Who Shall Separate Us from the Love Of Christ?

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Who Shall Separate Us from the Love Of Christ?

 

Who Shall Separate Us from the Love Of Christ?

The greatest lesson a Christian can learn is that nothing nor anyone can ever separate him from the love of Christ.

I have a missionary friend who had been in prison frequently.   He was flogged severely, exposed to death again and again for the cause of Christ. He had been unmercifully beaten with a whip five times.  Three times he had been beaten with rods, stoned once, shipwrecked three times and spent a night and day in the open sea before getting to shore.  He had been is danger of swollen rivers, bandits along roads, in danger of both Jewish and non-Jewish government leaders, and traveled in dangerous areas in foreign countries.  One day he said, “I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food.  I have been cold and naked” (2 Cor. 11:23-29).

That amazing Christian also wrote, “Who shall separated us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecutions, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8: 35) In effect he says, “None of the above or all of them together can separate us from the love of Christ.”

The apostle Paul also quotes Psalm 44:22, “Just as it is written, for Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered (Romans 8:36).

Will anything or anyone ever make Christ cease to love us?  Not in Paul’s imagination or experiences.

The Christian walks through life secured by the strong cable of God’s gracious unchanging love. Nothing or anyone will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The term “the love of Christ” may be taken either as our love to Christ, or His love to us, but in this context it is best to take it as Christ’s love for us.

“Tribulation” refers to the afflictions, trials, sorrows, troubles, pressures, and hard circumstances pressing down on us in everyday life. The word thilipsis has to do with pressure.

The Latin word from which we get “tribulation” is the “threshing sledge” that was covered on the bottom with strips of metal and was used to separate the heads of grain from the husks of chaff. The pressure of life presses down on us and forcefully threshes us like stalks of grain.  But the Apostle says no tribulations, no matter how severe, will separate us from Christ’s love (Jn. 16:33).

“Distress” (stenochoria) is the narrowness and distress of being confined in a tight and oppressive space.  We feel like we are being squeezed in, and there is nowhere to go.  Nothing can squeeze us out of the love of God. The world disasters draw us closer to Him (Ps. 4:1).

“Persecution” is the word for being hunted down like a wild animal put to flight and driven away with hostile force. It is to pursue with hostile intent because of your love for Jesus Christ.

Christians will always be persecuted to the extent that they are faithful witnesses to Christ in a hostile world (John 16:33). But persecution, no matter how severe or intense, will never sever the love of Christ from us (Matt. 5:10-12).

“Famine” (limos) is hunger, doing without food because of being driven from their homes by persecution.  Persecuted Christians have been driven from their homes and jobs to wander amid strangers in desolate places.

“Nakedness” (gumnotes) is the lack of sufficient clothing because of being reduced to poverty by their enemies.  The poverty is so severe to Christians that they are unable to purchase clothing (Heb. 11:38).

“Peril” (kindunos) is the danger of any kind, natural or legal to which Christians are exposed because they are believers.  The idea is to be at risk, or face a danger.

“Sword” (machaira) is used figuratively here for a violent death.  Christians are executed and murdered because of their faith in Christ.  This century is the most violent against Christians in the history of the church.

The man, who asked the unanswerable question, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” was murdered because of his love for Christ.   “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered” (Romans 8: 36; Psalm 44:12).

Paul is emphatic in his statement that nothing in life or death can separate us from Christ. To live is Christ and to die is better yet. We have Christ in life, and in death we have in Him an even better relationship. Death is only an open door into a deeper and more wonderful experience with Him.

The love of Christ is eternal and unchanging. It meets us right where we are and takes us out of our darkness into light, from death to life.

God loves us with an intimate love in which nothing, nothing, nothing can ever separate us.

  

Selah!


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.

Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.

 

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