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(Romans 8:35-39) A Love So Secure!

Romans   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:42
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Introduction:
What is security to you?
ILLUSTRATION:
Everyone of us have habits we do to keep us safe.
- I grew up in California where you lock your door at all costs.
For some of you that is weird … but I always lock my doors.
Drives my wife nuts … but I lock my doors.
- Many of you don’t lock your doors, but you have more guns then the US Calvary.
I suspect some of you might even have some grenades hidden in your house.
- Many ladies carry pepper spray
or hold their keys like a knife
- Our techies have a different solution.
They are alarm system-ed out,
they have security cameras.
motion sensors.
But what happens when your best defense fails,
Locks can be picked.
Guns are useless if we are surprised.
Some people are immune to pepper spray.
Sometimes people know how to by pass alarms.
Then what?
And especially when it is more then just stealing your computer.
Big life issues.
Like
Affliction, extreme challenges, Persecution, Famine, extreme poverty, imminent danger.
Then what?
What defense do you have -
- that can stop the unthinkable.
- The tragedy you never saw coming.
When we consider that most of the world lives in -
Affliction, extreme challenges, Persecution, Famine, extreme poverty, imminent danger.
What answer do we have?
ILLUSTRATIONS:
This week Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crashed. Who would of thought that a famous athlete like Kobe Bryant, with enough money to charter a personal helicopter -
would crash and die.
Did anybody see that coming?
How helpful was his millions?
And where is God in that?
What does the Gospel do for the person who is beheaded in their remote Muslim village,
because they came to Christ.
Suffering is a major issue for many who don’t know Christ.
But even as Christians.
We struggle when face -
dire circumstances.
Life threatening issues.
But this passage teaches us - We should rest in that we are secure in the love of Christ.
Romans 8:35–39 ESV
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If I may summarize - our passage address’s this question -
Can suffering overcome the Christian?
To often,
we don’t understand suffering and believe lies about suffering.
What are lies that we believe about suffering?
The Lie: Christians don’t suffer.
The Lie: Suffering proves God doesn’t love us.
The Lie: Our Suffering is bigger then Christ.
I Submit to you this morning,

We should rest in that we are secure in the love of Christ.

And this text gives us four truths about suffering that help us remember we are secure in Christ.
The First truth -

1) Suffering does not mean God doesn’t love us. (Romans 8:35, 37)

One of the most common struggles I have heard from people
is that they wonder if God loves them when they hurt.
- We don't question God's love when everything's going great.
- We don’t question God’s love when we are celebrating the precious moments of life.
- We don't question God's love when were enjoying the overflowing blessings of God.
But when I tremble and quiver at the futility and the pain of life ...
Then I wonder if God still loves me.
As some have put it - the Problem of pain.
But – Romans 8:28 reminds us that God in his great love allows suffering.
And this text continues that idea.
Romans 8:35 (ESV)
1) Suffering does not mean God doesn’t love us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
The obvious answer - nothing.
And Paul reminds us that it is his love that sustains in suffering.
Romans 8:37 (ESV)
1) Suffering does not mean God doesn’t love us.
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
So I want to be clear
– suffering does not mean God doesn't love us.
In fact, CS Lewis points us to our incredible need for suffering.
Lewis, C. S.. The Problem of Pain (Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis) (p. 95). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.
‘We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; its there for emergencies but he hopes he’ll never have to use it.’ Now God, who has made us, knows what we are and that our happiness lies in Him. Yet we will not seek it in Him as long as He leaves us any other resort where it can even plausibly be looked for. Lewis, C. S.. The Problem of Pain (Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis) (p. 95)
A truly satisfied life is only found in God,
and yet the reality is that we only cling to that true happiness … when we suffer.
Far from suffering pointing out that God doesn’t love us,
suffering points that >>>>God does love us.
We ought to rest in the reality - God loves us even in suffering.
The 2nd Truth about suffering we must remember.

2) No danger takes us beyond the power of God’s love. (Romans 8:35, 38-39)

We as Americans have incredibly peaceful lives compared to most people in this world.
I'm not saying we never suffer
or that are suffering doesn't hurt.
But most of us don't know what life full of pain is like.
Romans 8:35 (ESV)
2) No danger takes us beyond the power of God's love.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
This is quite the list.
- The Suffering of v. 35:
a) Affliction (ESV - tribulation)
b) Difficulty (ESV - distress)
c) Persecution
d) Famine
e) Nakedness
f) Dangers
g) Hostility ( ESV - sword)
These are hard realities for the Christian.
And natural times when we might question whether God loves me.
Paul again picks up some of these ideas in Romans 8:38 – 39.
While the first list emphasized the kind of extreme dangers Christians often faced.
This second list focuses on ruling out every extreme we could imagine.
The second list about ruling out everything,
rather then the actual dangers we face.
Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)
2) No danger takes us beyond the power of God's love.
38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Extremes of v. 38-39:
a) Death or life
b) Angels or rulers
c) Present or future
d) Powers
e) Height or Depth
f) Anything in creation
Few of us as Americans truly face problems like these,
but these issues were the kind of issues the early church faced all the time.
The First three centuries of the church,
to be Christians was to face hardship and persecution.
But Paul reminds us that in the gravest of dangers... We are still not beyond the power of God's love.
Some scholars thought it's possible this list actually came from Paul's own life.
Consider Paul's testimony in 2 Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 11:26–27 ESV
26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.
2 Corinthians 12:10 ESV
10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul faced incredible suffering in his life.
As he writes this section,
consider the confidence he had in the power of God's love in his own life.
The comfort we have is that none of these are
- beyond
- or greater
then the love that we have in Christ.
Your hurting, and suffering …
don’t worry because God is right there with you,
shedding his love upon you
>>>even as you face this trial.
Jesus is right there,
walking beside you as you suffer.
Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
—John Greenleaf Whittier
“The Eternal Goodness”
I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care.
We ought to rest that -
No danger takes us beyond the power of God’s love.
The Third Truth we ought to remember.

3) Our suffering is normal and not anything new. (Romans 8:36)

Sometimes we think we're different.
“Others don't suffer like I do.”
“I'm the only one who faces this pain.”
“There must be something wrong with me”
Now Perhaps in our immediate view that is true.
>>> I am the only one.
So often we use this immediate observation as a reason to justify – God doesn't love me.
But I would suggest, the freedoms we enjoy is an anomaly.
We often are so blessed as Americans,
That when suffering enters our world – we go into panic mode thinking something is wrong.
But I would challenge us -
The normal state of the world, including the believer, is to often face dire suffering.
>>>This is what is normal.
Consider what Paul tells us in Romans 8:36.
Romans 8:36 (ESV)
3) Our suffering is normal and not anything new.
36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
Here Paul is quoting Ps 44:22.
But with any quote,
we have to ask why we are quoting that passage.
In this case, I believe Paul is making a comparison.
God's people long before Christ faced daily suffering.
>>>>So the suffering of Christians in Paul's days (and ours) is not a new thing,
but in keeping with what the Saints have always endured. (IVPNTC)
In other words,
since God’s people have always suffered – we should think of suffering as normal part of God's plan for us.
- Paul is not ignoring that it hurts.
- Paul is saying this is normal part of God's work in the Christian life.
We ought to rest in the reality that suffering is normal.
The 4th Truth -

4) We are completely victorious in all things through the love of Christ. (Romans 8:37)

To say that suffering is normal,
isn’t much rest for the hurting - unless we have Christ.
It is Christ who makes that reality a point of rest.
If we would STOP looking at how to run from suffering,
and instead look to the hope found in Christ.
>>>> Then we would find the key to how live the victorious Christian life.
Romans 8:37 (ESV)
4) We are completely victorious in all things through the love of Christ.
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Paul is saying –
In all our suffering.
Whether we are talking about
- the struggles of verse 35
- or the extremes of verse 38 – 39
>>>> in all these things we can expect victory.
We can expect to prevail against the sufferings we face.
How can somebody possibly prevail through constant
suffering,
persecution,
poverty,
danger,
and hostility?
Because God loves us.
Through God's love – we have a guarantee promise that we will prevail.
- It doesn't promise will never hurt.
- In fact it promises the opposite – we can expect suffering to be a normal part of God's working in our lives.
But,
even if we face death,
we can expect to prevail.
How does the Christian prevail even in death?
Romans 8:23 ESV
23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
The love of Christ,
culminating in the return of Christ,
is the reason we can be confident that we prevail even if we face the most extreme kinds suffering.
CONCLUSION:
Therefore,
Can suffering overcome the Christian?
To often,
we don’t understand suffering and believe lies about suffering.
The Lie: Christians don’t suffer.
The Lie: Suffering proves God doesn’t love us.
The Lie: Our Suffering is bigger then Christ.
I Submit to you this morning,
We should rest in that we are secure in the love of Christ.
ILLUSTRATION:
There is a beautiful hymn titles - A love that won’t let me go.
It was penned by George Matheson who was a Scottish Pastor.
At one point in his life he was engaged to be married
but then he went blind.
Rather than face life married to a blind person,
the young lady called off the engagement.
Brokenhearted,
Matheson found comfort only in God.
Out of this tragic experience he penned the words for a beautiful hymn.
O Love that will not let me go -
O love that will not let me go
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
What Paul is teaching - is that the love of Christ will never let you go.
When you hurt,
When you suffer.
Don’t question God’s love for you,
but remember that he loves us with unending, steadfast, and abounding love.
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