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Nothing Separates Us from Christ

An Expository Sermon by David Lee Brown


Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus. The question is, are you saved? If you are truly saved, there is a distinct difference between who you were and who you are in Christ. Your new life of obedience to Biblical scripture is evident to everyone. You are a new creature according to 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." If this distinction between your old character and your new character is genuine and visible, and you live every moment of your life for Christ, you are saved. So, if you indeed belong to Christ, what can separate you from Him and His love for you? Nothing!


Romans 8:35-39 (King James Version)


"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."


In verse 35, Paul asks the readers of the epistle to Rome a question. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Then Paul provides several examples of this that could potentially separate us from Christ if we are not saved by God's grace.


Paul starts with tribulation. Tribulation is the Greek word thlibo, according to Strong's meaning "afflicted(-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble."[1] If you can be in anguish or active persecution and still praise the Lord, you are saved and cannot be separated from Christ. Then Paul adds distress and persecution to add weight to the term tribulation, which encompasses anguish, distress, trouble, and persecution. Paul emphasizes that none of these burdensome things can separate you from the love of Christ and your salvation. These first stressors are primarily psychological, but Paul continues with physical burdens.


Paul talks about famine. This deprivation is from the Greek word leipo, which Strong's concordance describes as "a scarcity of food -- dearth, famine, hunger."[2] The physical lack of food we need to survive can't separate us from the love of Christ and our salvation. So, even death due to starvation can't separate us from Christ because when we die and leave our earthly body, we will be instantly present with the Lord.


Then Paul speaks of nakedness. Yet another form of deprivation that can potentially kill a person. Our clothes protect our modesty and from cold, heat, and excessive exposure to sunlight, wind, rain, snow, and more. Our military provides clothes for our troops and sailors for every season to protect them and keep them comfortable in any environment. But even if we are naked and die due to exposure, we can't be separated from the love of Christ and our salvation.


Peril is yet another physical danger related to the last physical peril that Paul mentions, war. The sword can mean a sword or knife, or it can, in a broader sense, mean war. The Strong's concordance shares the meaning of the Greek word mache as "a knife, i.e., Dirk; figuratively, war, judicial punishment -- sword."[3] So, even potential death from an attack or war can't separate us from the love of Christ or our salvation.


As it is Written


Verse 36 says, "As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." This passage is an Old Testament quote from Psalm 44:22, "Yet for Your sake, we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." This quote is from a Psalm written by the Sons of Korah. It describes God's provision against Israel's enemies and complains about God failing to show up in some of the conflicts. The Psalm says Israel doesn't forget God or follow false gods and worships God through all their adversity. But the author of this Psalm, inspired by the Holy Spirit, shares an example of how Israel should react, not necessarily how they did react. Israel often turned their back on God and suffered the consequences in battle.


In other words, it's okay to complain if, in the end, you praise the Lord. It's okay if some people perish if it serves God's will. We live in a fallen world full of fallen people, so there will be tribulation, physical trauma, and death. It's our job to love the Lord through it all, knowing that God's will is much more important than our will. We need to seek and accept God's will in every situation consistently.


Seeking God's will is why Paul says in verse 37, "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. We have already been crowned as conquerors. Christians are winners through all tribulation, physical affliction, danger, and death because nothing can separate us from the love of Christ and our salvation.


Paul's and Our Conclusion


Paul says, "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 8:38-39


Persuaded (peithó) means "agree, assure, believe, have confidence."[4] according to Strong's concordance. Paul confidently believes that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ and our salvation. Not even death can separate us from the love of Christ and our salvation. This life we are living, with all its ups and downs, trials and tribulations, dangers, and strife, cannot separate us from the love of Christ and our salvation. Angelic beings, leaders, and governments can't separate us from the love of Christ and our salvation. Nothing we are experiencing today and nothing we will experience in the future can separate us from the love of Christ and our salvation. Neither height, lofty things like mountains or ramparts, nor depths like caverns or deep oceans can separate us from the love of Christ and our salvation.


Paul mentions that no other creature can separate us from the love of Christ and our salvation. Creature or ktisis in Greek refers to anything created from nothing (ex nihilo), meaning anything God created.[5] In other words, absolutely nothing that ever was or will be can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.


Salvation is Eternal, so Nothing Separates Us from Christ


If you are genuinely saved, and the Holy Spirit of God dwells within you, and you have been changed and are a new creature in Christ, nothing can separate you from the love of Christ and your salvation. On the other hand, if you profess faith with no change in your behavior or thoughts, you are probably not saved. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" But let's look at the ESV for more clarity, "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you fail to meet the test!"[6] That test is what I shared at the beginning of this sermon. Are you saved? If you are truly saved, there is a distinct difference between who you were and who you are in Christ. Your new life of obedience to Biblical scripture is evident to everyone. You are a new creature according to 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." If this distinction between your old character and your new character is genuine and visible, and you live every moment of your life for Christ, you are saved. Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ and your salvation.


If You Are Not Saved


If you're not saved, you can be. You must believe that Christ was born, died a willing but horrible death on a cross, and on the third day after his death, was raised from the dead and 40 days later ascended alive into heaven. He did all this for you so that you could have eternal life, a home in heaven, and an eternal relationship with God. If you believe all this, repent of your sins and accept Jesus as your Savior. He will fill you with the Holy Spirit. Then make him your Lord by purposefully being obedient to the Word of God – the Holy Bible. Live your life in constant prayer and worship by thinking, saying, and doing everything in a manner that praises, honors, and glorifies Jesus Christ, our Savior, and our God.


Let's Pray


Lord, we praise and honor you for everything you have done for us and all you have in store for us in the future. Lord, please let us know we are saved by the character of our lives, our willing dependence on you, and our obedience to Your Holy Bible. Please give us the strength to always praise and honor you through all the hardships of this life. You alone are worthy of all praise, honor, and glory no matter what happens in our lives. Lord, we pray that You provide Your perfect will for all those on our prayer list and all the prayer requests made today. We thank you and praise you always, in Jesus' name. Amen!

[1] "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance: Greek 2347. θλῖψις (thlipsis) -- Tribulation." Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages. Accessed February 18, 2023. https://biblehub.com/strongs/greek/2347.htm. [2] "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance: Greek 3042. λιμός (limos) -- Hunger, Famine." Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages. Accessed February 18, 2023. https://biblehub.com/strongs/greek/3042.htm. [3] "Strong's Greek: 3163. μάχη (maché) -- a Fight." Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages. Accessed February 18, 2023. https://biblehub.com/greek/3163.htm. [4] "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance: Greek 3982. πείθω (peithó) -- to Persuade, to Have Confidence." Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages. Accessed February 18, 2023. https://biblehub.com/strongs/greek/3982.htm. [5] "Strong's Greek: 2937. κτίσις (ktisis) -- Creation (the Act or the Product)." Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages. Accessed February 18, 2023. https://biblehub.com/greek/2937.htm. [6] "Bible Gateway Passage: 2 Corinthians 13:5 - English Standard Version." Bible Gateway. Accessed February 18, 2023. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+13%3A5&version=ESV.

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