“Wrestling With Romans”
No Separation! (Chapter 8 Verses 28-39)
Are you convinced? Paul is, and he testifies so in these last two verses which we must take together (v38-39). He reaches from the depths of the earth to the highest heights of heaven, looking for something that would separate us believers from God’s love in Jesus, and he can’t find a single thing. Nothing! Nothing, will be able to separate those who stand firm in faith (Matthew 10.22), who go on with Jesus. Judas separated himself (Mark 14.10-11), Demas separated himself (2Timothy 4.10), one for money, the other for the world, and no doubt in time many others will too. But Paul is dealing here with God’s love in Jesus to us, it is impossible for God to turn away from us (Hebrews 13.5), he is giving strength to those who need it, we must remain faithful to Jesus Christ, apostasy is a reality. We make too many assumptions about back-sliders being restored, they are not all restored, it must not be taken for granted. Those who have wandered, who’ve grown cold must turn again, they must repent and believe, and do it now! God loves and restores, no mistake (Hosea 14.1-9; 11.8-9). But Jesus Christ as God will not lose one of those given to him by his Father (John 17:12).
The faithful Christian is assured here that there are no conditions, no beings, nothing in time or space, no power nor force, supernatural or otherwise, whether high or low that can put him or her outside of the reach of God’s saving love, nothing in all creation (v39; Psalm 46.1-11). The love of Jesus (v37), is the same as the love of God (v39), perfect harmonious love exists between all three members of the Godhead. The verse and the chapter finish with the full name and title, Christ Jesus our Lord, the one who has made all this possible as a result of our justification (v1), it all stems from there. Now you see perhaps why the teaching of justification by faith, and by faith alone is so vitally important. It is the foundation stone of the gospel, you destroy it, and you destroy the whole thing, all of this glorious, profound, and stimulating teaching that we’ve been treated to in this chapter. So we must defend this teaching, we can’t go with any who teaches contrary to it, it would be another gospel (Galatians 1.6-9), and therefore a departure from that Lord we love and adore. We started by faith, and we will finish by faith (Galatians 3.1-5), because we want all these grand benefits of justification that Paul has laid before us here. I declare is there another chapter like this in the Bible? And just one chapter of one letter to one Church? And it is basic Christian teaching, that we should all be familiar with. We need to saturate ourselves with it.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)