New American Standard Bible
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
King James Bible
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Darby Bible Translation
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? tribulation or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
World English Bible
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Young's Literal Translation
Who shall separate us from the love of the Christ? tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Romans 8:35 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Who shall separate us - That is, finally or entirely separate us. This is a new argument of the apostle, showing his strong confidence in the safety of the Christian.
From the love of Christ - This expression is ambiguous; and may mean either our love to Christ or his love to us. I understand it in the former sense, and suppose it means, "Who shall cause us to cease to love the Saviour?" In other words, the love which Christians have for their Redeemer is so strong, that it will surmount and survive all opposition and all trials. The reason for so understanding the expression is, that it is not conceivable how afflictions, etc. should have any tendency to alienate Christ's love "from us;" but their supposed tendency to alienate "our love" from him might be very strong. They are endured in his cause. They are caused, in a good degree, by professed attachment to him. The persecutions and trials to which Christians are exposed on account of their professed attachment to him, might be supposed to make them weary of a service that involved so many trials. But no, says the apostle. Our love for him is so strong that we are willing to bear all; and nothing that these foes of our peace can do, can alienate us from him and from his cause. The argument, therefore, is drawn from the strong love of a Christian to his Saviour; and from the assurance that nothing would be able to separate him from that love.
On the other hand, it is alleged that "the object of the apostle is to assure us, not so immediately of our love to God, as of his love to us, by directing our attention to his predestinating, calling, justifying, and glorifying us, and not sparing his own Son, but delivering him up for us; that in addition to this it contributes more to our consolation, to have our minds fixed upon God's love to us, than upon our love to him, which is subject to so many failings and infirmities." Haldane.
Indeed the whole of this passage proceeds, in its triumphing strain, on the ground of what God and Christ have done "for us," and not on the ground of anything belonging to us. It is therefore improbable, that the apostle, in the midst of such a strain, should introduce the love of the creature to God, as a just reason for such unparalleled confidence. It is more natural to the Christian to triumph in the love of Christ to him, than in any return he can make. He can glory in the strength of the former, while he mourns over the weakness of the latter. As to the objection that afflictions can have no tendency to alienate Christ's love, these are the "very things" that alienate people from us. There are persons who are called "summer friends" because they desert us in the winter of adversity. But the love of Christ is greatly exalted by the fact, that none of all possible adverse circumstances, of which the apostle enumerates not a few, shall ever change his love.
Shall tribulation - θλίψις thlipsis. Note, Romans 2:9. The word properly refers to pressure from without; affliction arising from external causes. It means, however, not infrequently, trial of any kind.
Or distress - στενοχωρία stenochōria. This word properly means "narrowness of place;" and then, great anxiety and distress of mind, such as arises when a man does not know where to turn himself or what to do for relief. It refers, therefore, to distress or anxiety "of mind," such as the early Christians were often subject to from their trials and persecutions; 2 Corinthians 7:5," Without were fightings, "within were fears;" see the note at Romans 2:9.
Or persecutions - Note, Matthew 5:11. To these the early Christians were constantly exposed.
Or famine - To this they were also exposed as the natural result of being driven from home, and of being often compelled to wander amidst strangers, and in deserts and desolate places.
Or peril - Danger of any kind.
Or sword - The sword of persecution; the danger of their lives to which they were constantly exposed. As all these things happened to them in consequence of their professed attachment to Christ, it might be supposed that they would tend to alienate their minds from him. But the apostle was assured that they had not this power, but that their love to the Saviour was so strong as to overcome all, and to bind them unalterably to his cause in the midst of the deepest trials. The fact is, that the more painful the trials to which they are exposed on his account, the more strong and unwavering is their love to him, and their confidence in his ability to save.
LibraryAugust 6. "As Many as are Led by the Spirit of God they are the Sons of God" (Rom. viii. 14).
"As many as are led by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God" (Rom. viii. 14). The blessed Holy Spirit is our Guide, our Leader, and our Resting-place. There are times when He presses us forward into prayer, into service, into suffering, into new experiences, new duties, new claims of faith, and hope, and love, but there are times when He arrests us in our activity, and rests us under His overshadowing wing, and quiets us in the secret place of the Most High, teaching us some new lessons, breathing …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
September 27. "The Glorious Liberty of the Children of God" (Rom. viii. 21).
The Intercession of Christ
Song of Solomon 3:4
"Scarcely had I left them When I found him whom my soul loves; I held on to him and would not let him go Until I had brought him to my mother's house, And into the room of her who conceived me."
There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
1 Corinthians 4:11
To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless;
1 Corinthians 4:12
and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure;
2 Corinthians 4:8
we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;
2 Corinthians 4:9
persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
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