We Are More Than Conquerors Through Christ
Romans 8, verses 29-39
Last week we discussed Romans chapter 8 up to verse 30. This week, to put things into their proper context, we will start at verses 28-30 from last week’s study to maintain the continuity of what St. Paul is trying to communicate with us. It reads as follows:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined he also called; those he called he also justified; those he justified he also glorified.”
Paul starts out by stating the obvious. “In all things God works for the good of those who love him”. This is something we can count on in this life, the idea of God being perpetually on our side. However, let’s not forget that this is on the condition that we remain firmly on God’s side. Jesus has already committed himself to us 100% by allowing his own crucifixion and death which paid the penalty for all our sins. The penalty he paid on our behalf was the conquest of death, which our Lord also conquered by his resurrection, which gave us access to the same eternal life that our dear Lord Jesus has. After building on this idea in verses 29 and 30 Paul then takes it to its logical conclusion both intellectually and Spiritually starting in verse 31.
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered’.” (Romans 8:31-36)
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Since God has already offered up Jesus as a living sacrifice for us all, will He not graciously give us whatever else we ask for? It is a waste of time for any Christian to be worried, threatened or intimidated by anything – anything at all! God is already on our side. Why be fearful when it’s pointless to be so? This is not what God intends for our lives to be like. He wants us to lead lives that are empowered, enriched and filled with Spiritual meaning and significance. Who can bring any charge against a believer? Who can condemn us if it is God who justifies us? Jesus is interceding for us constantly at the right hand of God. “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” Can personal trouble or economic hardship separate us from the love of Christ? Can persecution due to social rejection because of our Christianity diminish the love of Christ? You know, you can never truly be alone when you have Jesus on your side. Can we be separated from the love of God by a lack of food or clothing? Real Christians don’t worry about having enough of life’s essentials, as it is written with the very words of our Lord Jesus, “See the lilies of the field. They neither toil nor spin. And yet I tell you that even King Solomon in all his riches was not clothed like one of these”. Will God not also graciously give us all things when we pray earnestly and sincerely for them as Paul has written? That’s why worrying is a waste of precious time. Can imminent danger from a weapon separate us from Jesus? No, because no threat can deprive us of God’s love no matter how dangerous it is. As it is written in the book of Psalms 44 and verse 22, “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” Just as Jesus sacrificed himself for each of us, so we all find ourselves chewed up and spit out by the world that surrounds us. When this happens, and it will, we are to count that as a blessing because circumstances that are beyond our control has caused us to emulate Christ whether we were consciously doing so or not. How did we emulate him? By allowing ourselves to be targeted by the world and the things thereof, making ourselves vulnerable in the process even as Jesus made himself vulnerable before Pontius Pilate. Paul then finishes this train of thought in the next 3 verses of Scripture.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 37-39 NIV)
We are more than conquerors though Jesus Christ because God made us that way. He has predestined us to be more than conquerors because we are called, called us because we have been justified, and subsequently glorified us because we are justified in the eyes of God through Christ Jesus. And how are we justified? Because Jesus is at the right hand of God interceding for us continuously. Remember that old song by Diana Ross and the Supremes, “ain’t no mountain high enough, no valley low enough and no river wide enough to keep me away from you”. I regard this as a healthy way to look at God, at least from man’s perspective, and we can be sure that we are His forever, as it is written, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John chapter 10, verses 27-30, NIV)
There is nothing in the entire universe that can separate us from God. In fact, death actually unites us with Christ. That’s why the fear of death is eliminated by true belief in God through Jesus Christ. In real Christianity death is a time of transition, not an end of all things as we have known them. In the same way, present circumstances over which we have no control can’t come between us and God, nor can future occurrences that we cannot foresee, because God foresees all things. Angels and demons can’t come between us and God either. This is great news because it makes us realize that though we may be completely surrounded by evil, God’s love for us remains undiminished. Dimensions such as being in captivity can’t separate us from the love of God either. No matter how isolated we may seem to be, Jesus is right there beside us as He intercedes for us to his Father in heaven. Nothing in all of creation can separate us from the love of God that is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
So now you have had a practical lesson in maintaining a positive mental attitude from a Spiritual vantage point. By keeping things in their proper perspective we become empowered to live a life that is predestined to be in harmony with God. We are predestined because we have been “called according to His purpose”. We are therefore justified because we are called, and we are already glorified for the life to come before our present lives are even over. This is really great news for all true believers because we can find favor with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Never again do we need to worry about the outcome of circumstances beyond our control because God is on our side, and He will always be there for us. So now we are better equipped than ever before for a life that is justified and glorified before God through Jesus our Lord and Savior. Let’s all start living this empowered and victorious life today so we can enjoy the benefits of being called by God. We truly are more than conquerors because through Jesus we have overcome all the adversity that life has to offer. Jesus died and then rose from the dead just so we can have this kind of a victorious eternal life through Him. And this victorious life can be ours on a continuing basis. All we have to do is to humble ourselves and ask for it. That’s the best news of all. Ask God today for this kind of life. He can’t wait to grant your request.