Who Shall Separate Us?

“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.” (Romans 8:35-39)

We come now to the closing passage of the 8th Chapter of Romans. We saw in the first three chapters of this Epistle the need for Justification in Jesus Christ. From the closing of Chapter Three through Chapter 5 we saw how to acquire Salvation by faith. Chapters 6 and 7 spoke of Sanctification in Christ and Chapter 8 has demonstrated how a believer, now justified by faith, can live a holy life through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Everything up to this point has shown the Christian what it is we have in Christ.

Yet if the foundation on which we stand is unstable and insecure, what lasting hope do any of us have? If our position with God in Christ is insecure, in whom can we trust? For this reason, it is befitting that the doctrinal portion of Romans concludes with the most elegant and comprehensive passage on the eternal security of the believer found in the Word of God. We stand not on shifting sands, but on solid bedrock. Jesus Christ is the Rock of our Salvation and the foothold we have will not slip from under us.

The answer to the question, “who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” is no one. No one and no thing can ever pull us away from the firm grasp of our Savior. No sufferings or trials in life nor death itself can cause a believer to lose the Salvation they have in the Lord Jesus Christ. No powers or principalities of the enemy, no fallen angel of Satan can tear us away from the mighty hand of God. There is nothing and no one that is not covered in the list given in this passage. Nothing can separate us from God.

Perhaps one of the most important items mentioned on this list is the one which says nor any other creature, because that would include ourselves. Is it possible for a believer to utterly and completely renounce their faith in Jesus Christ and turn away from Him? I believe that it is. But is it possible through our own sin and folly to disqualify ourselves for Salvation? No. If we are genuinely trusting Christ, we simply cannot forfeit our Salvation through sin. Once we are born-again into God’s family, we do not ever cease to be part of that family because we have committed too many transgressions. Unless we choose through our own will and volition, we can never separate ourselves from the Salvation we have in Jesus.

I would like to close this post with what I admit might be a rather unusual illustration. I used to frequently watch the Television series “Pawn Stars” on the History Channel. If you are unfamiliar with the show, it is a reality program about three generations of a family who operate a pawn shop in Las Vegas. The father of the general manager originally opened the store before passing most of the duties on to him. In turn, the current manager is grooming his own son to take over the position when he is ready to fully assume responsibilities. In one of the episodes, the son decided to go against his father and grandfather’s instructions and took a gamble by spending an enormous amount of the shop’s money on a hot-air balloon.

When Corey, the son, told his father about the “great deal” he thought he had made, his father was furious. Not only was the father, Rick, angry that the son had disobeyed him, he was deeply concerned that the poor investment would cost the business a lot of money. Rick reprimanded Corey firmly and demanded that he cancel the deal he had made and try to recover the money he had spent.

What made an impression on me about this whole ordeal was the fact that never, not once, did Corey’s father suggest that he intended to disown Corey for his disobedience. Why? Because he was his son and that relationship was never in jeopardy, regardless of how badly he messed up. Rick never even threatened to fire Corey for his lapse in judgment (as I am sure he would have likely done had it been a different employee who was not his own flesh and blood!).

Our position as sons and daughters of God is not at risk because we sin and have our own lapses in judgment. Will our Father be displeased with us when we sin and disobey Him? Yes. Will He expect us to make things right as much as possible? Absolutely. Will He ever disown us and cast us out of His family because of our own errors? Of course not.

Nothing will separate us from the love of God. Not even our own shortcomings.

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,