Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
As lockdown starts to ease a bit more for us in Wales and we are allowed to meet another household, that feeling of separation is perhaps starting to lift slightly. Whether it’s distance from church family, physical family, friends or colleagues, we have all in recent months experienced a sense of separation. For many of our brothers and sisters across the world, isolation from other believers is the norm. We have been blessed for many years with no restrictions, and even now are thankful for the technology to allow us to meet in a different way. All of these are outside of our control. How blessed we are with the reminder in Romans 8:35 that nothing ‘shall separate us from the love of Christ”
Christ’s love is permanent
Human love can be a fickle thing; even the most stable of relationships can be rocked by problems. In fact very little in life is actually permanent (even the most ‘perfect’ of marriages are eventually affected by death). Yet in Christ we have an unwavering, unchanging love. How do we know? God was willing to send his own son, (v32) to demonstrate that love, and no human power can do anything to alter that.
Christ’s love is independent
God chose us before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4-5). God chose us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). God knows us intimately (Psalm 139), our sinful natures did not come as a shock to him. His love is not conditional on our actions or our behaviour, we cannot earn that love, it is totally independent from us. Rather John tells us it stems from the very essence of who God is “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). What an encouragement to know that when we mess up God cannot stop loving us!
Christ’s love is beyond circumstances
God’s love is not dependent on our behaviour, but it is also not rocked by circumstances. At no point does God promise that all Christians are immune to trials and difficulties, in fact, we can expect the opposite – this section assumes that we will have trials of varying degrees. The promise here is that no matter what the trial (to the point of martyrdom), God’s love for us is a solid foundation we can depend on. Paul lists a whole range of things we might think of, then in case he has missed something he throws in ‘nor anything else in creation’. None of them can separate us from God’s love, and how do we know that? We are pointed back to Christ! In times of discouragement or when we may feel far from God, we are reminded no situation is greater than God’s love.
Tirzah Jones is a member at Malpas Road Evangelical Church, Newport