His Love is Here to Stay

Mar 21, 2023 | Articles, by Nick Kennicott, Marrow Ministries Free Content

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37-39)

There is perhaps no better example than Romans 8:37-39 throughout Scripture that highlights the fact that Christians are secure in Christ and that we can have overwhelming confidence in God’s love for all eternity. This is God’s great promise that everything that we have and are made able to do is built upon the preserving, life-giving, powerful work of God the Holy Spirit, who helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26). Whatever comes to pass in this life happens because God intends it for our good, and our good is that we are conformed to the image of the Son (Romans 8:28). God is always working for the good of those who love Him. And so Paul writes in Romans 8:38 that he is convinced that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. He lays out this reality in six categories:

Neither death nor life…

It is difficult for us to imagine what death is like, and so often, we are filled with fear when we think about it because it is an unknown experience. Death is what separates us from what we know to be real and true on earth, but we can believe what the Bible says and understand that in death, we actually experience unspeakable joy. Paul wrote to the Philippians that to live is Christ but to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). He also wrote that he struggled between wanting to live and die, and in the end, concluded, “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Philippians 1:23). He also reminded us that to be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). Quite the opposite of being separated from God and His love in any way, we are very much present with God and His love for us in death.

Life, Paul also mentions, cannot separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, and that includes those times when we sin. “By no means” (Romans 6:1-2) does that mean the Christian is free to go out and sin, but it does mean that even when we do sin, God doesn’t stop loving us. If you are in Christ, you are His, and He is yours, and in all the ups and downs, the highs and lows, and the peaks and valleys of life, you can be certain that nothing in your life will separate you from the love of God.

Neither angels nor rulers (principalities)…

Paul most likely has in mind those demons under the direction of the Evil one that will seek to do us harm. In other words, because Christ defeated Satan and His minions on the cross and in the resurrection, there is nothing about them or what they can do that will separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Colossians 2:15 says, “God disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Christ.” This is not to say they will not try to harm you in their dying breaths—they will, at times, find avenues of approach they can take to torment you, to make you question reality, and most certainly to question God’s love for you, but their power is limited by God, and their abilities do not extend so far as to get you to a place where you will be separated from the love of God. There is no promise that we will not encounter the supernatural forces in the unseen realm or have to put up with their attempts to take us down, but in the end, we can be assured that there is no ghost, no demon, no Satan, no supernatural power or principality that can separate God’s people from His love.

Neither things present nor things to come…

Sometimes the worst seasons of life can feel like an eternity. In a sin-sick world, there are times that are not fun or enjoyable and can be downright miserable, exhausting, and terrifying. It is actually a gracious gift from God that we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow or 5 or 10 years down the road—we wouldn’t be able to handle all of that at one time, and if we did know, we would do everything we could to try to change what God has already planned for our good. Instead, the veil of the future is down and will not be lifted until the time is right, and as much as we want to tear through that veil, we must wait and trust the Lord. But it’s not a blind trust because we have the great promise of Romans 8 that nothing is happening now and nothing that is going to come up in the future that will separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

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Nor powers…

Since the beginning of time, God’s people have had to deal with the reality that they will face opposition in the civil realm, and more specifically, government authorities that misuse their God-given power to harm the people of God.

When the early Church father John Chrysostom, the archbishop of Constantinople, was brought before the Roman Emperor, he was threatened with banishment from Rome if he continued to be a Christian and preach the gospel. Chrysostom replied, “Thou canst banish me, for this world is my father’s house.” The Emperor said, “But I will slay thee,” to which Chrysostom replied, “Nay, thou canst not for my life is hid with Christ in God.” The Emperor replied, “I will take away thy treasures,” to which Chrysostom responded, “Nay, but thou canst not, for my treasure is in heaven, and my heart is there.” Again the Emperor tried to back him down and said, “but I will drive thee away from man, and thou shalt have no friend left,” to which Chrysostom explained, “nay, thou canst not, for I have a friend in heaven from whom thou canst not separate me. I defy thee; for there is nothing that thou canst do to hurt me.” This is the kind of confidence that Paul is after within us. No earthly power can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Neither height nor depth…

It doesn’t matter how high you travel if one day we can figure out how to go to another far-off galaxy that we don’t even know about yet, nor does it matter how far down we can go to the deepest pit of existence; we will not be separated from the love of God. Psalm 139:7-8 says, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, you are there.” Sometimes we tend to forget that there is a vast unknown world that humans may never discover in this life, and yet it’s all in the palm of God’s hand. If you’re a sole human being floating 30 million lightyears away from the Earth, God knows exactly where you are and what you’re doing, and if you are His, He is still loving you the same as when your feet are planted firmly on the ground. From the top of Mount Everest to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, our God’s love goes with us.

Nor anything else in all creation…

In case there was anything he missed, Paul gives us the all-encompassing statement to make sure we get the point. There is nothing, not one thing, nada, zilch, zero, that can separate us from the love of God. No thing, no person, no power, no principality, no galaxy, no universe, no power of Hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck us from His hand. He loves me; He loves me not, is not a game God plays. You may struggle at times, and you may stumble, but if you are a child of God, you can be assured that His love is here to stay.

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