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Double-Edged Sword: The Power of the Word

Romans 8:38-39

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

One of the great truths and victories of Christianity is that it removes for all time the divine-human alienation. In many religions it’s the people who make offerings and sacrifices to the divine. Communities and individuals try to atone for their guilt and unworthiness, and their sacrificial efforts continue to this day. In Christianity it is God who approaches humanity through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Christ is the very embodiment of sacrifice, love, and intercession. Even now he sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. “He prays for us, as our Priest; He prays in us, as our Head, He is prayed to, by us, as our God,” says Augustine.

The Apostle Paul speaks of persuasion in this well-known passage from Romans. One reason Paul is persuaded is because he knows the significance of human love for Christ, considering his own encounter with the risen Lord. Paul beautifully speaks of the power of Christ in rich Trinitarian fashion as well. Additionally, we do not have to be reminded about God’s love for his son. Our love and faith in Jesus and God’s love for his son is a great meeting place that crushes the divine-human alienation. The truth of our adoption into the special relationship Jesus shares with the Father is why we can’t be separated from divine love and adoration. We are heirs to the Kingdom of God through that supernatural special love that allows us to transcend all obstacles.

The sufficiency of Christ is a great characteristic of our risen Lord. We should always be keenly aware to receive his grace and power in a humbling manner. At the same time, we stand confidently empowered by his vast love. The witnesses of the Saints testify to the great power of Christ. The Apostolic Father Polycarp was sentenced to be burned at the stake because he would not renounce Christ. “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and he never did me any injury; how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior,” said Polycarp. Polycarp and so many others speak to the great peace and assurance we find in Christ. Polycarp before his death warned the crowd that there would be a great separation from God for those not united with Christ and not confessing his supremacy and Lordship. But as Paul so wonderfully reminds us in Romans, there is never a separation, or any condemnation, or any obstacles of time or space, nor height nor depth for those who believe in the supremacy and saving power of Christ Jesus.