What Shall Separate Us?

lucky-ladybug-1949618_640.jpgEighth Sunday after Pentecost | July 30, 2017


Romans 8:26-39 | New Living Translation (NLT)

26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Over the last few weeks, we have looked at life in the Spirit.  Not only have we done this here on the blog, but Pam and I have been preaching a series on the Fruit of the Spirit.  I love the reassurance that comes from first verse in today’s reading.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness

Interesting…The law only served to show how weak we are…that we are incapable of following God’s law. The Holy Spirit, however, knows our weaknesses and helps us.  Paul even mentions that the Holy Spirit works in our prayer life, interpreting the groans that we make sometimes – the Holy Spirit helps us pray to God when we don’t know what to pray.  How cool is that?  The Holy Spirit, as Jesus reminded us, is our Advocate – he is our go-between – he knows how to intercede between us and God, because He knows the Father’s will.  That struck me as very special this morning.  It reminds us – as most of this passage does – that Christians do not have to walk around in defeat.  The Holy Spirit wants us to have the victory. In light of that statement, listen to Romans 8:28:

28 And we know that everything works together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

God wants the very best for us.  That doesn’t mean however that we won’t go through trials and suffering.  The New Testament is very clear about that.  Yet, God chose us – he wants the best for us and He is making us into His new creation.

I love this last section in chapter 8.  Paul asks the question?

If God is for us, who can ever be against us?  

We are reminded that God gave up his own Son, Jesus for us – and that God wants the best for us and he will give us everything we need.  We are reminded again that Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us and he is also pleading for us.  Wow – not only do we have the Holy Spirit working on our behalf, but we also have Jesus pleading for us.  I think for too many people, they think God is watching on high, just waiting to strike us down at any moment – the moment we do just one thing wrong.  I can understand when someone says that they wouldn’t want to serve a God like that.  But that’s not the picture that we receive here.

Paul asks the question, “Can anything ever separate us from God’s love?”  Paul asks a second question, “Does it mean that he no longer loves us if with have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?”  There are those who would say that these things that are mentioned above are a sign of weakness – a sign of a lack of faith.  KNOW this…Christ loves us!  He really loves us and nothing can separate us.  We need those things listed above so that our faith will grow.  I don’t know about you, but my faith grows the most in the valley, not on the mountaintops.  The mountaintops are great, but in the valleys, that’s where the real work gets done.

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.  

We can live in the victory of Christ, even when it seems like all around us is falling apart. God loves us.  The last section are some of my favorite verses in the scriptures:

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There is nothing – absolutely nothing that can separate us from God’s love.  Some use this verse to say that once we are a believer in Christ, that we can never not be a believer.  No, the same free will that God allowed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is still available to us.  After reading this again this morning, I don’t know why someone would want to walk away from their relationship with Christ, but it is still possible…otherwise there wouldn’t be warnings about falling away in the faith in the scriptures.

I want you to notice something.  All the things that are mentioned here are outside forces.  There is no outside force in all the heavens or earth that can separate us from God’s love, but if we want – we can walk away.

Enough said about that…God loves us, he really loves us.  He desires a loving, intimate relationship with His children.  This morning I’m reminded of two songs that I’m going to leave you with.  Blessings….

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