No Separation.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.   (Romans 8:35-39, NIV)

This wonderful chapter, which began with telling us that there is no condemnation for us, ends by telling us that there is no separation from the love that God showed when He gave His Son to die for us. God “counted the cost” and it was great–His Son to become a man, live in poverty, be ill-treated, win few disciples, be rejected by the nation to which He sent Him, and then to die for the sins of the very people who were crucifying Him, in the course of which the Father would have to forsake the Son who was here doing His will perfectly.

We can not imagine the greatness of that cost, but we can realize it was tremendous and we can thank Him through all eternity for what He did. It is no wonder that many Christians shout “Hallelujah” when they realize what God has done for us.

Many people look upon persecutions because we are Christians as one of the things that we must bear but which they wish would not happen. But Paul quotes Psalm 44:22 in verse 36 to show that these things are for our good. We can be downtrodden, ill-treated, facing death, yet even then we are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Satan continues to use persecution to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, but God continues to use these things as a means of strengthening our ties with Him, as a means of  witnessing to others and winning them from Satan’s domain, as one of the great proofs that God truly loves us.

Many weak Christians seem to wonder where God is and why He is not delivering them. They forget that God, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, knew that His Son would have to go through far worse than we will ever go and that He could provide our salvation. God was not sleeping or off on a vacation when Christ was in Gethsemane nor when He was nailed to the cross and died there. He had to forsake Christ so He could die for us; He had to pour His full wrath against sin upon Christ so that He would not have to pour it on us; but He was still in control and He was the same loving Father that did so much for ones like us.

In verses 38 and 39 Paul puts together the greatest list of enemies that one can imagine in order to assure us that there is no one and no thing that can separate us from His love. He did not send His Son into the world to do all this for us and then go off and make us take care of ourselves. When by His grace He provided us a Savior He also provided us with all the protection from the enemies that we could possibly need. He did not send His Holy Spirit to dwell in us just to keep a check on us, but to help us. This is not the place to investigate all that the Holy Spirit does in and for us (it would take a large book to do that), but remember that when Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit was “another Comforter (Counselor)” He was saying that the Holy Spirit was like Himself. Remember that God is the God of all ‘comfort (2 Corinthians 1: 3),  and that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are Comforters, and then you can begin to grasp why it is unbelief for a Christian to fear that anything in the universe can tear Him away from the Lord. And Paul has said this very strongly in this “Holy Spirit” chapter.

I hope that you understand that all I have said about this keeping us in His love is intended for the one who has truly believed on the Lord and has come to Him for His salvation, We can no more keep ourselves in His love without His help than we can save ourselves through what we might imagine to be our righteousness. Remember God through Isaiah told us (64:6) that “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” Yet He tells us through Paul here in Romans 8 that there is no condemnation for us and there is no separation from His love,  The true Christian is one who has realized his inability to earn salvation and has accepted God’s offer to provide that in His Son. Now remember that God’s offer does not stop there; those who by faith come to Him are “in no wise east out.” There is no separation from His love.

If you me not a Christian this chapter is no gain for you. But all the wonderful things promised here can be yours by coming to God in His Son, truly believing on Him, receiving His salvation in the way He has appointed. To the people of Jerusalem, Peter preached the first gospel sermon, showing that Jesus is both Lord and Christ and yet they had crucified Him. They believed Peter and cried out to find out what to do.  Peter gave them these wonderful words of grace: “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38). If you believe, then take hold of the salvation in the way He has appointed.

                             Reprint from Word and Work Magazine January, 1986