped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.

Finally, as our caring Helper, God sometimes even chastens us for our own good, as Hebrews 12:5-7 points out:

And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

Then, there are those blessings our Helper has designed specifically for us to aid in the security of believers. The first of these is the Congregation Relationship mentioned in Hebrews 10:24-25:

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

The Lord knew that we needed each other, and all of us who have had the privilege of associating with other Christians know full-well the encouraging advantage of our fellow saints.

Next, we’ll look at the Special Servants our great and glorious Helper has blessed us with. This is seen from a reading of Ephesians 4:11-16, which says:

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Then there is the actual Lord’s Day and the assembling associated with it:

Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight (Acts 20:7).

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16).

In connection with this, of course, is

…the Lord’s Supper:

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

…the Scriptures:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

…and Prayer:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

…Our Victory

As our Victory, God defeats Satan for us. As a result, we can be sure that the Lord fights our battles for us:

And Asa cried out to the Lord his God, and said, “Lord it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord, You are our God…” (2 Chronicles 14:11).

“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah (2 Chronicles 32:7-8).

And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:15-17).

Consequently, the Christian’s faith is in God’s power, not our own abilities, and this is exactly what Paul taught when he wrote that our faith “should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5). Elsewhere he explained it was his desire that all Christians be able to fathom “what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” (Ephesians 1:19).

This means that with God as our Victory, overcoming evil is something we can be quite confident of because, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than He who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). This is, indeed, reminiscent of what Elisha told his servant in 2 Kings 6:16.

Therefore, whatever confidence and boldness the Christian has are possible because of God’s magnificent triumphs, particularly in His grand Scheme of Redemption: “[A]ccording to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him” (Ephesians 3:11-12). This is explained further in the following passages:

For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our hearts, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight (1 John 3:20-22).

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love (1 John 4:17-18).

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (1 John 4:14-16).

And finally, in Philippians 4:6-7, Paul says:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

There can be no doubt in the believer’s mind that God is for us! As our Friend, He is on our side, willing and able to help us remain faithful. As our Helper, He protects us and provides for our spiritual welfare. As our Victory, He defeats Satan for us. Consequently, along with Paul, we glorify our great Friend, wonderful Helper, and our complete Victory by exclaiming:

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21).

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