There are a lot of people today who are trying to convince us that their version of reality is the truth. We live in a day where there is much fake news and many distortions, according to people’s perspectives of what reality is. But Paul has been telling us about the fact that there is nothing that can separate us from the amazing love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Last week in our blog Paul was telling us that we “overwhelmingly conquer” through the Lord Jesus Christ who loves us. Picking up with that thought we read, “But in all of these things we overwhelmingly conqueror through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 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,” (Rom. 8:37-39 NASB). Paul begins this section in verse 38 with the word “for”. This is the summary word reinforcing and applying what he has just said about nothing being able to separate us from the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus. His statement – “I am convinced” indicates that Paul had come through a process of persuasion to a settled conclusion. He’s not persuaded that his circumstances would change, but what he knew to be true was that for the believer death was simply a promotion into the glorious presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In this present life there are a lot of hazards that come along, but in the next life we will be gloriously brought into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul talks about “angels and principalities”, to understand what these words mean we must keep them in their cultural context. The Jews of Paul’s day had a highly developed belief in angels, and everything had its own angel. When Paul was Saul, he was trained as a rabbi, which meant he would’ve been very much aware of the theology of angels in the first century. The rabbis taught that the angels were grudgingly hostile towards mankind and the fallen angels were angry with God because He had created man. The things that Paul mentions that cannot separate us from the love of Christ include the “present”, which refers to our current present struggles that we may be going through right now. Also “the things to come” can’t separate us from Christ, Paul is referring to the judgment that will befall the human race at the end of this age. Notice Paul’s absolute confidence in having a right standing before God.
Paul then mentioned “powers”, which refers to the worldly system that he was living in and that we are currently living in today. The plural form of the word “power” usually refers to persons in positions of authority. He then refers to, “height, depth or any other created thing”. “Height” refers to the stars, remembering that in the first-century people were very superstitious, and many believed that their destiny was settled by the star under which they were born. “Depth” refers to the fact that hell has no power over us, for those who are in Christ are protected from the ultimate destruction in hell. Finally, Paul states, “nor any other created thing” is able to separate us from the love of God. What Paul is saying is that there is no aspect of the creative reality that can separate us from God’s love. Our Creator is greater in might than all of His creation that might want to attack us and undo our salvation. It is the Lord God of the universe who we worship and serve who holds the laws and forces of nature together. He also holds all of us who put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ in the palm of His hand.
As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are going to face hardships and difficulties in various forms. But it is critically important to be convinced with Paul that none of these things could possibly separate us from the deep love of God as He works in our hearts and life. Jesus’s death on our behalf and His resurrection are all proof of His unconquerable love for us. What an amazing thing it is to know this kind of love and to have experienced this love on a personal level. Let us continue to strive to grow closer to the Lord Jesus Christ and know that there is nothing in heaven or hell, earth or sky that can separate us from this most amazing love. I hope that you are rejoicing in our Savior this day for His great love for you.
All for God’s glory,
Pastor Rich Sivo