Main point summary
Being made right in God's sight, absolutely nothing can come between a believer and God, nor can anything or anyone ever separate a believer from Christ's love.
What then shall we say to these things?
(Question) What then shall we say in response to these things?
p If God is for us,
(1st Answer) If God is for us,
who can be 1 against us?
then no one can ever be against us.
q He who did not spare his own Son
He, who even His own Son, did not withhold
but r gave him up for us all,
but gave Him up to die for us all,
how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
(1st Reason Why No One can be Against a Believer) thus, it is not possible that He shall not give us, in grace, all things with Him.
Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?
(2nd Reason Why No One can be Against a Believer) No one shall bring any charges against us whom God has chosen beforehand
s It is God who justifies.
because it is God Himself who makes us right with Him.
t Who is to condemn?
(3rd Reason Why No One can be Against a Believer) No one can pronounce punishment on us: God's elect
Christ Jesus is the one who died—
because Jesus, having died-
more than that, who was raised—
but also having been raised from the dead-
u who is at the right hand of God,
and is now in a position of high status in the presence of God
v who indeed is interceding for us. 1
is Himself constantly interceding on our behalf.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
(2nd Answer / Sub-question) Can anything, such as these things, separate us from the love Christ has for us:
As it is written,
Just as it has been written in the Scriptures:
w “For your sake x we are being killed all the day long;
"For you we are being put to death all the time;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
we are regarded as sheep destined to the slaughter."
No, in all these things we are more than y conquerors through z him who loved us.
(Answer to Sub-question) No, in all these things we are again and again coming off completely victorious through Him who loved us.
For I am sure that
(Reason for Victory) For I am surely convinced that none of these:
(2) life now,
(4) ruling spirits,
nor things present
(5) things in the present,
nor things to come,
(6) things yet to come,
(7) supernatural rulers,
(8) the world above,
(9) the world below,
nor anything else in all creation,
(10) or any created thing,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Immediate Context: Implications of Being Made Right with God: Victory over the sinful nature through the Spirit (8:1-17) Christ came to condemn sin in sinful man (8:1-4) The sinful nature brings death but the Spirit brings life (8:5-13) Those who have the Spirit are the children of God (8:14-17) Future glory, though there's suffering in the present (8:18-30) The believers and creation long for God to reveal His glory (8:18-25) The Spirit helps believers in their praying God’s purpose and work in believers’ lives will lead them to be glorified An experience of God’s care (8:31-39) Because God is for believers, no one can accuse or condemn them (8:31-34) No one can separate believers from Christ's love (8:35-39) God's Eternal, Enduring, Inseparable Love Towards the Elect (Romans 8:31-39) Question : What can be said about these things (i.e., chapters 5 to 8)? (8:31a) First Answer : God is on the believer’s side, thus no one can ever be against a believer (8:31-34): [Conditional] If: If God is for believers (8:31b) Then (Rhetorical Question): Who can be against believers? (Answer: No one) Reason in Progression (8:32a-34c): [Redemption, Atonement, Propitiation] God did all that is necessary, even giving up His own Son Jesus, for believers to be made right with Himself (8:32) Idea: It is inconceivable that God will not give a believer all things along with Jesus (8:32) Negative: God did not withhold even His “own” Son (8:32a) Positive: God gave Jesus to die for us all (8:32b) Conclusion: It is impossible that/No one can doubt that God shall not give the believer, in grace, all things (all those blessings—spiritual and material—that we require on the path toward that final salvation) along with Jesus (8:32c) Quote: “Why be dubious about the chattels, when you have the Lord?” (Chrysostom) [Justification - legal term] God Himself made believers right with Himself (8:33) Idea: No one shall bring any charges against God’s elect (8:33) Rhetorical Question: Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? (8:33a) Answer: No one, because it is God Himself who makes us right with Himself (8:33b) Note: The future tense of the verb focuses attention on the last judgment: Who will stand and accuse us at that time? To be sure, Satan, the “accuser,” may seek to do so; so may our enemies and, perhaps most persuasively of all, our own sins. But no accusation will be effective because it is against God’s “elect” that the accusation is being made; and, as Paul has shown in vv. 28–30, those who are God’s “elect ones” by virtue of his calling and purpose are assured of glory. [Sanctification, Intercession of Jesus as Priest] Jesus is at all times interceding in the believers’ behalf (8:34) Idea: No one can pronounce punishment against a believer (8:34) Rhetorical Question: Who shall condemn God’s elect? (8:34a) Answer, in Progression: No one, because (8:34b-34e) Jesus, having died (8:34b) But more than that, also having been raised from the dead (8:34c) And is now in a position of high status in the presence of God (8:34d) Is Himself constantly interceding in behalf of the believer (8:34e) Note: The language of Jesus being at “the right hand of God” is taken from Ps. 110:1, one of the most often quoted OT verses in the NT. The language is, of course, metaphorical, indicating that Jesus has been elevated to the position of “vice-regent” in God’s governance of the universe. But it is not with the universe, but with Christians, that Paul is concerned here. Because Christ lives and has ascended, he is able to “intercede” for us, acting as our High Priest in the very presence of God. Psalm 110:1: The Lord says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” Note: Obviously, Paul does not mean that nobody will, in fact, oppose us; as Paul knows from his own experience (to which he alludes in v. 35), opposition to believers is both varied and intense. What Paul is suggesting by this rhetorical question is that nobody—and no “thing”—can ultimately harm, or stand in the way of, the one whom God is “for.” This is how Chrysostom puts it: “Yet those that be against us, so far are they from thwarting us at all, that even without their will they become to us the causes of crowns, and procurers of countless blessings, in that God’s wisdom turneth their plots unto our salvation and glory. See how really no one is against us!” Second Answer : Nothing can separate a believer from God’s love (8:35-39) Question : Who shall separate believers from Christ’s love? (8:35-36) Idea 1: These things usually separate one from another: trouble hardship persecution hunger destitution danger death Note: all the items except the last are found also in 2 Cor. 11:26–27 and 2 Cor. 12:10, where Paul lists some of those hazards he himself has encountered in his apostolic labors. All these, then, Paul himself has experienced, and he has been able to prove for himself that they are quite incapable of disrupting his relationship with the love of Christ. And the last—the “sword,” death by execution—Paul was to find overcome for him in the love of Christ at the end of his life. 2 Cor. 11:26-27: 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 2 Corinthians 12:10: That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Idea 2: As Calvin puts it, “it is no new thing for the Lord to permit his saints to be undeservedly exposed to the cruelty of the ungodly.” Psalm 44:22: Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. Answer : No one (8:37-39) [But in Greek: ἀλλά] Statement : Believers are again and again coming off completely victorious through Christ Jesus Argument : Paul is surely convinced that nothing can separate believers from the love of God, including these: death (physical) life now (distractions & cares of this life, suffering) angels (good?) [spirit world] ruling spirits (evil?) [spirit world] things in the present (present circumstances) things yet to come (future circumstances) supernatural rulers (spiritual forces) the world above the world below any created thing Note on more than conquerors: perhaps Paul wants to emphasize that believers not only “conquer” such adversities; under the providential hand of God, they even work toward our “good” (v. 28). But the victory is not ours, for it is only “through the one who loved us” that it happens.