October 4, 2016

Death is man’s greatest fear, for the believer in Christ, death is actually the doorway...

Romans 8:38-39King James Version (KJV)

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 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.

Romans 8

V 1–8: CONDEMNATION Although every sinner deserves condemnation for his sin, there is ‘therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’. The evidence of being in Christ is a new walk according to the Spirit, which also produces liberty and freedom from the law. This means that spiritual-mindedness replaces a carnal following of ‘the things of the flesh’. Such a carnal mindset reveals enmity with God, whereas a spiritually renewed mind shows reconciliation with and justification by God. Without this mindset we cannot please God.V 9–11: CHRIST Because Christ lives within the believer, he is possessed by Christ and possesses the ‘Spirit of Christ’, also identified as the ‘Spirit of God’. No person can rightly claim to belong to Christ unless He has the Spirit of Christ. The benefits springing from this relationship are spiritual righteousness through Christ, and sharing His resurrection life. The wonderful and indivisible union in the Trinity is seen here as the Holy Spirit is interchangeably described as the ‘Spirit of God’, the ‘Spirit of Christ’, the ‘Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead’, and ‘His Spirit who dwells in you’. V 12–17: CO-HEIRS Because of this new relationship, liberty, and indwelling Spirit, we are the Spirit-led children of God and therefore His heirs, and co-heirs with Christ. If we suffer with Him here below, we need to remember that we will be glorified with Him one day! V 18–25: CREATED Until that final state of affairs in glory, we are not the only ones who groan because of our sufferings, which are light in comparison with the glory to come. The whole creation groans to be delivered from the ‘bondage of corruption’. One day there will be a new heaven and a new earth, as well as completely renewed believers to enjoy them, in worshipping and having fellowship with their justifying God. Believers eagerly and patiently wait for that. V 26–27: COMFORTIn our groanings and problems within, we have the help of God’s Spirit in our weakness, who intercedes for us ‘according to the will of God’. V 28–30: CALLED Those whom God has called can be absolutely certain that, in God’s sovereign purpose, everything will work together for their good. Their salvation is not an accident. God planned it in eternity, performed it in time, works it out in time, and will eventually perfect it in eternity. Our standing in Christ is absolutely watertight because of who He is and because He has chosen us and planned our way. V 31–39: CONQUERORS A whole range of problems, trials, disappointments, and suffering will come against the child of God. In all this he is to remember that God ‘did not spare His own Son’ but freely gave Him for us, and freely gives us all other things that we need. With God on our side as our Justifier, our Intercessor, our Lover, and our Keeper, we are more than conquerors ‘through Him who loved us’. Once saved by Christ, nothing at all in the past, present or future, and nothing on this earth or anywhere else is able to ‘separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord’. We conquer because we have the Conqueror living within and working for us.

In these glorious verses Paul is going to search the entire universe to see if there is anything that could possibly separate us from the love of Christ. Death is mentioned first because it is man’s greatest fear (Hebrews 2:15--death is the "king of fears"). God does not say that He will keep believers from physical death but He does say that physical death will never separate us from Him!  In fact, for the believer in Christ, death is actually the doorway into the very presence of God where we will know His love more and more:
Philippians 1:21,23--"For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain...having a desire to depart and to be with Christ which is far better"
2 Corinthians 5:8--"Willing (desirous) rather to be absent from the body and present with the Lord"
God does not remove physical death (with the exception of those who are alive when Christ comes for His church--1 Cor.15:51-52), but He removes the sting of death (1 Cor.15:55). Death without its sting is nothing to be feared (just as a giant bee without its stinger is nothing but a harmless fuzz ball).
"Life"--no circumstances of life, no matter how difficult or trying, wi1l be able to separate me from Christ’s love.
"Principalities" -- this refers to ruling angels, prince angels.
"Powers" -- powerful ruling angels. No angels nor demons nor even Satan himself are able to separate the believer from Christ’s love (see 1 John 4:4).
"Things present nor things to come"-- There is nothing that you are presently going through now and there is nothing that you will ever face in the future that will be able to separate you from Christ and His love. Those who are Christ’s are joined to Him forever! Blessed union!
"Nor height, nor depth" (v.39)--as far up as you go or as far down, in the lowest valley or on the highest mountain you will never find anything or anyone who will separate you from Christ’s love.
"Nor any other creature" = not anything else in all creation. Paul adds this just to make sure he did not miss anything. In the strongest words Paul assures us of our complete safety in the love of God which is found ONLY IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
There are many people who take these final two verses of this chapter and apply them indiscriminately to all people, regardless of whether the people are really saved or not. These verses can only be applied to those who are "IN CHRIST JESUS" (Rom.8:1) and who "love God and are the called according to His purpose" (Rom.8:28). No one else has a right to these verses. Unbelievers will be separated from the love of Christ, and that separation will last for all eternity (see 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; Matthew 25:41,46; 7:21-23; etc.)
Thus Romans chapter 8 began with NO CONDEMNATION and it ends with NO SEPARATION! The more we understand the grace of God and our so-great salvation the more we will desire to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age (Titus 2:11-12), so that we might please the God who has done such great things for us! To Him be glory both now and unto the eternal ages!

■  Ex. 32:32Blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written: The identity of this book has been the subject of considerable debate. Some take it as a reference to the Book of Life in...

■  The Security of the Believer
John 10:28: The doctrine of eternal security teaches that God is able to complete the good work of eternal life that He has begun in every believer (Phil. 1:6). The eternal...

■  Introduction to the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans:
Romans has been called “The Constitution of Christianity,” “The Christian Manifesto,” and “The Cathedral of the Christian...

■  Rom. 4:5Faith is counted for righteousness: Faith is not a work performed to earn righteousness. Rather, it is the means through which God can impute the righteousness of Jesus Christ to the sinner....

■  Rom. 8:38, 39:  We cannot be separated from God’s love, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Savior. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated,...

■  Rom. 9:3My kinsmen according to the flesh expresses Paul’s sorrow for Israel. The question he now undertakes concerns the privilege and subsequent spiritual blindness of the Jewish nation. It is a natural question following chapter 8.  Has the promise of God failed Israel----and could His promise fail in our case?

■  Rom. 12:1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
By the mercies of God summarizes all that God has accomplished for the believer in Romans 1—11 in justifying the believer (chs. 1—5), enabling the believer to live a righteous life (chs....

■  Sanctification:
Philippians 1:6: The word sanctification means “to be set apart.” The Holy Spirit is attempting to make the believer holy (set apart) and spiritual (reflecting the character of God). This is being accomplished in three phases: first: the believer is forgiven and set apart to God at His conversion. Second: the believer is constantly being set apart from sin when he utilizes the mean of grace (e.g. The word and prayer) in his life. Third: complete with His resurrection body. We Christians should recognize that God uses all things to accomplish His purpose of making us like Jesus; therfore we should cooperate with the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8: 28,29)

■  Heb. 6:4–6:  This passage does not teach that one can lose his salvation through disbelief or apostasy. These verses refer to a hypothetical situation whereby the author stresses what would happen to...

4019 life, believers’experience of: 

God is at work in all that happens to believers, whether to warn them, to draw them to himself or to do them good.

God has a purpose in all the experiences that believers have in life

Rejection of this conviction leads to despair Ecc 1:1-2,16-17

God uses every experience in the lives of believers for good

To test and exercise believers’trust in God Dt 8:15-16 See also Ex 15:22-25Jdg 2:21-22;Ps 23:1-6Ps 81:7Isa 43:1-2Na 1:7Ro 8:35-39Php 4:12Heb 11:17-19Heb 13:6
To purify and prepare believers for glory 2Co 4:16-17 See also Job 23:10Ps 66:10;Isa 48:10Jer 9:7Zec 13:8-9Ro 5:3-5Ro 8:28-301Pe 1:6-7
To benefit others Est 4:142Co 1:3-62Co 4:15Php 1:12-142Ti 2:10

In all of life’s experiences believers should be thankful and trusting

Php 4:6 See also Ge 8:20 Noah’s sacrifice would, among other things, express his thankfulness; Dt 8:18Job 1:20-21Ps 103:1-2Pr 3:5-6Ac 16:25Eph 5:201Ti 4:4-5

Believers do not merit the blessings they receive

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