“As it is written, ‘For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’”

This O.T. passage, though it did not originally have reference to Christians, is still descriptive of their condition; so Paul  goes ahead and quotes it here.  The sufferings of God’s people at all times are typical of each other.  The meaning here is that for the sake of God, and His pure worship, O.T. saints were frequently put to death, or exposed to the persecutions of men, which often resulted  in their death; as also the N.T. saints have been, for the sake of Christ and His Gospel Paul quotes this verbatim from the LXX (Septuagint), the Greek translation of the O.T.    

         “As it is written,”
         Literally: “Even as it has been written”–In Psa. 44:22.

         The condition of saints in the time of the psalmist was similar to that of Christians in the time of Paul. The same language would express both. Will such persecution lead us to abandon Christ?  Quoted as descriptive of what God's faithful people may expect from their enemies at any period when their hatred of righteousness is aroused, and there is nothing to restrain it (see Gal. 4:29).
         And these are no more than we may naturally expect from the present condition of the world, and the positive predictions of the prophet, Psalm 44:22, who foresaw that a wicked world would always persecute and oppress the true followers of

“for thy sake”
Literally: “For Your sake.”–In Your cause; or on account of attachment to You.  The
Jews were punished by God for their sins, but their enemies persecuted them because of their religion.

“we are killed”
Literally: “We are being killed.”–We are subject to, or exposed to
death.We endure suffering equivalent to dying and are exposed to

            KILLED:  (Grk.–thanatoō)–Present perfect (continuous) tense of the Greek word thuō, which means, “to sacrifice; put to death; to kill; to murder.”

UNDERSTAND: that such as resolve upon the profession of Christianity must prepare for killing, if God so requires it of us, and be ready to lay down their lives of their faith, when God calls: “For Thy sake we are killed.” That is, ready to be sacrificed; a readiness of disposition, and a preparation of mind, is found with us, to part with all that is dear unto us, even life itself, for the sake of Christ.  Here note, What may be the lot and portion of believers in this life, and that is, killing for the sake of Christ.

         “all the day long”
         Literally:  “All the day.”–That is, continually.  The word, “long,” was added by the KJV translators.  It is not in the original Greek text.

Continually; constantly. There is no intermission to our danger, and to our exposure to death. That is, every day, continually.  This denotes the continuance of the persecution, the unweariness of the enemy, and the patience of the saints.

“we are accounted”
Literally: “We are counted.”–By our
enemies. We are reckoned; we are regarded, or dealt   with as such. Our enemies judge that we ought to die, and they consider us to be the appropriate subjects of slaughter, with as little concern or remorse as the lives of sheep are taken.

“Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”

Literally: “But; notwithstanding,” we shall not be separated from
Christ by our severe pressures and trials. Not all these sufferings can lead us from Christ. 

         “in all these things”–In the very midst of them; while we are enduring them, we are able to triumph, (comp. I Cor. 15:57).

         “we are more than conquerors”
         Literally: “We more than conquer.”  We gain the victory.

         CONQUERERS:  (Grk.-hypernikaō)–Better rendered as, “we conquer,” This   Greek verb is made up of  nikaō,  meaning, “to conquer; to carry off the victory; come off victorious,”  and hyper, meaning,“above.”  Put these two words together and you get the           meaning, “to come off more that victorious; to gain a surpassing victory.”  

         This is a Greek verb that has been rendered here as a noun.   It is unfortunate that the KJV translators so took this Greek verb and rendered it as a noun, thus making it read as, “we are conquerors,” instead of the more correct rendering of, “we conquer.
          How can sheep for the slaughter be conquerors?  This is a paradox of the Christian faith.  What does it mean for us to conquer?  It means to have assistance from Another Who gets the victory for us; Who never lets us be defeated.  The victory belongs to Christ; not to us.  The victorious life is not our life; it is Christ living His life in us.
           They do not have the power to subdue us; to alienate our love and confidence; to produce apostasy. We are the victors, not they. Our faith is not destroyed; our love is not diminished; our hope is not blasted. But it is not simple victory; it is not mere life, and continuance of what we had before; it is more than simple triumph; it augments our faith, increases our strength, expands our love to Christ. The word used here is a strong, emphatic expression, such as Paul often employs, (comp. II Cor. 4:17) and which is used with great force and appropriateness here.

“through Him that loved us”|
Literally: “Through the {One} loving us.”  Not by our own strength or power.  It is by the might of the
Savior, and by His power pledged to them, and confirmed by the love evinced when He gave himself for them (comp. Phil. 4:13), “I can do all things through Christ which     strengtheneth me.” We overcome by the aid of “Him that loved us.”

Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. All the blessings of believers come to them through Jesus Christ. They are given on His account, and are the purchase of His blood.  They should therefore awaken in those who enjoy them, unfeigned and ever-increasing gratitude, and lead them to devote themselves, body and soul, for ever to His service.       

These verses express Paul’s of praise to the love of God; and also his confidence that nothing could separate us from the love of God, because it comes to us in Christ Jesus our Savior.  In these verses Paul lists ten things that range from the hierarchy of superhuman power to basically anything in the world.

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor thing to come,”

The items mentioned in these two verses are those that people dread (life, death, supernatural powers, above, below, any creature to cover any omissions). No hostile power of the universe can lead us away, is Paul’s profound confidence.

         “For I am persuaded”
         Literally: “For I have been persuaded” or “I stand convinced.”–I have a strong confidence.

 Paul gives his unwavering certainty the security of all believers.  After the blessed experience we have had of support by the grace and Spirit of Him that loved us, that neither fear of death, nor hope of life, nor evil angels, nor principalities, nor powers, persecuting us for Christ's sake; nor the things we endure at present, nor the things to come, whatever tribulation we may be called to suffer in the future.

I AM PERSUADED:  (Grk.–pepeiomai)-literally meaning, "I have been convinced." 

After the blessed experience we have had of support by the grace and Spirit of Him that loved us, that neither fear of death, nor hope of life, nor evil angels, nor principalities, nor powers, persecuting us for Christ's sake; nor the things we endure at present, nor the things to come, whatever tribulation we may be called to suffer in future.

         “neither death nor life”
         Literally: “neither death nor life.”–Neither the fear of
death ,death in any form.
         These adversaries herein named by Paul seem to advance in pairs.
death is named first, because death by martyrdom threatens continually.

         “nor angels”–Paul here first lists angels generically, and then goes on to name two specific orders of angels.

            ANGELS:  (Grk.–angeloi)–Paul could only be referring to fallen angels, of whom Satan himself is one. It is apparent that good angels cannot be intended here; for it is not     conceivable that good angels, who are “sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of  salvation,” (Heb. 1:14) should seek to alienate the minds of Christians from the Savior, or that their influence should have any such tendency. 

“nor principalities nor powers”
Literally:  “nor rulers, nor powers”–Paul here names two orders of fallen angels. In Eph.6:12 he lists four orders of these fallen angels or demons..

            PRINCIPALITIES:  (Grk.–arcai)–This word usually refers to magistrates and civil rulers, but it is also applied to evil angels, as having dominion over nations. Eph. 6:12, "For    we wrestle against principalities." (Eph. 6:12); Col 2:15, “And having spoiled principalities” (Col. 2:15); “When he shall have put down rule,” I Cor. 15:24). 

         “Principalities” are those demons who are chief rulers; beings of the first rank and order in their own kingdom. They would correspond to the rank of generals.  They may be considered to be Satan’s equivalent of “archangels.”  One of these is mentioned in Daniel 10:13, where he is referred to as being the “prince of the kingdom of Persia.”  Yet Paul says that it was on that kingdom they were to make war. Against that, the kingdom of the Redeemer was to be set up; and that was to be overcome by the spiritual weapons which He specifies.

          POWERS:  (Grk.–dunameis)–These also are demons, who are lesser authorities, whose authority is derived from, and constitute by the “principalities.”. I.e., they are evil spirits (fallen angels) who have less power than and serve under the “principalities.”

         The earth: (dark, and wretched, and ignorant, and sinful) is just such a dominion as they would choose, or as they would cause; and the degradation and woe of the heathen world are just such as foul and malignant spirits would delight in. It is a wide and a powerful empire. It has been consolidated by ages. It is sustained by all the authority of law, by all the omnipotence of perverted religious principle; by all the reverence for antiquity; by all the power of selfish, corrupt and base passions. 
         No empire has been so extended, or has continued so long as the
Empire of Darkness, and nothing on earth is so difficult to destroy.  Yet Paul says that it was on that kingdom they were to make war.  Against that, the Kingdom of the Redeemer was to set up; and that was to be overcome by the spiritual weapons which he specifies.

         “nor things present, nor things to come”
         Literally “Nor things present, nor things coming.”–Meaning the present or the future

         THINGS PRESENT:  (Grk.–enestōta)–Used only here and in Heb. 9:9.  This word literally means “to stand in sight;” hence, “to impend; to threaten.”   

         No condition of the present life and none of the unknown possibilities of the life to come. Neither calamities and persecutions to which we are now subject; nor trials to which we may be yet exposed. Paul is displaying strong confidence to say that no possible trials should be sufficient to destroy their love for Christ.

         Neither the things which we enjoy at present, or endure at present,, or may hereafter meet with, be it prosperity or adversity; their present and future condition of life shall be sanctified, whatever comes; what may come, what will come, what can come, nothing shall come amiss unto them; whatever has happened, does happen, or may happen to them in this world, shall not frustrate their hopes of future happiness in the world to come.

“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”–Things high and things low. Height and depth were technical terms used in ancient astrology, and later used in Gnosticism.  Paul may not have had their technical significance in mind, but if he did have, they would be closely associated with principalities and powers that were believed to control the movements of the heavenly bodies, and the   destinies of mortals.

            HEIGHT:  (Grk.–hypsōma)–This is probably referring to heaven. 

“Some have regarded it as referring to evil spirits in the air; others, to high and lofty speculations in doctrine; others, to heaven–to all that is in heaven. I regard it here as synonymous with prosperity, honor, elevation in this life. The meaning is, that no possible circumstances in which Christians could be placed, though surrounded with wealth, honor, splendor, and though elevated to rank and office, could alienate them from the love of Christ.”–Barnes Notes    

That is, neither height of honor, nor depth of ignominy; neither the top of worldly advancement, nor the bottom of worldly debasement; neither the height of spiritual enlargement, nor the depth of spiritual desertions.  God can and will keep His saints in an honorable, in a comfortable, yea, in a safe state and condition all at once.

            DEPTH: (Grk.–bathos)–Perhaps referring to the great abyss: itself, the very idea or thought of which might astonish the boldest creature. Nor the lowest circumstances of    depression, poverty, contempt, and want; the very lowest rank of life.         

The meaning is, that no possible circumstances in which Christians could be placed, though surrounded with wealth, honor, splendor, and though elevated to rank and office, could alienate them from the love of Christ. The tendency of these things to alienate the mind, to engross the affections, and to occupy the time, all know; but Paul says that even these would not be sufficient to withdraw their strong love from the Lord Jesus Christ.

         “nor any other creature”–Anything else in the creation; any other created thing; any other thing in the universe; anything that can occur. This expresses the most unwavering confidence that all who were Christians would certainly continue to love the Lord Jesus, and be saved.

            CREATURE:  (Grk.–ktiois)–This is the same word rendered as “creation” elsewhere.

            OTHER:  (Grk.–heteros)–This Greek word literally means, “different.”

It is a matter of unutterable consolation, and inexpressible triumph to believers, that nothing, though never so great and powerful, though never so amiable or terrible, shall be able to separate them from the love of their Savior.

“shall be able”
Literally: “Will be able.”  Shall have power to do it.  The love to Christ is stronger than any influence which they can exert on the mind.

“to separate us from the Love of God”–None of these shall have the power enough to tear us away from Christ; to cause us to apostatize. The love which we have to God. “The love of God” here, like “the love of Christ,: verse 35, is His love towards us, which, however, always includes love on our part towards Him. 

“which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Literally: “In Christ Jesus our Lord.”–God's great love for us is all shown through
Christ.  Nowhere has Paul shown more exultation, more emotion than in this close of this profound argument in which he shows the complete and full salvation of those who believe upon Christ   and are found in Him.