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During a trip to Brevard, North Carolina, we followed a Waterfall Hunting Guide in search of one beautiful waterfall after another. We marveled at the continual washing of water over the rocks, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and yet it continued. In the same way, it is the continual washing of the water of the word of God, over and over, that helps me grow closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As I allow the continual washing of the Word to soak into my heart and mind, I begin to think less of me and my performance and more of Jesus and His performance for me. It is continually receiving Christ’s words, “It is finished,” into new and deeper parts of my heart every day.
It’s going back to the certainty of my pardon in Christ and hitting the refresh button a thousand times a day. Martin Luther said in his Lectures on Romans, “To progress is always to begin again.” Real spiritual progress requires a daily going backwards. Growing closer to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ does not happen by behaving better, but by believing better–believing in bigger, deeper, brighter ways what Christ has already secured for sinners like me.
The eighth chapter of Romans is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. It beautifully begins with “no condemnation” and marvelously ends with “no separation.
If Holy Scripture was a ring, and the epistle to the Romans a precious stone, Chapter 8 would be the sparkling point of the jewel.–Philipp Jakob Spener (1635-1705)
Romans 8:1…”no condemnation”…
Amplified: Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.
KJV: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.
Moule: So no adverse sentence is there now, in view of this great fact of our redemption, for those in Christ Jesus.
NLT: So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
Phillips: No condemnation now hangs over the head of those who are “in” Jesus Christ.
Wuest: Therefore, now, there is not even one bit of condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.
Young’s Literal: Not even one therefore now adverse judgment & resultant punishment to those in Christ Jesus
The Message: With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air.
Romans 8:39…”no separation”…
Amplified: Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
ICB: nothing above us, nothing below us, or anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
KJV: 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.
NLT: Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Phillips: neither a power from on high nor a power from below, nor anything else in God’s whole world has any power to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord!
Wuest: nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Young’s Literal: nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Message: None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
No condemnation; blessed is the word!
No separation; forever with the Lord,
By His blood He bought us, cleansed our every stain;
With rapture now we’ll praise Him.
The Lamb for sinners slain.
– J. Denham Smith
The verdict is final. The case is never going to be re-tried—irrevocable. On that we can rest—we are accepted on the basis of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
Heavenly Father, thank you for Your agape love so great, so awesome, so amazing, that You sent Your One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, to take all my sin, my sickness, my condemnation on that cruel cross. Because I have placed my trust in the finished work of Christ, it is by His stripes I am healed, and there is nothing that can separate me from Your love, O Love that will not let me go . . . truly, blessed assurance, I am loved by Your everlasting love and underneath are Your everlasting arms . . . all is grace—amazing grace—from the moment You knit me together in my mother’s womb until the moment I see You face-to-face, in Jesus’ precious name I pray, amen.
Look Up—meditate on Romans 8:37-39 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
Look In—as you meditate on Romans 8:37-39 … pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: “Because God is_________, I will_____________.”
Look Out—as you meditate on Romans 8:37-39 …pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.
* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ