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Romans 8:38-39


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

I was just sitting in my great room praying and thinking about a variety of things, lifting them up before Your holy throne, asking questions, seeking answers but more than anything, needing to communicate the following:

 

 

I need You every hour, every minute, every second of each and every day.

 

As I sat there, I could hear one of the puppies who was born 8 days ago, crying. The rest of the puppies were safely nursing on their mama, and there was one puppy who was trying to find their place in the pile of puppies, to get their nourishment...to fill their tummys so that they could rest with contentment and continue to grow...

 

I'm that puppy this morning Father God...wanting, needing to be fed through Your Word, so that I might grow in my relationship with You.

 

I know this is pleasing to You...You're the author of my spiritual hunger anyway.

 

I love You so very, very much.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

38. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,

 

39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

The rvbv writes in regard to the 38th verse: "For I am persuaded - Before we quote the last two verses of this triumphant paean, let us lay to heart this word persuaded, for it is the key to Paul's triumph as he goes shouting up these mountain heights of Christian faith. "Persuaded" is a heart word. The difference between knowing a truth and being heart-persuaded of it, Paul brings out in Chapter 14:14: "I know, and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself." Many people know, for example, that in this dispensation all distinctions of meats have been removed; yet their consciences are not relieved. Weakness and fear still trouble them - about meats and days and many things. To know a Bible truth, you have only to read it: to be "persuaded of it in the Lord Jesus" involves the fact, first, that the truth in question touches your own personal safety before God; and second, that your heart has so been elightened by the Holy Spirit, that your will so won over - "persuaded" - that confidence, heart-satisfied persuasion, results.

 

Now Paul says in Romans 8:38: I am persuaded - Dear saints, had not Paul passed through all these terrible things of verse 35, tribulation, anguish, persecution, - all? Look at the scars on his body! Assurance? He had it: "In the sight of God speak we in Christ (II Cor. 12:19); "Seeing that ye seek a proof of Christ that speaketh in me" (II Cor. 13:3). Confidence? Hearken to his last epistle: "The Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will save me unto His heavenly kingdom: to whom be the glory unto the ages of the ages" (II Tim. 4:18). "Persuaded?" His mind, his conscience, his heart, his whole being, were sublimely committed to what he is about to say. The days of doubt and uncertainty were forever passed for him!

 

Verses 39, 39: For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

How we do misquote this verse, putting it according to natural thought, "neither life nor death." But God says, neither death nor life. To the instructed believer, the fear of death is gone (see Hebrews 2:14,15). Christ partook of it: "That through death He might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver all them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."

 

But life! Ah, life is so much more difficult than death! - life with its burdens, its bitternesses, its disappointments, its uncertainties; often with its physical miseries, - as Job said, "My soul chooseth strangling and death rather than these my bones." But just as death cannot separate us from this unchangeable love of God in Christ, neither can any circumstances of life do it!

 

Nor angels - Whether we speak of the elect angels - the angels of God's power, in the presence of whom the saints have felt overwhelmed by their utter unworthiness (as Daniel, Dan. 10:8-17); or whether it be the malignant angels, who chose Satan's captaincy, and are a unity with him in evil; - no angels can separate us from the love of God which is fixed forever in Christ.

 

Nor principalities - Here we touch a mysterious word. We know from Ephesians 1:21 that there is an ordered realm of unseen authorities whether of good or of evil. (Eph. 2:2; 6:12). But with none of them have we anything to do, for whatever they are, they cannot separate us from God's love in Christ.

 

Nor things present nor things to come - In Job's case, Satan dealt in "things present" - and they were as bad as hellish enmity could make them. But they did not separate from God's love, for look at "the end of the Lord," with Job. In the cases of David and Elijah, Satan dealt in "futures": David said, "I shall now one day perish by the hand of Saul." Yet shortly he sat on the throne! And Jezebel threatened, "I will make they life as the life of one of them [the slain prophets] by tomorrow about this time." When Elijah saw that, (alas, these "thats' of the devil!) "he arose, and went for his life." Yet God took him up by a chariot of fire into heaven!

 

Nor powers - The word translated "powers" here is 'dunamis', energy (In Ephesians 6:12, in the expression "principalities and powers," the first word, (archai) is the word translated "principalities" in Romans 8:38, meaning one in high position in the unseen world. The second word, "powers," in Ephesians 6:12, is the greek 'exousia', and is directly connected with "principalities," being a word indicative of authority, rather than energy. See Matthew 10:1; Acts 26:10,12.): and has reference evidently to those uncanny and horrible workings of Satan and his host seen in spiritism, thosophy, and all kinds of magic. Indeed, this very word is used in Acts 8:10 concerning Simon the Magician: "They said, This man is that power (dunamis) of God which is called Great." All kinds of bewitchment, sorcery, necromancy, "evil eye," and mystic spells" cast upon people are included. Now I know that sorcery, the "evil eye," "spells," are potent over the unsaved. But, it is a sad fact that many dear saints are troubled by these things. They are afraid - of Friday the thirteenth, of passing under a ladder, of seeing a black cat, of breaking a mirror! Now this simply leaves God out! Who rules in earth's affairs, Satan or God?

 

People say to me, "Do you believe there is anything in spiritism?" I say, "I certainly do, - the devil's in it!" But none of these "powers" can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. There is no such thing as "luck." Let us cease to dishonor God by mentioning it! "God worketh all things after the counsel of 'His will'." I have seen professing Christians "knock on wood" if making some confident statement! (I am ashamed as I write this.) Let us be 'persuaded" of the love which God, without cause in us, has unchangeable toward us in Christ Jesus our Lord. No matter how real, insidious, terrifying these demon powers may be, we are safe in Christ! If you want to be free from superstition and fears, do as James directs: "Ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall both live and do this or that." That brings God in!"

 

In the 39th verse, Watchman Nee comments on the word "love of God" and writes, "The love of God is the source of His eternal salvation. This love is in Christ and has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit (5:5). Nothing can separate us from this love of God (vv. 38-39). In God's salvation this love to us has become the love of Christ (v. 35), which does many marvelous things for us through the grace of Christ until God's complete salvation is accomplished in us. These marvelous things provoke God's enemy to attack us with all kinds of sufferings and calamities (vv. 35-36). However, because of our response to the love of God in Christ, these attacks have become benefits to us (v. 28). Hence, we more than conquer in all our afflictions and calamities (v. 37).

 

By the end of ch. 8 this book has covered the first half of God's salvation in Christ. This salvation has saved us to the extent that, on the one hand, we are in God's acceptance enjoying the source of this salvation, which is God's love in Christ, from which we cannot be separated by any person, matter, or thing; and, on the other hand, we are in God's life being conformed by the Lord Spirit to reach the ultimate goal of this salvation, that is, to enter into the incomparable divine glory and be glorified together with God (vv. 18, 30)."

 

The rvbv writes in regard to the 39th verse: "Nor height, nor depth - The astronomers would frighten us with their figures of the vastness of the universe. But Christ has passed through all the heavens, and is at the right hand of God! And God has loved us in Christ - there is no separation from that love. But "depths" - Ah, poor mortals, we are afraid, even of earthly cliffs and chasms. Yea, but Christ descended into "the lower parts of the earth," into "the abyss" at "the heart of the earth" (Eph. 4:9; Rom. 10:7; Matt. 12:40). Moreover, He has said that His Church would not enter the gates of Hades (Matt. 16:18). And they shall not! But even if God had arranged that they should, Christ says to John, "Fear not; I am the First and the Last, and the Living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore; and I have the keys of death and of Hades!" This is indeed a glorious salvation! No "depth" can separate us from God's love in Christ.

 

Nor any other created thing - There! That should banish all our fears, no matter what they be. The ability of the human heart to conjure up possible trouble and disaster is without limit, it seems: but this word gives us peace. No created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

 

Notice that this love of God is 'in' Christ Jesus our Lord. Why God set His love upon us, we cannot tell. Why He chose us 'in Christ' before the foundation of the world, connecting our destiny eternally with Christ His beloved Son, we cannot tell. but, "Whatsoever Jehovah doeth, it shall be forever." We must therefore hold in mind this fact, that God has loved us even as he loved Christ (John 17:26): for He loved us 'in Him'.

 

Some dear saints seem to think that it is a mark of humility to doubt the security of God's elect. But Romans has surely shown us the way to be certain! Do not try to assure your heart that you are one of God's elect. If you are troubled with doubts, go and sit down on the sinner's seat, and say, "God declares righteous the ungodly who trust Him. I renounce all thoughts of my own righteousness, and as a sinner I trust the God who raised Christ from the dead, - who was delivered up for my trespasses." This is the path our God in Romans shows us. Uncertainty about election arises from some kind of 'self-righteousness'!

 

As we have elsewhere noted, the saints are those who have received Him whom God in His great love gave to the world, and they by Divine grace welcomed this only-begotten Son whom God has given. Therefore the love of God in Christ Jesus is forever theirs. However the world of men may treat this astonishing unspeakable 'gift' which God has proffered, and may go on rejecting Christ till a day when it must be eternally withdrawn; yet God's elect, the saints, "those who have believed," find themselves borne upon the irrestible tide of this Divine affection which "is in Christ Jesus," out into an eternity of bliss! "God is love," and "the Father loveth the Son." And now these connected with Christ find themselves wrapped in this same eternal affection shown by God to His dear Son.

 

When we fail utterly, and are overwhelmed, then is the time to say: We have been accepted in Christ - only in Christ, wholly in Christ. Our place is unchanged by our failure. We are ashamed before God, but not confounded. Just now His eyes are on us in Christ, as they ever have been. His love is as deep and wonderful as ever, being "the love wherewith He loved Christ"! We do not resolve to "do better," for we are weak. We trust the grace of God in Christ and cast ourselves anew, and all the more wholly, upon His grace alone. We trust Him never to forsake or fail us: for He hath loved us in His beloved Son; and God will never forsake Christ! For His sake will He deal with us now and ever.

 

How hard it is to turn away from its object the love even of a man, a creature, a bit of dust! How eternally impossible, then, that the infinite God should be turned away from His love to those that are in Christ Jesus!

 

The wonderful text of this passage, GOD IS FOR US, fills our amazed and grateful hearts more and more."

 

 

Heavenly Father,

 

I've been sitting here for a while thinking about today's study. There were quite a few things that hit me in a very powerful way. When the rvbv talked about the word 'persuaded' being a 'heart word', I really connected with that because I'm such a 'heart girl'...I connect from the heart, and understand what it means to knowing something in my heart.

 

And then as the verse started to unfold...all the "nor 'this or that' will ever seperate us from Your love", I could feel things starting to click inside...inside my heart to a point where it leaves me being able to say only, "oh my".

 

How the enemy has lied and kept me blind for so very long...it's almost embarassing to talk about.

 

I loved where the rvbv wrote, "And now those connected with Christ find themselves wrapped in this same eternal affection shown by God to His dear Son." I can imagine the love You feel for Christ, and the fact that I, and we, are "in" Christ, we receive the benefit in Your love and affection for Him, because of His obedience to You in suffering the Cross on our behalf.

 

And finally, I don't think it could be said better than this: "We trust Him never to forsake or fail us: for He hath loved us in His beloved Son; and God will never forsake Christ! For His sake will He deal with us now and ever."

 

No matter what doubts or fears I may have from time to time, I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that You would NEVER forsake Your own Son. And as it is written, I'm beginning to see more clearly how we have been placed within Your Son spiritually, and You will never forsake me, and us either.

 

So Father, birth this 'persuasion' within me...completely and irrevokably, plant it deep.

 

I love You, I need You, and I am Yours.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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