But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer
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.
Romans 8 is often viewed as the pinnacle of Paul’s theology, where he gives an eloquent discourse on our victory in Christ. At the very end of the chapter he argues that nothing – neither death nor life nor any other thing – can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.
How many times have I read those verses or heard them, and slid right through the litany of things listed without really thinking about them? This morning one item on the list caught my attention – life.
I could see right away why Paul might need to assure some that death would not separate the Believer from God’s love, but life…? Why would he need to offer assurance that life would not separate us from that love?
There are two Greek words translated “life” – bios and zoe. Bios has more to do with the physical, quantitative principle of life, while zoe, our word in this text, refers to the more spiritual and qualitative aspect. Zodhiates puts is this way: zoe is “being indwelt by God but not necessarily favored by circumstances.”
Have you ever felt that circumstances were not favoring you? Perhaps now, even as you are reading this, there are issues in your life that are making it hard to hang onto God’s love for you. You may feel abandoned, or trapped, or smothered, or forgotten – your circumstances may be overwhelming and painful and totally out of control.
But God sends His sweet and tender assurance through Paul, that even what is happening in your life cannot separate you from His love. He has neither abandoned you nor forgotten you. He brings you liberation and certain victory in and through your Christ, your Savior, your Jesus. He is your Abba Father, and He will prevent anything from separating you from His love. Even death. And even life.
What circumstances in your life conspire to try to separate you from the love of your Father? What would change in your heart if you were more confident of His unfailing love for you? Why is He telling you today that life will not separate you from His steadfast love?