Friday, July 29, 2011

Romans 8: "More Than Conquerors"

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then can condemn? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[l]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[m] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The overall passage of Romans 8 ("Life through the Spirit") discusses the difference between living by the Holy Spirit and living according to the flesh. Yet in the former, there will be suffering in the present -- for future glory. Our assurance is that the Spirit will help us through our struggles and suffering because, after all, our God is gracious and loving.

I am singling out the above section from Romans 8, because it is an awesome reminder of who we are and the hope we live for. Although at times we may feel the weight of the world on our shoulders, or perhaps pressure from our culture/peers to conform, the reality is that we live for something much greater. And even more importantly, we are loved by God. This is a love that never fails, always hopes, and always perseveres. This passage provides complete evidence of how God acts in our lives and reminds us of who "has our back". God, the Creator of the universe and giver of life, is this person.

In particular, I am enthralled by the imagery evoked by verse 38. There is absolutely nothing that separates us from the love of God that is found in Jesus Christ -- not demons, not time, not even death! If that does not lend hope for Christians, then I do not know what will.

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