Nothing Can Separate us from God’s Love

Nothing Can Separate us from God’s Love

 

God for us is all the security we need; the enemy has no power against us.  Jesus is now at the right hand of the Father making intercession for those of us He has foreknown, predestined, called, justified and glorified.  He has committed Himself to conforming us to His image.  Not only is our guilt removed, but we have His power living in us.  Now we can say “no” to the temptations that surround us. 

 

Romans 8:35–39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Notice that it is His love for us not our love for Him that keeps us secure.  When Jesus loves, He loves with full knowledge.  John 13:1 tells us, “He loved them to the end.”  It’s easy to start out loving someone because you don’t know them.  But Jesus loves us while knowing us completely and still, He loves us to the end!  This is love you must accept by faith if you are to experience it fully.  So, is there anything at all that can separate us from this unending love?  Isn’t it amazing that Romans 8 begins with “no condemnation” and ends with “no separation?”

 

Shall tribulation?  Tribulation refers to hard circumstances pressing down on us.  The Greek word is “thlipsis,” and has to do with pressure.  In the ancient world at the time of the grain harvest, the stalks of grain were brought to the threshing floor and a wooden threshing instrument, like a sled, covered on the bottom with strips of metal, was dragged over the stalks to separate the heads of grain from the chaff.  The instrument was called a tribulum because it pressed out the grain.  Circumstances frequently press down on us so intensely that it seems that we are being threshed like stalks of grain.  Circumstances can be harsh; we live in a fallen world full of abuse, abandonment, economic trials, illness and death.  In all these you may know that no tribulation, however severe, will separate you from Christ’s love.  Tribulations have always marked those who follow Jesus.

 

Or distress? Distress is slightly different from tribulation.  It is a compound word that speaks of a narrow space.  It speaks of strict confinement, of being helplessly hemmed in.  So the idea is of being confined within a narrow and oppressive space.  Like being in an MRI machine where you can’t move or get free.  Can these distresses separate us from His love?  Absolutely no, never, it can’t/won’t happen!

 

Or persecution?  Persecution contains the idea of being pursued by someone intent on our harm.  Persecution is not always the same.  It may be as subtle as being ignored because you are a follower of Jesus; it may mean being passed over for some honor or promotion.  In many places in the world it means being beaten, arrested and even killed for no reason more than your identity as a child of God.  Persecutions may separate us from a more lucrative job or material possessions but persecutions will never separate us from Christ’s love.

 

Or famine?  Famine was common in the ancient world and is still quite common in Africa.  Famine could result from crop failure or from war.  We live in a world full of hungry people.  Hunger is a terrible thing.  But even this cannot detach us from Christ. 

 

Or nakedness? Nakedness had to do with a poverty so severe a person is unable to buy clothing.  Conquering armies would often humiliate their captives by taking away all their coverings.

 

Or danger, Events a Christian is exposed to because of the gospel could be dangerous.  Paul faced incredible dangers in taking the gospel to the world.  He was shipwrecked, beaten, and hungry as a result of being faithful to take the gospel to the world.  God is our protector but there is peril to all who will take the gospel and live out a transformed life.

 

Or sword?  Swords were the weapon of the soldiers of Rome.  The sword was a symbol of death by which numerous Christians were killed for their faith.

 

He lists all of the true adversities he can think of.  They are real sufferings, painful and perilous, and hard to bear.  But can they separate us from the love of Christ?  No!

 

As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” Here he is quoting Psalm 44:22. We choose to close our eyes and ears to it but hundreds of thousands of Christians are being killed every year for their faith.  Christians should not be surprised when they have to endure suffering for the sake of Christ.  The cost of faithfulness to God has always been high. 

 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.   By experiencing of all these things, not evading them, not being spared them, but meeting them steadfastly, we are more than conquerors.  In these we are super-conquerors.  It is not through human strength or effort of any kind, that we are more than conquerors.  We have His infinite power available to us in every conflict and every trial.  It comes to us through Him who loves us.  These tribulations and distresses don’t separate us from His love but cause us to experience it to the fullest.  We are more than conquerors by the finished work of Jesus on our behalf.  At the cross, when we were all in sin, He proved His love for us.

 

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Most people look at death as the great adversary.  Death separates from the physical body and this life but it can never separate us from the love of God.  But what about life?  In many respects life can be cruel.  In life we face both physical and spiritual dangers.  In life we face tribulations, distress, persecution, famine and the sword.  Neither death nor even all the circumstances of life can separate us from His love!  Paul includes angels in a hypothetical sense just as He did in Galatians 1:8 when he told them, “Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach another gospel.”  It was to emphasize that separation from His love was inconceivable.  Nothing in this life, neither present circumstances nor future circumstances can separate us from God’s love through Christ.  He is the God of circumstances.  So, there is nothing that has come into our lives, is already in our lives or will come into our lives that has not been filtered through the perfect and loving will of our heavenly Father and been directed to our good.  Neither height nor depth will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.  Christ’s love secures a believer from the beginning to the end of life’s path.  Just so there is no doubt Paul adds, “Or any created thing.”  Since God is for us and since God controls everything, then absolutely nothing anywhere will be able to separate us from His love for us in Christ Jesus.  He loves us.  Nothing can separate us from that.  What can you do but love when you are confronted by a God like this?  Once the soul has tasted Christ’s love, it can never be satisfied with anything else.  His love is eternal for it comes from Him who is love.  His love is deep and wide and spans all of our circumstances our successes and failures.  His love is evidenced by His willingness to leave Heaven’s glory and humble Himself on a cruel, criminals cross where He took our sin so He could give us His righteousness.  What will you do with His love?  Will you receive it or ignore it?  The bottom line is this love is only found in one person and His name is Jesus.  What do you say to these things? 

 

You’ll be noticing changes around the property over the next few months.  Already the pool area is being transformed.  Thank you so much for your support as we look to raise $60,000 to complete all of the projects that will give us much needed room.

 

Are you planning to attend our Valentines Party?  It’s a costume (optional) party.  Come on out and let’s have fun!

 

You are loved!

 

Pastor Tim