“How Shall He Not?” ( Romans 8: 31-35, 37 GNV ) by Carley Evans


To the church at Rome, Paul reiterates his belief that nothing separates us – the Christian – from the love of God shown in His gift of Jesus Christ to the world. Paul writes:

31 [a]What shall we then say to these things? If God be on our side, who can beagainst us?

32 Who spared not his own Son, but gave him for us all to death, how shall he not with him [b]give us all things also?

33 [c]Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s chosen? it is[d]God that justifieth.

34 Who shall condemn? it is Christ which is dead: yea, or rather, which is risen again, who is also at the right hand of God, and maketh request also for us.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of [e]Christ? shall tribulation or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

37 [a]Nevertheless, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

These words are quite amazing. Paul says nothing – that is no thing – is able to separate us from the love of Jesus Christ. God’s love is so big, so powerful that it overcomes all obstacles. No one can condemn us. No one can charge us with anything. No one can pull us out of His hand.

Why? Because God gives us His only Son. As Paul says, if God does not spare His own Son in order to save us, why would He allow us to be lost once we are found? God is not illogical.

“We Know And Believe The Love” ( 1 John 4: 16, KJV ) by Carley Evans


One of the saddest personality flaws is the inability to know and believe that you are loved. Janis Joplin had such a personality flaw; she was incapable of believing people loved her. Despite accolades for her music, she lead a barren existence of self-doubt, self-hatred, and abject loneliness. By loneliness, I am not referring to solitude, but to that feeling of complete isolation in the midst of shouting people — people shouting adoration and respect and yes — love. The loneliest moments for Janis were likely those in the midst of her public admirers. Janis also unfortunately did not know and believe the love of those closest to her, no matter how they tried to convince her. She found herself totally unlovable.

The author of 1 John writes that “we know and believe the love that God has to us. God is love.”

What an amazing statement — read it again. “We know and believe the love that God has to [or toward] us.” Why? Because “God is love.” And if we know and believe God, then we know and believe His love. Like Paul reminds, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) “What shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35) Essentially, assures Paul, nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” (Romans 8:39)

Do not insult God. Do not hold yourself in such low esteem that you fail to realize God is love. Know and believe the love God has toward you! His love does not depend upon you; His love is wholly dependent upon the sacrifice of His Son.

“The Grace Of One Man” ( Romans 5: 15, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“How much more do those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ,” writes Paul to the church at Rome. (Romans 5:17) “How much more does the grace of God and the gift overflow to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:15) “Through one righteous act there is life-giving justification for everyone.” (Romans 5:18) “Through one man’s obedience the many are made righteous.” (Romans 5:19) “Grace is multiplied even more.” (Romans 5:20) “Grace reigns through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:21)

Whose obedience does Paul highlight? Certainly not Adam’s or Eve’s. Certainly not mine or yours. Rather, Paul writes of one man’s obedience, of the one man, Jesus Christ who obeyed God the Father completely. Through Jesus’ obedience is “life-giving justification.” Through Jesus’ grace, “the many are made righteous.” Jesus’ grace overflows to us as does the gift of His own righteousness.

“What shall we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? Absolutely not!” (Romans 6:1) “What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not!” (Romans 6:15) “What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He does not even spare His own Son but offers Him up for us all; how does He not grant also with Him us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the One who justifies.” (Romans 8:31-33)

“Progenitor Of Love” ( 1 John 4: 9, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


The author of the first letter of John writes of love, of what love is and of its progenitor — God. “Love consists in this: not that we love God, but that He loves us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10) This amazing love “was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” (1 John 4:9)

Living through Christ allows us to know the love of God, for as God the Father loves His Son, so He also loves His Son’s brothers — that is, us. We are adopted into God’s family as children, and “if children, also heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ — seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:17) “The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:15) “In the same way, the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27)

The Holy Spirit Himself prays for us to God the Father, reminding Him of His Son’s ultimate sacrifice, and the effectiveness of the Blood of Christ in washing away our failings, mistakes, omissions, and sins. God the Father looks at us, and sees Jesus. In the same way, we should look at one another and see our brother, Jesus Christ. We should love one another as He loves us.

Always remember, it is “not that we love God.” (1 John 4:10) The truth is that “God is love.” (1 John 4:16)

“Our High Tower Of Refuge” ( Proverbs 29: 25, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“A man’s fears will prove a snare to him, but he who trusts in the Lord has a high tower of refuge.”

We fear so much despite being commanded to fear not. “Say to the anxious, Be strong and fear not. See, your God comes with vengeance, with dread retribution He comes to save you. Then shall blind men’s eyes be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb shout aloud; for water springs up in the wilderness and torrents flow in dry land. The mirage becomes a pool.” (Isaiah 35: 4 – 7)

In the wilderness and dry land, the mirage becomes a pool. In the midst of suffering, God comes to save. “If God is on our side, who is against us?” asks Paul. (Romans 8: 31) Who are we to fear others? “Humble yourselves then under God’s mighty hand, and He will lift you up in due time. Cast all your cares on Him, for you are His charge.” (1 Peter 5: 6 – 7)

Do not be ensnared by your fear of mankind or even your fear of our adversary. For our enemy is defeated and our Lord is our “high tower of refuge.”

“He Himself Is The Remedy” ( 1 John 2: 2, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“My children, in writing thus to you my purpose is that you should not commit sin. But should anyone commit a sin, we have one to plead our cause with the Father, Jesus Christ, and He is just. He is Himself the remedy for the defilement of our sins, not only our sins only but for the sins of all the world.” (1 John 2: 1 – 2)

Yes, we sin. And, sin defiles us. But, a greater truth exists: Jesus is the remedy for our sin and defilement. Both are destroyed on the Cross.

“God’s act of grace is all out of proportion to Adam’s wrongdoing,” writes Paul. “For the judicial action, following upon the one offense, issues a verdict of condemnation, but the act of grace, following upon so many misdeeds, issues a verdict of acquittal.” (Romans 5: 15, 16)

Acquittal, a verdict of not-guilty, is the gift of Jesus Christ to those who believe.

“The conclusion of the matter is this: there is no condemnation for those who are united with Christ Jesus, for in Christ Jesus the life-giving law of the Spirit sets you free from the law of sin and death. What the law can never do, because our lower nature robs it of all potency, God does: by sending His own Son in a form like that of our own sinful nature, and as a sacrifice for sin, He passes judgment against sin within that very nature, so that the commandment of the law finds fulfillment in us, whose conduct, no longer under the control of our lower nature, is directed by the Spirit.” (Romans 8: 1 – 4)

God’s Spirit within us directs us. “Thanks be to God! In a word, then, I myself, subject to God’s law as a rational being, am yet, in my unspiritual nature, a slave to the law of sin.” (Romans 7: 25)

The only rescue, the final remedy is Jesus.

“If we claim to be sinless, we are self-deceived and strangers to the truth. If we confess our sins, He is just, and may be trusted to forgive our sins and cleanse us from every kind of wrong; but if we say we have committed no sin, we make Him out to be a liar, and then His Word has no place in us.” (1 John 1: 8 – 10)

Freedom From Condemnation (Romans 8: 1 – 2, ESV) by Carley Evans


“With my flesh,” says Paul, “I serve the law of sin.” (Romans 7: 25)

Yet, in the next moment, Paul writes to the Roman church: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

The key to this freedom from condemnation is being in Christ Jesus. “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.” (Romans 8: 3)

Now we are set free from the law of sin and death. “The law of the Spirit has set [us] free.”

God, the Holy Spirit, sets us free from condemnation — for Jesus satisfies the wrath of God the Father. The Holy Spirit seals us for the day of judgment when Jesus will stand in the gap for us. The Father accepts His Son’s sacrifice, sparing us what He did not spare His Son.