What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The earliest Christians understood that their conversion to Christ was a conversion to invincibility and vulnerability. They understood that love would never again be only an option in their lives which were rooted in Jesus. They knew the invincible love of Jesus would also be their vulnerability in this world.
Since the beginnings of Christianity in Jesus’ incarnation and sacrificial love for us at Calvary, disciples of Jesus have been taught that to love with His love is to be continuously invincible and vulnerable. All disciples have been taught that they will carry a cross. All disciples who love with Jesus’ love do carry a cross. Whenever any disciple loves with Jesus’ love they are both invincible and vulnerable in this world.
There is, however, a difference in begin taught that love makes one invincible and vulnerable in the world and actually living this reality in the face of cultural and religious violence toward Christians. There is a great gulf between a Bible study about the invincibility and vulnerability of living Jesus’ love and living both during expulsion from one’s home and rejection from one’s culture.
Some verses in the Bible and some stories of Christian persecution can only be truly understood when the reality of living the invincibility and vulnerability of Jesus’ love comes to where we live. And it always comes in some form because it is the normal Christian life.
Jesus showed us that His love makes us invincible and it also makes us vulnerable. Only those who see His love in them as invincible will be able to endure the levels of vulnerability that have come to our time. We knew this time for us would come. It is here.