If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? … For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (verses 31- 35, 38-39)
If you could lift a 200 pound barbell, do you think you’d be able to lift a 25 pound sack of flour? Of course. If you could run five miles in one hour, do you think you could run two in the same length of time? Obviously. If you were tall enough to look over a five foot fence, do you think you could see over one that was a foot and a half? No question.
This is the logic of arguing from the greater to the lesser. If the bigger, more difficult thing is true, then the lesser will be also.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” The answer is obvious: no one! If the sovereign, all-powerful Lord of all universes is on our side, what enemy could ever stand up to us? None.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Yes, of course. If the Father paid the incalculable price of his Son’s life to buy our redemption, how could anything ever be beyond his gracious giving? How could anything tax his generosity? It couldn’t.
“Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” No one. If Christ loved us enough, from all eternity, to die on our behalf, nothing can outstrip his love. If death could not defeat him, his love is able to endure. If he is seated at the right hand of the Father, above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, then his love is supreme over all. If from that position he is yet interceding for us constantly, attending to our circumstance and need, then his love goes the distance. We are secure. We are embraced.
If we have received “the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” then how could anything else in all creation ever be big enough to separate us from that love? Death doesn’t have that heft, nor does life itself. No powers, whether angelic or demonic, could do it. Nothing in the present nor in the future could possibly undermine it. There is nothing tall enough, nor deep enough, to outstrip it. Nothing “will be able to separate us” - nothing at all.
What’s left to us, then, but to put down our roots into this reality? To abide like a branch in the vine, drawing life and sustenance at every moment. To stand on this firm foundation, breath this life-giving air, be filled with the Spirit of the One who loves us, and know (like the Apostle John) that we are the one whom Jesus loves.
Nothing can separate us. Know it. Embrace it. Live it.
Dear Lord, thank you for your enduring, all-encompassing love. Praise you that you are for me. Who could be against me? Who could separate me from your love? No one at all. Praise your name.
Reflect: When do you feel distant from the Lord and his love? What looms large? Name it. Bring it to the Lord. Put it in his hands. Understand it doesn’t compare with the dimensions of his love. Receive his embrace again.