“Who then shall separate us [Who therefore shall part us] from the charity of Christ? tribulation, or anguish, or hunger, or nakedness, or persecution, or peril, or sword? But in all these things we overcome, for him that loved us.” (WYC)
“35 Who can separate us from the love of Christ?
Can affliction or anguish or persecution
or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 37 No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.” (HCSB)
“35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (ESV)
“35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (KJV)
“35Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? or distress? or famine? or nakedness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword? 37But in all these things we overcome, because of him that hath loved us.” (DRA)
We overcome; we are victorious; we are more than conquerors despite tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword. We overcome all things for Jesus, through Jesus, because of Jesus who loves us.
If Jesus is able, while suffocating on the cross, to ask His Father to forgive those who are crucifying Him, then how much more is He able and willing to intercede for us, for those whom He has chosen as His own.
“For while we are still weak, at the right time Christ dies for the ungodly.” (Romans 5: 6)
“Since, therefore, we are justified by His blood, how much more are we saved by Him from the wrath of God.” (Romans 5: 9)
I find little sense in the argument that God is unwilling to save those who disobey Him. He dies for those who disobey. He sheds His blood precisely because we are disobedient children whom He wishes to bring back home.
The father of the prodigal son sees his son “while he is still a long way off.” (Luke 15: 20) This brokenhearted father runs to embrace his son and kiss him. God runs to us, wanting to embrace and kiss us and kill the fatted calf for us. He does not begrudge us His love.
Instead, God dies for us while we are still His enemies. “If while we are enemies we are reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, are we saved by His life.” (Romans 5: 10)
Jesus tells us the first and greatest command is “to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” The second is like it; that command is to love your neighbor as yourself.
All the Law and the Prophets depend upon these two great commands of God; and both find their basis in love: love of God, love of others.
Obviously, Jesus loves His Father enough to obey Him, sacrificing His own human life for the purpose of God — that is our salvation: redemption, sanctification, glorification. Jesus often speaks of loving His friends enough to die for them. And, after speaking of this, He does indeed die for them and for us.
Your neighbor may be friend, may be enemy — but, you are commanded to love him whichever way he treats you. Your love of neighbor is a small reflection of the love which Jesus pours out on you. Your love of God the Father is tiny in measure when compared to Jesus’ love of His Father.
Love does no harm; and does not push its own way. “Keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4: 8)
How does God show His love of us? He sends His only Son to earth as a baby, allows two flawed humans to raise Him, sends Him into the wilderness to contend with our adversary, asks Him to travel — preaching and healing — for three years; then commands Him to sacrifice Himself to a terrible, slow death and to the darkness of separation from His own glory.
“In this the love of God is made manifest among us, that God sends His only Son into the world, so that we may live through Him.” (1 John 4: 9)
We live through Jesus. Make no mistake, we do not live through our own power. Our lives are powerful only through the finished work of Jesus the Christ.
Do you know that we need the strength of the Holy Spirit Himself “to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.” As we are “strengthened with power through His Spirit in [our] inner beings,” (Ephesians 3: 16) we are then “filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3: 19)
We become new creations through Christ’s sacrificial death and through the power of the Holy Spirit with whom we are sealed. Simply put, the seal of the Holy Spirit is akin to indelible ink, an ink which appears from the inside out.
The Holy Spirit is a fire within our hearts, an unquenchable fire who marks everything we are — what we think, what we say, what we do. The Holy Spirit “roots and grounds us in love” and makes it possible for “Christ [to] dwell in [our] hearts through faith.” (Ephesians 3: 17)
Do you know that without the powerful seal of the Holy Spirit, we are lost? He keeps us steadfast, directing our hearts toward God the Father through Jesus Christ, the Son. Without Him, we do not choose to follow Christ’s way; instead, we chomp at the bit the way a stubborn horse might.
Without the Holy Spirit, we are incapable of knowing that which surpasses knowledge — we can not know God nor the depth of His love of us. Be grateful for God, the Holy Spirit — He seals us for the day of our redemption.