38And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Belonging to Jesus means nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God. In Christ you are firmly in the grip of His love. And that is a reality yours by grace to never be changed by death, authorities, powers, fears for today or worries about the future. You are loved!
3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Our affections and heart will be drawn to something. The members of our body will be occupied by desires. For the believer in Christ Jesus the spiritual dynamics of our life are explained in aspects of life and of death.
Of death, the believer was dead in their sins.
Of death, the believer is now dead to sin.
This is not a renovation; Jesus has ushered us into a demolition.
But the demolition of the works of sin and death are animated from the interior occupation of the One who loved us and died for us, Jesus Christ the Lord.
Now our life is hidden with Christ, in God.
Hidden: Jesus the Crucified is enough to advocate for us.
Hidden: Jesus the Resurrected is enough to secure our life even in the face of ridicule, accusation, pressure, harassment, loss of wealth, or even death of the body from those who do not yet recognize Him or love Him as Lord.
19So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. John 5:19-21
Remember the Bourne Identity? Tension grows in the series as the mystery of Jason Bourne’s identity grows. We wonder even as he wonders, is he a rouge operative? Who is he? Where did he come from? What is his purpose in life?
These are the essential questions of our humanity.
When we read the Gospels we must not read Jesus as an independent operator. He did not view himself as a self-made man. Nor was Jesus unclear as to His true identity and purpose in life. Jesus did not view Himself or His mission as something He had to create in order to feel good about life or Himself. Jesus is intent on revealing His true identity and His relationship with the Father to all who will hear so those who hear may have life.
Jesus lived loved. And He declares, “Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.”
16For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.
Peter affirms that they were not making up their message about Jesus. They were eyewitnesses to his majesty.
The saw and they heard the honour and glory from God the Father on the mountain when He announced his love, relationship, and delight.
The human experience is by design one in which we discover the most about us from those who speak into our lives. This is why rejection is so powerful. This is why announcements of love are so powerful. Some forms of spirituality reject this reality by determining to find meaning only within oneself. But we were designed to hear the deepest truth about ourselves from outside of ourselves. Our identity in Christ Jesus is restored through the Gospel so that we know, “I am loved.”
We pay lots of attention at weddings and movies to declarations of love. For the Disciples these were words of divine affirmation and love overheard between the Heavenly Father and Jesus: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Peter wants His readers to have confidence in the Gospel message: Jesus is who he says He is, and He is uniquely qualified to announce the Father’s love to us.
Heavenly Father, In this moment I am trusting you and your Son. But in other moments I lose my mind and am not so aware of my true identity. Fill me with your Spirit. May the greatness of Jesus be seen through my weakness. May you cause my confidence in the Gospel to grow. AMEN.
I have had several inquiries about the videos used on the weekend in Part 3 of our series, Renew my Life Lord! This week we are exploring how to battle our spiritual amnesia by “remembering who you are and who’s you are.” You can watch the videos below.