Art Toombs Ministries

Online Bible Commentary

Nothing Can Separate Us from the Love of Christ
Romans 8:33 Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 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 Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who 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 created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV)






Paul wrote this letter from Corinth, Greece during a three month visit to the church there in late 56 and early 57 A.D. The letter is heavy with Christian Doctrine, Christian teaching.

Before we look at the above passage we must review, in order to establish context. The teaching for chapters six through eight is sanctification. Sanctification can be defined as the process of being made holy.

Chapter six introduced positional and practical sanctification. Paul then elaborated on positional sanctification in chapter seven and practical sanctification in chapter eight.

In chapter six, Paul taught sanctification as being positional, meaning our standing with God, and as being practical, meaning how we work out this standing in our lives.

Referring to positional sanctification Paul wrote: “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.” (Romans 6:10). On the cross, Christ finished the work of sin. Sin died and Christ was risen to “live to God” a new life as the Resurrected Christ.

Next, he wrote “Just as Christ died to sin, likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin” (Romans 6:11a). Positionally, Christ’s death on the cross put sin to death and we Christians died to sin with Him. Practically, Paul commanded us to “be dead indeed to sin”.

Christ has declared us dead to sin. Positional sanctification says that we are dead to sin, we are unable to sin. When we become a Christian, we become a new creation, dead to sin and alive to righteousness, “alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (v. 6:11b).

But there is still a problem, positionally, that Paul detailed in chapter seven. He wrote “So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” (v. 7:25b).

We serve the “law of God” with our spiritual selves. But we still serve “the law of sin” with our physical selves.

So, we, as Christians, still have a sin problem, positionally. We must work out this problem practically.

That is where God comes in. When we become a Christian, the Holy Spirit, the spirit of Jesus Christ, indwells us. The Oxford Dictionary defines the word “indwell”, theologically, as meaning “to be permanently present in someone’s soul or mind: to possess spiritually”. The Holy Spirit is our power and He assures that our sanctification will become complete.

In this passage Paul concludes, for now, his writings on sanctification. In this chapter, chapter eight, he has been writing of practical sanctification.

His concluding words on practical sanctification assures us of God’s everlasting love and provision in completing our sanctification. He will not leave the job undone.

Paul answers three questions to describe His everlasting love and provision:

The first question is “Who shall bring a charge against God's elect?” *v. 33a). Paul’s answer is “It is God who justifies.” (v. 33b).

No one will ever be able to doubt that Christians are sanctified, set apart for God. They are God’s children and He has “justified” them. God has judged them innocent of their sin and has set them apart for His use.

The second question is “Who is he who condemns?” (v. 34a). Paul’s answer is “It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” (v. 34b).

No one will ever be able to condemn Christians, because we have the greatest lawyer in history representing us. His name is Jesus Christ.

He defeated death, was resurrected, and now sits at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven. He is God, He is all powerful, all knowing, and all present.

And He is our lawyer, He intercedes for the Saints, Christians. No one can defeat Him. No one can condemn His chosen people.

Paul’s answer to this third question is more comprehensive, and lengthy, than the first two. His answer sums up Christ’s great love and provision for His people as He accomplishes their sanctification.

The third question is “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (v. 35).

Nothing “can separate us from the love of Christ”. Christians suffer from “tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, and sword” as they do the work of the Lord. But Christ never leaves us. He has promised to never leave nor forsake us.

David described the peril of God’s people when he wrote in Psalm 44:22 “As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ " (v. 36).

God’s people have always suffered. Christians suffer, because Christ suffered. We are constantly under the microscope.

There are always people ready and willing to criticize, persecute and even put us to death. Satan and his followers are always ready to pounce and destroy. David experienced this and so shall we.

And “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (v. 37). Through the power of Christ, we shall always conquer and persevere.

Through it all Christ will complete His job of sanctification. He loves us that much.

In conclusion, Paul writes “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.” (vv. 38-39).

Death, nor the perils of life will not separate us. The supernatural {angels, principalities, powers) will not separate us. Things of the present, or the future, will not separate us. Things of the occult, from the heights or depths, will not separate us. No created thing at all will separate us.

Nothing will separate us from the love of Christ.