Last week, we talked about why it's so important to experience and understand God's immeasurable love. This week, we talked about Romans 8:31-39, and Paul's remarkable claim that nothing can separate us from God's love.
The Gospel in a Nutshell
In Romans 8: 31, Paul makes this incredible statement about God's love: "If God is for us, who can be against us?" That tiny word, "if" could be better translated "since," because Paul has no doubts about this fact: God is for us. Those four words encapsulate the gospel and are key to understanding God's unbreakable love for us. God is on our side. Satan can't condemn us, and God will not condemn us because Christ has justified us. And when we grasp this truth, we know for sure the answer to Paul's next rhetorical question: can anything separate us from God's love?
Nothing Can Separate Us From His Love
The answer, of course, is "no!" Nothing can separate us from God's love. But Paul doesn't simply say, "no." Instead, in a gorgeous rhetorical display, he lists a series of extremes -- height and depth, the present and the future, death and life, angels and demons, and so on -- in order to demonstrate how boundless and faithful God's love is for us. At life's most joyful and life's most terrible, one thing will remain constant: God's love. And this is especially important for Paul's audience, because being a Christian at that time meant facing some of the more horrible items on Paul's list -- namely, "persecution and danger and sword."
Suffering leads to glory
Not only will God's love never fail us even as we face the worst kinds of suffering, but God will use that suffering to transform us into the likeness of Christ. As Paul wraps up his list of superlatives, he exclaims, "In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." And when we view this in context of the rest of Romans Chapter 8, we see that "all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."
Because God loves us, he will complete His plan for us. Suffering is not the end. Our total transformation into Christ's likeness -- our glorification -- is the end goal. And because nothing can separate us from His love, nothing can keep us from attaining that glory in Christ.
So today and every day, let us be encouraged in the understanding of God's unbreakable love, and let us rejoice in Him!