Romans 8:33 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 8:33, NIV: Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

Romans 8:33, ESV: Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

Romans 8:33, KJV: Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

Romans 8:33, NASB: Who will bring charges against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;

Romans 8:33, NLT: Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one--for God himself has given us right standing with himself.

Romans 8:33, CSB: Who can bring an accusation against God's elect? God is the one who justifies.

What does Romans 8:33 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has established decisively in the previous verses that God is for all of us who are in Christ (Romans 3:23–26; John 3:16–18). He has not even withheld His own sinless Son from us. He has graciously given to us all things.

Now Paul asks who could possibly bring a charge against us—in the context of this passage, meaning the elect (Romans 8:29–30). This is Paul's first use of the word "elect" in Romans. In the previous verses, he detailed that God predestined those He foreknew to become like Jesus. In this sense, the elect are the chosen ones of God, all those who are children of God through faith in Christ.

Paul begins to use legal language here; the vocabulary of a courtroom or trial. He seems to imagine someone attempting to manipulate God into casting us out, by bringing an accusation before God about our sin. But who could effectively do such a thing? Scripture provides an immediate possibility: Satan is described in Revelation 12:10 as the accuser who stands before God night and day bringing accusations against "our brothers and sisters." He might very well accuse us of sin in order to convince God of our unworthiness to be in His family.

Perhaps the greatest accusations, though, come from our own hearts. The awareness of our sin taunts us, hinting that God could never forgive such things, could never love one who does them.

Paul is clear that all such accusations will fail. Why? God is the one who justifies us. God, the Creator and Ruler of the entire universe. He declares us righteous because of our faith in Christ, giving us credit for Jesus' righteousness and accepting Jesus' death as payment for our sin.

Paul insists that God will never say, "You've made a good point; I was wrong to justify that person." His decision stands since it is based on Christ's own sacrifice and righteousness, not on our ability to do what is right ourselves.