Romans 8:31-39 (ESV)
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 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.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I wonder why the Lord puts up with me. This passage answers that question. Because of Christ Jesus’ sacrifice. Because He died to set us free from bondage to sin and death. But there is more here than that. This passage reminds us that no one can bring accusation against us, for it is God who justifies. It is Jesus who intercedes for us.
This brings to mind the old hymn, “What a fellowship, What a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms. What a blessedness, what a peace is mine, Leaning on the everlasting arms ” The author of that song, Elisha Hoffman, understood what it is all about. Although published back in 1887, I consider that song a timeless classic.
Clearly, since God justified us, we are safe and secure. We need to remember when doubts arise, that nothing in all creation can separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. I am certain that the devil is behind the doubts, because he wants us to forget and not live life rejoicing that we have the love of God. The devil does not want us to have the joy that bubbles out of our lives and spreads to others.
Let us rejoice, for our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Let us, as it says in Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,...”
May the Peace and Joy of Christ fill each of our hearts and minds today, and may we share it with others.
by Virgil Stripes
photo: Spina Christi - believed to be the type of tree used to create the crown of thorns Christ wore during His Passion