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Romans 8:31-35 meaning

Because of Jesus's sacrifice and our faith as believers in that sacrifice, absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God. The Heavenly Father who loved us enough to have His Son die for us, obviously wants us to have ultimate and lasting fulfillment; He wants to give us "all things." The world cannot rightly judge how we should live; only God can, He who loves us.

In Rome, there were Jewish "authorities" who accused Paul of suggesting that, because God's grace is increased when we sin, then we should go ahead and sin more (Romans 3:8). In this passage, Paul restates that because of grace, there is no condemnation before God, regardless of what the competing Jewish "authorities" might say: 

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us (v 31)

The world can't bring charges against us. We are in perfect standing with God, as far as eternity is concerned, because of Christ, and we can experience God's love and approval if we walk according to the Spirit of life. Nothing can condemn us of wrongdoing if we walk in the newness of life. No circumstance or enemy can separate us from God's love. God is sovereign over all. How unappealing the world and sin should be when we remember this.

This ties in with Paul's insistence that although we are given a free choice to walk in sin, even though we have been freed from condemnation, when we choose to walk in sin, we place ourselves back under that earthly condemnation (negative consequences) from sin in this lifetime. Where we experience the consequences of sin, we experience a disconnection from God, but not in the eternal sense, only experientially. 

Paul warns the Roman believers that to follow these competing Jewish "authorities" will lead to being controlled by their threat of rejection and condemnation unless their rules are followed. The result will be actually living under the condemnation of the law, from which Christ delivers us.

But we do not need to follow such manipulators: He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things (v 32)

As believers, God is for us, the creator and master of everything. So if God is for us, if He has named us His sons and daughters based on our faith in the sacrifice of Jesus, who can condemn us before God? Who will bring a charge against God's elect (v 33)? 

The expected answer is: No one. God is the one who justifies (v 33). And certainly not these competing Jewish "authorities."

That God will freely give us all things again refers back to the blessed hope that creation will be restored to its original design. God will see that all our deepest longings can come to pass. It is God's desire to do this—He is FOR US. It is important to remember that all our deeds will be judged (Romans 14:12, 1 Corinthians 3:11-17, 2 Corinthians 5:10), but they will be judged by someone who wants to freely give us all things. God is for us. He wants us to win. 

Paul asks: Who is the one who condemns (v 34)The expected answer is, again "No one." And again, the reason is that God is the one who justifies. He did this through the death and resurrection of His Son, who died for us because He loves us (John 3:16). 

Just as no one can condemn us before God (because God is for us) nothing can separate Christians from the love of Jesus: Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us (v 35)

This ties in with Romans 8:29 where Paul states with emphatic certainty that every believer will be conformed to the image of Christ. Paul is speaking to believers, those who have put their faith in Jesus. Because of this, Paul is proclaiming that nothing, absolutely nothing, not even ourselves, can separate us from Jesus: 

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword (v 35)The expected answer, again, is "No one" and "nothing." Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. 

The love in the phrase the love of Christ is "agape" in Greek. This is the love of choice. It is love that seeks the best for others, regardless of what the other person is doing (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Jesus is love, and He chooses to love us regardless of what we do, or what we experience. 

Our choices do make a very significant impact on how we experience conformation to Jesus Christ. But even if we succumb to the flesh and go back into the death, slavery, and condemnation from which we have been delivered, we are still justified. And no matter how bad our choices might be, God will never stop pursuing our best interest. This is because nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

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