Saturday, March 16, 2013

God’s Generous Love


Rom 8:31-39  What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?  Who will bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.   Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered."  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced 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.

Paul probably wrote this letter in Corinth.[1] He was on his way to Jerusalem with the collection from the Gentile churches (15:25-26). At the end of 56CE he spent three months in Corinth (Acts 20:2-3), starting his final trip to Jerusalem in the beginning of 57CE. Therefore, the date of composition was most probably at the beginning of the year, just before he set off for Jerusalem.[2]

This passage is made up of two parts: it begins with Paul’s series of rhetorical questions (verses 31-34), which leads to the theme of God’s love; this is followed by an emphasis on this love’s inseparability from the believers (verses 35-39). The key word here is “charizomai”,[3] which speaks of the generosity of God in giving us all things (Rom 8:32).
The invitation is to make tomorrow – Sunday – a day of celebration, a mini-Easter Sunday. Cut loose, and give thanks for God’s generous kindness, for God’s freely given Grace.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Johnson Oatman, Jr.


The Fifth Sunday in Lent
From Death to Life
Scripture reading taken from A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants p.129



[1] D Moo, Romans 1-8, Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1991), 3.
[2] E F Harrison, Romans, Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan,
[3] “to grant as a favor, that is, gratuitously, in kindness” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary G5483). The same word is used in Luke 7:21 for Jesus giving sight to the blind, as well as in Galatians 3:18, were Paul talks about Abraham’s inheritance given to him by God.  

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