Summary: We are eternally and presently safe in God’s care-nothing can separate us from his love.
A. Love is often misunderstood and incorrectly defined.
1. Two preteens experiencing their first episode of puppy love will tell each other they love one another when they truly have no good understanding of what love means or entails.
2. Two adults in an illicit sexual relationship will say “I love you” when the relationship is built on nothing more than physical attraction and lust.
3. Marriages are entered into by people who claim to love each other. Twenty years later, one spouse suddenly proclaims she doesn’t love her husband anymore. She has found someone else who fulfills her every desire.
4. A child decides they no longer want anything to do with a parent because the parent has offended them in some way. As they make their final exit they proclaim they no longer love them and do not want to see them ever again.
B. Paul describes true love in I Corinthians 13, and Jesus demonstrated it through his life, death and resurrection.
1. It is patient, kind, not jealous, boastful, proud or rude.
2. It does not demand its own way nor is it irritable.
3. It keeps no record when it has been wronged and is always willing to forgive.
4. It does not rejoice in injustice but is happy when truth wins out.
5. Love never gives up or loses faith but is always hopeful and enduring.
6. Most of all, true love never fails. It will last forever.
C. The above definitions make us wonder whether we love or have ever experienced true love from any relationship we have been involved in.
1. We receive and give love with parents, children, and spouses.
2. But a bad decision or ill timed remark can damage the relationship.
3. Many have experienced people leaving them who proclaimed-whether by action or word, that they never would.
D. This section of scripture assures us nothing can ever separate us from God’s love-he will not leave us or ever require that we leave him.
I. God’s Gift Assures The Continuing Connection (vv. 31-34)
A. When God is for us, no one can be against us. (v. 31)
1. At face value, this may seem contradictory.
2. We have been opposed by others for various reasons; probably including opposition for our religious stance.
3. Jesus himself said if we follow him we would be persecuted just as he was. (John 16:1-4)
4. He even said we should be or would be happy when persecuted for his name’s sake. (Matthew 5:11-12)
5. And church history is filled with examples of those who have been persecuted and even killed because they followed Christ.
6. Perhaps we need to add the word “succeed” at the end of the question. “If God is for us, who can ever be against us that will succeed?”
7. No one or no thing can ever succeed against us when God is in our corner.
8. Satan will never be able to gain victory over us. Our tendency to sin will not result in God giving up on us. Nor will difficult times lead to exasperation if we respond the correct way.
9. I recall one instance in high school when a bully accused me of doing something I had not done and then wanted to fight me because of it. I was not interested, but I had a mutual friend who stepped in between us and told him to fight me meant fighting him. I was glad he was in my corner.
10. When Satan comes against us, God in essence says the same thing. “That’s my child, and the only way you can get to them is through me.” We know that cannot happen for greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world. (I John 4:4)
B. How do we know God is for us? (v. 32)
1. God did not spare even his own Son but allowed him to die on Calvary for our sins.
2. God did not even spare his greatest treasure for us. The example of Abraham and Isaac gives a wonderful Old Testament picture of this teaching. Abraham waited years for the promised child only to have God tell him to sacrifice this treasured son. At the last moment, God provided a ram in his place, but Abraham loved God so much he was willing to give up his most prized possession. (Genesis 22)
3. If God gave the ultimate gift for our salvation, he will also give everything else we need to survive life and grow spiritually so we can realize conformity to Christ’s image.
4. David spoke of God supplying his needs in the well loved twenty third Psalm, and Jesus instructs us not to worry for God will supply everything we need for existence (Matthew 6:25-34).