The Unfailing Love of God
August 29, 2023

The Unfailing Love of God

Preacher:
Series:

Introduction: The Freeness of Divine Love

The love of God mentioned here in Romans 8 is something we don’t deserve. Earlier in this letter, Romans Chapter 1 explains that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of mankind. And Romans 3 testifies that this problem touches all of us: “None is righteous, no not one; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

It may surprise you that the Bible has so much criticism for our human nature. But if you contrast the perfection of God’s justice with the corrupt condition of our hearts, the criticism is warranted. Our hearts are deceitful and sick. We have failed to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We have failed to love our neighbor as ourselves. We have turned our careers, our bank accounts, and our ambitions into idols that we pursue in the place of God. We are not basically good people. We do not deserve the love of God. God’s Word speaks into our ignorance and teaches us what our ungodliness really deserves: anger, death, Hell.

So the real surprise is when we come to a passage like this that speaks about God’s love. It’s already shocking that God has special affection for little creatures he made out of dust – because that’s all we are! That in itself is incredible! But when we consider how conceited we are, how ungrateful we are, how evil our desires are – it’s plain that God having love toward us something we absolutely do not deserve.

And this tells us something important about the nature of what God’s love is. Love isn’t something that people earn. Love is given. Love is a gift. Some people wrongly believe that God sent Jesus to clean us up so that we’d become deserving of his love – so that God could start loving us. But the Bible actually teaches that God’s love for his people existed before we did. The reason Jesus died wasn’t to clean us up to make God love us. Rather, God’s love is the reason Jesus came to die and make us clean. God’s love took the initiative, even when we were wandering. And when we hear the good news about Jesus and turn to him with faith – faith isn’t somehow a way that we earn God’s love. Rather, our faith shows that God has loved us, and has raised us out of our spiritual deadness to have life in Christ.

But God’s saving love isn’t universal – the Bible makes it plain that there are many who will reject God and who will be penalized for their rebellion. And this can sometimes plant seeds of uncertainty in our hearts. Even Christians will sometimes struggle to believe God truly loves them – when we’re dealing with suffering, moral failure, depression. But when we rightly understand God’s love, it becomes a powerful tool for driving out all our fears and doubts. So as we work through our text tonight, I want to quickly point out four ways that the Sovereign, unfailing love of God drives out our fears.

We Need Not Fear Opposition, vs. 31

First, on account of God’s love, Christians no longer need to fear opposition. Verse 31 asks, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” This is a rhetorical question. God is the greatest, most powerful being in existence, and therefore, if He’s on your side, nothing can meaningfully oppose you. God is limiting the harm that his enemies can do to you. He’s protecting you. He’s preserving you. God is for you.

But though this point is obvious to some extent, in everyday life we often struggle to believe it. We still fear that people will oppose us. We fear rejection. We fear mockery. We fear the anger of those who’re hostile to the Christian faith. Our earthly fears become more real to us than our heavenly Father.

But take a moment here to really ponder this question. Let the weight of it sink in. If God is for us – if He’s really working all things together for our good, as we saw last week back in verse 28 – who can be against us?

Who are you afraid will oppose you? Your neighbors? Your co-workers? Your boss? Your government? Who are they compared to God? Try to imagine the fiercest dictator, the deadliest assassin – imagine ten thousand thousands of enemies standing against you. Imagine the unholy hordes of Satan, shrieking, scheming, and cursing against you. None of these can withstand the power of God. We do not need to hide our faith, or apologize for it, but you and I can speak and live without fear. Because God is for us. He’s committed to us with unfailing love. And no one who stands against God will ultimately succeed.

We Need Not Fear Deprivation, vs. 32

Certainly, though, it sometimes seems like God’s enemies are succeeding. Opponents of the Christian faith may take away our freedoms, our jobs, our health, our sense of security – perhaps even our physical lives. And for many of us, this is a frightening prospect.

But in view of God’s love, there’s a second thing we no longer need to fear. We don’t need to fear deprivation (or loss). We don’t need to be afraid that good things will be taken away from us. We see this in verse 32: “He who did not spare His own Son, but freely gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

Notice here: verse 32 affirms that God, in his loving determination to save His people – he gave his Son. He did not spare His own Son. He sent His eternally beloved Son to bear our humiliation, to bear the burden of our guilt, to bear death itself at the cross – Why? Because of His unfailing love. This is the most costly thing God could have possibly done for us.

And if God loved His people enough to give the gift of his infinitely precious Son, verse 32 asks, “how will he not also, with him, graciously give us all things.” God clearly isn’t stingy. He won’t deprive you. You can be certain that God will give you and I every good thing we need when we need it.

Whenever you’re experiencing the daily pressures of life, it’s easy to get discouraged. You may be tempted to complain, or to wallow in self-pity, or to despair. But in seasons of darkness, you and I need to look to the cross, and ask ourselves – Is God withholding good from me? Is he depriving me of what I need? No way! Since God gave His Son for me, I know that God won’t withhold his grace, but he will surely hold me and welcome me home into glory.

It’s true that following Jesus means we deny ourselves, and take up our crosses daily to follow Jesus. But in the end, the Christian life isn’t a life of deprivation. Though we may have the momentary trinkets of earth taken from us, we won’t miss out on what really matters. God loves his people, and when the dead are raised to life and the new day dawns, he will graciously give us all things.

We Need Not Fear Condemnation, vs. 33-34

In light of God’s love, there’s a third thing we don’t need to fear. We need not fear God’s condemnation. Verse 33 declares, “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.” In other words, in the courtroom of God, He has already given his official pronouncement. He justifies His people – he declares them to be just and right, because they have been made righteous through faith in Christ.

So if God has already announced that his people are right with His law, who can contradict Him? No one can. If you have found cleansing for your soul in Christ, then no accusation against you will stand.

Verse 34 similarly asks, “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.” We see here the same amazing love of God that drives out our fears.

Because the very person we’ve offended is the one who forgives us. The very person who could have rightfully put us to death, is the one who died for us. The very person who has the right to condemn us is the one who is continuously crying out for our acquittal and acceptance.

We Need Not Fear Separation, vs. 35-39

So God’s children don’t need to fear opposition, or deprivation, or condemnation – and fourth and finally, we don’t need to fear separation from the love of God.

Once God sets his love on someone, that love can’t be broken. There is nothing stronger than God that can come along and snatch you away from him. Verse 35 poses the question, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” – and then it lists out numerous things that would seem to indicate God doesn’t love us: tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, the sword of war and violence. Serious life situations like these may cause you and I to wonder. Does God still love me?

See, it’s easy to believe that God loves us when we and our families are happy, when we’re comfortable, when we’re prosperous, when everything seems to be going our way. It’s easy to believe God loves us when we feel like God is close to us, helping us. But what about those times when you feel abandoned? What about those times when it seems like God himself is the one hammering you with one bad day after another?

As Christians, there will be days when following Jesus won’t feel awesome or therapeutic. Instead, it will feel like death. “As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’” But even on those days, the love of your Father rests on you – even when it doesn’t feel like it – even when your suffering doesn’t make sense to you. And God shows you his unfailing love in those moments by helping you endure – by helping you to triumph over sin, death, and the devil. Verse 37 confirms this when it says, “In all these things” – in all our tragedies and trials – “we are more than conquerers.” How? Through our mental toughness? Through our self-confidence? No – we are more than conquerers through him who loved us.

Do you know the love of God? Not just a cheap chick-flick type of love, but God’s deep, loyal, self-sacrificing, unbreakable, never-ending love? Do you know what it means to live each day under the continuous spotlight of God’s unwavering affection? Because everyone who trusts in Jesus Christ is assured that this love is theirs. For those of you in Christ, God’s love is yours!

And in verses 38 and 39, we see it’s impossible for this to change. No enemy can overcome the unfailing love of God. As the apostle Paul says, “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Let’s ask that God would help us to rest in the certainty of this promise. Please pray with me:

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