And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love

romans 838-39

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 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.  Romans 8:38-39

There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God.  The apostle Paul as he writes these words truly communicates that nothing can separate us from God’s love.  Many today have a false perception of the love of God because for most of their lives they have been hurt by people they thought were suppose to love and support them.

Many believe that God’s love is based upon our performance or our behavior.  But God’s love is eternal and unconditional.  He desires to lavish His love upon us and when we rightly understand God’s love we will grow in intimacy with Jesus.  The reason many struggle in their relationship with God is because they have a wrong understanding of God’s love.

Some because of legalism believe that God’s love has to be earned and that somehow God’s love changes based upon our obedience.  But if God’s love changed based upon our behavior it wouldn’t be love.  If our love was based upon our behavior then we would constantly live in fear of God believing that somehow He would take His love from us.

But the truth is that He has chosen to love us.  He understands our every weakness and He still chooses to love us.  He loves us because He is love.  Love is His very nature and when we have a right understanding of His love we will draw near daily, growing in His love.

As we grow in His love, we are filled with His love.  As we are filled with His love we will naturally desire to lavish His love upon others.  The world is filled with broken and lost people and the Lord is simply looking for those who will be vessels of His love.  The only way to be filled with His love is to draw near to Him and spend time alone with Him in His presence.  Day by day we are transformed into His nature and character by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh

Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, [a]called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a [b]descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power [c]by the resurrection from the dead, according to the [d]Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship [e]to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as [f]saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 1:1-7

This is quite the introduction to the book of Romans.  The apostle Paul begins by listing himself and refers to himself as a bond servant.  The apostle Paul more than anyone understood that his salvation was simply a result of the grace of God.  Paul didn’t deserve salvation like all of us, but the Lord chose and set him a part for God’s plans and His purposes.  The apostle Paul was chosen by the Lord to establish the foundation and begin to take the gospel to the uttermost.

Throughout the old testament we are given prophecies that point to the messiah who is to come.  The nation of Israel thought their messiah would be a conquering king like king David and failed to understand that Jesus had to come and give His life so that they could be set free from the slavery of sin.  But when we examine many of the prophecies that speak about the coming Messiah and we look and examine the life of Jesus Christ we see that He fulfilled every prophecy that concerned His first coming and will one day finish the rest when He returns to establish His kingdom.

Through the linage established in Matthew and Luke we see that Jesus was indeed a descendant of King David.  God established a covenant with King David that he would always have a descendant to rule upon the throne and this was fulfilled through Jesus Christ.  For there is coming a day when Jesus shall return and established His kingdom upon the earth.  The linage of Jesus in Matthew follows the line through Joseph, while the linage in Luke follows the linage through Mary.  God so orchestrated all things to fulfill His sovereign will and His purposes.

It was the resurrection that once and for all truly proved that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.  Yes when Jesus walked the earth He did many miracles and John even writes that if everything Jesus did was written down there would be enough books to contain the accounts.  But through the resurrection Jesus demonstrated His Lordship and authority over death and the grave.  Because of the resurrection we know that Jesus lives forevermore and that because of the resurrection that nothing is impossible.  It is the resurrection and Calvary that is foundational and central to the truth of the gospel message.

Paul knew that it was only by grace that he was called to be an apostle.  He didn’t choose to be an apostle and he hadn’t done anything to earn it.  But because of God’s grace and mercy Paul was given the high calling of taking the gospel to the gentiles.  Before Paul every came to know Christ, he was a man driving to destroy Christianity.  But on that day on the Damascus road his life would be changed for an eternity and he would be used to write a majority of the New Testament and establish the foundation of Christianity.

We who are in Christ today and for every believer throughout history who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ are only saved by the grace and mercy of Almighty God.  None of us have done anything to earn our salvation.  No of us have been deserving of salvation.  We are simply saved by the grace of God and when we remember and understand this truth we will always walk in humility throughout our life on this earth.

Those who come to faith in Jesus Christ is the definition of a saint.  Being referred to as a saint is not something earned.  A saint is simply a sinner saved by grace.  Some have distorted this and made it seem the church determines who are saints and that some how it is by merit.  But this is simply a distortion of the truth.  Anyone who comes to Christ and receives Him as Lord and Savior are a saint.  Our righteousness is not established by our works or the way we live our lives, but it is simply found in the perfection of who Jesus is.  As we grow in Christ the nature and character of Christ is established within us and we develop and outward righteousness.

Romans 6:11-14: In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness,but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.  Romans 6:11-14

We are called to count ourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Jesus has made the way for us once again to have a living relationship with the Living God.  When sin entered the human race in the Garden of Eden it separated humanity from God.  But through the shed blood of Jesus our sins have been forgiven.  They have been nailed to the cross.

We are called not to allow sin to reign in our mortal.  The freedom we have in Christ has enabled us to be free from the curse of sin and death and to walk in obedience to the Lord and His leading.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to walk in obedience on a daily basis.  The key is relying fully upon the Lord and drawing near to Him.

We are called to offer our bodies as instruments of righteousness.  Many of the gentile believers Paul wrote to had come our of pagan religious systems where sexual immorality was a huge part of idol worship.  Those who followed after idol worshipped believed that through sexual sacrifice they could please the gods they served.  There were prostitute temples that filled the Roman Empire.

But once these gentiles became believers they were to no longer use their bodies and their lives for wicked purposes.  Idolatry is steep in demonic activity and the so called gods of the world are simply lying demonic spirits masquerading as gods.  Those who were talking part in these idolatrous practices were simply blinded by the lies and deception of Satan.

But we who are in Christ today are called to use our lives for His glory and righteousness.  True saving faith in Jesus Christ will transform our hearts and birth within us a desire for righteousness.  It is impossible for a person to claim to follow Christ and continue to remain a slave to sin.  If we are enslaved by sin then we have not fully turned our hearts over to Jesus Christ.

Sin is no longer our master.  Through Jesus Christ we have come under the new covenant.  It is the better covenant that is based upon the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  It is only the blood of Jesus that can atone for and wash away our sins.  In Christ we are free and we are called to not use our bodies as instruments of righteousness.  Let us always remember that faith without works is dead.  If we have truly come to authentic faith in Jesus Christ then we will desire to draw near to the Lord and walk in obedience with Him.

Romans 6:8-10: Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all;but the life he lives, he lives to God.  Romans 6:8-10

When we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ we died with Him in His death and we rise with Him in His resurrection.  We rise to new life in Christ.  In Him we are a brand new creation.  Our sins and the curse of sin and death was nailed to the cross.  The cross is the ultimate victory over this world and Satan.  Satan believed in crucifying the Son of God that he was destroying God’s plan.  What he didn’t understand is that it was God’s ultimate plan of salvation and freedom and the arrogance and pride of the enemy blinded him.

Since Christ has been raised to life, He has overcome death and the grave.  The greatest fear that many have on this earth is that of death.  They are fearful of the unknown once they step from this earth and enter into eternity.  But in Christ we have nothing to fear.  For by placing our faith and trust in Him we are set free from the curse of sin and death and will spend all eternity in God’s kingdom.  This is why the gospel is called good news because salvation is a gift and is not something earned.  When a person places their faith and trust in Jesus Christ they are born again and begin to walk with Him each and every day.  It is so important that we turn from the wickedness of sin and the desires of this world.  The enemy desires a foothold into our lives and our greatest defense is simply by drawing near to Jesus with our whole heart.

The death Jesus died was once and for all.  The greatest difference between the old covenant under the law and the new covenant under the blood of Jesus is the blood of Jesus.  The blood of bulls and goats could not atone the sin of humanity.  Sacrifice after sacrifice had to be made over and over again.  But in Christ one sacrifice had to be made because His death and resurrection is sufficient.  Jesus lives forevermore and all who place their hope and trust in Him will do likewise.  This world is coming to an end.  The return of the Lord draws ever nearer.  Prepare your hearts daily and simply seek Him with all that is within you.

Romans 6:5-7: we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.  Romans 6:5-7

We are no longer slaves of sin when we have placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  Because of Jesus death and resurrection, we have died with Christ and we have been raised to new life with Him.  Before we come to Christ we are enslaved to sin and the desires of the sinful nature.  But it is only through Christ that true freedom can be found.

Many in this world try to find freedom in man’s wisdom and man made religions.  In the end it simply places people in deeper bondage.  They believe they are in control, but in fact they are enslaved to the desires of the sinful nature.

But Jesus through his death and resurrection demonstrated the ultimate victory over this world and the grave.  For it is only when we place our faith in Jesus and fully rely upon Him that we are set free and walk in victory.  Our growth in Christ is a progressive process.  As we grow there are many times when we will fall down and make mistakes.  But we mature as we learn from each mistake and through every battle we become battle hardened.

Romans 6:1-4: What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  Romans 6:1-4

Paul opens this section by asking the question shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  Paul made the statement where sin abounds, grace abounds even more.  Some accused Paul of being light on sin.  But Paul was confronting the false teachers of the day.

There were two ends of the spectrum.  There were those who were legalistic and emphasized the law and works and spoke nothing of grace.  They made it seem that our standing before God was based on our performance and our works.  But salvation and right standing before God is based on faith alone.  But Paul also confronted those who only emphasized grace and spoke nothing of living our righteousness.

There are those today who speak of the grace of God over and over again, but speak nothing of living our righteousness.  They speak of our righteousness through the finished work of Christ, but speaks nothing of sanctification.  If we are truly found in Christ we are being sanctified or transformed into the image and character of Christ on a daily basis.  It is impossible to claim to follow Christ and walk with Him daily and not be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Paul says that we have died to sin.  If we have died to sin through the death of Jesus Christ then we cannot be mastered by it.  If we are mastered by sin and living habitually in it then we are not truly dead to sin.  Some struggle with sin because they simply fail to abide daily in Christ and especially fail to have a right understanding of God’s word.

When we were baptized into Christ we were baptized not only into His death but also His resurrection.  We have new life through Jesus Christ.  We are a brand new creation in Christ and are no longer mastered by the desires of sin.  But it is vital that we daily feed our new life in Christ.  If we only indulge in the things of sin the sinful nature will have dominion over us.  We must abide in Christ and draw near to Him daily.

In Christ we have life and have it abundantly.  But what we sow into our lives will take root and produce fruit.  The Lord told me long ago that many people’s lives are simply the result of what they have sown into their lives.  Those who sow the entertainment of the world that is steeped in violence and sex cannot be surprised when destruction bears fruit in their lives.  But those who sow the things of God’s kingdom into their lives will reap the abundant life that Jesus spoke of.  But it requires right stewardship on our part.  Mature Christianity doesn’t happen on accident or by chance.  It is the result of continually seeking Christ and walking with Him on a daily basis.  May we seek Jesus Christ will all our heart and prepare for His near return.

Romans 5:20-21: But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more

20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 5:20-21

The law was put in place to demonstrate the righteousness of God.  The law should humanities need for a savior because it is impossible for us to perfectly keep the law.  If one jot or tittle of the law is broken we have broken the entire law.  But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.  No matter where we have come from or what we have done there is forgiveness in Jesus Christ.  As the Lord draws us we must draw near to Him.  One of the great tactics and tools of the enemy is condemnation.  Satan will try to get us to focus on our past and fear drawing near to the Lord.  But we must remember that in Christ we have been forgiven and we are called by God to draw near unto the throne of grace with confidence.

The righteousness we have in Christ is a gift and is because of the grace of almighty God.  The result of Adams sin was death for the human race.  When Adam sinned both physical and spiritual death were introduced into the human race.  But in Jesus Christ eternal life is found.  Through faith in Christ our sins are forgiven and we are adopted into God’s family.  No matter where we have come from there is healing and restoration found in Jesus Christ.  It requires that we draw near and walk closely with the Lord.

 

Romans 5:18-19: Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people

18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.  Romans 5:18-19

Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we are offered salvation.  When we place our faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God we are justified before the Father because the righteousness of Christ is applied to our lives.  Our sin debt no longer remains and we are a brand new creation in Christ.  Every day is brand new in Christ.  Before we came to Christ we were condemned because of being born into sin.  Because Adam chose to sin in the garden of Eden and disobey the command of the Lord not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, all those born to the race of Adam would be condemned to die because of sin.  But through Christ we have been set free.  God in His grace and His mercy has given us the opportunity to be set free.  But it requires that we humble ourselves before Jesus and give our lives over to Him.

Through the obedience of Christ going to the cross all who place their faith and trust in Him are set free.  The problem for many is they don’t know or understand all they have in Christ.  The continually focus on their past and believe that their past defines their future.  But in Christ we are brand new creations.  No matter where we have come from we are set free because of what Jesus has done.  Our sins have been nailed to the cross and they no longer remain.  Our focus should never be on sin.  If we have placed our faith in Jesus Christ our sins have been forgiven.  If we do sin we know that God is faithful and just to forgive us when we go and seek forgiveness.

In Christ we see the image of who God truly is.  In knowing Jesus we come to know the Father.  Before Jesus came to earth the nation of Israel only knew God from a distance.  They were even terrified to speak His name.  But in Christ the dividing wall between humanity and God has been removed.  On the day when Jesus was crucified the curtain that existed in the holy of holies was torn in two demonstrating that man could once again approach the Living God and walk intimately with Him just as Adam and Eve did.

The reason Jesus went to the cross was to restore all that was lost because Adam and Eve sinned.  God knew Adam and Eve would sin and the plan of salvation was established before the foundations of the world were created.  There are things now that we cannot fully understand.  But when we stand before Christ some day we will fully understand all things.  May we focus our hearts daily upon Jesus and simply grow in Him.  May we experience and come to know the abundant life that Jesus has promised us.  This requires surrender on our part.  As the Holy Spirit moves on our hearts may we be willing to surrender all that the Lord desires.  He desires our whole heart.

Romans 5:15-17

15 But [j]the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression [k]resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions [l]resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.  Romans 5:15-17

The results of Adam decision to sin and Jesus decision to go to the cross are drastically different.  Adam’s decision meant the entire human race was bound and enslaved by sin.  Jesus death on a cross meant that anyone who placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ could be free.  Salvation is a gift from God based on His grace and His mercy.  This offer of salvation is open to all and the Lord knocks on the heart of every person.  Those who respond by their own freewill by placing their faith and trust in Jesus Christ become born again.

The actions of Adam brought sin into the human race and because of God’s holiness and righteousness He must deal with sin with judgment.  Those who refuse the precious gift that Jesus purchased at Calvary with His own life await the judgement and wrath of Almighty God.  But Jesus has made a way for people to be saved.  It is through the single death and resurrection of Jesus that all sin for all time was dealt with.  When we come to Christ there is nothing we have done that is greater than what Jesus has done upon and accomplished upon the cross.  Where sin abounds grace abounds even more.  God’s grace is greater than any wickedness that exist within the life of a person.

The result of Adam’s decision to sin brought both physical and spiritual death into the human race.  But in Jesus Christ we find life and we find it abundantly.  We will reign with Him for all eternity and we are called to reign now with Him in life as we face it each and every day.  We are called to be overcomers.  There is nothing we face that is greater than God’s grace or His strength.  Many times Satan will try to overwhelm us with doubt, fear, discouragement, and worry.  But when we understand where they come from and they are simply meant to strengthen us, we see the Lord’s hand in all things.

Often times when we face challenges on a daily basis we grow in our relationship with God.  As we mature we begin to see challenges and trials in the correct light.  God has so designed everything we face in our lives to refine and mature us.  This journey is about transformation and being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.  Having a right understanding of God’s word is essential for transformation in the Lord.  We are transformed by the renewing of our minds.  May we understand the depths of all that Jesus truly accomplished at Calvary and understand in Him we are truly free.

Romans 5:12-14

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for [h]until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a [i]type of Him who was to come.  Romans 5:12-14

The one who death entered the world through that the apostle Paul writes about is through Adam.  When Adam and Eve were created they were perfect.  But when they sin, death entered into the human race.  People not only would physically face death, but spiritually they would face death in being separated from Almighty God.  For God is holy and He cannot be in the presence of sin.

Before the law was given by Moses from God, sin was not imputed because sin cannot be imputed unless the law stands.  But when the law came it revealed man’s need of a savior.  It demonstrated the righteousness of God and demonstrated man’s inability to keep the law.  There is only one who has kept the law perfectly and that is Jesus Christ.  Because Jesus came to fulfill the law and not destroy it, His blood becomes the perfect sacrifice to cover and pay the price that exist for sin.  As humans we are not able to save ourselves or pay the debt we owe because of sin, but God in His grace and mercy has sent His own Son who has given His life to save us.

Even though sins could not be imputed until the law was put into place.  From the time of Adam to Moses humanity faced death.  The reasons this is is because if humanity in their sin and degradation were to live forever, there would be no hope of redemption.  But God in His mercy limited the life of man upon the earth as man through the fear of death would seek a solution.  Many in this world are fearful of death who do not know Jesus Christ.  It is our fear of death that when presented with the gospel will be the tool used by the Holy Spirit to soften our hearts to the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

But it isn’t until we come to the revelation of the love of God and the truth of Jesus Christ that we truly come to understand our precious need of a Savior and how wonderful and beautiful Christ is.  He in His own freewill took the punishment and wrath we deserve because of sin.  But when we understand His sacrifice for us we simply desire to give Him all of our lives and lay down our lives for His kingdom.