Monday, June 8, 2015

Romans 8:35-39 (GNT): Nothing Can Separate Us From God’s Love

Romans 8:35-39 (GNT): Nothing Can Separate Us From God’s Love
Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death? As the scripture says,
“For your sake we are in danger of death at all times;
   we are treated like sheep that are going to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us!  For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future,neither the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Comment:
Paul argues that nothing can separate us from the love of God, other than our own choice to reject him. “[God] gave us his son -- will he not also freely give us all things?” Paul states that “there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.” God loves us all, imperfections and shortcomings aside. No matter what others might say, nothing can take God’s love away. We are sinners trying to do our best in Christ.  Inevitably, we will fall short, sin, and feel unworthy.  God loves us anyway.
When we fail (as I do often), we must keep trying, repent, confess, and receive his grace. This renews our fellowship with God and strengthens us as Christians.  The temptation is to quit, falsely believe that God could never forgive us, and abandon all hope. But when we make the choice to have faith in Christ, we are full of hope and grow in his love.
The insightful Anglican writer and pastor, John Stott, writes in Basic Christianity that our relationship as God’s adopted children cannot be broken. But in the face of sin, however, we must repent, reconcile, confess, and be renewed:
‘But what happens if and when I sin?’ you may ask. ‘Do I then lose my status in God’s family and cease to be his child?’ No. Think of the analogy of a human family. Imagine a boy being offensively rude to his parents. A cloud descends on the home. There is tension in the atmosphere. Father and son are not on speaking terms. What has happened? Has the boy ceased to be a son? No. Their relationship is just the same; it is their fellowship which has been broken. Relationship depends on birth; fellowship depends on behaviour. As soon as the boy apologizes, he is forgiven. And forgiveness restores fellowship. Meanwhile, his relationship has remained the same. He may temporarily have been a disobedient, and even a defiant, son; but at no point did he stop being a son.

As we begin a new week, let us renew ourselves in Christ’s love, knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God.