“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 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.” (Romans 8:35–39 ESV)
Can __________________ Keep Christ From Loving Me?
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 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.” (Romans 8:38-39)
Ten powers threaten our confidence in the inseparability of God’s love. He starts with the big one – Death. Death is our ultimate separation. Does Christ’s love extend past the grave? Life – life is filled with uncertainties and dangers. Can anything in life separate Christ’s love from me? Angels and rulers – The spiritual world has rulers and principalities. Is there anyone there who can impede his love? How about Satan? He’s strong, isn’t he? Things present or future? Is there anything in time or in the future that can pull his love from me? Powers – is there any authority on earth that can keep him from me? Height and depth speak to spatial realities – could the highest star be too high for his love? Could the deepest ocean be too far from his love?
In one long sentence, Paul goes to every extreme possible. Life and death. The spiritual world of angels and demons. The unknowns of time. The far reaches of space. Political power. Judicial authority. King or queen. Ruler or president. Is there anything that is too much for his love to overcome?
Here is the summary, nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Let that soak in your heart. NOTHING can keep him from loving us. Nothing outside of me. Nothing inside of me. Nothing anywhere. God’s love is inseparable, and he will forever love me.
The love of God is more than a feeling, more than an idea. It’s more than a ritual or religion. The love of God is embodied in a person and his name is Jesus. He displayed that love by dying for us and there is nothing, nowhere, and nobody that can pluck us out of his hand. He’s God. We win! “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (v. 37)
How Confident are You in Christ’s Love for You?
Paul says that he is totally persuaded, and that confidence sustained him through all his apostolic tribulations. The question today is, are we convinced? Do you know this love of Christ? Have you received it by faith in Jesus as your Savior and Lord? Oh, what a difference this makes.
Centuries ago, when early church hero Chrysostom was brought before the Roman empress, Eudoxia, she threatened to banish him if he remained a Christian. Chrysostom replied, “You cannot banish me for this world is my Father’s house.”
“But I will kill you,” said the empress.
“No, you cannot, for my life is hid with Christ in God,” said John.
“I will take away your treasures.”
“No, you cannot for my treasure is in heaven and my heart is there.”
“But I will drive you away from your friends and you will have no one left.”
“No, you cannot, for I have a friend in heaven from whom you cannot separate me. I defy you; for there is nothing you can do to harm me.”
I wish I had a little more Chrysostom in me, how about you? When we realize that the Son of God loves us and promises that he always will, what more do we need? If God is for us, who can be against us? Who shall bring any charge against us? Who can condemn us? Who can separate us from the love of God? The answer to each is the same. No one. Nothing.
How dear this chapter would be for these Roman Christians in the years to follow. Shortly after receiving this letter from Paul, Nero began persecuting Christians. Those who read these words would be shoved into the Roman coliseum as spectacle for the crowds who cheered as they were devoured by lions. These Romans Christians would be impaled on poles and lit on fire to light the city. Even Paul who wrote these very words in a few years would be in Rome and be beheaded. What did they think and whisper to themselves as the lions approached, the fire was lit, the sword was about to fall?
The same thing we must whisper to our souls in the terrors and afflictions of our lives or in the final moments on our deathbed. Nothing “in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39) Praise God for Romans 8.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
© 2019 by Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address (www.bethelweb.org) on the copied resource.
 Story as told by Justin Taylor via Ray Ortlund, “Chrysostom: Nothing You Can Do to Harm Me.” www.thegospelcoalition.org. August 10, 2009.
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