Friday, July 18, 2014

Ephesians Intro

Introduction to Ephesians- Theology and Practice
         Ephesians is a wonderful book for many reasons. It is of the highest theological and practical significance of any of the books in the Bible. The Apostle soars high to the throne of God, revealing the Father and the Son and the Spirit, and then he comes down to His footstool to instruct us how to live.
         This format is very instructive. When he gets around to the very practical applications, he has already spent a great deal of time on theology.
         Theology is the study of God. We sometimes wrongly describe theology as the study of doctrines. Of course, doctrines flow out of our study of God but theology proper looks at the revelation of God Himself, seeking to know Him, His character and His actions.  From this knowledge of God flows particular doctrines about God.
         In Ephesians, we have basically three chapters of high flying theology. We are shown who God is, who Jesus is, what the work of the Holy Spirit is, and who we are in Christ. These are all indicative statements. There is only one imperative statement in the first three chapters.
         An indicative statement is a statement of fact. As the name implies, it indicates a truth. It is making a statement but is not giving a command. An example would be, “God is in Heaven. Jesus died on the cross for sinners. The Holy Spirit grants us assurance.” These are all statements of fact. They are assertions but do not tell us what to do.
         An imperative is a command. Let’s put these together. It is a bright and sunny day today. That is an indicative. Therefore, you should wear sunscreen to protect yourself. That is an imperative. You should. Or, do some action. Imperatives command. The second half of Ephesians, the last three chapters are full of commands.
In laying out Ephesians this way, we can see the pattern. The Apostle tells us theology. He declares who God is, what He has done, what this means for us who are in Christ. Then, having declared these truths about God, he leads on to what follows. The very first words of Ephesians 4, make this transition clear, Eph. 4:1   I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
         Paul says, because of all these truths about God and who you are in God, Therefore, I beseech you, I command you to walk worthy. He then goes on to elucidate in great detail what this walking worthy looks like. He moves from telling us about God to telling us what to do about it.
         So, we should pay attention to the pattern. Do not run ahead trying to figure out what to do before you know who God is, before you know what He has done, before you know who you are in Christ. But having learned these things, these mysteries now revealed, then press on to doing those things that God calls us to do in Christ.

Historical Background
         Ephesus was a large major city in the Roman province of Asia, in what is now Turkey. It is estimated that its ancient population could have been as high as 300,000. It had a theatre that seated 25,000 which still stands today.
Ephesus was center of the cult of Diana, also known by the Greek name, Artemis. The Temple of Diana was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Its size dwarfed that of the Parthenon in Athens. I have seen the Parthenon and it is quite impressive. So, the Temple of Diana must have been an architectural marvel. You can imagine what worship this magnificent structure would inspire in the ancient pagan world. The temple preserved an image of Diana that was believed to have fallen from the sky.
         At one time, Ephesus served as port city. However, as a result of various battles and political changes, the port was not dredged and fell into decay. In the middle ages, explorers who sought the Ancient Temple were surprised to see that the city was several miles from the sea. Furthermore, the inhabitants had ceased to remember that the great Temple of Diana had once stood here.
         We should keep in mind God’s sovereignty in putting down ancient idols. The great Temple was gone, replaced by a marshy meadow and modern men who had no recollection of Artemis of the Ephesians!

Biblical Background
         Paul wrote Ephesus from prison. Paul had several stints in jail and we are not exactly sure which one is the occasion of this writing. But most likely he is writing from Rome, which would date the writing of Ephesians around 60 A.D.
In Acts 19, Paul enters into the Synagogue at Ephesus and disputed daily with the men there for a space of three months. (Acts 19:8). When they would not be persuaded, he set up in a school of one Tyrannus (Acts 19:9). He disputed daily there for two years. It was a large success and the Scriptures tell us that all Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 19:10).
Paul performed many miracles in Ephesus. He cast out demons and healed many. It was here in Ephesus that certain Jews sought to match Paul’s miracles. Even though they were not believers they sought to cast out demons in the name of Jesus.  (Acts 19:13). The demons responded rudely. The sons of Sceva, an unbelieving Jew, were attacked and stripped naked. This caused many to fear and come to true belief in the Lord Jesus.
There was much witchcraft in the city. After the sons of Sceva incident, many came to belief and brought their books of magic arts to be burned. The value of the burned books was some 9 or 10 million dollars. Can you imagine the size of the fire? Accounting for the high cost of books in the ancient world, even at $100 per book, that is 90,000 books!
Paul was very successful in his daily disputing. After the space of two years, we are told that in Ephesus the word of God grew mightily and prevailed.
It was at Ephesus that Demetrius stirred up the crowd to riot against the Christians. This event occurred at the end of Paul’s two years there. Demetrius was angry that so many people converting to Christianity was going to shut down the idol trade. Paul had been saying that gods made with hands were not God. Demetrius was mostly concerned about his finances but he justified his greed in a religious posture. This is the way of men, to justify their sin with religious sounding words.

Acts 19: 29 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.
Paul desired to go into the theatre to address the men, no doubt, to tell them exactly what they did not want to hear; that idols are not god and to turn from dead idols to the living God. Paul’s friends were in fear for his life and prevented him from entering.
The Jews put Alexander forward to try to speak. He probably meant harm to Paul He tried to speak but once they realized he was a Jew, the crowd shouted for two hours, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”
It is hard to imagine shouting this for two hours. They must have really been riled up. But we can get some sense of this even in the current Soccer World Cup. There is almost a religious fervor at these soccer matches! They can roar and chant for hours on end.
Can you imagine trying to speak against a maddened soccer crowd? How much more so if the driving issue was a starkly religious and financial one? In danger of being held accountable by the Roman armies, the town clerk was able to shut down the riot and restore order.

Paul’s Return Trip
On Paul’s return trip, he stopped in Miletus and called the elders of Ephesus to meet him. He told them, Acts 20:18-21 Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:  20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,  21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Paul testifies to them that he spoke both publicly and from house to house. That is both publicly and privately, Paul’s message was consistent and clear.

Ephesus in Corinthians
1Cor. 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
         Paul mentions his fights at Ephesus when he speaks of the Resurrection of the dead in Corinthians 15. Why is this significant. He says that if there is no Resurrection then it does not make sense to fight with beasts. He is willing to be face dangers, be imprisoned and even die because he knows that death cannot separate him from Christ. To live is Christ and to die is gain. Furthermore, he knows that if they succeed in destroying his body, God will simply raise it again an imperishable body.
         He does not take the occasion of the Ressurection of the body to sin. He sets the Resurrection as an encouragement to not sin. For us, the Resurrection of the body is the reason we can endure all sorts of hardships and remain faithful to our Lord Jesus.

A Waning Love
         Rev. 2:1   Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
         The Ephesians worked hard, showed patience and resisted evil. That was their heritage in coming out of a darkness. Furthermore, they stuck close to the word, testing those who claimed to be apostles. This may be a reference to those Paul mentions in Acts 20 that even from among the elders of Ephesus would arise those Acts 20: 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
The Ephesians had lost their initial and zeal for the Lord Jesus. This is significant. At this point it seems that they are weak and in need of a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But what does the Lord say to do? Repent. They do not get to preen themselves on their consistent distinctives. They are working hard. They are standing against heretics. They are resisting moral decay. They are doing much that looks good and right. But they are in danger of being unchurched by Jesus. What is it that they need to do? They need to stir up, through repentance, their love and devotion to the Lord.
This sort of stirring is very consistent with the epistle to the Ephesians. God is declared to us as full of glory. The words soar to the Heavens and the response is a rapt thankfulness. How can it be anything less?
It is one thing to agree with God, as the Ephesians in Revelations seem to do. They still hate what God hates. But do they love what God loves? Do they love Jesus? Do they love the Word of the Lord? Do they love the gathering of the saints? Do they love righteousness? Are they losing speed? Are they running out of zealous esteem for God? How do they fix this? By doing more work? No, Jesus has already said that they work hard and endure. But if their hard work is not producing love, zeal, satisfaction and contentment in God, what do they need to do then?
The answer is that they need to repent. We may not like that answer. Why do I have to repent? I already love Jesus. Can’t you see how hard I am working for Him?  Can’t you see how much I hate those who pervert the Scriptures and those who live ungodly lives while professing Christ? Yes, I see that and I commend you as Jesus does. But do you love Jesus? Are you filled with awe at what God has done in Christ? Do you rejoice at the name, work, and revelation of Jesus? Are you inspired by the cross and the tomb and the Resurrection and the Ascension and the Rule of Jesus? Do you long for His return to raise the dead and rule forever because you long to see Jesus face to face?
If not, then the answer is not more work, more endurance, more righteous obedience and more righteous hatred. The answer is to do what Jesus commands, repent and do the first works. Repent and pray. Repent and read the Bible. Repent and fellowship with the saints. Repent and contemplate the wonders of the goodness of God in Christ Jesus.

6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
The Nicolaitans was a sexual cult apparently within the Christian Church. God hates the deeds of such. There is a modern day counterpart to this sort of thing in celebrating homosexual behavior. Make no mistake, God hates this and Jesus commend the Ephesians for also hating it. We, too, should hate sexual perversions.
However, we can be patient, work hard, hate what God hates and still be lacking in our first love. That is, personal and corporate devotion to Jesus Christ. That is the first thing, to be in Christ and to be filled up with the glory of it. To love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength.
What does he tell them? Repent and do the first works or the candlestick will be removed. What is the candlestick? The life of the Holy Spirit. If there is no love, there is no life.

7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

If you repent in this way, God grants you the Tree of Life in the midst of the paradise of God. God desires that we posesss an everlasting zeal for the Lord. Of course, we cannot gin this up. He has to give it to us. But even though we cannot gin it up, we do appear to be able to bottle it up. We cannot get the Genie of the Spirit out of the bottle but we can cork the bottle through sinful behavior. And we can uncork the bottle through confession and repentance.

Spirit Filled Church

We have heard from the Lord about rekindling love for Jesus, for His Word, for His people, for His Church. This is all represented to us at this Table, the Table of Thanksgiving. He told us to repent and do the first works. Much of what we do at the beginning of our walk with Christ is to simply thank Him in awe at His great love for us, to die for us, to deliver us from sin and death, to lead us in His Holy Spirit, to bring us to the Father without fear.
         And so here is a great place to rekindle love, devotion and zeal for the Lord. Are you thankful? Are you in awe at the Lord’s goodness to you? Are you pleased to be at peace with God and His people? Are you glad to be welcome to God’s dining table and to be filled up with Jesus by the Holy Spirit?
         This is love that One would lay down His life for His friends. We are the friends of Christ. Then, let us love the One who revealed His great love for us. Amen. 

First Love

In today’s sermon, the Ephesians have most things right. They resist false teachers. They expose sexual immorality in the church. They appear to be regular churchgoers. This is all good but the one thing the Lord has against them is a very serious charge.
         He says that they have lost their first love. This is very much something worth thinking about. If you are a Christian of 5, 10, 20 or 40 years, then the danger is present for you. Have your duties in Christ grown old? Is service to Him ho hum? Do you take His manifold blessings for granted?

         His answer to the Ephesians is not to try harder or do more. He points to the real problem. They don’t love the Lord their God with all of their heart, soul, strength and mind. The way out of this is not to will oneself to love more but rather to repent of the lack of love, the lack of loyalty and fidelity. Repentance, confession, forgiveness and restoration rekindles love and zeal.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

1 Samuel Wrap Up

Text: 2 Samuel 2:1-9

Review- Israel entered into the Promised Land and desired a king like the nations around them. They asked God for such a king and they got what they wanted in King Saul. This brings to mind the proverb, Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.
         God had intended to provide a king for Israel. He served as their king and wanted them to have a king who was interested in God’s kingdom. Their sin was not so much that they wanted a king but that they wanted a king like the nations around them. They were pre-mature and immature in their request. They were not willing to wait on God.
         In the subsequent history of Saul and Israel, we see this immaturity over and over. They do not wait on God. They run ahead and get themselves in trouble.
         Saul becomes the paradigmatic king to represent Israel. He, too, runs ahead of the Spirit. God is gracious to Saul but Saul does not wait for Samuel to offer sacrifices. Saul does not follow the command of the Lord. He is hasty and he is disobedient.
         David, on the other hand, waits on God. Even when circumstances avail themselves, he will not act rashly. He does not presume to know God’s mind when Saul is within his grasp. He refuses to listen to the voices that want him to raise his hand against the Lord’s anointed. David is content to let God do the work to bring him into his kingdom.
         We need to learn the lesson of David. Patience really is a virtue. It has become a proverb for me that time and patience takes care of most things. We are often clamoring for something to happen. We want someone to fix a situation, whether it is a person in authority, a parent, a teacher, a coach, a pastor. But time and patience are the need of the day. We often need to be content to let God sort things out.
         This is true both for good things and for bad things. David was willing to wait for God to sort out the consequences for both he and Saul. What should be done about Saul? Nothing. Let us wait and see what God will do? What should be done about your anointing from the prophet Samuel? Nothing. Let us wait and see what God will do. In both situations, God sorts it out. Saul is judged and David comes into His Kingdom.
         Of course, it sometimes takes great wisdom to know when and how to act. Men should be men of action and initiative. But we should also be men who are willing to wait and see what God will do. We need to be cautious about making hasty judgments and actions. Waiting a little longer never hurt when dealing with sinners. Waiting a little longer never hurt when waiting for promised blessings. Be patient. Settle down. God has it under control.
        
The Promise- God is not slow about fulfilling His promises. Some count Him slow but we cannot count high enough to know what slow is.
         The Davidic Kingdom was not without opposition and enemies. After many years of rebellion, God’s promises finally come together. Saul is dead and David is king. Since this is the case, we might assume that the Davidic Kingdom would be one of an instant reign of peace. But that is not what happens. David becomes king but there is still opposition. Saul’s family lays claim to the kingdom. Abner is in opposition to David. The Northern tribes are unsure of whom they will serve.
         David sets up his kingdom at Hebron and waits seven more years before consolidating his power in Jerusalem. His full kingdom does not suddenly appear. Even after arriving in Jerusalem, David is still surrounded with enemies within and enemies without.     

Some of this trouble was of his own doing. I am thinking of the trouble with many children from different wives. This did not have to be so. But a great deal of his trouble was from internal agitators and external enemies. David had to continue to fight for the peace of His kingdom.
2 Sam. 2:1   And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up.
Even after the judgment has fallen on Saul and his sons, David is not hasty. It seems really clear that God has now given him the kingdom. It seems especially clear that David’s tribe would receive him as king. But David does not presume upon God. He asks God for an answer.
Often pastors are sought for advice. But the seeking is often two fold. One man comes and asks advice for a decision he has already made. He really does not want advice. He wants the pastor to agree with his decision. But that is not really seeking advice. In such situations I try to figure out if the man has already decided. If so, he does not need my advice and he does not want my opinion. He wants me to agree with him and a failure on my part is seen as opposition to him.
Another man comes in the throws of a decision. He wonders what the Bible says about it, if anything. He wonders what the elders might think? He wonders if the pastor has experience or wisdom to relate to the decision. He weighs this multitude of counselors in order to make a wise decision.
The first man deserves no answer. The second is a wise son and will hear from God.
David was like the second man. He was ready and willing to make a move but he really wanted to do so with the blessing of God. He wanted to know what God wanted him to do. He was willing to not go up depending upon the Word of the Lord. Thus, when he does go up, he goes with the confidence that God is with him. He has not simply spoken his own mind and gathered yes men to exhort him on.

And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron. 
David not only asked ‘if’ he should go up but also ‘where’ he should go. He did not have pre-conceived ideas about when and where his kingdom would be established. He was willing to follow the Lord wherever the Lord sent him.

2 So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal’s wife the Carmelite.  3 And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.
The answer from God is to go up to Hebron and there be made king. David had a ready army and kingdom. Many men come to join kingdom and establish his kingdom in power and glory.

4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.
David is of the tribe of Judah and the men of the tribe of Judah anoint David their king. Keep in mind that David has not become the undisputed King of Israel. In some ways, he is less of a king at this point than Saul was. He is the rightful King of Israel but there will be a struggle to attain his full kingdom.
Heb. 2:5  For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.  6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?  7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:  8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.  9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
Heb. 2:10   For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.  11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 

And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were they that buried Saul. 
This is a bit of a test for David and for his men. Why did they report this? Was it that David would lash out at the men of Jabeshgilead? Or, so that he would know who those are that are loyal to Saul? David is now in the world of kings, the world of intrigue and court politics. But David is not a king like the nations around him. David rules in the wisdom of God. He is not afraid of man because God is on his side.

5 And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabeshgilead, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the LORD, that ye have shewed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him.  6 And now the LORD shew kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing. 
David blesses the men of Jabeshgilead. In this, David shows great wisdom. He honors Saul and Jonathan, in life as well as death. He reaches out an olive branch of peace to those who were loyal to Saul. He blesses them for being loyal and honorable to their king.
This is wisdom. David is now the king and he desires the same kind of loyalty that he showed King Saul and that these men of Jabeshgilead showed Saul. Far from punishing these men, David esteems them high honor.

7 Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.
David commends them and exhorts them to strong and valiant. He exhorts them to transfer their allegiance from Saul to David. They loved Saul and David loved Saul. Judah is now serving David and David invites the men of Jabeshgilead to that same service.
The city of Jabeshgilead was in the tribe of Gad.

2 Sam. 2:8   But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;  9 And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.
From Day One, David has trouble in his kingdom. But that does not alter the fact that David is the rightful king and that his kingdom will be firmly established. But it takes time and patience and work and rest in God.
This is not unlike Christ’s kingdom.
Psalm 2-1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?  2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,  3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.  4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.  5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.  6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
Psalm 8-1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.  2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
Psa. 8:3   When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;  4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?  5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.  6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:  7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;  8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.  9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
Psa. 110:1   The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.  2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.  3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.  4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
Psa. 110:5   The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.  6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.  7 He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.
David’s kingdom like Christ’s kingdom, what prideful schemes are they in vain devising? Why do the enemies plot a vain thing?
God looks at this and hold them in derision and laughs. This present suffering is part of the glory of our inheritance in the saints. This is true when enemies plot against the Lord’s anointed and it is true when suffering enters the lives of the saints. God is working something great out of all of this.

EXHORTATION
         We are overwhelming conquerors, in this life and in the one to come. We enter into the sufferings of Christ but nothing can separate us from Christ. We cannot understand this or put proper words to it but the Spirit can. It makes sense to Him and He goes to the Father with it because we are in the Son. So, the chief thing is to be in the Son.
         Rom. 8:26  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Rom. 8:29   For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
         Rom. 8:31   What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?  33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.  34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.