Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 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. 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.
Christ who died for or sins and is risen again, seated on the right hand of God is the one with the right to judge, and ultimately condemn. It is the Son, to whom the Father has committed all judgment (John 5:22), and it is the Lamb that was slain Who is worthy to open the seven-sealed book that showed the righteous wrath of God reigning down on the world that spitefully and willfully rejected and continues to reject Him. (Revelation 5).
But for the Christian, the worthy Lamb that was slain sits as the intercessor that paid for our sins with His blood. That great love wherewith God loved us “even when we were dead in sins” (Ephesians 2:4–5) is greatly amplified to the one raised up and seated with Christ in the heavenly places. We are not hanging on to this position by a thread, but we are kept because Christ is there for us!
“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 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 8:33–34
This love of Christ, who died for our sins, is a love that the Apostle Paul says “passeth knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19), but he prays that we may know it. He also defiantly asks the question, yes, even taunts heaven and earth — “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”
We know the answer! No one.
What about situations?
Early in the Apostle Paul’s ministry after being stoned and left for dead, he exhorted the disciples in the cities where he previously ministered that “we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God”1 (Acts 14:22).
Distress, famine, nakedness, peril and sword are also powerless to separate us from the love of Christ. These things are common to man and are part of the human experience. We can be thankful for when we are blessed to not experience them, but are naive to think that peace and tranquility are the norm. the Apostle himself boasted of the perils that he often found himself in as a witness for the veracity of his apostleship. See 2 Corinthians 11.
But, what saith the scriptures?
For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
The apostle Paul often takes these quotes from the Old Testament2 and uses them to show the precedent. In Psalm 44 the psalmist remembers the great deliverances that the Lord wrought for Israel yet looks at their current situation and laments that the greatness of the Lord to save is missing. The Israelite who knew the law would know that the reason for his nation’s situation was indeed because of the violation of the covenant and that repentance would bring a change to the situation. The word of the Lord through the prophets was very often this very message:
Jeremiah 18:5–10 — “Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.”
The Lord essentially said, “If you repent, then I will repent3.”
In the present dispensation, all are concluded under sin (Romans 3:9), and there is judgment awaiting mankind. But God is holding off on His judgment and is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
But with all concluded under sin, God is not dealing with any nation. God is calling sinners to Himself, reconciling them by the blood of the cross of Christ. We in the body are not a nation, but members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones (Ephesians 5:30). Christ, while seated in heaven is not subject directly for the persecutions of men, but they would again persecute Him, hating Him without a cause as they did when He dwelt among them. But we, as Paul did, suffer in the flesh filling up the afflictions of Christ. He suffered once, as is seated at the right hand of God never to suffer again. We as His representatives are given to suffer for Him (Philippians 1:29). For His sake we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter, at least from the point of view of the flesh.
We can rejoice, however, that the flesh is not always right. It is certainly not right in this case. While the eyes of the flesh see sheep for the slaughter, the truth is the exact opposite. In all these things we are more than conquerors! Not helpless victims, but the greatest of conquerors!
Colossians 2:15 — “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
The Lord Jesus Christ was more than a conqueror over the principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, the spiritual wickedness in high places, and because we are in Him we are accounted that as well. We are more than conquerors through Him!
Neither death nor life will separate us! The truth —
Philippians 1:20–21 — “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
The angels and principalities and powers are subject to Christ, and He is for us!
“Let all the angels of God worship Him” (Hebrews 1:6).
The present and the future are in His hand. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8); and He is for us.
The greatest depths and highest altitudes cannot keep us from the Lord;s love for us. Nor height nor depth…
O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
No other creature either!
There is nothing in this world that can separate us from Christ. The believer in Christ is saved, eternally. We have eternal life that is indeed eternal. How wonderful that the believer can live in the absolute security of his position in Christ. It is a pity that those who rail against this doctrine as a license for sin and rebellion don’t see that it is only from this position of security that the believer can serve Christ.
Romans 6:12–14 — “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
Romans 6:22–23 — “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
In this wonderful position of no separation from Christ we are eternally secure.
The unbeliever cannot be eternally secure, for he is under sin and because he is under sin he is under condemnation. But he surely does not have to be! If you are still unbelieving, living under the weight of your sins and the impending judgment which awaits you, look to the Lord for salvation. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, King of Kings and Lord of Lords took your sins upon Himself and nailed them to the cross, leaving nothing standing between you and forgiveness but to accept His free gift given to the one that will believe in Him. And know for sure that He wants to save you. It is His will.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved!
- This is not being said as a requirement but as stating a fact of the way things will be. The apostle is essentially saying “it ain’t going to be a bed of roses”.
- It is not an offense to call it the Old Testament. The Bible calls it the Old Testament (2 Corinthians 3:14, Hebrews 8:13)
- Repentance is an important Biblical doctrine. The pity is that so many teach it so poorly and in response so many others run from it and stay away from it, teaching just as badly. Repentance has a direction. It is from something, or it is to something, or both. The something in each case needs to be determined from the context. It could be turning from sin, but not necessarily. In this case it is God Himself saying that He will refrain from dealing with His nation in wrath if they will change their ways. The nation was to repent from sins. God would then repent from wrath. Later the prophet says that if the nation repents from righteousness, God will repent from the good that He intended to show them.
Charles Miller View All
Husband, father, engineer...Enjoys fishing, archery, guitar, running, and lifting, but most of all reading and studying God's Word.
Love your posts, just wish they were more often ☺️
Blessings from New Zealand.