Charles Hodge’s observations in his Romans commentary are mind blowing. Every truth we tip toe around for fear of angering pietists he puts out there without the slightest apprehension. Take for instance the simple phrase from Romans 8:35, “Christ’s love.” No big deal, right? A throw away expression? Not hardly. Hear the good doctor lay it down.
“It is no ground of confidence to assert, or even to feel, that we will never forsake Christ, but it is the strongest ground of assurance to be convinced that his love will never change. And, moreover, verse 39 requires this interpretation; for there Paul expresses the same sentiment in language which cannot be misunderstood. ‘No creature,’ he says, ‘shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.’ This is evidently God’s love towards us. The great difficulty with many Christians is that they cannot persuade themselves that Christ (or God) loves them; and the reason why they cannot feel confident of the love of God, is, that they know they do not deserve his love, on the contrary, that they are in the highest degree unlovely. How can the infinitely pure God love those who are defiled with sin, who are proud, selfish, discontented, ungrateful, disobedient? This, indeed, is hard to believe. But it is the very thing we are required to believe, not only as the condition of peace and hope, but as the condition of salvation. If our hope of God’s mercy and love is founded on our own goodness or attractiveness, it is a false hope. We must believe that his love is gratuitous, mysterious, without any known or conceivable cause, certainly without the cause of loveliness in its object; that it is, in short, what it is so often declared to be in the Bible, analogous to the love of a parent for his child. A father’s or mother’s love is independent of the attractiveness of its object, and often in spite of its deformity.”
Told ya so… Now deal with it.