I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, not any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
I want to share a new insight I gleaned from a Tim Keller sermon rooted in Romans 8:28, entitled, “Does God Control Everything?” I have written over and over again in this blog about the unconditional love of God in Christ Jesus, which is poured out on sinners like you and me. Keller’s sermon he took this truth a step further. He said –
Nothing can separate him from us. . . . He held onto us; he was our Savior. He died for us! Now that’s how you know nothing can separate us from the love of God. It’s not an abstraction. It’s not just saying, “Oh, I just believe that God loves me unconditionally.” No, he loves you counter-conditionally; he loves you against conditions because of Jesus.
I just love that! We are not only loved unconditionally; we are loved counter-conditionally—that is, against our every condition. Think about it this way: In our natural condition, we are sinners and utterly without hope apart from the saving grace of Almighty God. We are in a dead condition that needs to be made alive, and that only happens because God loves us counter-conditionally.
But it doesn’t end there! After we have been made alive with Christ, we are still sinners in need of a Savior. When we seek to serve ourselves rather than our Savior, we are rebels on the run, just like our first parents, clad in the ludicrous fig leaves of their own self-righteousness, hiding in the brush from the Sovereign Lord. And yet, God still loves us in our rebellious condition . . . He loves us counter-conditionally.
I don’t know where this message finds you today, but I want you to remember that, regardless of the condition you find yourself in, nothing can ever separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus. You see in today’s passage that Paul included the phrase, “nor anything else in all creation.” The apostle is directing us to consider this counter-conditional love from the deepest possible perspective. Since everything is in the category of creation except God, that category includes you. Christian, there is nothing you can do, nor is there anything that can be done to you, that can separate you from the love of God that is ours in Christ Jesus.
I don’t care how badly you’ve stumbled or how dark and dirty is the pit you are in today. Nothing, even in your worst possible condition, can ever separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus, because you are loved—not just unconditionally, but counter-conditionally. Let that truth set you free from any attacks of the devil that may be trying to keep you down.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!