Nothing Can Separate Us From God’s Love

{Romans 8:38-39}

From swaddling clothes in a manger to linen burial cloth in a tomb. From angels proclaiming his birth to angels comforting a weeping Mary in the garden. From life to death to life again. Nothing, no, not any sad thing we could possibly imagine, can separate us from God’s love. Because of what Jesus did for us, because of the truths in the first eight chapters of Romans, because the tomb was empty, we’ve finally come to this infinitely comforting truth; not even death can separate us from the heart of God which is forever and always love for us.

Soak in that this Easter and celebrate the reality of His never-ending, never-stopping, always-for-us love. Let’s be changed Resurrection People.

***

We made it to Easter! I hope these weeks in Romans have been encouraging, growing, and comforting. I have to admit, it’s a challenging book to read “online,” but I learned so many practical things from Elyse Fitzpatrick’s companion book, as well. I’m glad a few of you have stuck in here with me. I’d love to hear your comments either here or on the Facebook thread to know if you’d be interested in doing an online study {book or Bible} again. There’s a few things I would change up, but I’ve loved processing through time in the Word on the blog and knowing that others are plugging through Romans with me. I’ll continue to dwell on these great Gospel truths and good news for a long, long time.
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If God Is For Us

{Romans 8:31-34}

:: Tomorrow ::

Romans 8:38-39

Click here for earlier posts on Romans Reboot:

Invitation & Confession

Week 1: A Ruined RighteousnessThe Gospel of God...A Hidden GloryLoved by GodThe Righteousness of GodAccording to His WorksThe Praise of God

Week 2: But Now GodMeet Me InUpholding the LawExpecting a BlessingA Blessing to the Whole EarthCounted as RighteousWeek 2 Recap

Week 3: Standing in GraceWeakness & WrathReconciled & ReigningOn One Man’s ObedienceIdentity & RememberingUnder Law, Under GraceGod Forbid!

Week 4: Freed to Serve Through DeathHoly & Righteous & GoodBlessed WretchednessNo CondemnationAll Things

All Things

{Romans 8:28-30}

Part of the message of Good Friday is that God’s definition of “good” is many times different than my definition of “good.” How can suffering, pain, and loss be “good?” Yet, how many times have we quoted Romans 8:28 before and wished, hoped, even believed that “good” meant prosperous, comfortable, and fun? God’s “good” plan for Jesus was anything but that.

Do I believe that in ALL things God is working…

Do I believe that He is working for GOOD…

Not for my comfort but to make me more like Him?

Happy “Good” Friday.

:: Tomorrow ::

Romans 8:31-34

Click here for earlier posts on Romans Reboot:

Invitation & Confession

Week 1: A Ruined RighteousnessThe Gospel of God...A Hidden GloryLoved by GodThe Righteousness of GodAccording to His WorksThe Praise of God

Week 2: But Now GodMeet Me InUpholding the LawExpecting a BlessingA Blessing to the Whole EarthCounted as RighteousWeek 2 Recap

Week 3: Standing in GraceWeakness & WrathReconciled & ReigningOn One Man’s ObedienceIdentity & RememberingUnder Law, Under GraceGod Forbid!

Week 4: Freed to Serve Through DeathHoly & Righteous & GoodBlessed WretchednessNo Condemnation

No Condemnation

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{Romans 8:1}

If I don’t believe and live out the truths of Romans 1-7, then I can’t live out the truths of Romans 8:1. I live in condemnation. Condemnation of myself and where I fall short. Because I will always fall short.

When I live in the truth of Romans 1, I know I am loved by God and that when I live by faith, I am welcomed by God. Then, there is no condemnation.

When I live in the truth of Romans 2, I experience God’s kindness that leads me to repentance. There is no condemnation.

When I live in the truth of Romans 3, I remember that I am no better than my fellow sinner. All have sinned. All have fallen short. There is no condemnation.

When I live in the truth of Romans 4, I claim the promises of God by faith. There is no condemnation.

When I live in the truth of Romans 5, I experience peace with God who chooses to meet me in my mess and weakness. I remember it’s not my performance that makes me right with God, but the obedience of one Man that matters. Then I know in the depths of my being that there is no condemnation.

When I live in the truths of Romans 6, I remember who I am and I fully identify with the death of Christ and the resurrection of Christ. When I don’t live under the law but rather under grace, there is no condemnation.

When I live in the truth of Romans 7, my feeling of failure and guilt are overshadowed by God’s deliverance and my heart is filled with thankfulness, not condemnation.

I’m still learning to live the truth of Romans 8:1, but I know now more than ever the importance of its “therefore.” I know my heart needs to embrace Romans 1-7 before I can live a life free of condemnation.

Today is Maundy Thursday named for the night before Jesus’ death that He gave his disciples a new command. “A new command I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” {John 13:34} I had always thought of it as merely the last night He had supper with his friends. It was more than a supper.

It was the night before He was betrayed. Betrayal–the ultimate slap in the face. Yet instead of condemnation, Jesus loved and showed us how to love others–weak, messy, fallen people who don’t deserve a second chance, just like me. But just as I am loved, I am called to love others. I’m letting that sink in this Maundy Thursday. Amazing Love!

:: Tomorrow ::

Romans 8:28-30

Click here for earlier posts on Romans Reboot:

Invitation & Confession

Week 1: A Ruined RighteousnessThe Gospel of God...A Hidden GloryLoved by GodThe Righteousness of GodAccording to His WorksThe Praise of God

Week 2: But Now GodMeet Me InUpholding the LawExpecting a BlessingA Blessing to the Whole EarthCounted as RighteousWeek 2 Recap

Week 3: Standing in GraceWeakness & WrathReconciled & ReigningOn One Man’s ObedienceIdentity & RememberingUnder Law, Under GraceGod Forbid!

Week 4: Freed to Serve Through DeathHoly & Righteous & GoodBlessed Wretchedness

Blessed Wretchedness

I love how Paul personally expresses his struggle. It’s so true and real and authentic. I can totally relate and see myself in him. Can you?

Romans 7:17-25 in the Message says:

“But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.”

Thanks be to God that I am not just a hopeless wretch, but more importantly, I am a blessed failure. And my failure and wretchedness doesn’t surprise God. In fact, He planned for it. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, His blessings are all mine. I am humbled.

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure

:: Tomorrow ::

Romans 8:1

Click here for earlier posts on Romans Reboot:

Invitation & Confession

Week 1: A Ruined RighteousnessThe Gospel of God...A Hidden GloryLoved by GodThe Righteousness of GodAccording to His WorksThe Praise of God

Week 2: But Now GodMeet Me InUpholding the LawExpecting a BlessingA Blessing to the Whole EarthCounted as RighteousWeek 2 Recap

Week 3: Standing in GraceWeakness & WrathReconciled & ReigningOn One Man’s ObedienceIdentity & RememberingUnder Law, Under GraceGod Forbid!

Week 4: Freed to Serve Through DeathHoly & Righteous & Good

Holy & Righteous & Good

{Romans 7:12}

I’ve been dwelling on the purpose of the law today. Does living by grace mean that we don’t need to worry about the law? No! Jesus fulfilled the law, but the law points out our sin and our endless need for Jesus, but even more, it shows us the beautiful, perfect character of God. Paul says the law is holy and righteous and good. It’s a good thing.

I’ve never thought of the law this way, describing the character of God. I’ve looked at it as something God gave rather than a reflection of who He is. This helps me to understand how to live by grace but still love the law.

Tonight, I’m reading through Psalms 1 & 19 & 119 and seeing the law with new eyes…

:: Tomorrow ::

Romans 7:24-25

Click here for earlier posts on Romans Reboot:

Invitation & Confession

Week 1: A Ruined RighteousnessThe Gospel of God...A Hidden GloryLoved by GodThe Righteousness of GodAccording to His WorksThe Praise of God

Week 2: But Now GodMeet Me InUpholding the LawExpecting a BlessingA Blessing to the Whole EarthCounted as RighteousWeek 2 Recap

Week 3: Standing in GraceWeakness & WrathReconciled & ReigningOn One Man’s ObedienceIdentity & RememberingUnder Law, Under GraceGod Forbid!

Week 4: Freed to Serve Through Death

Freed to Serve Through Death

Romans 7:1-6, The Message

“You shouldn’t have any trouble understanding this, friends, for you know all the ins and outs of the law—how it works and how its power touches only the living. For instance, a wife is legally tied to her husband while he lives, but if he dies, she’s free. If she lives with another man while her husband is living, she’s obviously an adulteress. But if he dies, she is quite free to marry another man in good conscience, with no one’s disapproval.

So, my friends, this is something like what has taken place with you. When Christ died he took that entire rule-dominated way of life down with him and left it in the tomb, leaving you free to “marry” a resurrection life and bear “offspring” of faith for God. For as long as we lived that old way of life, doing whatever we felt we could get away with, sin was calling most of the shots as the old law code hemmed us in. And this made us all the more rebellious. In the end, all we had to show for it was miscarriages and stillbirths. But now that we’re no longer shackled to that domineering mate of sin, and out from under all those oppressive regulations and fine print, we’re free to live a new life in the freedom of God.”

Here in the death of Christ I live. And serve.

Elyse writes,

“We serve because the Holy Spirit indwells us and we’re new. We have a new desire, a new inner law that commands us to love as we have been loved. We have the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit and we’re freed from trying to earn our Father’s love and welcome. We’re gloriously dead and even more gloriously alive!” {pg. 120, Comforts from Romans}

I don’t know what it looks like out your window today, but we’re covered in snow here, and it feels like I should be preparing for Christmas rather than Easter. Someone said it feels like Narnia in their neck of the woods, reminding me that God is making all sad things come untrue. That’s the message of Easter. Out of death springs life and hope. This is my comfort and peace.

One of my favorite worship songs, In Christ Alone, prepares my heart for Easter. How are you preparing for Easter this week?

Don’t forget to check the Crossway Blog today for Elyse Fitzpatrick’s final post for the Romans Reboot.

:: Tomorrow ::

Romans 7:12

Click here for earlier posts on Romans Reboot:

Invitation & Confession

Week 1: A Ruined RighteousnessThe Gospel of God...A Hidden GloryLoved by GodThe Righteousness of GodAccording to His WorksThe Praise of God

Week 2: But Now GodMeet Me InUpholding the LawExpecting a BlessingA Blessing to the Whole EarthCounted as RighteousWeek 2 Recap

Week 3: Standing in GraceWeakness & WrathReconciled & ReigningOn One Man’s ObedienceIdentity & RememberingUnder Law, Under GraceGod Forbid!