Nothing Can Separate Us From the Love of God
Key Verse: Romans 8:39
Recently I have had a rather disturbing discussion with a pastor and several of his followers concerning eternal security. In recent years this point of view, in my mind, is becoming more main stream. Salvation by Grace is just too easy.
When I am confronted by this theology, I basically ask two questions. “Who is doing the saving” and Who is doing the keeping?”. As far as I can see it is either God of the person. The answer is quite clear in Scripture.
Caution: Having eternal security does not give us a free pass to sin.
Romans 6:1-2 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
1) Is God for Us?
Romans 8:31 “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Note: “these things” refer to the previous verses concerning being conformed to the image of Jesus, our calling, justification and glorification.
a) Mankind will let us down. Your “BFF” (best friend forever – I have grand kids) will let you down. You may be BFF’s one day and not speaking to each other the next. Friendships are fickle even in the best relationships.
b) God is not fickle and neither is His love. His love, on the other hand, is forever. Our relationship with Him and knowledge of His faithfulness will help us in our times of great need.
i) If we are strangers to Him, then we will take exception to any interference in our lives by Him.
ii) But if our vertical relationship is correct and strong, we will desire to be close to Him.
iii) If God seems to be far away, it is because we have moved away from Him and not vice versa. In order to realize God’s faithfulness, we must remain in fellowship with Him.
c) In Romans 8:31 the phrase "If God be for us" is poorly translated. The particle “ei” does not provide for a supposition, but for a certainty. “If” is not a question nor is it conditional, but is instead a conclusion. It should really read, "Since God is for us." Because it is certain that God is for us, the conclusion follows, "who can be against us?"
2) Can God Forsake Us?
a) All believers can trust their omnipotent, omniscient, and all-loving God to never forsake them. This is the Apostle Paul's whole argument in Romans 8:31–38. God, who demonstrated His love, knowledge, and power so definitively and tangibly, can also certainly be trusted to keep us victorious and safe from all dangers, external and internal. Furthermore, He who was willing to give the ultimate gift of His Son to die for us, "how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Rom. 8:32). Will He allow anything or anyone to snatch us from His hands (John 10:28, 29) after paying so dear a price?
b) Just as we did not earn salvation, we cannot earn His protection. This is indicated by the two verbs used in Romans 8:32: parédōken, "he delivered him up," and charísetai, "freely give." The verb charísetai is the future indicative of charízomai, "to give as a matter of favor, not as a deserved payment for what one has done." God's preserving believers is based on our justification.
c) God’s grace given and accepted causes us to receive a new nature so that we can perform works of righteousness.
d) God imputes righteousness to us despite the fact that we do not have any good works of our own
Romans 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
e) God remakes us "unto good works"
2 Corinthians 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
f) The verb charísetai, being in the future indicative, means that He "will freely give" us what we need each time an occasion arises. We do not receive all His grace at once. When He brings us into a situation or permits us to be in one, He gives the necessary grace and gifts to face it.
3) God Guarantees Grace to Us
Romans 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
a) Paul lists some of the situations where God's grace is sufficient. One such circumstance is being falsely accused of not being genuine believers. The only opinion we should value in this regard is that of God himself, for "It is God that justifieth" (Rom. 8:33).
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
b) Tribulation from outside circumstances (thlípsis), inner depression (stenochōría translated "distress"), persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, and the sword shall never separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:35).
Romans 8:36-37 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
c) Paul ends with a superlative list of obstacles: "…neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature…" (Rom. 8:38). He assures us that none of these extremes will ever be able to separate us from the "love of God" which is rooted in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:39).
4) 52 New Testament Sermon Starters - 52 New Testament Sermon Starters – Volume One.