Monday, January 20, 2014

Romans 8:35-39 - More Assurance


If God is for us, no one can be against us! This assurance, written to us by Paul, is continued in the next verses.

Romans 8:35-39 (KJV)
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul asked a related question in verse 35. Who can separate believers from the love of Messiah? Can tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or the sword separate believers from Yeshua's love? Although Paul had already stressed that no one could be truly against believers, humans can be hard to convince. Paul understood that when believers go through difficult times, especially those related to persecution, they can feel that God is far away and is not caring for His children.

In verse 36 Paul began by looking at Psalm 44:22, "as it is written."

Psalm 44:22 (KJV)
22 Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

Believers are often killed because of their faith, but in spite of how God's enemies mistreat them, believers are more than conquerors through Yeshua (verse 37). Obviously, this is not a reference to God's keeping His people from danger or death, but refers back to verse 28, and how all things work for good. The end result is an eternity with God and a glorified body. Also, persecution can be a powerful witness to unbelievers. It is amazing how the Body of Messiah can actually grow during times of persecution.

In verses 38 & 39 Paul said that he was persuaded that death, life, angels, principalities (evil spiritual kingdoms), powers, things present, things to come, height, depth, nor any other creature could separate believers from the love of God, which is in Yeshua. This list covered everything that Paul could think of. Nothing can separate the believer from the love of God.

Side note: Verses 38 & 39 are often used to prove that believers can never fall away to the point of no longer being saved. This would be a discussion for another time. The point of this section of Romans was to give the believers assurance that even though they were going through much, the outcome was by far greater than anything that they had gone through. I will leave the discussion at that.

God has His program! Believers are called, justified, and they will, without doubt, be glorified! It is a great assurance that we have in Yeshua!


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