Romans 8:31-39 – God’s Love in Christ Jesus
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted 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, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It would be hard to count the number of times I have read this passage personally or used it in my ministry. Virtually every funeral has contained the last few verses of this passage – speaking of how nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. I have turned to it many times in my own life for encouragement, strength, hope. One could take chapters 7 and 8 of Romans and encapsulate most of the Gospel from our need for God to the forgiveness and freedom won for us and the future (and present) hope that we have.
But the finale here is what always stood out – nothing – not death, life, angels, rulers, things present, future, powers, height, depth…nothing nothing nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. I wonder why Paul chose all of those things to list – I can understand things like rulers and powers of the world, but angels? Maybe its simply he wanted to emphasize to the nth degree of God’s present-ness with us – no matter what.