Friday, November 17, 2017

Nothing Can Separate Us

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword" (Romans 8:35)?

Paul continues to reaffirm our security in Christ under the sovereignty of an all-controlling God by arguing that nothing can separate us from Christ. If God is sovereign, and He is on our side, then nothing can stop Him from His determination to keep us secure.

Suffering and distress may make us run away from God when we sense that He, the all-controlling God, has brought these problems upon us. The Christian, however, winds up running to his sovereign God for relief. The Christian is driven back to dependence on God by means of distress. We may be “considered as sheep to be slaughtered” as Paul writes in verse 36, but we know that we are not alone: Jesus went to be slaughtered first, and He is with us all the way.

We might wish that Paul had included sin in his list. After all, what we fear most is that our sin will separate us from the kingdom, from Christ, and from salvation. Sometimes we see people make professions of faith, come into the church, get excited about evangelism and other things, only to later renounce the faith. We wonder: Will this happen to us?

A true Christian is capable of a radical fall, but never of a total and final fall. Consider Peter and Judas. Peter rejected Christ, as did Judas. Peter denied Christ, as did Judas. But Christ was praying for Peter, while Christ said that Judas was a son of perdition from the beginning. Judas was never truly converted, while Peter was. Thus, Peter returned to Christ after his season of sin and apostasy. Judas never did. Because Christ intercedes for us, we can have confidence that we also will never fully depart from Him.

Peter pridefully announced that he would never deny Christ, yet he did. While we should be confident of our position in Christ, we should not be presumptuous. If Christ is our Intercessor, what is He pleading on your behalf even now before the throne of grace?