What Can Separate Us from the Love of God?

TLDR; Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor 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. Romans 8:38-39 KJV
Have you ever had moments where you feel like you can't face God? For me, it's usually when I'm angry. In those moments I feel like I've been cut off; it's a weird combination of shame and pride—shame that I'm displeasing my Father, and pride because I don't want to let go of whatever it is that displeases Him. It's comforting to know that even in those moments, we are not truly separated from God's love. As I've grown in my faith, I have repeated Romans 8:38-39 to myself when I feel this distance and that is what has pushed me away from sin and toward the Father.

Let's take a look at all the things Paul lists as not being able to separate us from the Father's love:


The wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23). If we had to atone for our sins ourselves or through animal sacrifices, we would never earn eternal life. We all deserve death, but our Father has proven His love for us by providing a perfect sacrifice for us in His Son. The Messiah won the victory over death and now, if we accept Christ—His sacrifice and His teachings—we, too, are granted victory over death!


When I first read life in the list, it threw me for a loop. Why would life separate us from the love of God? Almost instantly I realized this is a reference to temptation. We live in a fallen society; everything in life is temptation. Not only are the things of the world temptations against God's Word, but it's so easy to get distracted. There are days when I put all my time and energy in to things I need to survive (my job, fixing something at the house, chores, etc.) and when I finally get to sit down, I'm too tired to give the Father quality time. Sometimes days like this come back to back, stacking on top of each other. However, the Word says for every temptation He gives us a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). Simple things like listening to gospel while I clean or praying while I work help me regain my focus on Him. He will not let us get lost in the distractions of life.


Presumably, Paul is referencing fallen angels here. Like Satan, the other fallen angels would love to see us turn away from the Father; but He has not given them power over us. Arguably, since angel means messenger, Paul could be referencing the message itself, but I believe he means fallen angels.


We are subject to the powers that be. Whether you are a 5 year old who has to obey teachers and parents, or an adult who is bound to the laws of your government, there's ablways someone calling the shots. These people can easily require of us something we feel is displeasing to God. However, just as He appeared in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, he will come to us as well.


interestingly, Paul doesn't mention things past, which I think would be most people's concern. Of course the entire concept of baptism and salvation discusses things past. The real pressure is on now and the feature. Onve we have chosen to follow and obey the most High God, however, He will work out our future. Amazingly, we can make that choice at any moment, meaning our present state cannot stop us from expereincing the love of God.


When I first read this, I assumed Paul was referencing physical distance. The Israelites had feasts that required them to go to the Temple; not to mention sacrifices were to be done at the Temple. This is my mind, Paul was saying it doesn't matter where you go because God goest with you. Though now as I type, I see this less literally. He loves us when we are at or worst (valley or depth) and He loves us when we are at our best (hills or height).


This was the one that made me scratch my head. If it could, how would an animal separate us from the love of God? I thouhgt of job in the beally of the some sea creature and then I thouhgt of Leviathan and Behemoth... Perhaps these are the creatures He means.


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