Nothing can separate those who are in Christ Jesus. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. I just sang a cover by Citizens called “Oh God.” The lyrics are richly based on Scripture and gospel-centered, and although I attempted to speak a little about that in the cover I put on YouTube (I have a link at the bottom), I think it’s worth writing about as well.
In the valley, Oh God, you’re near
In the quiet, Oh God, you’re near
In the shadow, Oh God, you’re near
At my breaking, Oh God, you’re near
Oh God, you never leave my side
Your love will stand firm for all my life
In my searching, Oh God, you’re near
In my wandering, Oh God, you’re near
When I feel alone, Oh God, you’re near
At my lowest, Oh God, you’re near
Height nor depth nor anything else
Could pull us apart
We are joined as one by your blood
Hope will rise as we become more
Than conquerors through
The one who loved the world
This is what the gospel does. Jesus holds those who esteem him as Savior together by his blood and by his righteousness. There is a very real and present trouble in the world we live in, but we have hope beyond this world if we have surrendered our life to Jesus. Romans 8:34-35 says: “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” The apostle Paul doesn’t avoid these hard topics that are realities for people in this world. I love this about the Bible: it confronts hard and real issues. It’s not political or pretty. It’s messy, but the messiness is purposeful. Those hard things are in there because there is something at work beyond them. Suffering isn’t useless; it is accomplishing a huge statement to say that Jesus is still better. Jesus is making all things new. Jesus is a glorious reality and he is sovereign over all of those things mentioned.
After all of those things we might be tempted to think could separate us, there is an unwavering truth. The promise is huge in Romans 8:37-39 that we are “more than conquerors through him who loved us” and that “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The prepositions are key to understand because they point to the reason that the only life filled with worth is a life that is given over to Christ. That reason is Jesus himself. We are more than conquerors through Jesus and there is no other way that we are conquerors. No job, no promotion, no friend, no degree, no religion, no rules, no pursuit apart from Jesus allows us to be conquerors. We don’t become conquerors by our moral efforts and self-righteousness, but by the blood of Jesus alone. Absolutely nothing in this life can separate us from God’s love because of what is accomplished for us in Jesus. It would only make sense that this only applies to believers in Jesus though, so keep that in mind. Any time you see “us”, remember that it refers to believers in Jesus. That might be offensive to say to non-believers but it is true and I can’t shy away from truth. The term “us” isn’t meant to display superiority, because if anything, it’s opposite of that. It represents a joining together with Christ, a dependence on his sacrificial blood, and a representation of the unity of believers from every nation. We are joined by the blood of Jesus as the song conveys.
Fullness of life is only found in Jesus. This is why everything I write about seems repetitive, but might just be talked about in a different way. It’s the same message and the one truth that we cannot move away from. This is what it means to profess Christ as Savior. It is to have faith in Christ to satisfy all that we need in this life and beyond. It is not mere mental knowledge that Christ died and rose again, but a confident belief that if all of those things happened to you, whether tribulation, distress, famine, etc. you would still be able to say in the midst that Jesus is sufficient because every sin and weight was laid on him at the cross. And not only that, but he purchased for us the “Great Exchange” as Luther would say. This great exchange means that he not only absorbed all of our sin, but gave us his righteousness. Christians stand on Christ’s righteousness, not our own. We stand on Christ’s righteousness because Jesus is the only way to God. God looks at us and sees His Son, not our sin, nor our filthy rags of moral effort.
More than conquerors because of Christ, not because of our own doing. More than conquerors because we can lose everything and Christ be enough. And we can gain everything in this world, and yet Jesus is better. More than conquerors because not only is Christ enough or better, but he is glorious and treasured above all. More than conquerors because we have the Spirit of God living and dwelling inside of us. More than conquerors because every other pursuit dies, but our eternal hope is secured in Jesus. More than conquerors because the blood of Jesus sustains in the mountains and valleys of this life. More than conquerors.