The reason Paul can say that nothing will separate us from the love of Christ is that Christ is alive and is still loving us now. He is at the right hand of God and is, therefore, ruling for us. And he is interceding for us, which means he is seeing to it that his finished work of redemption does in fact save us hour by hour and bring us safe to eternal joy. His love is not a memory. It is a moment-by-moment action of the omnipotent, living Son of God, to bring us to everlasting joy.
This love of Christ is effective in protecting us from separation, it is a particular love for his people — those who, according to Romans 8:28, love God and are called according to his purpose.
This is the love of Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.” It is Christ’s love for the church, his bride. Christ has a love for all, and he has a special, saving, preserving love for his bride. You know you are part of that bride if you trust Christ. Anyone — no exceptions — anyone who trusts Christ can say, I am part of his bride, his church, he called and chosen ones, the ones who verse 35 says are kept and protected forever no matter what.
1. God’s great love for us is not diminished or terminated by our failures, shortcomings, or sins, because it goes back to God’s choice of us before the foundation of the world.
As we’ve seen, in the context Paul roots our salvation in God’s loving choice of us according to His plan before He made the world (see also, Eph. 1:4-5). At a point in our lives, He called us according to His purpose to conform us to the image of His Son, so that He would have the preeminence (8:28-29). In fact, He loved us so much that He delivered up His own Son for us on the cross (8:32). Since God did all of this for us while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:8), His love for us is not conditioned on our worthiness or our performance. We can’t earn or deserve His love. Rather, it stems from His very nature, “for God is love” (1 John 4:8).