“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.”
Romans 8:35-37 & Psalm 44:22
Paul was speaking to the Romans about the love of God being beyond our knowledge. So much so that He gave his only Son, Jesus who intercedes between us and God, so that we are justified before God. In other words, when God looks at Christians He sees the righteousness of Jesus and we are justified through Jesus’ righteousness, not our own. So, given these facts from scripture, the passage for today asks. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” The short answer is no one; nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Paul goes on to mention some of the things done by people and Satan as they attempt to separate us from God. He mentions tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness (lack of proper clothing), peril (hazards) and sword (weapons meant to kill us), all of which are things people and Satan use to attempt to separate us from God.
Then Paul quotes an interesting little comment from Psalm 44:22 in the middle of his discourse. "For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Since the Israelites only worshiped one God, they were hated by everyone. The fact that Israel only had one God and worshiped only Him meant that all the other gods of all other people were false gods. This infuriated the worshipers of these other gods.
“How dare they disrespect our gods!”
This is exactly what’s happening today. The hatred for Christians, unwilling to bow to false gods, grows every day.
“How dare you not believe in Allah, Buddha, Satan, or our pagan gods! How dare you for not believing in our god, Mother Nature and the theory of evolution!”
Those that believe in any god that is not the God of the Bible are absolutely and insanely angry with Christians. Therefore, Paul was saying that these believers in false gods want to kill us continually as sheep for the slaughter. Christians are hated and non-Christians want us to go away, and if we don’t go away, they are willing to kill us to get rid of us.
Then Paul goes on to say, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Through all the trials, tribulations and persecutions, Christians are more than conquerors, because through our faith in Jesus, we win in the end. We win the inheritance of a piece of real estate in Heaven. We win eternal life without pain, infirmity or death, and eternal peace, comfort and service to God. We win a personal relationship with the creator of everything. We win many other promises from God written about and described in the Bible. We win in ways that are indescribable in any language, thought or dream. We win!
Faithfulness is rewarded, but it’s not about the rewards. It’s about the love we have for the person who was willing to die for us, rise again on the third day and reign forever. It’s about our willing service to the one that gave everything so that we could inherit all of God’s promises. Our greatest blessing is our love and service to our Lord Jesus, our God. The rewards are just the proverbial, “cherry on top.”
Through Jesus and only Jesus, in the end, we win!