Our Anchorage - The love of God In Christ Jesus
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth; who is he that condemn? It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Even as it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 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" (Romans 8:31-39).
Our hearts have been - directed to the glorified Lord Jesus, as the object and as the inspiration of Christian life, endurance, and service. We have looked at Him on the Mount of Transfiguration, and have seen a little of what that meant, for the rest of their lives, to the men who were with Him, and what Christ glorified meant to all the others who, at different times, and in different ways, and at different places, saw Him in glory - Stephen, and Paul, and later still, John.
John, in speaking many, many years afterward of the sole impression that remained with him from the time spent with the Lord Jesus, summed it all up in one marvelous phrase: a parenthesis it is in his gospel, but was there ever a more important and wonderful parenthesis? "The Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of an only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). What they saw, when they saw the Lord Jesus in His glory, was the manifestation of the grace of God.
This portion of Paul's Roman letter, which we have just read, seems to me to be Paul's way of stating what he saw in the face of Jesus Christ. After dwelling much upon this part of the Word, the impression has come to me, at this point, that this is what the apostle was working toward all the way through; this is his release. He has been doing a piece of very laborious work; he has set himself to a great treatise - and it is that - it has defeated all the greatest minds, ever since, in their efforts to fathom this letter and to interpret it. But you have a feeling as you read, and arrive at this point, that now the apostle said, "Now that is that; let me say what I am after all the time, what I have really had in mind; let me unburden my heart." And he does so here. "These things" to which he refers - "What shall we say to these things?" - all these things that he has been saying, what is the upshot? What do they all point to? "What is the supreme significance and implication of all that I have been saying?" And he goes on to answer his own question, and to release from his heart this thing that has been there,prompting all his effort and undertaking. It is this mighty, mighty revelation of the love of God in Jesus Christ.
(continued with # 17)