Love Factor - Romans 8:32-39 Who shall seperate us?

Today we find a reflection on the confidence we may have as believers in Christ Jesus. Because of His work we have all been brought together, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. We have been told over and over again that God loves us and that we should love one another. The Scripture begs of us to be safe in those doctrines. That God loves us and in fact there is nothing and no one that can separate us from that love. Today we must unite as a church and stand firm by this Word.

To help us understand where we are in mindset the overlying thought is the question posed at the end of verse thirty-one:
“If God is for us who can be against us?”

READ SCRIPTURE- This is the Word of God

Question 1: How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (V32)
Christ was delivered up for us all- God held nothing back when reconciling us to Himself. God always acts according to His promises because He is a faithful God. He does what is necessary to fulfill His Word. Since God has given the greatest, He will surely give all that we need/desire. And it is not that God the Father is a cosmic abuser as some skeptics would say. In fact the Father and the Spirit were with Christ as He suffered. Our God is a Triune God- Father, Son, and Spirit never apart. Remember what Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” He will give us all things that are needed to live and He will give us all things that we need to be sanctified (read 2 Peter 1:3). The Gospels record that Jesus said, “I give you eternal life and you shall never perish.” He gives us all things because He first gave us everything (Christ Jesus).

God has given the greatest, His Son Jesus the Christ. If Christ has taken our place who can bring a charge against us?

Question 2: Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? (V33)
It is God who justifies. He is the Judge and has chosen to justify us.
Who can bring a charge? Satan is busy pressing charges against us (read Rev. 12:10), but ultimately, sin is done against God only. He is the one who can bring charge against us. BUT God refuses to bring charges against us because He is for us. Our lives are hidden in Christ (read Colossians 3:3) to escape the wrath to come and we will appear with Him in glory. No charges can be brought against Christ and we are hidden in Him.

God has given Christ to take our place and we are hidden in Him so that none can charge us with anything. And if there is no charge against us then who is anyone to condemn us?

Question 3: Who is he who condemns? (V34)
It is Christ Jesus who can condemn. By His death He has bought us. We were slaves to sin and Christ bought us out of that slavery. Now if Christ bought us He may do whatever He wills with us. Yet, as frighening as that may sound, do you know what He did and does? Look at verse 34- He died, more than that He was raised, He is at the right hand of God, and drastically different than condemning- He intercedes for believers while at the right hand of God. God does not look at us and say ‘show me your righteousness and you may be saved.’ Our righteousness is at God’s right hand. The Lord Jesus (read Psalm 110:1). He makes intercession for us- (read 1 John 2:1).

If no one can bring a charge against us and no one can condemn us then who can separate us from the love of Christ?

Question 4: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? (V35)
There is no doubt that we will face hardships. There is a list of seven offered in this verse. Despite the "hardness" of hardships the disasters of the world bring us close to Christ. When disasters come even the unfaithful run to God and then turn back to the world shortly after. When disaster comes upon us we come closer to Christ, who suffered Himself, and we stay that close forevermore. We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. The wording of this thought provides us with two options for translation and I like either: We are super-conquerors or we are winning a most glorious victory. We could read it as this compound thought, "We are super-conquerors who are winning a most glorious victory through Him who loved us."
And yes, He continues to love us, but the focus is that all inclusive event on the cross.

There are some concluding phrases that the author of the text gives us as options that could come between us and the love of God. After an explanation we will see that there is nothing that can seperate us!

Death nor life: Whereas death would have been an eternal divider it is now a step closer to everlasting life with our Lord. And the things of this world’s life cannot separate us.

Angels nor principalities nor powers: The rabbis in the 1st century taught that the angels were hostile toward human beings. It was said that they were jealous of our relationship with God. Paul means that even if you believe that, there is no angel that can separate us from the love of Christ.

Things present nor things to come: It doesn’t matter if time passes from age to age and it doesn’t matter if this world fades away because it can’t keep us from the love of Christ.

Height nor depth: These were astrological terms. The ancients believed that they were dominated by the stars and that the planets were also. When “their” star was at its peak (height) then that is when it had its greatest influence. There is no star or influence from the spaces that can separate us.

Nor any other created thing: That word other can mean different. Even by some wild chance there was a different world to pop up in the universe (and some say that there are other universes) we would still be safe in the love of God in Christ.

God is our strong salvation. There is none who can overcome us.

Though questions may arise, they are all answered in Christ.

The love of Christ surpasses all knowledge.

Nothing/no one shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Love Factor - 1 John 3:16-17 By this we know love

Introduction:If I were to ask you each individually to give me a verse that concerns love, some may say First Corinthians 13, but most would even quote me John 3:16. That is American Christianity’s verse. We love to hear that God loves us. We see bumper stickers, billboards, signs, and car tags all around us telling us such. For the sake of the discussion, let’s all turn in our Bibles to John 3:16 and read together. I will be reading the NKJV which is in your pews. Let us also read verse 17.

Internal Preview:
Most, if not all of us, know John 3:16 and even 17 but do you know 1 John 3:16 and 17?
That will be our focal text this morning.

READ SCRIPTURE- This is the Word of God

Point 1: Best Translation is “Soul”
A. "Psuchay" Can be translated life but life is only part of the soul

B. Examples of "Psuchay"

a. Matthew 22:37 “all your soul” same word
b. Matthew 26:38 “my soul is sorrowful” same word
c. John 12:27 “my soul” same word used by John

Connective: Now we have set our standard for the best translation, but what exactly does the soul mean? Have you ever really thought of a definition of the soul?

Point 2: Definition of Soul
A. Psalm 103:1 “All that is within me”

B. Rational Self – Emotive Self – Sensate Self = Soul = All that is within me

a. It is the vital force that animates the body.
b. It is that place where life is found.
c. The home of the feelings, desires, affections, and dislikes. “The Inner Person.”

C. It is where pain is registered, memories are stored, annoyance is experienced, and where worry is contemplated. Inconvenience is of the soul and sacrifice is known in the soul.

D. Examples of Jesus registering in the soul:
a. (Matt 22:37) Remember Jesus said, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death.”
He registered this sorrow in His soul.
b. (John 12:27) Jesus said, “Now my soul is troubled.”
He registered trouble in His soul.

Connective: The soul is “all that is within” an individual. It is where all things are registered. Now let us first think of the American soul and then contrast it with the soul of a Christian, one who believes in the suffering of Christ.

Point 3: The American Soul
A. The soul desires pleasure, rest, and ease.

B. We have been conditioned to require convenience in every situation.

C. What did you all think about losing your power? We were very inconvenienced and we simply did not like it. We have complained and some, I’m sure, even went to drastic measures.

Connective: We have become accustomed to convenience, but is that what Christ would desire of us? Is that what Christ would demand of us?

Point 4: The Christian Soul
A. Scripture calls for us to lay down our souls for the brethren
= a life of grievance inconvenience in behalf of the church, death if needed.

B. How could we Repay God?

a. Shouldn’t 1 John 3:16 say, “By this we know love- that He laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for Him”? And shouldn’t 1 John 4:11 say, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love Him in return”? That would be the logic, but yet that is not what the Scripture says. There is a reason- 1 John 4:12 “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”
How could we repay Him?

1. 1 John 4:12 No one has ever seen God.
2. Acts 17:24 God needs nothing.

b. And the rule of “Mutual Exchange” or “Reciprocation” requires that we repay in some way. Since no one has ever seen God and God needs nothing we must therefore love our brethren in return to God according to His command.

C. Paul explains his “laying down his soul” in 2 Corinthians 11. READ

He became sin who knew no sin.
The Father considered the soul of Christ to be the soul of all humanity.

The meaning of love is found only in Christ. It was His soul that experienced all of the wrath of God. It was His soul that bore all of our sins. Love is the unconditional acceptance of others.
John 15:12-13 Jesus says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

If we are unwilling to sacrifice material goods for our brethren in their time of need then we are definitely not willing to lay down our souls for them and therefore the love of God is not in us.

As for my comments on verse 17: Love demands simple acts…

“He laid down His soul for us and we ought to lay down our souls for the brethren.”