What Great Love the Father Has Lavished On Us
Everything God does is bathed in His complete love. John reminds us that out of His great love lavished on us, He has called us His children. In fact, when we continue to sin, it means we have not fully grasped the great love He has lavished. It is how we know what love is, that Jesus died for our sins. Meditating on this love, keeps us close to God and far from sin. (1 John 3 summary)
Who Shall Separate Us From the Love of Christ?
Paul makes a wonderful case for the love of Christ. There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. We have adopted as children of God and can call out, “Abba, Father”. We are now co-heirs with Jesus and have been given the Spirit to help us in our weakness. Finally, He works out all things for the good of us who love Him. (Romans 8 application)
After setting this up, he lays out a series of questions which are rich with hope and confidence for us as followers of Christ. As a parent knows that loving their child creates the best possible environment for them to grow, God saturates us with His love. These questions challenge our thoughts about God and redirects our beliefs back to the truth.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things?
After declaring all of these wonderful truths about God and who we are in Him, Paul uses this question to transition into his questions. These questions engage our hearts to pulls us into these truths and forces us to respond. It is like a good study of the Bible. You look through what has been said and what that means. But, it comes home to your heart when you think through how to apply it to your life.
1. If God is for us, who can be against us?
Seriously, if the God of all the universe… the Creator of all that is seen and unseen… if He is for us, what should ever cause us to fear? The enemy will always try to intimidate us from following God. He knows if he can get us into inaction, he has already won.
God wants us to know we have nothing to fear (1 John 4:18). He is our protection, our strong tower we can run to and find safety (Proverbs 18:10). Removal of the fear frees us to step out in faith. It is not about us; it is about the God who leads us on. And, God not only leads us, but He goes with us, meeting us in the midst of what terrifies us, calming our hearts and strengthening our bones.
2. He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Not only will God protect us, but God will provide for us. And, not only will He provide us, but He gives to us out of His abundance (2 Corinthians 9:8). The question reminds us of what God has already given us by giving up His Son. If He has already invested so much into us, He will not hold back on whatever else.
Many times stepping out in faith will lead you into situations where you don’t know how you can get it done. When my family left for China, we didn’t know how to pay for it. We also didn’t know how to find a farm, get an apartment, set up a business. But, every time and in every need, God provided. Wherever He leads, He will protect and provide.
3. Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?
Satan has been called the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). But there are no charges he can bring against those who have been washed by the blood of Jesus. Our sins have been removed and we have been justified (Romans 3:23-24).
Our enemy can no longer bring any accusations against us to God, but he constantly tries with each one of us individually. He places lies in our thoughts about how God can never forgive us, never use us, and never fix us. God wants us to know how He sees us… as His favorite… as co-heirs with Christ… as more than conquerers. We don’t have to waste time worrying how God sees us because we have been accepted (Romans 15:7).
4. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
While no charge can be brought up between us and God, our standing with God is secure. Nobody can pull us out of God’s hand (John 10:28). He will not let them because He cares for us so much.
The psalms declared where can I go to flee God’s presence. If I go to the depths, He is there. If I go to the ends of the earth, He is there (Psalm 139:7-12). You can’t even go into our deepest, darkest sin to avoid God’s love because He took on all your sin to bring you to Himself (1 Peter 3:18). God wants to be with you.
5. Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
Life is not always wonderful place. Bad things happen, and there are times when we are tempted to think they will never get better. During those difficult times, we may wonder where God is in the midst of them. Paul wants us to remember that even in those times, God’s love is present (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).
Some Takeaways About the Love of God
Being confident of the love of God for us, helps us to stay connected to His vine. God’s love supersedes any worry, anxiety, fear, doubt, or struggles of any kind. We can count on His love being there for us.
We need this love. It enables us to forgive those that have hurt us, empowers us into relationships or paths we have wanted to avoid, and motives us to engage again with our children, our spouse, co-workers, etc. We cannot live this Christian life God is leading us into without confidence in His love.
Take a prayerful look at this questions. Think through your decisions throughout the day. Are you acting out of confidence in God’s love for you?
That question is not meant to condemn you. We all have work to do. Allow these questions to draw you into the more God has available for you. The love of God is the safety net you need to risk everything on Him.