Stop and Celebrate

Having heard much good news so far in Romans, today’s sermon is simply a celebration. We stop to celebrate the joy Paul expresses in Romans 8:31-39:

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?  Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?  (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

First, let’s be sure we understand the “wonderful things” Paul references. We have been hearing about the Holy Spirit in us and among us. This all ties to the work on the cross, of course, its resultant Resurrection, and the glory of the Lord being among us and available to us despite our status as sinners.

I’m asking everyone to take a moment for a little personal meditation. What or who do you think is trying to separate you from God?

  • Who among you has trouble or calamity?
  • Do any of you feel persecuted? (If not, at least the thought of how others have been persecuted and how safe we feel in our faith can give us a little perspective.)
  • Do you ever feel under spiritual attack?

Hear the message again. Christ, our savior, has won the victory. Know that he stands with you; know that he will not be overcome by any force in heaven or on earth.

Let that confidence give you hope and joy, and let that hope and joy shape your lives now and forever!

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