Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Paul's Past, Not a Problem

A couple weeks ago I did a small word study on “principalities”. It was really small because this English word is used only once in the NASB version of the Bible!

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.

By using Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, I was able to find the original Greek word used for “principalities” is “archē”. This is a prefix we already have some understanding of in English.

Archeology and Archives – something being old, the beginning or earliest
Archangel and Archenemy – the primary, important, or first of something

Therefore, it is not surprising to learn this same Greek word is translated 38 times in the New Testament as “beginnings”. What is surprising (to me anyway) is that “archē” is not also translated as “beginnings” in Romans 8:38. If it were, the passage would read, “nor beginnings, nor things present, nor things to come …”

In other words, Paul’s word choice in the original Greek language seems to say that there is nothing in your “past, present, or future” that will separate you from the love of God! When I think of Paul’s past as a persecutor of the Church, I am grateful to know about his “dirty laundry”, it keeps me from falling prey to hero-worship.

But more importantly, it teaches me about the love of God. Paul says we will find God’s love “in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). Once I am in Christ Jesus and He is my Lord, nothing I’ve done in the past would cause God to turn away from me, I am His child, and He loves me with His unending love. Hallelujah!

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