For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NIV)
This is an often quoted and often misunderstood passage of Scripture, at least in my experience. I used to read this passage this way:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord…BUT if I don’t spend 3 hours a day on my face before the Lord, if I have sex before I’m married, or worse yet, become pregnant out of wedlock, or if I smoke, drink, party, etc etc, then this Scripture is null and void.
Why do we do that? Why do we add our own junk to what Scripture says? Is it to punish ourselves for every sin and every failure we’ve ever made? Is this truly the example Christ set for us in the New Testament? Absolutely not.
As Christians, we tend to be the most self-loathing group of people on the planet. Why is that? Yes, as Christians, we have a more conscious awareness of our sin. But, as Christians, we should have an even clearer awareness of our redemption.
I remember coming to the altar at 10 years old and asking God to save me. The next 15 years of my Christian walk consisted of me begging God over and over, week after week, to do the same thing. While a lifestyle of repentance isn’t a bad thing, a lifestyle of self-hatred and unbelief in the true miracle of salvation is not what Christ intended for His creation.
I think about those first 15 years of my Christian walk sometimes, and I’m horrified at the thought that I may have wasted so many years completely unaware of the grace in Christ Jesus. Sadly, I didn’t even discover grace until I spent a year outside of church. This fact makes me so angry at times.
Here’s the bottom line: Jesus knows your past. He knows your present. He knows your future. He chose to die for you anyway. There was nothing you could do to earn His love and grace. As a matter of fact, you are going to fail Him, most likely, on a daily basis. But His love for you is without bounds or conditions. He loves you right now, even if you’re living in sin, more than you could imagine. He longs and even weeps for you to come to Him. The work for your salvation was done on a cross 2000 years ago. There’s nothing you can do to change that, so just run to Him.
Trust in the grace that Jesus has poured out for you. Trust in the hope of His salvation. Rest in the knowledge that Scripture gives us that NOTHING can separate us from His love. When your mind tries to tell you otherwise, return to the Truth found in the Word.