Romans 8:38–39 provides a list of all kinds of things. You’re probably familiar with it. It goes something along these lines, “Neither A nor B, neither C nor D, neither E nor F, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” While I have always loved the verse and always loved what it was saying, I sometimes missed what was going on. I, possibly like many others, knew the outline of the verse but didn’t have it memorized. In my mind I suppose I was thinking that it mentioned things like: death, famine, pain, poverty, oppression, etc.
But as I’ve reread the verse and reread it again and again, I’ve realized what you perhaps saw long ago: many of the things on the list aren’t negative. In fact, I don’t know if they could be interpreted as negative in any light. I’d put life, angels, present, future, and creation in that category. And then there are the negatives (death and demons), and those that are in the middle. If I go back to what my initial assumptions were, I was thinking this verse was about all the negatives. About things tearing God and I apart, and about the writer’s assurance that none of those things could conquer the bond between a believer and their Lord.
But in many ways, it isn’t. It’s about the positives.
Strange, I know. We don’t often see life or angels or creation as things that can tear us and God apart, but apparently they can. Nevertheless, we have assurance from Paul that through God’s conquest, they can’t.
We’ll get into some of those things next week.