Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? (ESV)
There is no greater love than the love of Christ. It was this very love that looked at us in our sinful condition and made the greatest sacrifice in all of history. We were all rebels against God's perfect holy standard. We were lost and unable to please God. The love of Christ reached out to us and provided the means of our forgiveness, salvation, and justification.
If you consider how great the love of Christ is it would be natural for our greatest fear to be separation from that love. How terrible it would be to have been radically transformed by the love of Christ into a new creation only to become separated from that same love. Is that possible? Paul raises that rhetorical question in this verse.
When you read this list of possible things to separate us from the love of Christ can you imagine someone who might have experienced every one of them at one time or another? How about Paul himself! This list of terrors are more than theoretical they are biographical. Paul's ministry included experiencing tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger and sword.
Paul knew firsthand that none of those terrible experiences had the power to separate him from the love of Christ. The enemy of our souls, Satan, will throw everything at you to try to convince you that you have been separated from the love of Christ. We need to be reminded that Satan is a liar, and that the love of Christ cannot be lost.
Do you feel under attack today? Perhaps you have even experienced some of what Paul has mentioned here. Replace the lies of Satan with the truth of God's Word. Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. Nothing. (Look ahead to verses 37-39).