Summary: We are called to live above the life of sin. We are called to be more than conquerors.
Risk: More than Conquerors
Series: Games of Life
October 30, 2011
The Game of Risk
Risk is a game of world conquest. The goal is to defeat all of the other enemies and rule the world. In a word, Risk is awesome.
People who took great risks
Noah risked ridicule and rejection to build the Ark
Abram risked his future to follow God to a new land
Abigail risked everything to save her household
Paul risked his life to promote the gospel and plant churches
There are no victories at discount prices – Dwight Eisenhower
The fact is that sometimes risk is required to achieve great things for God and to overcome everything that stands in our way. Paul describes the kind of victory that we can experience through Christ in his letter to the Roman Church. If you have your Bibles, please open them to Romans 8:35-37.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:35-37
We cannot be separated from the love of Christ
Paul opens the passage with the word who. Paul is not speaking of a problem with a person. The word that Paul uses can be translated who but also what. Paul speaks here of impersonal things that have the ability to derail a person’s faith. Paul speaks of difficult and dangerous situations. Difficulties can draw us away from a strong faith.
No situation can rob us of the victory we have in Jesus unless we allow it. How we handle the trials and hardships of life testifies to the love of Christ in our lives. The separation that happens between us and God is due to our choices to separate from Him. The only person that creates a rift in your relationship with God is you.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. Psalm 139:7-12
The problem is that many feel that they are unworthy of the love of Christ. These feelings reflect an inner sense of being unlovable.
People feel that they fail too often
People feel that they fall short too much
People feel that they have been too disobedient
The victory that we experience from Christ is a direct reality of His love for us. The love of Christ is not based on our worthiness but on His character. We cannot base our faith on how we feel because feelings change. Our feelings and emotions will betray us and will minimize our faith, if we allow it. The only thing standing in our way of a deeper relationship with Christ is us.
We cannot be defeated by troubles
The Greek word here is thlipsis, which means to be squeezed or placed under intense pressure. The focus that was often implied was one of outside difficulties that forced and interior response. Paul was saying that the outward trials we face cannot ever remove us from the love that we have in Christ. No matter how severe or desperate the difficulty, it cannot take us from the love of Christ.
The word Paul uses is one that communicates great distress. The implication is to be helplessly hemmed in by problems. The understanding is to be confined in a narrow space. Nothing can confine us from experiencing the love of Christ.
Persecution is affliction that is suffered for the sake of Christ. God pours out His divine blessing on us when we suffer for His sake. The promise of God is great reward in heaven for those who suffer for the Kingdom of Christ. The greatest blessing that we can gain is the outpouring of Christ’s love.
Famine was often considered a natural disaster when the food supply became drastically low. In the Old Testament, Joseph saved his entire family and the all of Egypt during a severe family. Paul is describing something different when he uses the word famine here. The implied instance is being denied food or means to get food. The result is a gradual death by starvation.