“Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?  It is God that justifieth.”

This and the two following verses contain a string of questions, most appropriately introduced and most powerfully urged, tending to show the safety of the state of those who have believed the Gospel of the grace of God.

 Question #1:
“Who shall lay anything to the charge against God's elect?”
Literally: “Who will bring {any} charge against. God’s elect”–

          CHARGE:  (Grk.–egkalesei)–Literally: “to call something in one”  This expression is a legal expression, taken from a court of law; and means, who shall accuse, or condemn, or so charge with crime before the tribunal of God as to cause their condemnation?

            Referring to His chosen people; the  ekklēsia , the called out ones. Those who have been chosen according to His eternal purpose.  As they are the chosen of God, they are dear to Him; and as He purposed to save them.
             He will do it in such a way as that none can bring against them a charge that would condemn them.  This is the first place in this Epistle where believers are styled “the elect.” In what sense this is meant will be shownr in the next chapter.  Also consider that the Nation of the Jews were chosen to be the people of God, and were therefore styled,
1.        The children or sons of God, (Deut. 14:1;
2.         Holy people, Deut. 7:6; 14:2;
3.         A chosen seed, Deut. 4:37;
4.         The elect, Isa. 41:8-9; 43:10;
5.         The called of God, Isa. 48:12.
These titles were given to all the Nation of Israel, including both good and bad.

             ELECT:  (Grk.–eklektôn)–His chosen people. Those who have been chosen according to His eternal purpose. There are those who would make this to mean that God has only chosen (elected) some whom He would save and left the rest of humanity to go on to     perdition; to be reprobated. 

            But such a doctrine, besides making God out to be capricious, and the very Author of rejection of Christ;  and it also gives the sinner a defense at the Great White Throne of justice.  The sinner could then say to God, “How can you condemn me for not believing in Christ because the reason I did not believe is because you did not elect me to be a  believer.”

            In most cases this word “elect” is used for service, not for salvation
1.        Christ Himself is called one of the elect:  “Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious,: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded” (I Pet. 2:6).
2.      The angels are referred to as elect:  “I charge {thee} before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality” (I Tim. 5:21).
3.      Israel is called  elect.   “For Jacob my servant’s sake: and Israel Mine elect, I have called thee by thy name…” (Isaiah 45:4).
Surely, no one could believe that election could be applied to these for salvation.

“It is God that justifieth”
Literally: “God {is} the {One} justifying.”–That is, Who has pardoned them, and admitted   them to His favor, and pronounced them just in His sight. No one can lay any charge against
God's elect since God Himself has justified them; i.e., declared them just and without sin; pronounces us not only guiltless, but also perfectly just in His Son.

There are no accusers that we have need to be afraid of before God, seeing that God Himself has declared us to be just: and therefore much less need we to fear damnation, seeing that we rest upon the death and resurrection, and the almighty power and defense of Jesus Christ.  The passage implies that there would be a high degree of absurdity in supposing that the same Being would both justify and condemn the same individual. The Christian, therefore, is secure.

Who is he that condemneth?"–It is Christ that died, yet rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of
God, who also maketh intercession for us.”

            Question #2:
            “Who is he that condemneth?”
{is} the {one} condemning?” Who shall pass sentence of condemnation, and consign to perdition? 

Who can prevail against God so as to destroy, or ultimately injure us? The office of passing sentence of condemnation on men shall pertain to Christ, the Judge of the Quick and Dead, and Paul proceeds to say that it was certain that He would not condemn the elect of God. We are therefore secure in Him.

                        CONDEMN:  (Grk.–katakrinôn)–This can either be in the present active (condemns) or the future tense (shall condemn).

It would be a bold accuser who can face God with false charges or with true ones for that matter for we have an “Advocate” at God's Court (I John 2:1), “who is at the right hand of God;” “who also makseth intercession for us.” Our Advocate paid the debt for our sins with His blood. The score is settled. We are free from any condemnation (8:1).

            Answer #1Christ died for us

            “It is Christ that died”
            Literally: “Christ {is} the {One} having died.”   Or, as it may be rendered, “Shall Christ, who has died, condemn them?”

            There can be NO condemnation (v. 1) since “Christ died…is risen…and maketh intercession for us.”  There is NO condemnation possible for we who are in Christ Jesus.  It is a bold accuser who can face God with false charges or with true ones for that matter for we have an “Advocate” at God’s Court (I John 2:1), “Who is at the right hand of God”  Paul cannot leave the subject here, since without the resurrection, ascension, and intercession of Christ, his death would be ineffectual to our redemption. He therefore passes on to these: yea rather, that is risen again, etc.
            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.

 Answer #2:  Christ was raised again for us
 “that is risen again”
 Literally: “But rather also having been raised.”–Our faith should not stop at His
death, but be exercised farther on His resurrection,     kingdom, Second Coming, to make good the purposes of His death.

To make good the purposes of His death. Here, Paul delightfully corrects, not meaning that the resurrection of Christ was of more saving value than His death, but that having “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself,” which though precious to us was to Him of unmingled bitterness–it was incomparably more delightful to think that He was again alive, and living to see to the efficacy of His death in our behalf. 

            Answer #3:  Christ is at the right hand of God for us
            “Who is even at the right hand of God”
            Literally:  “Who is also at {the} right {hand} of God.”–Invested with power, and dignity, and authority in heaven.

            Paul presents yet another 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, (Matt. 28:18-19; John 17:2; Eph.1:20-23). The Christian is, therefore, under the protection of Christ, and is secure from being condemned by him.
            The right hand of the king was anciently the seat of honor (compare I Sam. 20:25; I Kings 2:19; Psa. 45:9), and denoted participation in the royal power and glory (Matt. 20:21).  Accordingly Christ's sitting at the right hand of God–predicted in Psa. 110:1, and historically referred to in Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33; 7:56; Eph. 1:20; Col. l 3:1; I Pet. 3:22; Rev. 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” (Matt. 26:64), and “sitting on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). 

            Answer #4:  Christ makes intercession to God for us
            “Who also maketh intercession for us.”
            Literally: “Who also intercedes on our behalf.”

            1. Who pleads our cause;
            2. Who aids and assists us;
           3. Who presents our interests before the mercy-seat in the heavens, for this purpose.

He ascended to heaven, (Heb. 7:25). In this consideration Paul expounds on the security of Christians which he draws 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.  Using all His boundless interest with God in our behalf.  Presenting there His obedience, His sufferings, His prayers, and our prayers sanctified through Him.

VERSE 35:|
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword”

            Question #3:
           “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ”–That is, finally or entirely separate us.
            This a new argument of Paul’s showing his strong confidence in the safety of the Christian.

            Who or what can separate us from such love?

            Paul is referring to the persecutions and tribulations to which genuine Christians were exposed through their attachment to Christ, and the gracious provision God had made for their support and final salvation. As in this provision God had shown His infinite love to them in providing Christ Jesus as their sin-offering, and Christ Jesus had shown His love in suffering death upon the cross for them. Here Paul speaks of the love of the followers of God to that Christ Who had first loved them. Therefore the question is not, “Who shall separate the love of Christ from us?” or “Who wil prevent Christ from loving us?”  The real question is, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” or,  “Who or what shall be able to remove our affection from Him?”
            The questions that immediately follow show that this is really the sense of the passage; for the tribulation, distress, etc., which he mentions are things by which they might be affected, but by which Christ could not be affected; and, consequently the question most evidently refers to their love to Him Who had first loved them, and, while it does present a strong presumption of their perseverance, furnishes a powerful argument against apostasy.

“shall tribulation”
Literally:  {Shall} tribulation”Referring to affliction, or distress of any kind; Shall trials, or anything which can come upon us? 

          TRIBULATION:  (Grk.–thilipsis)–From thlibô,  meaning, “to compress, oppress.”  The word properly refers to “pressure from without; affliction arising from external causes.”

This word is used often to denote a trial of any kind. grievous affliction, or distress of any kind;; anything by which a man is rendered miserable. Paul proceeds in order, from less troubles to greater: can any of these separate us from his protection in it; and, if he sees good, deliverance from it?

“or distress”– It refers, therefore, to distress or anxiety of mind–such as the early Christians were often subject to from their trials and persecutions. “Without were fightings, within were   fears” (II Cor. 7:5).  See notes on 2:9.

          DISTRESS:  (Grk.–stenochoria)–This word literally means, “straits, or “narrowness of place” and then, “great anxiety and distress of mind,” such as arises when a man does not know where to turn himself, or what to do for relief.

            “or persecution”–To such the early Christians were constantly exposed.

                      PERSECUTION:  (Grk.–diogmos)–This word literally means:  “rule, regulation, law,      order, decree.”

"or famine”–To this they were also exposed as the natural result of being driven from home because of their faith, and of being often compelled to wander amidst strangers, and in deserts and desolate places.

    FAMINE:  (Grk.–limos)–“Famine; hunger.”

“or nakedness”– Being absolutely without clothing.  The Romans had the custom of taking those sentenced to die and displaying them totally nude.  Jesus was exposed this way on the cross..

            “or peril”–“Or danger.” Meaning danger of any kind; a state of extreme and continued          danger, perplexing and distressing with grievous forebodings and alarms; it excites anguish              because much evil is felt, and much more feared. 

PERIL:  (Grk.–kindunos)–Literally: “danger, peril.”

“or sword”– Referring to physical slaughter; or the total destruction of life; and especially beheading, and such like, done by the order of the civil magistrate.  This word is used in this epistle (chapter 13), to signify the authority and power which the government agent has of   judicially terminating life; i.e., of inflicting capital punishment. 

          SWORD:  (Grk.–machaira)—It is interesting that Paul would use the word for a Greek sword when writings to Romans, instead of him using the Greek word (gladius), the sword used by the Roman soldiers. 

            The Romans were familiar with the gladius, a tempered Toledo steel sword that had a blade that was about 22 inches long, and was used as a stabbing weapon.  The Greeks used the machaira, which had a blade of about 30 inches and was used more as a hacking weapon.
           The sword of persecution; the danger of their lives to which they were constantly exposed. As all these things happened to them in consequence of their professed attachment to Christ.  It might be supposed that they would tend to alienate their minds from him. But Paul was assured that they had not this power, but that their love to the Savior was so strong as to overcome all, and to bind them unalterably to His cause in the midst of the deepest trials. The fact is, that the more painful the trials to which they are exposed on His account, the more strong and unwavering is their love to Him, and their confidence in His ability to save.