“…Christ who … is also at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Rom.8:34,35.

This is one of the portions of Scripture which is most misunderstood and taken to be saying what it never intended to say. There are many people who don’t understand what this really means and we know that, whoever knows little about something always puts himself forth as one that knows it best. The lack of either knowledge or genuineness makes people use any kind of measures and ammunition to stand up to equality among others to win arguments through convincing attitudes rather than through truth and genuineness.

In the same way, people always wish to believe that by talking about the love of God it might be referring to love towards them in a most special way. The fact is that this portion of the Bible refers to the love of God, yes, but of the kind of love that might be in us and through us, breeding and streaming towards others and God. The love of God which is referred to, here, is the love which settles itself within us to the point of making us more than conquerors in any situation of hunger, persecution, death or life itself, being able to carry out whatever God has left us to do under any kind of stressing situation whatsoever. It means that none of those can move us away from God because they cannot make us sin (the opposite of real love) or come to make us stumble in any lifelessness or lovelessness whatsoever, since it is Christ who we are – once it is so indeed. It is not us, but Him in us. We all know sin separates from God and from this kind of Life which lives for others the right way and for the Lord with all we are and might have, and is able to preserve itself in any extreme measure or situation of strain whatsoever. This is what this Scripture mainly tries to put forth unto any of us, that through Christ there is no way we will sin, not even in any extreme situation – only let it be real and in the full measure of promised Life, within by reality, and without in practice.

Yesterday I read the portion of Scripture in Mat.7:21-23 where the Lord says “Not all who say Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of heaven”, and it was deeply impressed upon my own soul how strongly these people believed they were indeed saved ones. They went to the extreme point of preaching and prophesying to others and the Lord still said to them “I NEVER knew you”. They even argued against God about it – who knows all and whose word is always final and spotless – and perhaps tried to tell God He knew them after all and did not remember it. The Israelites who fell in the desert were known and visited by God when they were in Egypt still. These people here in Mat.7 seem worse off than those who fell in the desert. Against these people Jesus uses the word “never knew you” so as to state that, no matter what people profess, what counts is whether it is God who testifies to the facts we may believe in. His final word and His testimony is what counts after all – whatever we may profess or do on earth or heaven. None of us, however, would wish to be mistaken about an issue such as this. It involves a whole eternity ahead of us and not only the short years we might still stay on earth. Let your church be mistaken, but let not your own soul be kept in the dark concerning it all. Do not accept your delusions just as you do not accept other’s, or even more.

The fact is that, this portion talks about Christ being in us for us (in our stead as us) with His love to show and put forth in extension towards whoever may come – either friend or enemy. When we read “Christ intercedes for us” we may not take it for granted Christ is in heaven interceding for us over there, just as Catholics might believe about Mary or the saints. It says Christ is there and also here in us – it uses the word “also” in it. The words “for us” just mean “He in us as if it were us”, or, “Us in Him as if it were Him” doing it as He would wish and do so in us for us Himself, even using the same heavenly powers and motives and means to do so. It is Christ in us, the hope of glory.

The yearnings of this kind of love in us are so strong that may come to the point of making us groan in agony, most of the time. It is a shame that Christians never believe God can make them groan and intercede in them in agony since they wish after a God who would make them happy all the time by granting them flesh to eat from. In fact, God makes happy by taking flesh away through that. To show it all in us, Christ intercedes mostly; we read that, “And we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves…”, Rom.8:22-23. This is the real promise of the New Testament in Jer.31:30-34: that He Himself writes and burns His own law of love inside of us by being Emanuel right there, so we will be as He, so we will be Him right here and now and forever.

“Christ in you, hope of Glory” means just that – that you will love with a kind of love that nothing can cause to separate yourself from it, since love is the direct opposite of any kind of sin whatsoever. Sin will separate from the Life that makes you burn that way for God and His own yearnings. This is not merely a kind of love we might be loved with and through, but it is rather a love through which we love dearly and unconditionally forever and soberly through all of it. That kind of love is present there and is real. This is the only reward for someone who deeply cried and said, “Who will save me from this body of death, from sin?” And it carries on saying, “I thank God, Christ will – in and through me”. And this chapter of the book of Romans just goes on explaining how and why it so happens. May it be so in all who read and perceive it, Lord. Amen.

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José Mateus