38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
Paul now proceeded to offer 10 contenders or candidates that have the possibility to separate us from the certainty of salvation and God’s love for us (vv. 38-39).
“Neither” is a strong negative in the Greek. Absolutely nothing could shake Paul’s confidence in God’s love in Christ for him. Each of the successive “nor” words continues this strong emphasis. The point of these negatives is that no conceivable entity can cause a rift between the Christian and God; nothing can cause loss of salvation once God gives it.
death nor life,
Beginning with this couplet of “death nor life,” Paul lists 10 things that cannot separate us from salvation. This pair deals with the polar ends of our being. Whether Christians live or die, they are loved by God. Death is a particular nemesis to human beings, but even death cannot affect our eternal state, for death moves the believer into the presence of God.
Neither can any eventuality in this life do it either. “Life” has many allurements, many vulnerabilities that can lead to spiritual disaster. Life can at times be crueler than death.
Nothing in life or death can separate us from God.
Death can separate us from our family and friends but it cannot separate the Christian from God and eternal life (1 Co 15:54-57). Our Savior destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
2 Ti 1: 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
Death ushers believers into a fuller life, a life with God.
2 Co 5: 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
Phil 1: 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Phil 1: 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two [death and life], having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
Nothing in the present can separate us from God. We go through many difficult things in this life. However, nothing here and nothing hereafter can separate us from God. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!