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 ROMANS 8:35-39

What Christian has not thrilled to the words of praise found in our text here?

No doubt the assurance of every Believer in Christ could be further strengthened if he or she only understood this Bible Passage.

Study it with us!  Memorize it. Apply it to your lives!  Preach it.  Teach it.  Delight in it to the Glory of God!

You'll be glad you did some day!

                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 A Preacher in his Study




ROMANS 8:35 ...

Today we are together beginning a brief study of Paul's great doxology in Romans 8:35-39.  (Posted Monday, March 8, 2004 at 9:30 AM) 

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor 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."

The Book of Romans has Paul's best known and most thorough doctrinal teaching available today.  The first eight chapters of this great Epistle are full of some of the greatest teaching in the Bible.  But ... look at how Paul closes this section.  He ends it with a burst of praise!

Doctrine should lead us to praise!

Let's just notice the first verse today.  "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" (Romans 8:35)

The verb "separate" is a translation of the Greek term "chorizo" (pronounced kho-rid'-zo).  The most unusual thing about the word is that it is only used 13 times in the whole Bible!  It comes from the noun "chora" which means "space or room." When put into verbal form it has the idea of "putting space between two things." Putting "room" between them!  It has the meaning: to separate, to leave, to depart or to be taken away!

No one can put "room" between you and your Lord!  No one can "distance" you from His Love! (Wow!)

The noun love is "agape" and means God's deep sacrificial giving unselfish love.  The kind that sent Jesus to die on the cross to save sinners like you and me!

The term "love of God" does NOT mean my love for God ... but His Love for me!

Then Paul begins one of his famous "lists."

Here are brief definitions for each word in our verse today:

"Tribulation" (Greek = "thlipsis") means pressure!  To squeeze in tightly!  (Pressure from on top!)

"Distress" had the same kind of idea too.   "Stenochoria" means literally "narrow" (stenos) + "room" (choros)!  (Pressure from the sides!)  A "stenographers" pad is one which has a narrow space for writing!

"Persecution" comes from the verb that means "to pursue, to chase" ("dioko").  When one is being persecuted (in this sense) a foe is chasing him to do him harm!

"Famine" (Greek = "limos") is derived from the verb which means "to be absent or to leave."  It suggests that food has left you!  Nothing to eat!  (Paul has been hungry at times in his preaching of the Word.  This probably is not fasting either.  That's voluntarily going without food ... and is a form of worship.  Paul would not have categorized that as famine.  In fact, he would not have even mentioned his own fasting procedures.  Those are done in secret!)

"Nakedness" is the Greek noun "gumnotes."  Change the "u" to a "y" and bring it into English and you have the word gymnasium (gym).  It means literally "naked."  The name comes from the Greek and Romans practice of exercising with no clothes on one's body.  Gyms were places where literally the participants were unclothed.  That's why the believers did not participate,

"Peril" is "kindunos," meaning danger.  It's only found 9 times in the King James Bible and is translated "peril" all of those times.  (A condition of threatening circumstances)

And "sword" is the Greek word "machaira," which means a sharp long knife now called a sword.  It comes from the root word for "battle."  Our word "machete" comes from this noun.

The very fact that these kinds of "barriers" are listed proves how very difficult Paul's ministry had become.

Any one of these events could well be called "earth-shaking" or "life-changing," but (praise God) they cannot move you away from God's Love to you!  No separation ... not even enough to wedge in a single little doubt!"

I guess it's best here to repeat something Paul said earlier in the chapter:  "IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?"   Romans 8:31

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




ROMANS 8:36 ...

This Bible study is posted on Tuesday, March 9, 2004 at 8:20 AM from home! Look with me at Romans 8:36.  It is part of Paul's first great "doxology" in Romans.

 "As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."  (Romans 8:36)

It is obvious that Paul is quoting from the Old Testament.  His "formula" for doing so often is:  "It is written."

He quotes Psalm 44:22.  "Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter."  That's nearly an identical rendering of the original verse.

This verse certainly would not be popular in many realms today.  There has developed a culture of "health and wealth" philosophy among many in America ... and it is just NOT Scriptural. 

Do not misunderstand me.  God CAN bless and He can bless mightily!  (And I want to be a candidate for every blessing God has!)

BUT Peter tells us to ... "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you."  1 Peter 4:12

And Paul again adds: "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."  2 Timothy 3:12

Let's look at a few words in our Romans 8 verse.

"Is written" is the verb Paul uses to describe the Scriptures.  The most interesting thing about the form of this little action word is the "sense of timing" it has.  It's a "perfect passive" verb in the indicative mood.  The "action" was begun in the past and finished in the past ... BUT has ongoing (up to this very minute) power and influence associated with it!  That's EXACTLY the way to describe Bible Inspiration (Completed in the Past, once for all!  No more Scripture is being written!) and Illumination (Still going on every time a Spirit filled believer reads the Word!).  Here is a classic example of grammar teaching good accurate Bible doctrine!

"For Thy sake" translates a preposition ("heneka") that means "on account of" or "for the cause of" or "for thy sake."  It is NOT "huper" (hyper in English) which means "in the place of!"  I did not die in His Place ... He died in my place!  Now we may be asked to die for his sake in the line of Christian service.  BUT, even if so, there would be nothing redemptive about our deaths!  But what a "testimony" it would be!  In fact the Greek word for testimony/witness is the word "martyr!"

"Killed" is the verb "thanatoo" and means "put to death!" It is an indicative present verb --- ongoing action.  Persecution of believers never stops according to these verses!

And "accounted" is "logizomai which is a mathematical term.  It means numbered or calculated.  Just one more Christian slain today!  (To take an inventory!)  The world has slain so many believers that history seems to have "lost" count!  BUT God knows exactly ... and will reward each of them with a "crown" on the great day of the Judgment Seat of Christ!  In Revelation 2:10 Jesus promises: "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."

"Sheep for the slaughter" is the Biblical way of saying many deaths ... unending deaths ... unnoticed deaths!  Even to the world ... unimportant deaths!  You would have never thought that any death would be "unimportant."  But America slaughters a million and a half unborn babies annually and they are all considered unimportant by the Supreme Court of our land!  So don't think the day could not come when Christians are valued the same way!

BUT here's the good news.  If they kill you today ... you will not be separated from the Love of God and the God Who gives that Love!  In fact, you would meet Him face to face!

It is just a simple fact ... Christian's can't lose!  Whether by life or by death ... victory awaits!

Again, "If God be FOR us, who can be AGAINST us?"  (Romans 8:32b)

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




ROMANS 8:37 ...

This sermon thought was posted March 10, 2004, and is part of a short study of Paul's great doxology preached at the end of Romans chapter 8.

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."  Romans 8:37

"Nay" is a conjunction (in Greek it is spelled "alla") meaning "but, on the contrary or rather."  It is only translated "nay" 4 times in the King James Version (of 637 uses)! It is rendered "but" 573 times and "yea" 15 times and "yet" 11 times!"

What an "umbrella" term is the expression "in all these things!"  ("en toutois pasin") It includes every so-called "barrier" that Paul has mentioned thus far.  (From "tribulation" to "sword!") 

Those things don't bother the Believer.  Paul is of the opinion that the Christian is victor over every enemy that would try to "separate" him from the love of God!

In fact, he not only says that we are victors ... but we are "more than conquerors!" The phrase is a translation of ONE Greek word, "hupernikao!"  It would literally in English be "hyper conquerors!"  "Nikao" means "to subdue or to overcome!"  "Hyper" means above or beyond!  It greatly intensifies the meaning of a verb!  What POWER Paul believes to be in the cohesive Energy of the love of God! Paul says nothing can "break you apart" from God's love!  (Sometime read about the power that holds an atom together!  How hard it is to break one apart!  And the results of doing so!  The same Creator Who bonded the atom also loves you with a binding Love!  See Hosea 11:4 where God said --- "I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them." Wow!  Bands = cords, ropes, chains!  This is the Old Testament Romans 8:35-39! (Here Hosea gives us a pretty good verse for studying God's "drawing" power too!)

We are conquerors THROUGH Him Who loved us so.  "Through" obviously is a preposition.  In Greek it is "dia."  It means the "channel through which something flows!"  (In the accusative case as here ... "because of, on account of, or even for the sake of!)

It's all about JESUS!

It's all because of Jesus too!

And the verbal "loved" is a participle that's in the aorist form.  That means He is speaking a love that is completed in the past!  (Now don't get alarmed, plenty of other verses DO tell us that He loves us today and will do so eternally!)  This Love completed in the past is a not-so-obscure reference to Calvary!  That's WHERE God's love is most visibly manifested!

All of us Christians ought to stop a minute and just praise the Lord!  Why?  Because ... "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."

                                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




ROMANS 8:38 ...

This Bible Study was placed here Thursday morning, March 11, 2004.  It is an analysis of Romans 8:38.

 "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come..."  Romans 8:38

The verb "persuaded" means "to induce one to believe."  It's an indicative perfect passive verb.  Paul got "persuaded" in the past ... and he has stayed that way ever since!  The "passive" voice means that Paul didn't persuade himself either!  He was "persuaded" or "convinced" by Another!  (Notice the capital "A" on Another!)

I find 3 times in Scripture where Paul is persuaded.  In Acts 26:26 he was persuaded in discernment!  In 1 Timothy 1:12 he was persuaded in salvation.  And here he is persuaded in security!  (This alone would make an interesting study.)

The word for death is "thanatos."  It usually means physical death, cessation of life.

"Life" is the Greek noun "zoe."  It has become a proper name in English!  It gives us our word "zoo," where living animals are.  (The verb "zao" means to live.)

Angels and principalities and powers all are terms Paul uses to link us to the "spirit" world.

"Angels" are literally "messengers" of God.  (In Revelation the word seems to be used even of pastors of local churches!  Not even some false preacher can knock you out of being in God's Love if you are truly saved!)  Of course there are "fallen" wicked angels too.  They are called demons or devils.

"Principalities" ("arche") are perhaps even more powerful spirits than the "angels" themselves!  The word means chief or first!  An "arch" angel means the first angel in power and rank!  See 1 Thessalonians 4:16 for the term in Scripture.

"Powers" ("dunamis") are members of the spirit world who have great inherent strength.  Strength within themselves!  Of course power comes from one of two places ... God (all power) or the devil (limited power)!  The word comes from a verb that means "to be able!"  (Force!)

"Things present" translates the Greek noun "enistemi" which combines "en" and "histemi."  To stand in!  Things, events, circumstances that are in place right now ... at hand ... impending!  Whatever problem you are facing RIGHT NOW cannot separate you from the love of God!  Problems can "stand in" you face sometimes!  Really bother and distract you!  But they can't pry you from the love of God!

And "things to come" (Greek = "mellonta") is derived from the verb "melo" which means to care or to have concern or to attend to!  (Things that are so important and overbearing on you that you can think of nothing but them!) These are issues that make you worry constantly ... mind controlling problems! (Wow!) 

I would say that Paul has just about covered everything.

He is absolutely SURE that the real Believer is secure in the Love of God!

I believe we are too ... and the only proper response to this truth is to PRAISE THE NAME OF OUR DEAR SAVIOUR!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




ROMANS 8:39 ...

This Bible Study concludes a short trip through one of the greatest paragraphs of praise in all Scripture!  (Romans 8:35-39)  Today we particularly notice that last verse, number 39.  (This was posted Friday, March 12, 2004, at 8:45 AM)

"Nor 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 8:39

Paul is absolutely sure that NOTHING can sever us from the Love of God!

He includes "height" and "depth" in the list.  Height ("hupsoma") means anything elevated or lifted up ... but in first century Greek usage the words (including "depth") were astronomer's terms.  They spoke of stars and heavenly bodies.  In Paul's day nearly all the heathen believed that the "stars" drastically influenced (or even controlled) one's life.  (These Roman converts were formerly pagans.)  They believed that if a star (or planet today) or comet or constellation was at it highest point in the heavens it meant one thing ... and if at its lowest point in the skies it mean something else. 

Paul here says it does NOT matter where the stars are ... if you're washed in the Blood of Jesus ... you are "IN" the Family.  The sun or moon just can't do anything about it!  (Glory to God!)

The little word "depth" is a translation of the Greek noun "bathos."  It means "deep."  Our very word bath comes from it!  To the ancient Greek mind a "bath" was luxurious ... being in deep water!  They had little indoor plumbing as we know it and taking a real bath was difficult!  (One lexicon says that the word "bathos" also means profound!  Profundity can't frustrate God's Love either!)

The noun "creature" means anything created!  ("ktisis")  It comes from a verb that means "to fabricate, to build, to design!"  And even that is derived form a root source that means "to acquire or to own!"  Think!  Our Creator not only made us ... but designed and fabricated us!  He also owns us!

Even those angels Paul mentioned in an earlier verse are "created" beings!

But here he says any "other" creature.  The adjective "other" translates the Greek word "heteros" and demands the meaning: another of a different kind! (Heterosexual = another sex of a different kind!  Male ... female!)  In Paul's world they also believed in fantastic fictional creatures of all kinds.  They can't hurt the believer either!  (Like an E.T. or a Superman or a "Test Tube" baby or a cloned creature of some sort!)

"Shall be able" is a form of "dunamis" (as a verb).  They just CAN NOT  do anything to separate a child of God from the love of his or her Heavenly Father!  The "middle" voice of this verb means that even if they try (to separate us from God's love) ... they will be impacted in the process!  Woe be unto them!

"Separate" is (again) the word "chorizo" which means to make room, to create space between some things!  NOTHING can even cause a "crack" between you and your God's love for you according to Paul here!  It's also an aorist infinitive --- nothing ever has yet ... (therefore one may conclude never will in the future) be able to separate us!

The term "love of God" does NOT mean our love for God!  That often is too weak!  It means God's love to us!  That never fails!

BUT here's now an added truth.

That love of God comes only one way!  It is IN Christ Jesus our Lord! 

This preposition "in" (Greek = "en") means (when in the dative case as it is here):  in, on, at, near, by, before or with!  What an all inclusive word!

It's all because of Jesus!

Paul elsewhere says that we are "accepted" of God for one Reason only!   "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."  (Ephesians 1:6)  The "Beloved" here is Jesus!

The full Name of our Saviour ... Lord Jesus Christ ... is always interesting!

As Lord He is the Sovereign One!

As Jesus He is the Saving One!

As Christ He is the Shining One!  (Anointed with the Oil of the Holy Spirit)

What a text!

What a doxology!

What a way for Paul to end his "doctrinal" section of Romans!

Let's Praise the Lord for His never ending omnipotent Love!

Jeremiah said it too.  "The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."  Jeremiah 31:3

BUT Paul said it so much more fully!

                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




ROMANS 8:35-39 SUMMARY ...

(Here's one more series of thoughts from Romans 8, the closing verses.  This is being posted on Saturday, March 13, 2004, at 7:30 AM from a motel room in Chattanooga, Tennessee)

I've just noticed something about Paul's closing verses in his "doctrinal" section of Romans (chapters 1-8).  He asks a series of concluding questions!



*  "WHO IS HE THAT CONDEMNETH?"  Romans 8:34


These questions alone ought to encourage us today!

Did you ever notice how many questions Paul asks in his writings?  A lot!

Where did he learn to do that?

I believe ... from Jesus, Who also asked a great number of questions!

One night driving home this week I heard a Christian radio station (one of the night programs) broadcast an interview with a author who has just written a book called "Questioning Evangelism."  That does not mean that he questions the concept of winning souls to Christ.  It does mean he believes that "asking questions" can be a good way of introducing the Gospel to sinners.  (Of course, after the questions have been asked ... some very strong statements must be made too!  For example ... many verses of Scripture!)

You might be surprised how well you could "guide" a conversation (steering it away from gossip or slander, etc.) by keeping a few well-placed questions in mind!  (I am talking about spiritual questions ... not weather or health questions!)

In Romans 8:31 above, the preposition "for" is great!  It's in Greek "huper" (our word "hyper") and means "in behalf of" or "for the sake of!"  When Jesus died on the Cross He literally "took my place!"  So now ... anyone against me must take it up with Jesus ... Who is still FOR me!  (Against translates "kata" which means "down upon!")  Some folks are just down on us!  Jesus is over, above (another meaning of 'huper") us!

In Romans 8:33 above, the question is straight from the court room.  It's has a legal background.   To "lay" something is to "egkaleo" it.  (Kaleo" = to call ... and eg = in!) It means to call in an accusation against someone.  To accuse them.  Put the whole expression together and you again get the preposition "egkaleo kata."  To bring into court to be DOWN upon someone!  BUT our verse says that if the Judge (GOD HIMSELF) has already "justified" you ... who can accuse you any longer?

In Romans 8:34 above, the verb "condemneth" is from two Greek words fused together.  "Katakrino" means to judge (krino) down (kata) on someone!  Who can put you down when your Lord and Saviour and Intercessor is highly exalted (at God's very Right Hand)?  You have One in glory who is for you!  In fact ... you can't be judged "down" because you are already IN Christ Jesus!  You yourself through the Lord Jesus are sitting in heavenly places today!  (Ephesians 2:6)

And in Romans 8:35 above, the verb "separate" is from "chorizo."  This is an unusual use of the word for sure.  It means "to place room between" two or more things!  (From "chora" = space, room, empty expanse)  Paul is saying that nothing can even make a little tiny "crack" in the Love God has for you!  (Now you may think that a little split in something would be inconsequential ... but that would be faulty reasoning.  One day a man split a very little thing called an "atom!" I think you know the rest of that story!    It is called the atom bomb!  Atomic warfare!)  God love just can't be split!  It is everlasting love!  (Jeremiah 31:3)

These four questions are "celebratory" in nature.

Think about them and rejoice!

Now this is the beginning of a sermon!

                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



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