Romans 8: 37-39; 14: 7-8
I do not really feel able to say a great deal about these scriptures, and one could say very simply that they speak for themselves. Paul here is writing to the Romans. He had faced adversity, he was to face it, but he is able to say, “But in all these things we more than conquer through him that has loved us”. It is a present love. It is a love that is well known. “The love of Jesus...”, we sometimes sing, “None but His loved ones know”, hymn 279. I am sure our brother who has been taken to be with the Lord could say those words, “None but His loved ones know”. I was reminded recently of one of our hymns which we sing, hymn 116. Our brother used to give it out often,
How may we rise to Thy vast thoughts,
Or apprehend Thy sovereign will -
I have just a simple impression as to those words,
How may we rise to Thy vast thoughts?
Our brother who has been taken to be with the Lord is in the gain of those vast thoughts. He is in the enjoyment of them. He has been released from the frail condition of man. He has been released from that condition and he is now enjoying things which are far, far better, “with Christ, for it is very much better”, Phil 1: 23. What a prospect we all have, those who have put their faith and their trust in the finished work of Jesus and in His shed blood. It can be your prospect. I trust that it is. I trust that it is everyone’s prospect here to be forever with the Lord.
This passage here goes on to say that nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God”. Our brother has been in the enjoyment of that here, and he will be in the enjoyment of it eternally. Nothing can separate him, not even the final article of death itself can separate us from the love of God, and then it goes on, “which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Everything that our brother has now is founded upon the work of Jesus. Everything that he is enjoying now is founded upon that blessed work of the Lord Jesus, the One who died for him, the One who shed His precious blood, the One who “became poor in order that ye by his poverty might be enriched”, 2 Cor 8: 9. What our brother will be enjoying will go on throughout eternity, will never end. These things listed here, naturally speaking, could separate us, but in the enjoyment of eternal things nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. It is a love that has known us. Simply, if it is a love that has known us before the foundation of the world, if it is a love that knew us before we were born, how can it not be so that even death cannot separate us from the love of God? It knew us before the foundation of the world; it will know us throughout an eternal day.
I have just a simple impression as to Romans 14. I thought of this to bring in comfort to those bereaved, particularly at the end of verse 8 where we read, “both if we should live then, and if we should die, we are the Lord’s”. What a triumph it is! Naturally death brings in its sorrow. It separates links here that have been enjoyed and treasured, but even if we should die it says, “we are the Lord’s”. What a triumph it is to know that nothing can separate us. That love that has known us before the foundation of the world will know us throughout an eternal day.
Well, may we all be encouraged that there is nothing that can separate us from that love, and “if we should live … and if we should die, we are the Lord’s”.
May He bless the word.
23rd June 2008
(At the meeting for the burial of Mr Jimmy Cumming)