Champion Day 10 Casting Out The Shadows: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
Check out Casting Out The Shadows!

The Questions

1) How was Paul persuaded to hold unswervingly to this truth? (verse 38)

2) Why does Paul cite these specific obstacles in his list of “impossible-to-separate-us-from-God”? (verses 38-39)

3) If the Bible teaches that sin separates us from God, how can these verses also be true? (verse 39)

Romans 8:38-39

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Original Intent

1) How was Paul persuaded to hold unswervingly to this truth? (verse 38)
It’s perhaps the single greatest chapter in the entire Bible as every word contained within it spells out our deadly problem with sin while dramatically pointing to the unsurpassable great mercy of the God who pursued us despite our wretched rebellion. To understand the context of Paul’s closing words, we simply must read the rest of Romans 8 that comes prior. Go ahead and take 90 seconds and read through it without rushing, then commit to reading it again over the weekend several times. This is rich food for our soul and it deserves to be savored! While you’re reading, check out our Journey Theme, Alive, which studies the details of this beautiful chapter. Study. Meditating on God’s Word. Coming to truly know the Lord God for exactly who He has revealed Himself to be. These are the precise reasons why Paul so fervently holds unswervingly to the truths he practically shouts at the close of this chapter. He has studied the Lord. He has seen the travesty of his own sin (verse 3), and he has looked with wonder upon the reality of a God who would set aside His own glory in order to take a sinner’s curse upon Himself (verse 4), die a sinner’s death, and then prove death a liar and a thief by rising again to conquer it forever (verse 11)! (by Rebecca Adams)

2) Why does Paul cite these specific obstacles in his list of “impossible-to-separate-us-from-God”? (verses 38-39)
Paul’s list may seem random to us, but careful study reveals interesting insights and fresh, stunning depth of clarity on the profound love of God. Paul first calls out Death as none can escape its grip. Death is certain, and many fear it but there are also many who fear life. How might we suffer and what injustices will be done against us? The certainty of life and death cannot be argued with, and neither can we deny the fear they bring if we are honest with ourselves. “Things present and things to come” fit easily alongside the pairing of “death and life” as both stem from fear. Fear of the unknown for the future and the present, and the deep unsettling that, truly, every part is vastly beyond our control. We can’t add an hour to our life worrying and, for the majority of our fear factors in life, we can do nothing to negate the “what ifs”. Paul brings in “angels and rulers” to pair up with “powers”; in his day, none held more sway than earthly dictators and heavenly beings, whether for good or evil. Again, this power was completely out of their control and Paul draws out his antagonist of fear again. Paul includes “height and depth” to magnify the infinity of God against the finiteness of mankind. How we would love the ability to run away and hide when life becomes too heavy or our sin is too ugly, but Paul reminds us there is nowhere we can run from God. (Psalm 139:7-10) Then he sets aside all manner of measurement and emphatically exclaims, “nor anything else in all creation”. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of a God who insists on pursuing us that we might stand firmly on truth and be captured by His radical love! (by Rebecca Adams)

3) If the Bible teaches that sin separates us from God, how can these verses also be true? (verse 39)
The thing we cannot be separated from, God’s love, is the very reason these verses can be, and are, true. It was God’s love that clothed Adam and Eve after the original sin in the Garden. (Genesis 3:21) It was God’s love that sent quail and manna to the complaining Israelites. (Exodus 16:1-14) God’s love prompted Him to appoint judge after judge to help lead the Israelites, even though they kept repeating the cycle of sin, crying out to God, repenting and sinning again. (Judges) God’s love brought the Israelites home to rebuild their city after their seventy years in exile. (Ezra 1) The promise of a Messiah (Isaiah 61:1-3) and the fulfillment of it (Luke 4:21) was because of God’s love. Our Messiah, Jesus, was and is the manifestation of God’s love. (Hebrews 1:3) For those who know and claim Jesus as Messiah, our sin is forgiven. The sin that separates us from God is cleansed by the blood Jesus lovingly shed for us. Dr. Stephen J. Lawson says, “The entirety of God’s special saving love toward us is in Christ Jesus our Lord. In other words, there is not one drop of saving love for us outside of the Lord Jesus Christ. Outside of His sinless life, substitutionary death, bodily resurrection, present enthronement, there is no saving love outside of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus is the bridge that allows us to draw near to God because His blood covers our sin. “If we have placed our trust in the atoning work of Jesus Christ as the payment for our sin, then we’ve been justified, declared righteous before God!” (Tawnya Smith at Gracefully Truthful) No created thing, even us, can keep God’s love away. Nothing and no one can cause us to perish or be snatched from God’s hand once we’ve surrendered to Him. (John 10:28-29) Jesus promised. “Those who are saved, through faith in Christ, are saved eternally and forever” ( God is love and He will never stop loving us. (by Marietta Taylor)

Everyday Application

1) How was Paul persuaded to hold unswervingly to this truth? (verse 38)
As you read and re-read chapter 8 this weekend, take a few turns of reading it aloud. Go sit alone outside or in a quiet room and let these powerful, truth-soaked words fall off your tongue. Read it aloud again, savoring the truth and grace, letting them wrap around your heart. Can you sense Paul’s crescendo as he writes? Do you feel his impassioned excitement for the truths he is sharing with the believers in Rome? These weren’t just definitions Paul had read from a dusty, old theology book that he had mentally assented to be factual. These truths were the very life-breath of his relationship with the God of Creation! The more he studied them, the deeper his persuasion anchored. In fact, he became so persuaded to cling to truth that even during intense suffering and persecution(verse 18), Paul still adamantly insisted that if God was for him, who could possibly be against him?! (verse 31) May we each become increasingly more persuaded of truths we can cling to during hardship as we study Scripture. Paul was bold in clinging to truth, but this didn’t make him a champion. Rather, he leaned solely upon the steadfast foundation of God and His Word, who proved Himself over and over to be the author and perfecter of Paul’s faith and our own! (Hebrews 12:2) Praise God for being the true hero of our hearts and giving us HIS victory over sin and death and anything else that attempts to swerve us away from the persistence of His love! (by Rebecca Adams)

2) Why does Paul cite these specific obstacles in his list of “impossible-to-separate-us-from-God”? (verses 38-39)
Paul strategically lists out some of mankind’s biggest enemies in order that we would come face to face with our fear and the reality that we have little to no control over anything. When it all shakes down, we are left with our fear, but then Paul provides the most powerful antidote, perfect love. A love that will not give up. A love that fights relentlessly for our hearts. A love that chases down our enemies and brings about justice. A love that far surpasses any power, rule, authority, height, or depth, even our own fear. There is nothing that can separate God’s love from us, and there is no experience of this perfect love outside of God through Christ Jesus. It was the Father’s love that sent the Son to the cross. It was the Son’s love that humbled Himself and became obedient to death on a cross. It was the love of God that raised the dead to life and forever won over Sin and its punishment, Death. It was Love that met the famous persecutor of the church, Saul, and transformed him to become Paul, the preacher of Hope. It’s love that is pursuing you and me, right now. Whether you’re a made-new-soul who once loved sin and darkness but now loves Jesus, or you still aren’t sure about faith, you have lots of questions, and honestly, a lot of doubts too, this love is for you. Where are your fears today? What sneaks around, grabbing for corners of your heart to stealthily steal over you, making you believe that victory doesn’t exist for you, and neither does love. Take Paul’s words to heart and make them your own impassioned outcry against fear and the lies it carries. “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear!” (1 John 4:18) (by Rebecca Adams)

3) If the Bible teaches that sin separates us from God, how can these verses also be true? (verse 39)
Some churches teach that you can lose your salvation meaning that, once reconciled with God through Jesus, we could be separated again. But this teaching counters what these verses in Romans teach. Nor is it what the rest of the Canon of Scripture teaches. The Bible says that once we belong to Jesus our name is written in the Lamb’s book of Life. (Revelation 13:8) By this entry we will be admitted to the new heaven and new earth to live together with God. (Revelation 21:22-27) John Piper elegantly expounds on Romans 8:30 by saying, “Those whom He justified He glorified” – that is the radical assurance of the elect. The assurance is not that you can forsake the faith and live in sin and go to heaven. The assurance is: God keeps his elect from final apostasy and unbelief. The new covenant promise for all God’s people is this, “I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.” (Jeremiah 32:40) There may be many stumblings and wanderings, but if you are His, you will be brought back.” In other words, there is no eraser for the Book of Life. Once we accept the great loving sacrifice Jesus made for us, nothing can remove our name. Once we belong to Him, we receive His spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) The prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) who comes to live inside us “restores peace between wayward humanity and God.” (Ashley King at Gracefully Truthful) God gave us the bridge from sin and death to unity and fellowship with Him. Once we cross it, nothing can send us back across it. We are safe and secure within the Lord’s love. May we actively live our lives from that secure place. (by Marietta Taylor)

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Missing the connection to our other Journey Study today?
Catch up with Casting Out The Shadows!

Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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