January 31 - Romans 8:35-39

Friday, January 31, 2014

Romans 8:35-39 – Who Can Separate Us?

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 
         “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul has been writing of the relationship between the Father, The Spirit and Christ Jesus as they work to bring us all into righteousness and by verse 35, he is ecstatic. The strength of the Trinity stands firm as Paul lists those things which attempt to separate each of us from the love that comes down from heaven and was expressed on the cross.

Troubles, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger or sword. These things can't stop love. In fact, they become nothing when we realize that ultimately our safety is in eternity, not in this life and they are nothing in comparison with the one who will keep us safe because of his great love for us.

Paul turns to Psalm 44:22 as he attempts to remind his readers that facing trouble is nothing new and is not limited to each of us in our own time. God's people have always faced death. The entirety of the human race faces death, but we are so much more because of our relationship with God. We have the love of Christ with us as we face these things. We are victors and that love gives us power to overcome … to conquer whatever the world sends our way.

Paul's climactic words in the last two verses ask us to consider that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ. He begins with the natural realm – death and life, moves through time - things present or things to come, then to powers from on high or down below and becomes all inclusive with "anything else in all creation."

God is in charge of his creation and nothing can separate us from his love. He has done all of the work and though we may face things that seem insurmountable, in the end, it is not life on earth, but life in eternity with God that is our goal.