Category Archives: ROMANS 8:18-39

Section 13 and 14

ROMANS 8:18-39

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Section 13 Romans 8:18-27

Present suffering and future glory

Structure of Section 13

13(a) 8:18 Suffering and glory
13 (b) 8:19-21 Bondage and liberty
13(c) 8:22-25 Groaning and redemption
13(d) 8:26-27 “We know not…He knoweth”

Subject of Section 13
In 8:17 the apostle had introduced the truth that suffering is part of our inheritance with Christ. He now traces the cause of that suffering to the fact that we are still in the body, which is not as yet redeemed. He presents a series of conditions which we share with creation, and then outlines the contrasting conditions which will be brought in when Christ comes to earth as the deliverer of creation. In the last division there is presented a contrast between our ignorance as to what to pray for in such circumstances, and the Spirit’s complete insight into our needs.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS CHAPTER 8, VERSES 18 TO 39:

8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope,

8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

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.

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.

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.

8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

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?

8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

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.

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?

8:36 As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.

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

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.

13(a) Suffering and glory

8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

For I reckon- the apostle gives the benefit of his spiritual calculations, as one who suffered much in the body. He had also been to paradise, 2 Corinthians 12:4, but although the things he experienced were inexpressible, yet we are confident that his reckoning as to the relative importance of suffering and glory is accurate.
That the sufferings of this present time- a reference to the present season, starting at the fall of man, when creation is characterised by corruption and groaning.
Are not worthy to be compared- literally rendered this would be “are not heavy enough to make the balances of the apothecary move”. In other words, are of small account, comparatively. Cf. 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:5.
With the glory that shall be revealed in us- this glory is certain to be revealed, since God has decreed it; such is the force of the word “shall”. It has the idea of “about to be”, so near and certain is it. Revealed means unveiled, the curtain drawn aside, the word used in Revelation 1:1. After we have been glorified, the glory in us shall then be manifest to the rest of creation. The glory is that of having bodies delivered from the effects of the fall, and transformed into the likeness of Christ; see Philippians 3:21, with its reference to all things. When the Lord Jesus comes to earth to reign, He shall be “glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe”, 2 Thessalonians 1:10.

13(b) Bondage and liberty

8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

For the earnest expectation of the creature- creation is here personified, and is viewed as craning its neck to catch the first glimpse of what is coming. Psalm 148 speaks as if creation is able to praise God intelligently.
Waiteth for- that is, awaits, expectantly and eagerly.
The manifestation of the sons of God- again the idea of revelation, this time of the sons, as they are introduced to a creation about to be delivered by the coming of Christ, the Last Adam. Note that it is the revelation of the sons, not of the Son of God Himself, although they come with Him. The appearance of multitudes who have been changed into the likeness of the Son of God, and are thereby enabled to represent Him, will be the signal that creation is about to be delivered. It will also be the sign that God is able to deliver, for these sons once were part of a groaning creation, but now they are free. The right to deliver was purchased by Christ when He tasted death to secure the right to redeem the earth from its bondage, Hebrews 2:9, and when by His blood He laid the foundation for peace between an alienated creation and the God who brought it into being, Colossians 1:20.

8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope,

For the creature was made subject to vanity- it was not possible for Adam, as a fallen creature, to be head over an unfallen creation, so because of his sin the earth was cursed. Vanity is want of vigour, the opposite of the liberty of the glory in verse 21.
Not willingly- the apostle continues to speak of creation as if it was a person with a will, and the subjection to vanity was not welcomed by creation.
But by reason of Him who subjected the same in hope- it was God’s will that creation should be affected by the fall of man, in order that the hope of final restoration might ever be before it, see verses 24 and 25. As soon as Adam sinned, God promised the coming Deliverer, Genesis 3:15, who would realise the hope of deliverance from the curse. God cannot therefore be charged with callousness over the issue of the sufferings associated with this life because of the fall.

8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Because the creature itself also- the very selfsame creation that was subjected to vanity shall also be delivered. This shows that the change the apostle is speaking of in this passage is not from an old earth to a new earth, which will happen at the end of time, Revelation 21:1, but rather the regeneration of the old earth. In this way Christ will glorify God as head of this earth, and thus vindicate Him for originally entrusting the earth to man, Psalm 8:6, Hebrews 2:5-10.
Shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption- sin brought corruption in its wake, and this in turn meant that all things were in a state of slavery to that corruption, serving its interests.
Into the glorious liberty of the children of God- instead of bondage there will be liberty, with creation freed from the hindrances which prevent it fully declaring the glory of its Creator now. Instead of corruption, a process of decay and deterioration, there will be glory, as the full splendour of what God created in the beginning, and which He described as very good, will be restored. The same change which shall set the children of God free from the limitations of this present body shall affect the whole of creation. God has begotten His children so that they should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures, James 1:18. Their change as to the body will be the signal for the change for the whole of creation.

13(c) Groaning and redemption

8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

For we know that the whole creation groaneth- things around, and personal experience, contribute to this knowledge, together with the testimony of Scripture.
And travaileth in pain together- if groans tell of the consequences of a past fall, then travaileth, whilst indicating pain, also indicates the hope of new birth for creation, see Matthew 19:28, where the Lord Jesus described the age when He reigns as “the regeneration”.
Until now- from the fall to the very real and often painful present, as compared to the glorious future when groanings will cease.

8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

And not only they- referring to every part of creation. Not only is it the case that inanimate creation groans.
But ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit- even though we are indwelt by the Spirit of God, who is the guarantee of our resurrection and change, verse 11, we still groan. “Firstfruits of the Spirit” means firstfruits consisting of the Spirit and all that His presence implies for the future. This word firstfruits is used of a birth certificate in secular documents. We have within us the proof that the travailings of creation will bring forth results, for we are born of God.
Even we ourselves groan within ourselves- “we” is emphatic, even such as we who have the Spirit of God within. Note it is groaning within, not groaning to others.
Waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body- we already have “redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins, Ephesians 1:7, but our bodies are not yet set free from the bondage of corruption.

8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

For we are saved by hope- for in hope we were saved. The hope of having redeemed bodies was one of the goals in view when we were saved.
But hope that is seen is not hope, for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?- by definition a hope is something not yet realised.

8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it- because hope in the New Testament is a certain thing, then the believer is encouraged to patiently wait for the realisation, even though he has to endure the privations imposed by a groaning body.

13(d) We know not…He knoweth

8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Likewise- as well as the sure hope of change helping us to endure patiently, the Spirit helps too.
The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities- the indwelling Spirit comes to our aid, for He is a comforter, one who comes alongside to help. He joins with us to help us in our weak condition. He does not take over completely, but jointly helps us as we pray. Helpeth is a complex word, and literally rendered is “takes hold with at the side for assistance”. The infirmities or weaknesses which are the consequence of being still in an unchanged body are too much of a burden to carry alone. In that situation the Spirit of God gives us help, not by taking the burden away, but by helping us to carry it by interceding for us.
For we know not what we should pray for as we ought- note that the apostle assumes that the situation will cause us to be cast upon God in prayer. But what the will of God in such circumstances is, we, (including the apostle), have no way of knowing. We do know that it is not God’s will to remove every sickness from us now, as the apostle himself discovered in 2 Corinthians 12:5-10.
But the Spirit Itself maketh intercession for us- this is the way the Spirit helps our infirmities; not by removing them, but by interceding on our behalf so that we are enabled to endure them, and to glorify God through them, 2 Corinthians 12:8,9.
With groanings that cannot be uttered- with words that we could not express ourselves, (even if we knew what to pray for), the Spirit intervenes on our behalf. The believer groans, and the Spirit identifies Himself with that groaning as He engages in intercession with God.

8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit- because the groaning of the Spirit is identical to the sincere groaning of the believer in his heart, they are in that sense like-minded, and God appreciates and accepts the intercession of the Spirit as if it were the intercession of the believer.
Because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God- “the will of” has been supplied to give the sense. The Spirit intercedes according to God in the sense that He intercedes infallibly in line with what the will of God is. God knows or understands the Spirit’s interceding because it is in accordance with His will. We are unable to intercede like this because we know not what we should pray for as we ought. So the Spirit identifies both with the sincere desires of our hearts, and the settled will of God, forming a link between the two.

Section 14 Romans 8:28-39

Overwhelmed or overcoming

Structure of Section 14

14(a) 8:28-30 The purpose of God
14(b) 8:31-37 The preservation of God’s people
14(c) 8:38-39 The persuasion of the apostle

Subject of Section 14
H
aving shown how God has dealt with the first two things brought in by the fall, namely the flesh and a groaning creation, the apostle now turns his attention to the adversary, Satan, through whom man fell. He does not flatter him by a direct mention, but shows that the attempts of the Evil One to accuse the brethren and to divert them from trust in God are completely thwarted.

14(a) The purpose of God

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.

And we know that all things work together for good- whilst we do not know what to pray for in the perplexities of life in a groaning creation, we do know that there is One who superintends it all for the ultimate good of His people. Jacob said of his trials, “All these things are against me”, Genesis 42:36, whereas Joseph said of those same circumstances, “Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good”, Genesis 50:20. “All things” includes the groanings of the present and the purpose in eternity. “Good” would refer to the blessings of verses 29 and 30.
To them that love God- not “to them that God loves”, for the apostle takes it for granted that there will be a response to God from those who are sons of God.
To them who are the called according to His purpose- those who are God’s called ones are sure to be genuine, and therefore will love God. The call of the gospel goes out to all men, and those who respond to that call enter into the good of the purpose of God, which is what He determines shall come to pass. It is not that believers have been called with a different sort of call to those who hear the gospel and never believe. Or to put it another way, there is not a general call and an effectual call. The difference in effect when the gospel is preached is because of the response or lack of response of the hearers. The gospel call is thoroughly genuine. “He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”, 2 Thessalonians 2:14. The apostle has described the believers at Rome as “called of Jesus Christ”, 1:6. He clearly does not mean by this all who have heard the gospel call, whether they have responded in faith or not, but rather those who have believed it. It is to these, and these alone, that the assurances of these verses come. Since God’s people are the object of His eternal purpose, the temporary troubles of this life are of little account. Compare 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment…eternal weight of glory”.

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.

For- we now learn the reason why we know all things work together for good.
Whom He did foreknow- God knew His people before the events of time came their way. Peter declares that believers are elect according to the foreknowledge of God, 1 Peter 1:2, and Paul declares that His choice of them was before the foundation of the world, Ephesians 1:4.
He also did predestinate- this word has not to do with destinations, but boundaries, for it means “to set out the boundaries beforehand”. It is not a matter of God determining that some should have heaven as their destination and some should have the Lake of Fire. It is a position of privilege before God that is in view, as the next phrase will show. Just as God ordained the geographical boundaries of the tribes of Israel when they entered Canaan, so He has set the bounds of our position before Him, but He did it in eternity.
To be conformed to the image of His Son- so the predestination is not to heaven or hell, but rather to a moral position, that of likeness to Christ. It is God’s purpose that ultimately all His people shall be altered so as to fully manifest and represent the moral features that characterise His Son. This involves a change as to the body, for at present we bear the image of the earthy, 1 Corinthians 15:49, and as such have limitations which prohibit the full expression of what Christ is. This is why the change of the body is called the adoption or son-placing in verse 23, for it will be the consummation of God’s purpose to make us like His Son.
That He might be the firstborn among many brethren- so the likeness we shall bear is not the likeness of Christ as the Only-begotten Son, for in that He is unique and alone. As firstborn however, He will have many brethren sharing and manifesting His glory, and He will be pre-eminent among them. The reason why the end result, that of conformity to Christ in His glory, is sure to be achieved, is now detailed.

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.

Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called- the word “them” is emphatic, the very same ones that were predestinated, were also called. The apostle is not dealing with the fact that the gospel call is universal, but rather with the way in which God’s purpose is brought to fulfilment. Note the dignity that attaches to the gospel, for it is the means God uses to work out His eternal purpose.
And whom He called, them He also justified- note the repetition of “them…whom” to show that the same people are in mind at each stage, and also to show that the link from predestination in the past to glorification in the future is unbreakable. The exercise of faith is not mentioned here, although in fact it is vitally important. The apostle is viewing things from God’s side, for our comfort and assurance. He does not want us to be distracted from these wonderful truths by, for instance, worrying whether our faith is strong enough.
And whom He justified, them He also glorified- the apostle persists with the past tense, even for future glorification, since he is dealing with the purpose of God, which cannot be frustrated. The glory is that of conformity to Christ, and since He has predestinated us to that position, verse 29, nothing can prevent it, “For who hath resisted His will?”, 9:19.

14(b) The preservation of God’s people

8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

What shall we then say to these things?- This phrase occurs seven times in the epistle, for the apostle wants to carry his readers along with him in a united response to the truths he is unfolding. There follows a series of questions with which the apostle challenges all comers to give reasons why God’s people are not secure.
If God be for us, who can be against us?- That God is for us is seen from verses 29 and 30. From eternity to eternity he has enclosed His people in His purpose. So whilst there might be adversaries, not one of them can meaningfully be called a real danger. “For the battle is the Lord’s”, 1 Samuel 17:47.

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?

He that spared not His own Son- if in love for His people He was prepared to go so far as to not shield His Son from suffering, then His determination to bless is proved beyond any doubt. We might compare this with Malachi 3:17, where it is said of God in relation to His dealings with Israel that He will be like a man who spares his own son that serves him. Israel will be spared, God’s Son was not. It was His own Son, that is, His Son in a special and unique way that was not spared.
But delivered Him up for us all- the opposite of shielding Him is to send Him forth to suffer. Judas, Caiaphas, Pilate and the nation of Israel all delivered Christ up, but beyond all this He was “delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God”, Acts 2:23, the very same counsel that purposed our blessing.
How shall He not- what possible reason can there be for the cancellation of His plan? If the suffering which He knew His Son must endure at Calvary was not a strong enough reason for God to change His mind about delivering Him up, then certainly no lesser consideration will make Him alter.
With Him also freely give us all things?- Since God has freely given Christ to us to suffer on the Cross in our place, then He will surely give us all that His death secured. The “all things” includes the blessings of verse 29 and 30. We may link this with the scene on Moriah in Genesis 22, with the father giving up his only son, and then the words “the Lord will provide”, followed by a confirmation of God’s purpose with regard to Abraham because he had offered up his son. Isaac was spared but Christ was not.

8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?- This is Paul’s second challenge. “Lay anything to the charge of” means to bring an accusation against. In the face of the undoubted resolve of God to bless His people as demonstrated by Calvary, can it be true that any will still seek to undermine their position? Alas it is so, for the adversary accuses the brethren day and night still, Revelation 12:10. And he does this even though they are God’s elect, whom He pledges to love and uphold, Matthew 12:18; Isaiah 42:1.
It is God that justifieth- the only One competent to bring a charge against believers is the One who justifies them. For Him to accuse them now would be to undermine His own actions.

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.

Who is he that condemneth?- If none can bring charges, then surely none can still condemn- but again the Devil persists. There is a fourfold protection for the believer from the attempts of the enemy to condemn, as follows.
It is Christ that died- the first protection is that by His death He dealt with our sins once and for all. He has dealt judicially with what caused us to be condemned.
Yea rather, that is risen again- the second protection is His rising from the dead, the proof of the effectiveness of His death, see 4:25. He brings His people into the sphere where there is no condemnation.
Who is even at the right hand of God- the third protection is that He is in the place of control and authority as God’s Firstborn Son, charged with the care and protection of His own. See Genesis 48:8-20. He has the position of supremacy over all the forces of evil.
Who also maketh intercession for us- the intercession of One who acts as the advocate for His people with the Father, 1 John 2:1, and who appeals to the value of His propitiatory work, 1 John 2:2 is the fourth protection. He so intercedes that their faith does not fail under testing. See an example of this in Luke 22:31-32.

Note the words “yea rather…who is even…who also”, all expressing a sense of wonder at the strength of the support Christ gives to those who are attacked by the enemy. He died and rose again on earth, where the sins were committed. He is at the right hand of God and intercedes in heaven, the very place where the Devil accuses the brethren day and night.

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?

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?- If the case goes against the accused, he is separated from those he loves by imprisonment. Note that whilst the apostle says “who”, he goes on to speak of things. But they are things the Devil will use to try to unsettle God’s people, and deprive them of the sense of their Saviour’s love for them. The answer to the one who tries to separate is found in verse 37. All the things listed here were endured by Christ in love for His people, so there is proof from the past that His love will not allow us to be parted from Him.
Shall tribulation- but the pressure this involves only serves to develop Christian character, 5:3-5.
Or distress- this is extreme affliction; but who could have been more afflicted then Christ? “I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of His wrath”, Lamentations 3:1.
Or persecution- the Spirit of Christ in the psalmist said, “they persecute Me wrongfully; help Thou Me”, Psalm 119:86.
Or famine- “My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat My bread. By reason of the voice of My groaning My bones cleave to My skin.” Psalm 102:4,5.
Or nakedness- “They part My garments among them”, Psalm 22:18.
Or peril- “Be not far from Me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help”, Psalm 22:11.
Or sword- “deliver my soul from the sword; My darling from the power of the dog”, Psalm 22:20. Even if the authorities unjustly use the sword of justice which God has placed in their hand, Romans 13:4, and condemn and execute them, believers cannot be cut off from Christ by the sword of men.

8:36 As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

As it is written- the mention of sword might have seemed extreme, so the apostle supports his idea with an Old Testament quotation.
For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter- this is a quotation from Psalm 44:22. The context of quotations should always be studied, for the apostles did not pluck texts from the Scriptures at random. In Psalm 44:1-3 the psalmist recounts the way God had intervened for Israel in the past. In verses 4-8 he appeals to God to intervene again in the present. In verses 9-16 he laments that far from delivering them, God had cast them off. In verses17-22 he asserts that despite this, they had not forgotten God. In verses 23-26 the psalmist appeals to God to intervene again. Paul quotes from verse 22, and it is important to notice that the psalmist claims that they are suffering for God’s sake, and this means the suffering is meaningful and worthwhile. The words are very similar to those used by Isaiah concerning Christ- “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter” Isaiah 53:7. Far from separating them from the love of Christ, believers will find that their extreme experience only serves to remind them of His deep love for them.

8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.

Nay- on the contrary. The apostle’s response to the idea that believers can be separated from the love of Christ, verse 36 being a parenthesis.
In all these things- not when delivered from them, but even when in the midst of all of them.
We are more than conquerors- a verb, meaning “we more than overcome”, or “we gain a surpassing victory”. The believer does not simply survive suffering, and defeat the opposition that way, but gains a greater victory by using the trial as a means of glorifying God, as the psalmist did, “for Thy sake we are killed all the day”.
Through Him that loved us- the motivation for the believer under trial is the deep love of Christ for him. Note the past tense, that particular demonstration of the love of Christ when He went to Calvary. See Song of Solomon 8:6,7. The one who strengthens us when we meet the hostility of the enemy is fittingly entitled, “Him that loved us”, for His love took Him into the place where the prince of this world attacked Him so fiercely.

14(c) The persuasion of the apostle

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

For I am persuaded- Divine justice at work in verses 31-34, and Divine love in verses 35-37 combine together to give irrefutable evidence that God is on our side. This being so, none of the “creatures” of this verse, veritable monsters as they may seem, can overturn the purpose of the Creator, whose power, justice and love are infinite.
That neither death- believers may fear the process of dying, but they should not fear death itself, for it is a conquered foe, and is a servant who ushers into the presence of God, see 1 Corinthians 3:21-23.
Nor life- this can be very dangerous to a believer, with all its temptations and pitfalls. The apostle is confident that no experience in life can separate him from the love of Christ.
Nor angels, nor principalities nor powers- since we cannot conceive that the apostle would think holy angels would wish to separate him from Divine things, this must mean evil angels, but despite their power and malignant intentions, they cannot succeed against the believer, for they are subject to Christ, 1 Peter 3:22.
Nor things present- very present trials and afflictions can never accumulate to overwhelm the believer.
Nor things to come- for coming events are all under Divine control, as James said, “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world”, Acts 15:18.

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.

Nor height, nor depth- nothing that looms large on the believer’s horizon, nor any depth of depression and doubt through which he may pass, may serve to affect Christian standing, which does not depend upon what we feel, but on what God says.
Nor any other creature- is this a fleeting, grudging reference to the Devil, whom the apostle has not flattered by referring to before in the epistle? The great accuser of the brethren has nothing to say in view of God’s intervention on our behalf.
Shall be able to separate us from the love of God- Paul is confident about the future because he is confident about the past. The love of God has endured its severest test at Calvary. The giving up by Abraham of his beloved son Isaac on Moriah, is but a faint picture of what happened at Calvary. “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and offer him…for a burnt offering…and Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son”, Genesis 22:2,10. God has done what none other has right to do, even introduce love into the proceedings of the Courts of Divine Justice. The Son of the Judge has died for the guilty prisoners in the dock, and they walk free, convinced that they are the objects of His eternal love.
Which is in Christ Jesus our Lord- love has been expressed historically, and in that sense is in the Christ of Calvary, but it is also known presently and personally, being expressed to us now in all its fulness by our Saviour. Because He is Lord, having all power in heaven and earth, then nothing and nobody can snatch the believer from His powerful, loving hand.