Summary: Three ways we are more than Conquerors: 1. Trouble 2. Anxiety (distress/worry) 3. Persecution
More than Conquerors
Introduction: In ancient Rome, crowds by the tens of thousands would gather in the Colosseum to watch as Christians were torn apart by wild animals. Paul Rader, commenting on his visit to this famous landmark, said, "I stood uncovered to the heavens above, where He sits for whom they gladly died, and asked myself, 'Would I, could I, die for Him tonight to get this gospel to the ends of the earth?'" Rader continued, "I prayed most fervently in that Roman arena for the spirit of a martyr, and for the working of the Holy Spirit in my heart, as He worked in Paul's heart when He brought him on his handcuffed way to Rome." Those early Christians "lived on the threshold of heaven, within a heartbeat of home, no possessions to hold them back." (sermonillustrations.com:Our Daily Bread)
Scripture: “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 us.” - Romans 8:35– 37
How are we more than conquerors? Many conquests have casualties, so much loss, you wonder if the victory was worth the sacrifice? To take Omaha Beach, America lost 2,400 soldiers. And eventually came out the conqueror. Was it worth it? I believe so. If we lose, Hitler would have steamrolled the world. What does our conquest over sin through Jesus cost us? What do we lose being a conqueror? Let's face it, we didn't conquer anything. We didn't conquer death. We didn't conquer Hell. We didn't conquer sin. Jesus did. We are just piggybacking on the work he has already done on the cross. So, what do we lose in this victory. Nothing. Nothing that was wanted or needed in the first place – like gold in the furnace that loses the dross! The only thing lost was the impurities. Through Christ, we are not just conquerors, we are more than conquerors!
Transition: Lets look at the first three things that we are more than conquerors of in verse 35, because the last four fall somewhere under, if not under all of the first three.
I. Through Jesus, We have more than conquered Trouble
John 16:33 says "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Tribulation is as certain as death. It is a promise. But these tribulations don't stop us from trusting in God, they are more likely to cause us to cling to him more closely. Sometimes that is the whole point of the trouble that we have.
The Christian worship band, Mercy Me sings a song called “Bring the Rain”.
In this song they sing:
“And I know there will be days
when this life brings me pain.
But if that's what it takes to praise you,
Jesus bring the rain.”
Instead of stopping all of our trials, and tribulations, the Lord will sometimes expose us to all of them entirely. In troubles are beyond our ability to solve, we have no where else to run, we have no where else to go but to him. Like a husband in the hospital with his wife and the doctor comes out and gives the dreadful news that it is out of their hands. He then has nowhere to go but to turn to God in prayer. His money can't help him. His family can't save her. Her stage of cancer doesn't care about His position in life. He then has to appeal to the highest power he knows: God.
The key words in verse 37, are not “more than conquerors”. The key words are “through him who loved us”. God lets us know that it isn't our strength that gets us through the storms. It isn't your wisdom or mine, that sees us through the dangerous fog of false doctrine. It isn't our abilities that save us from our hardships but the ability, the strength, and the wisdom of Him (Christ) who loved us.
And with all of the pain of trouble, there is growth. Even in nature we see that resistance causes strength. I've read that the more weight you put on a palm tree the straighter it grows. Here, we are promised trouble, but what shall separate us from the love of Christ? Nothing. Job went through one devastating trial after another and at the end he was the better for it. He was doubly blessed. He had more after the trials than before he went through them. In some way, whether here or in heaven, the same is true for every believer. We will gain something valuable after the trouble.