Question: What Is The Difference Between “The Love Of Christ” In Romans Chapter 8:35, And “The Love Of God” In Verse 39, Is This Referring To Their “Love” For Us, Or Our “Love” For Them?
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 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.
My understanding is that the afore mentioned verses are referring to the son operating upon the ‘love of Christ’ as Paul teaches in the prior verses, and also operating upon the ‘love of God’ as Paul also teaches in the verses prior. Notice how many times Paul says, “us,” or “we,” and even “for I am persuaded,” the son has been educated from the beginning of Romans, up to this point in Romans 8:35-39, about the selfless love of God “for us,” and the selfless love of Christ “for us,” and that we ought to display ‘Their selfless Love’ as ones who DESIRE to “live godly,” and be “conformed to the image of His Son.” And each of these aspects of the selfless of the Father, and the Son “for us” ought to ‘give us the blueprint’ to how we are to now think about “the sufferings of this present time,” and “the sufferings for Christ’s sake.”
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (we are now supposed to SAY something each and every time!)
Rom 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
And verses 28, 35, and 39 shows us the ‘REAL LOVE’ that we ought to have as a son that will equip us so that we will not only suffer for His sake, but that we will learn to rejoice, and glory in the sufferings as you experience them as well. We are to operate upon Their selfless love! And there are many components to love; but this type of love that we are to operate upon is accomplished based upon a sacrificial act of giving up of ourselves what we might think is important to us, (what we suffer) and displaying the same type of love that the Father displayed when He gave up of His only begotten Son; and also what the Son displayed when He gave up Himself for us!
Rom 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
This is HOW we are being “conformed to the image of His Son!” It is done by us displaying and operating upon ‘Their selfless love’ the way Jesus did for us. We display this with our children, if we only have $5 dollars and our children are hungry, do we feed ourselves, or our children? Now the question is; when we suffer, do we only have your sakes in mind, and want the easiest way out, or do we suffer FOR Christ’s sake? Do we look at the sufferings that we experience the way the Father wants us to? Do we understand that those things “work for us a far more and exceeding eternal weight of glory?” We are taught how to “look” at our sufferings in 2Corinthians especially:
2Co 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
We are to ‘know’ and possess the “love of Christ,” and “the love of God,” and Their selfless love centers around the things mentioned in verses 35-36 those sufferings of Christ that not only He suffered, but Paul as well suffered being our ensample. The “love of God” is the things shown in verses 38-39, notice what is the first thing on the list; death! One of the enemies of God, and everything else on the list ought to be just important to us as it is to the Father, we should view those things the same way the Father views them, and with the same “longsuffering” that He endures daily, and we should display a “earnest expectation” just like the creature, and our Father has!