“Who Shall Separate Us?”

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”
—Romans 8:35

THE LOVE OF CHRIST, by which every true Christian is encircled, is described as being “the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:39) Failing to realize this, many have erroneously supposed that Christ is more loving than God, that God is austere and unloving, ready to visit wrath upon his creatures at the slightest provocation. But this is not the correct view, for the Scriptures reveal that it was God’s love which provided the way of salvation through Christ, and that all Christ has done and will continue to do for us and for the human race as a whole is by the Heavenly Father’s design—therefore an expression of his love.—John 3:16


This does not mean that Jesus is not also loving, nor that he does not personally have our interests at heart. Jesus said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9) All the glorious characteristics of the Creator are revealed through Christ, including his love, so we find in our study of the Word that Divine love is referred to interchangeably as being the love of God and the love of Christ. Or, for example, when the writers desire to be more specific they define it as the love of God “which is in Christ Jesus” our Lord.—I Tim. 1:14

It would not be proper to raise the question of being separated from the love of Christ unless we had first been brought within the circle of that love. Thus we are confronted with the necessity of determining whether or not we have actually been enfolded by his love. True, both God and Christ love all mankind. God loved us while we were yet sinners, the Scriptures declare.—Rom. 5:8

But when Paul raises the question, ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?’ he implies that Divine love has brought us into a close relationship with God, as children in his family, and that this love will serve as a powerful tie to hold us in this position of special favor—so powerful that nothing shall be able to separate us if we continue to trust and obey.

Have we, then, come into this position of special favor with the Lord in which he claims us for his own, and will protect us from all the forces of evil which may strive to sever our relationship with him? This question gives rise to many anxious thoughts on the part of those who do not clearly understand the steps of progress by which one is begotten into the Divine family. In a matter of this kind, it is quite unsatisfactory to depend upon feelings.

At the beginning of a Christian experience, one might feel very happy and close to the Lord because of this new relationship. Later, when trials come, and the winds of opposition blow, the same one may wonder what has happened, and inquire, “Where is the blessedness I knew when first I found the Lord?” On the other hand, to be properly informed on this question gives one a firm foundation of faith, and a conviction which remains unshaken regardless of how high may be the waves of opposition which surge boisterously around him.


As already noted, Divine love has been manifested toward us while we were yet sinners. We learned about it and began to respond. Were we brought especially within the circle of that love? Paul wrote: “The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.” (II Cor. 5:14) The love of Christ could not constrain us until we learned about that love, and in order to receive this knowledge it was necessary that a messenger be sent to tell us about it. “How shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?”—Rom. 10:14,15

The ‘witnesses of Jesus’ were sent into all the world to proclaim the Gospel of Divine love, as manifested through the redemptive work of Christ, and all his faithful disciples have been willing to sacrifice everything, even life itself, in obedience to this commission. (Acts 1:8) In this way the Gospel has been carried from one country to another, by word of mouth, by the printed page, and in these closing years of the age, by radio, television, and the internet.

This does not mean that there has been anything haphazard as to who have been reached and quickened by the power of the Gospel. God’s providences have overshadowed this work of proclaiming the Gospel insofar as the individual responses to the message are concerned. Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” (John 6:44) This means that if we have heard the Gospel of Divine love, and by it have been drawn to Christ, it has been by Divine appointment. This is not the work of man.

When Paul writes that we ‘judge’—that is, we ‘reason’—that if one died for all, then were all dead, he is saying, If all were dead, this means that we, too, were ‘dead’ and under condemnation to death because of sin. If we are actually being drawn to God by the power of the Gospel of Christ, this is one of the first important facts we will realize. This is a touchstone by which we can determine definitely whether or not we have been led of the Lord, or whether our desire to serve him results merely from feelings of emotion. Has the Lord, through the truth of the Gospel, revealed to us our true status as sinners, members of a condemned and dying race?


In the recognition of our undone condition and that Christ died in order that we might be reconciled to God, there results a further constraining power of Divine love. First we recognize ourselves as sinners needing Divine mercy through Christ; we repent of our sins, and then, in the name of Christ, we present ourselves in full devotion to God, to do and be whatever he indicates as his will for us. In Romans 12:1, Paul describes this as presenting our bodies a “living sacrifice,” and he assures us that in so doing our offering will be “holy, acceptable” to God. Paul declares also that such a dedication of ourselves is but our “reasonable service.”

This is indeed the only reasonable thing one can do when he comes to an appreciation of the manner in which Divine love has been manifested toward him. Paul expresses this thought by the words, “because we thus judge” (II Cor. 5:14); that is, our reasoned conclusion is that in view of the circumstances we owe our all to the Lord, so we consecrate ourselves to do his will. To make this full consecration, and then faithfully devote our lives to him day by day until our sacrifice is wholly consumed and we have been faithful even unto death, is our part of a wonderful arrangement whereby we become sons of God to live and reign with Christ a thousand years. (Rev. 20:4) We can have assurance that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ—nothing, that is, except unfaithfulness to the terms of our consecration.

Our foes, the world, our flesh, and the Devil, are determined that we should not succeed in fulfilling our consecration vows. We know, however, that both the Father and Jesus are determined to help us. The Apostle Peter, quoting Psalm 34:15,16, says, “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers.” (I Pet. 3:12) Likewise, the Apostle Paul tells us, quoting God, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5), which emboldens us to say, as in Psalm 118:6, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Heb. 13:6) We have been brought into the inner circle of his love, and if we do our part, nothing will be able to separate us from that love.

The reason that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ is because, greater is He who is for us than all who are against us. The world, the flesh, and the Devil will do all they can to discourage us, and thus cause us to give up the fight. But in every time of attack, let us claim the promises of God and renew our strength to continue on in the narrow. way. We know that those whom the Lord has honored with his truth, and drawn to Christ in the spirit of full consecration to do his will, are precious to him. He will hold them in his own right hand, secure against all the assaults of the Adversary. Knowing this, we can say with the Apostle: “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.”—Rom. 8:38,39

Dawn Bible Students Association
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