Summary: Because of what Jesus has done for us, no accusation can rob us of his forgivenes and no force can separate us from his love, so we more than conqueor in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
In Christ Jesus, We More Than Conquer
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God through which the Holy Spirit touches our hearts this morning are the words he gave the Apostle Paul to write recorded in Romans 8:
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God 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 raise to life-- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall 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.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved. 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 8:31-39 NIV) – This is the the word of our Lord.
Dear fellow conquerors in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Marathon runners often reach the point where they wonder whether they can keep going. They hit the wall. They doubt they can finish the race. Their muscles burn with pain; their strength is gone. They feel defeated.
As we run our Christian lives, we can reach that point too. Faced with our sin, we begin to doubt God’s forgiveness. “Will I really finish the race and receive the prize or are my sins too great?” Faced with the burning pains and troubles of life, we begin to doubt God’s love. “Why doesn’t God take this away from me?” We feel defeated.
At those times when you hit the wall, turn to these words that the Holy Spirit gave the Apostle Paul to write and believe that in Christ Jesus, you more than conquer. That’s the theme today, In Christ Jesus, We More Than Conquer. For in Christ Jesus 1) no accusation can rob us of his forgiveness, and 2) no force can separate us from his love.
1) No accusation can rob us of his forgiveness
These words are a climax in Paul’s letter the Christians in Rome. For us to properly apply them, we need to remember what Paul has written in the first eight chapters. Paul first of all made it clear that apart from Jesus there is no hope. No matter who you are, a criminal or a church goer, an average citizen or a shining light of virtue, without Jesus you are under God’s anger. Why? Because, (as Paul writes in Romans 3) “there is no one righteous, not even one . . . All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:10-12 NIV). “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV). Apart from Jesus, we are all losers, not conquerors.
But Jesus makes all the difference! Why? Listen to what Roman 3:25 says: “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood,” (NIV). God sacrificed his Son, Jesus, in order to turn away his own anger from us by paying for our sins with the blood of his Son. Therefore, as Romans 3:24 says: all “are justified freely by [God’s] grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (NIV). God freely declares sinners not guilty because Jesus has already paid our ransom price. Jesus has won the race in our place; he has conquered sin for us.
All that Jesus did for you, is God’s free gift to you. Sins earns us death and hell. “The wages of sin is death.” But Paul goes on: “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NIV). Believe this Good News. Unbelief loses Jesus, faith holds on to Jesus.
Does such a faith want to keep sinning, since forgiveness is free? Of course not! Paul says in Romans 6. As believers in Jesus, we do not want to be conquered and enslaved by sin again. We want to serve Jesus. We fight against sin. But so often our sinful flesh betrays us, as Paul reminds us of in Romans 7. Our rescue comes only “through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:25 NIV). Then in Romans 8 Paul tells us that Jesus gives us his Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9). He has made us God’s children and heirs of heavenly glory that far outweighs are earthly suffering (Romans 8:17, 18). He promises to make all work out for good for us whom he has called to faith (Romans 8:28). For he has worked out our salvation from beginning to end (Romans 8:29, 30).