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.

Romans 8:38-39

In his epistle to the Romans, Paul set forth the gospel he preached across the Empire, a gospel he describes as “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16, ESV). Having looked at the problem of sin and God’s provision of righteousness through faith in Christ, in chapter 8 he explains God’s provision for believers to live holy lives.

The chapter begins with a marvellous assertion that for those who are “in Christ Jesus” there is no condemnation, since He has borne our condemnation for us. He sent His Holy Spirit to indwell and empower believers to live lives that are pleasing to Him. “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him” (Romans 8:8-9, ESV).

Jesus had warned His disciples that “in the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33), and Paul likewise reminds us that “the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs together until now” (Romans 8:22). The presence of the Holy Spirit in believers does not exempt us from suffering; however, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses and prays for us (v. 26) and God causes all things to work for the good of those who love Him (v. 28).

The chapter ends with wonderful assurance for those who have trusted Christ, that nothing will ever separate them from God’s love. He examines every possible scenario to provide us with assurance of God’s unfailing love. He asks, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (v. 31). He knows that God will not bring legal charges against us because He is the one who declared us righteous. He knows that Christ won’t condemn us because He was condemned for us. So, what could possibly separate us from the love of Christ? “Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (v. 35-37, NIV). Paul is convinced, and every believer should be too, that nothing can separate us from the love of God that is found in His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


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