We are working through the book of Romans at church at the moment. Once upon a time I did the evening lecture course at Moore Theological College on Romans, but it is astonishing how quickly one can forget. So I revisited my books on Romans and thought it would be a good opportunity to read something to delve a little deeper. I picked up a book I bought some years ago on Romans Chapter 8, called How The Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home, by Derek Thomas. It’s basically a commentary on this one chapter, one of my favourite chapters in the bible.
I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s good. Sometimes human love dramas can seem so frail and fraught, so thwarted by misunderstandings and failed expectations and lost opportunities or even other people’s actions, that we can feel that the whole business is all very tenuous and insecure. But here is something from the chapter on our Union with Christ (Romans 8:35-39):
The theme that Paul now reflects upon is our complete security: no one and nothing can sever us from the arms of God’s embrace. Peter reflected on it, too, affirming that Christians have an “inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven” (1 Peter 1:4).
How can we be sure of God’s keeping? Because He loves us—a love, as J.I. Packer writes in Knowing God, that “is a function of omnipotence, and has at its heart a almighty purpose to bless which cannot be thwarted.”
God’s love, then, is wedded to sovereign power and sovereign will. We say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” and when the will in question is God’s, the way is certain. God wills to save us, and bring us home, and nothing can stop Him.