Romans 8:38 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 8:38, NIV: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,

Romans 8:38, ESV: For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,

Romans 8:38, KJV: 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, NASB: For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,

Romans 8:38, NLT: And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.

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

What does Romans 8:38 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul doesn't want his readers to feel an ounce of insecurity about God's love for them in Christ. He has built the case for why God is for us as Christians. He has already created a list of the worst things that can happen in this life to make the point that none of them demonstrate a loss of Christ's love from us (Romans 8:31–37). Those things may happen, but as he wrote in the previous verse, they cannot conquer us in any way that matters. Those who are saved by faith in Christ (Romans 3:23–26; John 3:16–18) can continually endure, in the power of His Spirit.

Now Paul begins a new list. This covers virtually everything anyone might think of to challenge God's love for His elect (Romans 8:29–30). Paul begins with death, which for the believer in Christ can only bring us into God's glory more quickly (2 Corinthians 5:8). He continues to include life, angels, and rulers. This last concept is from the Greek word archai, usually used for a political leader or magistrate, and often applied to certain kinds of demons. In other words, absolutely nothing, whether natural on this earth, or supernatural from heaven or hell, could ever cause God to stop loving us.

Paul continues his list with the present and the future. Nothing that could happen now or tomorrow or a thousand years from now could change God's commitment to love us in Christ. Next he lists "powers," referring either to supernatural powers like Satan and his demons or earthly governments like Rome.

As it turned out, Paul himself was eventually killed, so far as we know, by the "powers" of the Roman government. They did not conquer him, though. Nor did they not separate him from God's love for him, in Christ.