“Wrestling With Romans”
Unfailing Love (Chapter 8 Verses 28-39)
The Apostle draws up a list now of other possible antagonists who would attack more directly than the judicial kind (v35). Note the question relates to Christ’s love for us, not our love for him. Put another way, is there anything at all that would cause Jesus to stop loving us? Answer? No. Now this isn’t an abstract question. It’s a question that’s squeezed from the innermost beings of those who are obliged to drink some of the acrimonious malignancies mentioned here. The divinely inspired author is writing biographically, from an experiential angle. When trouble hits us the first thing we begin to question is God’s love for us. In spite of all the assurances we have from him, we ask, does God still love me? Or we begin to reason like this. Perhaps I’m not a real Christian, or, this can’t be God’s will for me, I must have gone wrong somewhere? And of course the world, and yes, sometimes other Christians too will help you. The former will fuel your doubts by suggesting that if God loved you he wouldn’t allow you to suffer like this. The latter will suggest you need to pull yourself together, your supposed to be a Christian after all, so where’s your peace. There was more than a hint of this in the taunts of the Jews to Jesus when he was on the cross, if he really were the Son of God, then God would deliver him from the cross (Matthew 27.43). There are times when our sorrows seem like a massive gulf between us and God, we feel separated from him, far removed. Well can such afflictions separate us from the love of Jesus? The answer is clear, no they cannot (v37a).
It is Jesus’ love that is the root of this question here, not our faith. You must remember our salvation does not depend upon our grasp of him, it is his grasp of us that matters (John 10.28ff). What if I backslide? Or what about the backslidden Christian? Do I need to add that I am referring to a person who has been genuinely reborn of the Spirit and justified by the atoning blood of Christ? I probably do for some. Does Jesus still love them? There is no apparent evidence of faith, they don’t seem to be walking in faith, so does he still love them? Are they not separated from Jesus and his love? No, Jesus loves them still. Do you remember Judas? And how Jesus loved him, right to the very end, Jesus’ desire for him. How much more do you think he desires his own? How many people turn away from churches because they have been hurt, wounded by others, or through the lies and deceit of others. Some are even hounded out of Churches by people who profess to be Christian. Does Jesus still love them? Yes, he does. When once he has set his love set upon you, he will never let you go, his love will never, never fail.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)