Paul writes many lists in the New Testament, but in Romans 8, he gives us two lists making the point that nothing can separate us from God.
Ask this question, “What is coming against me?” Be affirmed of victory by examining Paul’s two lists in Romans 8.
The first list begins with a question …
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? (v. 35)
The second list ends with the statement …
Nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (v. 39).
The Apostle Paul has an artistic bent in his writing.
Skillfully, Paul emphasizes the main point of Romans 8 – that nothing can separate us from God. He asks a question about God’s love, and then he makes a statement about God’s love.
The question concludes with a list, and the statement is preceded by a list. Question then statement – great writing – with the conclusion that God’s love is greater than anything.
Here is the first list, asking, “What can separate us?”
Shall tribulation, distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? (v. 35)
And the second, confirming that none of the items listed can separate us.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else … (vv. 38-39).
Considering these lists, I notice that probably few of the items mentioned have happened to us, but they were a common experience for believers in the first century.
Realizing that today’s end-times tribulation will increase in frequency and intensity, the lists become more relevant. We now live in a time when we could be imprisoned, beaten by a mob, and lose our possessions – merely by stating the plain truths of Scripture.
But let’s remember the one-word emphasis point of Romans 8 – nothing!