Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 

As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 

Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.

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 creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Rom. 8:35-39

The final question and its answer! 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?. . . I am persuaded that no created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord! 

If this also is true, then, indeed, no one and nothing can be against us! 

Our would-be accusers are silenced. Eagerly they appear in the courtroom of the Judge of heaven and earth, Who surely will do right; gladly they would bring their indictments against the elect to prove their damnable state; but shamefacedly they sneaked away, for they found that it is God that justifieth! Who then, shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? 

Gladly they would sit on the judgment-seat themselves in order to bring a verdict of condemnation against the people of God. But they found that the judgment-seat was occupied by Him that was anointed thereunto from before the foundation of the world! Christ, the one that died and was raised again from the dead, Who also is the advocate of all whom the Father gave Him and maketh intercession for them, is sitting on the right hand of God and is become the sole Judge in all the universe. Where, then, is the condemner?. . . . 

Yet, one question remaineth. 

Evident it is that Christ loves us, that God loves us in Christ, that there is no condemnation for us. 

But will someone, perhaps, be able to separate us from the power of that love?

Suppose that an infuriated mob took me before the judge in a worldly court, loudly accusing me of murder of which I am innocent, and insisting upon my condemnation; suppose that the accusations against me were found to be without ground so that the accusers dropped off; suppose the judge passed a verdict of not guilty and that I am set at liberty; but suppose that the furious and howling mob of my hostile accusers are congregated before the door of the courtroom, still demanding my death and eager to lay hands on me, themselves to become my executioners; then the question arises immediately: will that mob be able to separate me from the power of the judge that acquitted me? 

God loves me and justifies me, the accusers are silenced! 

Christ loves me and is the sole Judge, with all power in heaven and on earth; there is no one to condemn me! 

But I must still be in the hostile world! 

My enemies are waiting! 

And the final question must be faced: Shall anyone be able to separate me from the love that justified me? 

But the question is a challenge! 

And the answer more than a denial! 

For, not only shall no created thing be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, but we are more than victors! 

Even the enemy must work together for our salvation! 

I am persuaded! . . . .


Separation is impossible! 

From what? 

From the love of Christ! From the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord! 

And these two are one. The love of Christ is the love of God. For, the love of God was manifested in the love of Christ, Who died for us on the accursed tree. And emphatically the love of Christ and the love of God to us are meant, not our love to God in Christ.

Who shall separate us? 

The question, then, is not: who shall be able to extinguish the flame of the love of God in Christ in our hearts; even though in the final sense this is also impossible, because our love of God is but a flame kindled by His love of us. Neither does the question refer to the possibility of the fire of the love of Christ being quenched, although it is true, that the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord is eternal and immutable. Still less is it the meaning of the question: who shall deprive us of the blessed feeling, consciousness, assurance that God loves us in Christ; this, indeed, is possible at times, though He never forsakes us and always leads us back into the sweet fellowship of His friendship and favor. 

But the question is: who shall separate us from thepower of that love?

Who is able to intervene, so to force himself between that love of God in Christ and us that its power can no longer reach us, that we are cut off from its saving help? 

The subject of this entire chapter, this triumphant song of faith, is the absolute security of believers in Christ with a view to their eternal salvation and incorruptible glory. And this salvation is accomplished to the end by the love of God in Christ Jesus. On its saving power all depends. Without it believers are lost. By that love they are justified and no one is able to bring any charge against the elect of God. Because of that love they are secure in the hour of judgment and no one can appear as their condemner. Forensically their salvation is established. But will that same love of God be able to save us to the end? Are there, then, in the world no powers that can separate us from its saving strength? 

Just as a shipwrecked sailor, who found a place of temporary safety on the rock in the midst of the tempestuous sea, might ask, whether the raging billows will not separate him from the rock of his salvation, so the question is whether anything is able to separate us from the power of the love of God. 

Or, just as a beleaguered city feels itself secure and able to sustain a long siege as long as it is not separated from the source of its food supply, so the Christian is safe as long as he is not cut off from the love of God in Christ Jesus his Lord. 

Or, even as the vanguard of an army is in danger of annihilation if, pressing forward too recklessly into hostile territory, it becomes separated from the main army, so God’s people would be overwhelmed by hostile powers, powers of death and destruction, if ever they would be found in circumstances where the power of Christ’s love could not reach them. 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? 

Who shall cut us off from the main and only source of our salvation? 

But the question is a challenge. 

And the answer is: no one! 

I am persuaded! . . . .


Audacious challenge! 

For, many, indeed, are the powers of darkness that would appear to be able to effect this separation! 

And quite consciously, too, the challenge is flung in the face of these hostile and mighty powers! 

Who?. . . . 

The apostle is thinking of these powers as a person. For, though in the enumeration of the evil forces he mentions chiefly conditions, states, circumstances, yet he puts the challenging question in that personal form: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? And with good reason. Are not the principalities and powers, with Satan as their prince and chief, the agents that cause all these states, conditions, circumstances to come upon the Church for the very purpose of separating her forever from the love of God in Christ Jesus and to destroy her? . . . . 

The apostle is thinking of the sufferings for Christ’s sake, as is evident from the quotation from Psalm 44: For Thy sake we are killed all the day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter; as is evident, too, from the terms: persecution, sword! And it is the hostile world-power that inflicts this suffering, that breathes this destruction against the people of God. It causes tribulation and distress, making the place of the people of God in the world narrow, socially, economically, politically, so that they can neither buy nor sell, unless they bear the mark of the beast, so that they have no room to breathe. That power would have God’s people go in hunger and nakedness, in physical want of every kind. It would leave the church no place of safety, make her position perilous wherever she may turn, persecuting her with the mighty sword. 

Do not remark that this picture is overdrawn! 

A real picture it is of the position of the Church in the world! 

To impress us with the reality of this perilous position we are referred to the song of the Church in the old dispensation, when, after the captivity, it became the victim of the worlds furious hatred, so that without exaggeration, inspired, indeed, by the Spirit of Christ, it could exclaim: For Thy sake we are killed all the livelong day; the world regards us as sheep for the slaughter; never a moment are we safe against its fury. Such was the position of the Church then; such is her position in the world principally always, for even as they hated Christ that loves them, so they will hate them that are beloved of Him. Such will be the position of the Church at the time of the end, when Antichrist will pour the last vials of his furious hatred upon the people of Christ. And do we not hear the rumblings of that final thunder even now? . . . . 

The end of all things is near! 

Be ye, therefore, sober and watch unto prayer! 

And be not unequally yoked together with the unbeliever! 

But even so, be of good cheer! For, who shall separate us, who shall even then, in the midst of tribulation and distress, when hunger and nakedness must be suffered for Christ’s sake, when peril and sword would kill us all the livelong day, cut us off from the source of our salvation, the saving power of the love of God in Christ Jesus? 

Nothing! 

No created thing, in heaven, earth, or hell! 

No trouble or distress you may meet in life, no darkness of the shadow of death; no hunger or nakedness, no pain or sorrow, no tribulation or anguish, not even death itself shall be able to separate us from that wondrous love! No angels, no evil spirits, not even all the host of them with the devil as their chief; no principalities and powers, no mighty Caesars or wicked kings, no Nebuchadnezzars or Antiochuses or Neros, no Hitlers or Mussolinis or Stalins, with all their sword-power, are able to prevent that power of Christ’s love from reaching us with its saving arm. Nothing there is in time or space, nothing there is in the present, nothing can ever arise in the future; nothing there is in the heights of heaven and no power there is in the depth of hell, that is strong enough to cut us off from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord . . . . 

Was anything forgotten in this enumeration? . . . . 

Well, then, let this set your hearts finally at rest: nor any other creature! 

No created thing! 

Not they, not the enemies, not the angels or principalities or powers, not tribulation or distress or hunger or nakedness or peril or sword, not any creature in the present or in the future in the heights or in the depths can have the victory! We triumph! 

Not they but we conquer! 

Already we are conquerors! 

Nay, more than conquerors are we! 

A worldly victor may glory in his triumph after he has fought the battle; we have the victory while the battle is still raging. We triumph while we fight; we glory in the victory even when apparently we are overwhelmed. The enemy cannot even touch us. The outcome is never uncertain! 

More than victors are we! 

An earthly battle may be won but not without more or less severe losses on the part of the victor. We lose nothing in the battle! 

Yea, even the enemy must help us, in spite of himself, to attain to the final victory and glory! 

More than conquerors!


Blessed assurance! 

For I am persuaded! 

Thus the apostle glorifies, victorious on the heights of faith; and thus this part of the Word of our God would have us glory in the midst of the sufferings of this present time.

Nothing can separate us! 

But how is this glorying, this blessed assurance possible? How can we be sure that nothing can separate us from the love of God? 

Emphatically because it is the love of God on which everything, on which all depends, not on our love, neither on the cooperation of. His love and ours, but on His love alone! Not, indeed, as if it matters not whether or not we love God; but on our love nothing depends, not even that love itself! We love Him only because He loved us first. And His love is eternal, sovereign, unchangeable. Nothing can quench that love. In that love He made all things. In that love He governs all things, even the powers of darkness, even tribulation and distress and nakedness and hunger and peril and sword, even death itself. And that love is omnipotent. It never fails! . . . . 

Who, then, can separate us from that love of God! 

And that love was manifested! 

For it is the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord! 

Christ loved us! He loved us in a very definite act of love. He loved us on the accursed tree. On that tree He took our sins upon Himself to bear them away forever. On that cross He fought the battle alone, in our behalf, and was victorious . . . . 

For, He arose! 

He overcame the world. He is victor over sin and death!

Look, then, on that love! It is the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Look on that cross and triumph! 

More than conquerors through Him that loved us! 

Who shall separate us?