Grace to You Resources
Grace to You - Resource

A lot of things on my mind and my heart as we come to this conclusion. The Lord always has a way of directing us so that He puts the pieces together, I think, in a sovereign, supernatural way. The message by Steve about the triumph and return of Christ with all of its violence and judgment severity, followed by his kind invitation, even to a group of pastors, to be sure you’re in Christ, was so important, because we can be tempted in a lot of ways. And one of the ways that we can be tempted is to even doubt our own condition. We can be tempted to doubt that the Lord really has His hands on us permanently and forever. And if there is any doubt in your mind about your eternal destiny or moments of doubt, or you wonder if something could change with God or with you that could obviate His promise, then you of all people would be the most terrified because you know what the Scripture says is coming. And you know it’s coming.

The critics said in Peter’s day, “No, no, no. All things continue as they were since the beginning.” And Peter said, “Did you forget the universal flood?” Oh, it’s happened before, and there’s evidence of it all over the earth. It’s coming. So we, in order to enjoy the prospects and the promises of our eternal salvation, need to understand what Romans 8 provides for us, and that is the triumph of our Savior’s love.

The opening message was obedience, the triumph of the saints’ love. The closing message is security, the triumph of the Savior’s love. And you can go back to Romans chapter 8.

I was reading an article from some psychoanalysts who are trying to talk about what people want, and the article suggested that the first thing they want is food, and I get that; and the second is water, and the third is shelter, and the fourth is love. People need to be loved. Created in God’s image, we were created for affection. We were created for love.

They long for loving relationships—hard to generate in this isolated culture, where people spend all their time looking at media and very little time cultivating face-to-face relationships. People long for a loving relationship that lasts. They are crushed when love fails. Human beings long for a love that will never fail and not even wane, certainly not die and not disappoint. That love is, really, very rare in human society. But there is such a love that endures in its fullness and gives lasting satisfaction and lasting joy. And when I say lasting, I mean everlasting.

To be loved by the God of the universe, to be loved with such a lavish love, that—what that love promises to us is even incomprehensible. We can’t grasp the height and depth and length and breadth of it. It’s an amazing love.

Before we go to Romans 8, turn back for a moment to the thirteenth chapter of John. A familiar scene in the upper room. And Jesus is with His disciples, and there’s a statement made in the first verse that has long penetrated my own heart. “Before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.”

This is the hardest night of His life. This is the eve of His crucifixion, this is the night of His betrayal, and this is when His disciples had been unable even to watch for a few hours and uphold Him in prayer in the midst of His incomprehensible agony. They fell asleep. They were seen in their weakness. When the Lord needed them to stand with Him in intercession, they were useless.

They’re really at their ugliest. They had been squabbling about which of them would be the greatest in the kingdom. And in that moment, when they were self-centered and indifferent to the reality that was told to them and was looming in a few hours, they couldn’t find it in their hearts to fix their attention on Him. It is in that moment that He loved them to the end—eis telos, to the max, to the end every way you can define “the end.” He loved them to the end. Without limits, completely, fully, to the extent of His capacity to love, God loved them. He couldn’t love them more; He couldn’t love them less—a love that surpassed all other loves. Could not be increased, could not be decreased, but a love reserved for His own. He loved His own who were in the world.

He loved them, even though in the world they were miserable failures. Peter was the most disappointing believer of the disciples, but in the hour of betrayal, in the hour of betrayal on the part of the disciples, even Peter, and the scattering of all the rest of them in fear, in our Lord’s most severe trial, He loved them to the end because that’s the only way He can love His own: to the max, to the full. And what do you mean by that? The fullness of His capacity to love. However much love God can generate is exactly what He gives to His own.

And Romans 5:8 says God demonstrated His love for His own, “in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He loved His own when they were yet sinners. He loved them so much, it would be impossible to love them more because it would be impossible to do more than give His Son as a sacrifice. He loves His own with an everlasting, immeasurable love. This is the greatest gift a human being can be given. No matter how many other loves fail, this one never does. And it sounds too good, really. And some people who call themselves Christians think it is too good to assume that this love is that complete and permanent.

Can we be sure? Can we really be sure that we are loved like this all the way to the end, even in the ugliest moments of our lives? Well, the answer to that question is back in Romans 8, so let’s go there. This, I think, is the most precious of all promises, that the Lord’s love never fails, because if I wasn’t sure of that, I couldn’t enjoy any of the benefits.

So go down to verse 31: “What then shall we say to these things?” What things are you talking about? Well, we’re talking about everything from the beginning of the book of Romans: the gospel—“I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.” And then Paul unfolds the bad news and then the good news, and we see justification by faith in chapter 3; and then the glories of the gospel unfold from chapter 3, verse 20, all the way to chapter 8, verse 30. And in verses 28 to 30, which we read earlier, you have a summation of the glories of our salvation.

It’s a secure salvation, because verse 28 says, “We know that God causes all things to work together for good.” If all things work together for good, then nothing can work together for bad. “He causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” His purpose and His call determine that everything’s going to work together for good.

Then Paul looks at those wonderfully familiar terms in verse 29, “For those whom He foreknew”—those whom He predetermined to set His love upon—“He . . . predestined”—predestined to what?—“to become conformed to the image of His Son”—He predestined them to glorification, to conformity to Christ. This is His purpose: “so that He”—Christ—“would be the prototokos,” the premiere One, “among many brethren.” And then Paul says it another way: “These whom He predestined, He also called”—and that is a lifegiving, regenerating, irresistible divine call—“and [those] whom He called, He . . . justified”—no one is called and not justified. And He also justified those who were called so that they could be “glorified.” That’s the purpose of God: to glorify those whom He called by conforming them to the image of His Son.

So what should we say to this? This is breathtaking. Everything in our lives is working toward the purpose of God, which is our eternal glorification and conformity to Christlikeness, everything. Nothing works against that. Everything works for that because that is what God purposed. That is determined by His predetermination to love us, predestine us, justify us. It all brings us to eternal glory.

Can this be true? Can such grace be a reality? Going back to the first verse in chapter 8, is it really possible that there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” that we will never be condemned? Is this really true?

It introduces two hypothetical questions. Number one: Can God reject us? Can God become so weary of us that He changes His mind? Can God say, “I’ve had about all I can take out of you. You’re such a disappointment. You fall short so often, you bring reproach on my name. You are an embarrassment. You are a problem to My church. You don’t honor My Word as you should. You stumble and fall into the same sinful patterns that you were stumbling and falling into years ago. I’m worn out picking you up and dusting you off. I’m weary of the mixed messages you send to the people who know you because sometimes you act like a Christian and sometimes you don’t”? Could God just say, “I really can’t take any more; I’m canceling your eternal life”?

Or the second question would be this: The hypothetical possibility is that we reject God—that we say, “Look, I’ve been hanging in there as a Christian, doing my part, and I don’t really get the answers to my prayers that I would like. Does marriage have to be so difficult? Does my husband have to be such a jerk? Do I have to struggle at work? Do I have to fight the people close to me that should love me but make life difficult? And why all the illnesses and the diseases? And I’ve prayed for a long time, and I’m weary, God, of Your failure to step in and make my life what I think it should be, if You really loved me”? So those are the two hypothetical possibilities: that God gets tired of us and rejects us, or we get tired of Him and reject Him.

God rejecting us has a theological category, doesn’t it, those who deny the security and perseverance of the believer? And now there’s a new theological category of people who reject God. It’s called “deconstruction” or “exvangelical” (hashtag). Can either of these things happen? Can He stop loving us? Can we stop loving Him?

Well, the answers are in this section, starting in verse 31, and that’s why the question is posed: “What then shall we say to these things?” How do we respond to the absolute character of salvation as summed up in verses 28 to 30? How do we respond to that, that God had a purpose, and the purpose was to conform us to His Son in eternal glory, and He takes every step in the process to make sure that it comes to pass? What should we say to these things? And first, Paul poses the question, “Can God reject us?” Back to verse 31.

It’s assumed, “If God is for us, who is against us?” Can God find reason to take away our salvation? Well certainly not, based on verses 28 to 30, because whom He foreknew, He predestines, He calls, He justifies, and He glorifies. Look at that first part of the second half of verse 31: “God is for us.” The assumption here is that God is for us.

There are some people in some forms of evangelicalism who think God is against us. But listen to what Scripture says. Psalm 27:1-3, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread? When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. Though a host and camp against me, my heart will not fear; though war arise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident.” Why? “The Lord is my . . . salvation.”

Listen to Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.” If everything starts to fall apart, God is going to be our refuge and our help. I love this in Psalm 46:7, “The Lord of hosts is with us.” Verse 11, “The Lord of hosts is with us.”

Psalm 56:4, “In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What men can do to me?” Or Psalm 56:11, “In God I have put my trust, and I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Or Psalm 84:11 and 12, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in You!” Psalm 118, verse 6, “The Lord is for me.”

Isaiah 50, verses 7 to 9, “For the Lord God helps Me, therefore, I am not disgraced; therefore, I have set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed. He who vindicates Me is near; who will contend with Me? Let us stand up to each other; who has a case against Me? Let him draw near to Me. Behold, the Lord God helps Me; who is he who condemns Me?”

The Lord is for us, all of this is saying, to the degree that Isaiah 54:17 familiarly says, “‘No weapon that is formed against you will prosper’”—“no weapon”—“‘and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,’ declares the Lord.”

In the wonderful language of John 10:28-30, “I give eternal life to [My sheep], they will never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” Summed up: God is for us. He knows how weak we are, He knows how sinful we are, but He is for us.

And Paul’s about to prove that. How do we know that? Look at verse 32: “He”—meaning God—“who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Amazing statement. The greatest proof of God’s promise to keep us is what He sacrificed to get us.

This is an argument from the greater to the lesser. His love is so strong that He gave His Son for us. Will He not do what is less than that to keep us? You can’t do more than to give Your Son to save us; we would assume You would do less, then, to keep us. He gave us the most, the best, and He has no capacity to hold back the least. That’s why the Scripture says you’re “blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ.” He gave you Christ; that was the big sacrifice. The rest follows.

Back in the fifth chapter of Romans, just by way of reminder—wonderful, familiar text—Romans 5:6, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” We were helpless; we were ungodly. Verse 8 adds that “we were . . . sinners, Christ died for us.” If when we were helpless and ungodly and sinful, Christ died for us, then verse 9, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be [being] saved from the wrath of God through Him. For . . . while we were enemies we were reconciled”—and if that is true, that God reconciled us to Himself through the death of His Son—“much more, having been reconciled, we shall be [being] saved by His life.” “Much more,” in verse 9. “Much more,” in verse 10. “Much more,” in verse 15. “Much more,” in verse 17. “All the more,” in verse 20. And all of that language there is to say that if He gave you the greatest of all gifts, He would follow that up with the lesser gifts.

This language draws me back to Genesis 22, where it talks about a sacrifice. Let me just draw you back for a minute, Genesis 22, a very familiar story. We don’t need to go through the whole story, but verse 12—if I can get there: “Abraham, Abraham!” verse 11. Ready to offer Isaac, took a knife to kill his son, in verse 10. And in verse 12, and the Lord says to him, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” And verses 15 and 16, “Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, ‘By Myself I have sworn,’ declares the Lord, ‘because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, indeed I will greatly bless you.’”

The story of Jesus was different. Abraham had only one son, one that was a true child of the promise. In him all the covenant promises would be fulfilled, in him the nations would be blessed, through him salvation would come and the Messiah would come—and he was willing to offer him in death. Isaac was spared by God by divine intervention; Jesus was not.

So the picture is, really, contrast. The willingness of Abraham to offer up Isaac provides only a faint analogy of the Father’s ultimate self-sacrifice in refusing to spare His Son. Abraham was willing, didn’t have to do it; God was willing and did it. Would He have spared His Son if in the end He would accomplish nothing for those for whom it was said that He died? Would He have given His Son if He did not have the power to hold onto the ones for whom His Son died and whose sins His Son bore? Isaiah 53:10, it pleased the Lord to bruise Him. He put Him to grief.

So the first question is, Would God become weary of us? Would He let go of us? Would He cancel our salvation? And Paul’s answer, from the greater to the lesser, is verse 32: He gave His greatest gift; He will give the lesser gifts to sustain what the death of His Son purchased. He made Him to be sin for us. He put the curse on Him, Galatians 3, delivered His Son to damnation and abandonment.

Who delivered Jesus to die? Not Judas for money, and not Pilate for fear, and not the Jews for envy, but the Father for love. The Father for love. John Murray wrote, “It is only as the ordeal of Gethsemane and Calvary is viewed in the perspective of damnation vicariously borne, damnation executed with the sanctions of unrelenting justice, and damnation endured when the hosts of darkness were released to wreak the utmost of their vengeance, that we shall be able to apprehend the wonder, and taste the sweetness of love that passes knowledge, love eternally to be explored, but eternally inexhaustible.” He put damnation on His Son to make us His own when we were ungodly sinners.

And that’s the point, isn’t it? Verse 32, “delivered Him . . . for us all”—not just for our benefit, but in our place. The “us” is the “us” of verse 31: “Who is against us?” The “us” of verse 31 is the “us” of verses 29 and 30: those who were foreknown and predestined and justified and would be glorified. And that goes back to verse 28. The “us” are “those who [have been] called according to His purpose.”

So would God reject us? No. Paul says, “How”—on the other hand—“shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?” That fits His eternal, saving decree. The point is that if the Father didn’t spare the Son, but gave Him up to the shame and horror of damnation and sin-bearing on the cross to bring about an eternal goal, that is the greatest sacrifice. Anything else that sustains us is a lesser act on His part. To deny security is to misunderstand the work of God in His Son.

Well, if there’s nothing we can do to cause God to reject us, can someone else come along, let’s say, and convince Him that we are an embarrassment, that His reputation would be protected if He didn’t have to identify with us? If He just cut us off, we wouldn’t bring a blight on His lovely name. Could someone come to God and say, “God, You’re really giving up Your credibility by holding on to John Macarthur. He’s an embarrassment. You’d be better off to disconnect with him”? Could somebody else come and do that?

Listen to Isaiah 50, verse 7: “For the Lord God helps Me, therefore, I am not disgraced; therefore, I have set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed. He who vindicates Me is near; who will contend with Me? Let us stand up to each other; who has a case against Me? Let him draw near to Me. Behold, the Lord God helps Me.” You want to make a case against me, you’re going to have to get through Him.

“Who will bring a charge against God’s elect?” Well, who would want to do that? Satan, in the case of Job. Satan, in the case of Joshua the high priest, Zachariah 3. Satan, in Revelation 12:10, the accuser of the brethren who is before God—what does it say?—“night and day,” relentlessly indicting us, relentlessly bringing the case against us to God. The same kind of case he brought with regard to Job.

Will God hear that charge? Can somebody successfully, verse 33, “bring a charge against God’s elect”? Answer: “God is the one who justifies.” Literally, God, the one justifying. No, He cannot condemn and justify at the same time. The case against believers and against their justification may be fought by Satan, but to no avail because we are covered with the righteousness of Christ who bore our sin.

That’s why John Wesley wrote, “Bold shall I stand in that great day, for who aught to my charge shall lay? Fully through Thee absolved I am from sin and fear, from guilt and shame.” God’s elect, Satan can bring all the accusations he wants. God will never condemn those whose condemnation was paid in full by His Son.

You say, “Well, wait a minute. We haven’t heard from the Son. What’s He got to say about this?” Verse 34, “Who is he who condemns?” Christ Jesus? What if He says, “I’m fed up. I’m embarrassed by these vacillating Christians who bear My name”? Could our Lord Jesus turn against us?

The answer comes, “Christ Jesus is He who died.” Point one: He paid the full price for our sin. He died. He can’t condemn us, He was condemned for us. He “was delivered over [to death] on account of our transgressions,” back in chapter 4, verse 25. Not only that, “who was raised,” which means the Father was fully propitiated, fully satisfied that Christ paid the full and complete price for the sins of the elect and raised Him from the dead for our justification, signifying that His death accomplished our eternal salvation.

Would Christ turn on us? No, He died in our place. Would He turn on us? No, He was raised by the Father, validating the efficacy of His death. Thirdly, “[He] is at the right hand of God.” He is at the right hand of God. He’s been exalted to heaven to the Father’s right hand, as Psalm 110, verse 1 says: “The Lord [said] to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool.’” Christ died a substitutionary death that pleased God. God raised Him from the dead. God exalted Him to His right hand, which validates the efficacy of His work on the cross.

That’s not all. There’s a fourth feature: He is now “at the right hand of God . . . [interceding] for us.” Christ won’t turn against us; He intercedes for us. He’s a merciful and faithful High Priest. In John 11:42 He said, “I [know, Father,] that You always hear Me.”

I can’t resist reading a few verses out of John 17 that take us right into His intercession. Verse 13, John 17, this is Christ’s intercession: “Now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your word.” This is Christ in His intercessory work. “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified.

“I do not ask on behalf of [those] alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word”—those who come in generations after the apostles—“that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, and the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me”—“Father, love them the way you love Me.”

Christ isn’t going to turn on us. He died in our place. He was raised by the Father for having accomplished our eternal redemption. He was exalted to the right hand of God, triumphant in His death, and He now ever lives to intercede for us. God will not turn on us. Satan cannot affect a change in God’s commitment. Christ would never ever turn on us because He accomplished everything to secure our everlasting salvation.

OK, what about the other hypothetical? Could a believer reject God? Can you really “deconstruct”? Can you really say, “I’m done with Christianity; I’m worn out with it”? You hear this so often: “You know, I was raised in some kind of rigid Bible environment, and I didn’t get my questions answered, and I don’t like the direction that life was taking me, and I don’t want anything to do with that. I grew up, maybe, in a Christian family at some point, affirmed my faith in Christ, but I’ve changed my mind.”

So the question is, starting in verse 35, Could a believer reject God? And the question comes, “Who will separate us,” or, “What will separate us from the love of Christ?” Now it’s our turn. Would we walk away? Can life become so difficult, so disappointing, so tragic, so defective, so unfulfilling, so troublesome that we say, “Look, I’ve had enough”? Is that possible?

Well, Paul says, “Let’s check a few things. Could tribulation do that?” That’s a Greek word thlipsis, which basically means “pressure, pressure, affliction, outward difficulty, accusation, rejection, bodily harm”—thlipsis. In Latin, it’s like flailing, like wooden, leather whips lashing. Very common word. It even appears in an agrarian environment, when speaking about separating chaff from wheat, beating the grain. Can life just be so difficult that we reject Christ? Outward difficulty.

Or maybe “distress,” second word, inward difficulty, stenochōria. It means “narrow,” narrow space, hemmed in, no way out. Can I become, in my own mind, so unfulfilled and so desperate that I don’t see any way out, and I can’t find fulfillment, that I would turn away from Christ?

Or maybe let’s be more direct: “persecution,” abuse. Literally, the word means “abuse”—physical, mental abuse at the hands of Christ-haters. Would that do it? Or “famine,” starving to death, perhaps because of that persecution, deprivation? “Nakedness” also associated with persecution.

And then just a general word, “peril,” danger, being exposed to treachery, being in a culture where your life is threatened because of hostility. Or even a “sword,” machaira, meaning death. Could any of these things cause me to turn my back on my Savior?

And oh, by the way, that list of seven were very personal to Paul because they were all part of his biography. Paul had all of that in, honestly, mega doses. He chronicles that, all his suffering—beaten with rods and whips, and shipwrecked, and all the things he told the Corinthians. Was that enough to turn him against the Lord?

It was to be expected. Quoting Psalm 44, 36 he adds, “Just as it is written, ‘For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’” Now that’s where you see the personal touch. “I lived through all of it. This is not hypothetical; this is my own experience. And I’m here to tell you I’ve been through it all. I’ve felt the powers of the pressure and the distress and the persecution, and the hunger, and the nakedness, and the cold, and the danger, and the sword”—which eventually flashed in the sun and severed his head from his body. And it’s to be expected. And all of it, all of it “for your sake,” verse 36.

“So it’s all happening to me because I’m connected to You. This wouldn’t be happening to me,” Paul is saying, “if I didn’t represent You. I was willing to take up my cross and follow. I’m not sure I understood what it was going to mean. This is a lot to bear.” Could this do it?

No, verse 37, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer”—not in our own strength, but “through Him who loved us.” We are hypernikōmen, super-conquerors, winners of a sweeping victory, not just a bare escape. Love triumphs, but it’s not so much our love, as if it could triumph independently; it’s His love that holds on to us.

What does it mean to be a super-conqueror? I think it means two things. You not only do not find yourself separated from Christ, but you find that, first of all, trials work to your greater good. Anytime you survive a trial and your faith is intact, that is a testimony to the validity of your true saving faith. But also you find yourself strengthened. The trials that you have have a strengthening work. They allow you to strengthen others, as our Lord told Peter. They increase your hatred of sin. They drive you to God. They help you recognize your weaknesses. And that’s why the Bible says trials perfect you.

Trials work to your greater good, and secondly, they work to your greater glory. They’re going to—the benefits of those trials are going to show up in heaven. Listen to 1 Corinthians—I’m sorry, 2 Corinthians. I know you know this; it’s very familiar: “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory.” So the weight of our glory is connected to the affliction here. Our momentary, light affliction, relatively speaking, is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.

So in what way are you a super-conqueror? You not only conquer by sustained love to the Lord, because He sustains His love for you, but the trial works to your greater good, which instead of weakening you makes you stronger, and it increases your eternal glory.

Now, the Corinthians weren’t particular models of virtue or obedience. They had their issues, didn’t they? But whatever victory they had over these kinds of assaults increased their strength and added to the eternal weight waiting for them in heaven.

Just an Old Testament passage comes to mind, as we kind of wrap up: Isaiah 41. I had a lot more, but I’ve been editing in my mind on the fly, here, tonight. But Isaiah 41:10, “‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish. You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them’”—they’ll disappear—“‘those who war with you will be as nothing and nonexistent. For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, who says to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.” Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.’”

Back to Romans 8. So there’s no possibility that God is going to stop loving us, and there’s no possibility that we’re going to stop loving Him. As enduring as His love for us is, that’s how enduring our love for Him is, because the love that we give to Him is that love which comes from Him, shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

So the sum of it all: “I am convinced”—are you?—“that neither death”—the greatest enemy, the gates of hades—“nor life”—that covers it all, with all its dangers and difficulties—“nor angels”—probably thinking of, hypothetically, good angels; no good angel can alter anyone’s salvation or would want to do that—“nor principalities”—perhaps he had in mind evil angels who would want to do that but can’t.

And just in general, neither life, nor death, nor good angels, nor evil angels—and that takes care of the spiritual realm—“nor things present”—here and now—“nor things to come”—in the future. No dimension of time can ever sever us from Christ. “Nor powers”—plural in the New Testament, refers to miracles, supernatural mighty works. There is no supernatural act that can sever us from Christ, no mighty power. And stretching even further, “Nor height”—that’s an astrological term, hupsōma; it referred to a star at its zenith. “Or bathos, depth”—when the star was at its lowest point. The height and depth of the universe. Nothing, anyplace, in life or death, or the spiritual realm, or in time, or the future, or in space from top to bottom, “nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

George Matheson wrote, back in 1882, when he went blind—and he was engaged, and his fiancée, finding out he was blind decided to call off the marriage. That’s when he wrote that wonderful song, “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go.” And the sentiment behind that song was Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”

Is that good news? He will not let us go, and we will not let Him go. You say, “Well, wait a minute. I know a guy who believed, then walked away.” First John tells us, “They went out from us because they were not of us.”

Father, we are so undeserving of such a love, so grateful for it. We should be literally in a spiritual euphoria every day of our lives, to think that You love us like this. All the petty things of life should fade away compared to this eternal reality that You have for us, reserved for us in heaven, an eternal inheritance, undefiled, unchanging, unfading, reserved for us with our name on it. You have loved us to the max. Help us to love You and show it in our obedience, in Christ’s name. Amen

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Unleashing God’s Truth, One Verse at a Time
Since 1969


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Since 1969
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Since 1969
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Unleashing God’s Truth, One Verse at a Time
Since 1969