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Living Victoriously

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Living Victoriously

Romans 8:31-39           December 2, 2001


Scripture Reading:


How well are you "living it up" these days?

We are entering the Christmas holiday season when the image of "sugar plums dancing in our heads" abounds.

But alas! So many people go through the holiday season in a cloud of depression.

Things for them are not right – they are not as they should be. And they may be right. But should that hinder us from celebrating the birth of the One who is right?

He came that we might live victoriously. And so as we enter the season of his birth, shall we mourn it as a dirge? Or shall we prepare to party?

Are you living victoriously in Christ as he intended?

What do I mean by that?

I could mean certainly whether or not you are living above sin. And that challenge is there.

But the focus of this passage in Romans 8:31-39 takes us far beyond that into the realm of an attitude of life.

It is an attitude of life that lives far above and beyond the present that not only believes God for the future, and trusts God with the future, but lives then in light of an assured future.

It is an attitude of life that is enabled to live above the present.

The child of God knows for certain the ultimate plan of God for his glory.

So what is hindering you?

What is it then that shall propel you?

Charles Finney, the great American revivalist of the 19th century commented about Paul's words in Romans 7 that lead up to our chapter for today:

"You see the state of those who are encouraged by the seventh chapter of Romans, supposing that to be a Christian's experience. If they have gone no further than that, they are still under the law. I have been amazed how tenaciously professors of religion will cling to a legal experience, and justify themselves in it by a reference to this chapter. I am fully convinced that interpreting [verses 14 to 24] as a Christian experience, has done incalculable evil and has led thousands of souls there to rest and go no further, imagining that they are already as deeply versed in Christian experience as Paul was when he wrote that epistle. And there they have stayed, and hugged their delusion till they have found themselves in the depths of hell."

   -- "Charles Grandison Finney--19th Century Giant of American Revivalism," Christian History, Issue 20.

See: Ro 7:14-24; 8:35; 1 Ti 6:12; 1 Jn 5:4.

But thankfully, Paul didn't stay there, because God didn't stay there. God through Paul brought us into the glorious freedom of the children of God in chapter 8.

This message is about the application of our new spiritual life or victory in Christ (the means-the assurance- and now the application of victory).

How does God rescue us from our self-condemnation in being unable to follow his law in our own strength?

God saves us from self-condemnation by giving us a new law of life in the Spirit. (vv. 1-4)

                Our new law of life in the Spirit becomes effective only by faith in Christ.

Our new law of life in the Spirit sets us free from the old law of sin and  death.

Our new law of life in the Spirit validates the old law by meeting its requirements.

God saves us from self-condemnation by giving us a new nature of life in the Spirit. (vv. 5-8)

                Our new nature of life in the Spirit gives us a new desire.

                Our new nature of life in the Spirit gives us a new means of control.

                Our new nature of life in the Spirit gives us a new ability to please God.

God saves us from self-condemnation by giving us a new assurance of life in the Spirit. (vv. 9-11)

                Our new assurance of life in the Spirit gives us a new sense of belonging.

                Our new assurance of life in the Spirit gives us a new sense of righteousness.        

Our new assurance of life in the Spirit gives us a new expectation of life eternal.


God saves us from self-condemnation by giving us a new relationship of life in the Spirit. (vv. 12-17)

                Our new relationship of life in the Spirit gives us a new obligation as sons of God.

                Our new relationship of life in the Spirit gives us a new freedom from fear as sons of God.

Our new relationship of life in the Spirit gives us a new inheritance in Christ as sons of God.

What assurance do we have that our future glory in Christ will far surpass our present suffering in Christ?

We are assured of our future glory in Christ because all creation groans for our renewal. (vv. 18-21)

We are assured of our future glory in Christ because our own spirits groan for our renewal. (vv. 22-25)

We are assured of our future glory in Christ because the Holy Spirit groans for our renewal. (vv. 26-27)

We are assured of our future glory in Christ because of God's good purpose. (vv. 28-30)

Big Question:

So how should we live present reality in light of future glory?

I.       Cycle One

          A.      Narrative (v. 31)

          B.      Implication

So how should we live present reality in light of future glory?

We can live victoriously in Christ knowing that all power is ours in Christ.

          C.      Illustration

   Never be afraid to stand with the minority when the minority is right, for the minority which is right will one day be the majority.  Always be afraid to stand with the majority which is wrong, for the majority which is wrong will one day be the minority.

   -- William Jennings Bryan  (Christian lawyer, politician, and Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson).

See: 2 Kings 6:15-17; Prov 10:9; Rom 8:31

God may seem like a minority (God is One) but the better truth is that God is always in the majority. He will always prevail.

   When the Spartans marched into battle they advanced with cheerful songs, willing to fight. But when the Persians entered the conflict, you could hear, as the regiments came on, the crack of the whips by which the officers drove the cowards to the fray. You need not wonder that a few Spartans were more than a match for thousands of Persians, that in fact they were like lions in the midst of sheep. So let it be with the church. Never should she need to be forced to reluctant action, but full of irrepressible life, she should long for conflict against everything which is contrary to God. If we were enthusiastic soldiers of the cross we would be like lions in the midst of herds of enemies, and through God's help nothing would be able to stand against us.

   -- Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)

See: Rom 8:31; Rom 12:11

          D.      Application

II.      Cycle Two

          A.      Narrative (v. 32)

          B.      Implication

So how should we live present reality in light of future glory?

We can live victoriously in Christ knowing that all things are ours in Christ.

          C.      Illustration

   After hearing the gospel explained, people often say, "You mean there's nothing I can do to deserve it? That's too easy." It seems natural for people to object to the idea that God's unmerited favor can be given so freely to unworthy sinners. Many find it difficult to trust a God who offers salvation as a free gift.

   Bible teacher G. Campbell Morgan told of a coal miner who came to him and said, "I would give anything to believe that God would forgive my sins, but I cannot believe that He will forgive them if I just ask Him. It is too cheap." Morgan said, "My dear friend, have you been working today?" "Yes, I was down in the mine." "How did you get out of the pit? Did you pay?" "Of course not. I just got into to cage and was pulled to the top." "Were you not afraid to entrust yourself to that cage? Was it not too cheap?" Morgan asked. "Oh no," said the miner, "it was cheap for me, but it cost the company a lot of money to sink the shaft." Suddenly the truth struck him. What had not cost him anything -- salvation -- had not come cheap to God. This miner had never thought of the great price God paid to send His Son so He could rescue fallen humanity. Now he realized that all anyone had to do was to "get into the cage" by faith.

See:  Rom 8:32; 1 Cor 2:12-13


My friends, you must believe me when I say that "all things" means salvation and all that it entails. All that belongs to Christ because of his victory he gives freely to us. His victory is ours. All the possessions of heaven have been given to us. He has obtained for eternal redemption.


          D.      Application

III.    Cycle Three

          A.      Narrative (v. 33)

          B.      Implication

So how should we live present reality in light of future glory?

We can live victoriously in Christ knowing that all righteousness is ours in Christ.

          C.      Illustration

Those whom God has chosen have been chosen for victory. We are on the Lord's side – righteousness shall prevail. We have been made righteous by faith in the blood of Christ – we shall be victorious. Because of his righteousness, we are righteous. No one can condemn the victor. He has won the crown.

"Who is on the Lord's side." Hymn # 484.

          D.      Application

IV.    Cycle Four


          A.      Narrative (v. 34)

          B.      Implication

So how should we live present reality in light of future glory?

We can live victoriously in Christ knowing that all vindication is ours in Christ.

          C.      Illustration

   One of God's faithful missionaries, Allen Gardiner, experienced many physical difficulties and hardships throughout his service to the Savior. Despite his troubles, he said, "While God gives me strength, failure will not daunt me." In 1851, at the age of 57, he died of disease and starvation while serving on Picton Island at the southern tip of South America. When his body was found, his diary lay nearby. It bore the record of hunger, thirst, wounds, and loneliness. The last entry in his little book showed the struggle of his shaking hand as he tried to write legibly. It read, "I am overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness of God." Think of that! No word of complaint, no childish whining, no grumbling at the circumstances -- just praise for God's goodness.

See:  Psa 23:6; Psa 27:13; Rom 8:34-39

Gardiner lived and died victoriously knowing that all things would be set right in Christ. The present troubles of this world pale in comparison to all that God shall reveal to us and give to us. Christ is at the right hand of God just to make sure. His servants will be well treated.

   Steve Winger from Lubbock, Texas, writes about his last college test a final in a logic class known for its difficult exams:  To help us on our test, the professor told us we could bring as much information to the exam as we could fit on a piece of notebook paper. Most students crammed as many facts as possible on their 8-1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper.  But one student walked into class, put a piece of notebook paper on the floor, and had an advanced logic student stand on the paper.

   The advanced logic student told him everything he needed to know. He was the only student to receive an "A."  The ultimate final exam will come when we stand before God and he asks, "Why should I let you in?" On our own we cannot pass that exam. Our creative attempts to earn eternal life fall far short. But we have Someone who will stand in for us.

   -- Leadership, Vol. 15, no. 4.

See: Isa 53:12; Ro 8:34; Heb 7:25.

          D.      Application

V.      Cycle Five


          A.      Narrative (vv. 35-39)

          B.      Implication

So how should we live present reality in light of future glory?

We can live victoriously in Christ knowing that all love is ours in Christ.

          --- in spite of suffering.

          --- in spite of death.

          --- in spite of evil.

          --- in spite of circumstance.

          --- in spite of anything.

          C.      Illustration

Copenhagen is a nice city and there are many things to see there. But if I could only spend one hour in Copenhagen, the place I'd go again would be the Church of Our Lady. That's where the great Thorvaldsen statues are. When you walk into the church, it's very dim. But after you're there for a few minutes, you begin to see the statues. They're carved out of cold stone, but they look like warm, living personalities--so warm they melt your heart.

   One statue of Christ stands with his arms extended. I walked up to that statue, and as I looked, I thought, He has his eyes closed. He must be at prayer. A man who sat in the front pew said to me, "You have to get on your knees to see his eyes." I got down on my knees and looked up, and there was such grace and mercy and compassion in those eyes that it was almost more than I could bear.

   -- Bruce Thielemann, "When Life Crowds You Out," Preaching Today, Tape No. 95.

See: Lk 19:1-10; Jn 15:13; Ro 8:35.

Karl Barth was invited to deliver one of the distinguished lectureships at a theological seminary in the East, and while he was there a group of ministers and theologians and dignitaries of one kind or another sat down with him in a kind of question-and-answer period. Someone asked the question, "What is the most profound thought that you know, Dr. Barth?" This is what he said: "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."

   -- W. Frank Harrington, "The Love That Brought Him," Preaching Today, Tape No. 51.

See: Jn 13:1; 15:13; Ro 8:35.

   Dramatic and significant is the story of the Pilgrims. On December 21, 1620, the voyaging Mayflower dropped anchor in Plymouth Bay, with Captain Christopher Jones at her helm. It had been a grueling voyage, taking the one-hundred-twenty-ton-capacity ship sixty-six days to make the perilous crossing. There had been disease, anxiety, and childbirth among the 102 courageous passengers. Furthermore, they arrived on the black New England shore during a hard winter which ultimately claimed half of their number. However, when spring came and the captain of the Mayflower offered free passage to anyone desiring to return, not a single person accepted.

   The fidelity of the forty-one men, who while still aboard the Mayflower had signed the famous Compact beginning with the words, "In ye name of God Amen," was taking on visible meaning, these chivalrous souls had dedicated themselves to the total causes of freedom. They had come to a wilderness to carve out a better way of life. Faith prompted the voyage; faith sustained the Pilgrims and their religious convictions constrained them to raise their voices in praise. Their hardship, sacrifice, devotion, concept of government, and vigorous religion all remind us of those who sought a country.

   -- 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching

See:  Josh 1:9; Rom 8:35

   The circumstances of life,

   The events of life,

   And the people around me in life,

   Do not make me what I am,

   But reveal what I am.

   -- Anne Alexander 

See:  Mat 15:19-20; Mark 7:21-23; 2 Cor 11:22-12:10; Rom 8:35-39

Oxford scholar Dr. Robin Lane noted: "To the poor, the widows and orphans, Christians gave alms and support, like the synagogue communities, their forerunners. This "brotherly love" has been minimized as a reason for turning to the Church, as if only those who were members could know of it. In fact, it was widely recognized. When Christians were in prison, fellow Christians gathered to bring them food and comforts; Lucian, the pagan satirist, was well aware of this practice. When Christians were brought to die in the arena, the crowds, said Tertullian, would shout, "Look how these Christians love one another." "Christian" love was public knowledge and must have played its part in drawing outsiders to the faith."

   -- Robin Cane Fox, Pagans and Christians (Harper & Row, 1986), p. 324.

See: Matt 5:16; John 13:35; John 15:12; Rom 8:35; Col 3:12-14; 1 Pet 2:12

On a visit to the nursing home, our pastor noticed a man slumped in a wheelchair in the hallway. The man's hands hung limply, his head was bowed. Pastor Tanner heard him repeating amidst a string of profanities, "I can't remember, I can't remember."

   Kneeling down beside the wheelchair, Pastor Tanner looked in the man's face and asked, "Don't you remember--Jesus loves you?"

   There was a momentary pause before the man lifted his head, raised his arms in the air and said, "I remember, I remember!"

   It was all the sermon we needed when pastor retold the story.

   -- Phyllis Herzog. Christian Reader, Vol. 36, no. 5.

See: Isa 46:4; Mt 18:12; Ro 8:35.

The early church was not market driven.  It did not make Christianity particularly user-friendly.  Converts had to go through extensive, lengthy catechesis and examination before they were accepted for baptism.  In the ultimate barrier to new member assimilation, those who did become Christians faced the death penalty.  Nevertheless, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the church grew like wildfire.

   -- Gene Veith, Modern Reformation, Jul/Aug 1996, p. 6.

See: Acts 2:41-47; Acts 4:4; Acts 5:14; Acts 6:7; Acts 9:31; Acts 14:1; Acts 16:5; Acts 17:4; Rom 8:35-37

   "Ready for Either" is the significant legend that underspans the seal of the Baptist Missionary Union, which presents an ox standing with a plough on one side, and an altar on the other.

See:  Luke 9:62; Rom 8:36

   The atheistic regime of the Soviet Union fears the Bible and dynamic Christian faith. Soviet authorities tremble with fear that millions of people lost in atheistic propaganda will find in Jesus Christ the purpose and meaning of life. That's why they fight Christianity with prisons, concentration camps, and psychiatric hospitals -- methods that speak not of power, but of the hopeless weakness of atheism. The teachings of Jesus Christ are founded on the almighty power of God. Christianity can be scourged and crucified, but it will not be destroyed. After each wave of repression, there is nothing that can keep it from rising from the dead to triumph over all false teaching and the heresies of mankind, as evidenced over the past twenty years by a spiritual revival of the Evangelical Christian Baptists in the Soviet Union.

   -- Georgi Vins, Secretary Abroad for the Council of Evangelical Baptist Churches.

See:  Rom 8:35-39; 1 Cor 15:56-58

   Colin Chapman, in The Case for Christianity, quotes Ugandan bishop Festo Kivengere's account of the 1973 execution by firing squad of three men from his diocese:

   February 10 began as a sad day for us in Kabale. People were commanded to come to the stadium and witness the execution. Death permeated the atmosphere. A silent crowd of about three thousand was there to watch. I had permission from the authorities to speak to the men before they died, and two of my fellow ministers were with me.

   They brought the men in a truck and unloaded them. They were handcuffed and their feet were chained. The firing squad stood at attention. As we walked into the center of the stadium, I was wondering what to say. How do you give the gospel to doomed men who are probably seething with rage?

   We approached them from behind, and as they turned to look at us, what a sight! Their faces were all alight with an unmistakable glow and radiance.

   Before we could say anything, one of them burst out: "Bishop, thank you for coming! I wanted to tell you. The day I was arrested, in my prison cell, I asked the Lord Jesus to come into my heart. He came in and forgave me all my sins! Heaven is now open, and there is nothing between me and my God! Please tell my wife and children that I am going to be with Jesus. Ask them to accept him into their lives as I did." The other two men told similar stories, excitedly raising their hands which rattled their handcuffs.

   I felt that what I needed to do was to talk to the soldiers, not to the condemned. So I translated what the men had said into a language the soldiers understood. The military men were standing there with guns cocked and bewilderment on their faces. They were so dumbfounded that they forgot to put the hoods over the men's faces! The three faced the firing squad standing close together. They looked toward the people and began to wave, handcuffs and all. The people waved back. Then shots were fired, and the three were with Jesus.

   We stood in front of them, our own hearts throbbing with joy, mingled with tears. It was a day never to be forgotten. Though dead, the men spoke loudly to all of Kigezi District and beyond, so that there was an upsurge of life in Christ, which challenges death and defeats it.

   The next Sunday, I was preaching to a huge crowd in the hometown of one of the executed men. Again, the feel of death was over the congregation. But when I gave them the testimony of their man, and how he died, there erupted a great song of praise to Jesus! Many turned to the Lord there.

   -- Ray Stamps, Los Gatos, California. Leadership, Vol. 6, no. 1.

See: Ro 8:35-37, 14:8; Heb 11:13; Php 1:21

Dr. Tad Stewart took a church in Teheran, Iran. He was married, had a wonderful family. And there they were on the streets of Teheran, Iran, during revolution and revolt and riot. The government under the Ayatollah closed his Presbyterian church. It was a small, struggling Presbyterian church. Hardly had any members. Very few showed up for worship. But the government came in and burned all the Bibles and Sunday school curriculum, and took the church newsletters, ripped them up, threw them away, and put them in the garbage. Then they took a big padlock and locked the door of the church. They wiped their hands and said, "Aha! We have closed Christianity in Iran."

   Tad Stewart and his wife opened their small home, and on Sunday mornings people would go through the underground network. Nobody dared to say where they were going, but they came along the streets early in the morning while it was still dark and they came to the home for breakfast and for worship. Church attendance grew until it doubled, and then it tripled. People had no Bibles, only what they had at home. And they smuggled them. You would have thought they were pure gold.

   Tad said when he opened the Bible and read it, because it had been taken from the people, they finally realized what a treasure was theirs. He said, "When I read from it, you could have heard a pin drop." He said it was as if this was the very Word of God. He said for the first time in people's lives they began to take it seriously. Suddenly electricity and faith broke out in that church, and soon that church grew and made an impact all over the city of Teheran, all over the nation of Iran, and even over that part of the Middle East.

   It's amazing what came out of locking the church, burning the Bibles, burning the Sunday school curriculum. "How could anything good come out of that?" the skeptic asks.

   Ah, but the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God, I tell you, is stronger than human strength.

   -- Thomas Tewell, "The Foolishness of God," Preaching Today, Tape No. 171.

See: Mt 5:10; Ro 8:35; 2 Co 4:9; 1 Th 3:4.

   Where in the world will you function best for God?  The story is told of a distinguished botanist who was exiled from his native land and obtained a job as a gardener in the United States.  One cold winter day his employer received a valuable plant.  Unfamiliar with the plant and its needs, he placed it in the greenhouse under the glare of the sun.  When the plant began to die, the man asked the gardener to look at it.  Quickly identifying its origin, he explained, "This is a plant which thrives in cold weather."  He immediately took it outside and exposed it to the frost, heaping pieces of ice around the flowerpot.  Before long the plant became healthy and flourished again.

   Just as some plants can live in harsh conditions, so believers often find themselves facing harsh conditions as they seek to draw others to the Lord.

See:  Rom 8:36-37

   Sir Edmund Hillary, who attempted to scale Mount Everest, lost one of the members of his team in the failed effort. He returned to a hero's welcome in London, England, where a banquet held in his honor was attended by the lords and ladies and powerful people of the British Empire. Behind the speakers' platform were huge blown-up photographs of Mount Everest. When Hillary arose to receive the acclaim of the distinguished audience, he turned around and faced the mountain and said, "Mount Everest, you have defeated me. But I will return. And I will defeat you. Because you can't get any bigger and I can."

   -- Tough Times Never Last But Tough People Do

See:  Rom 8:37; Phil 4:13

A man once said, "I can face anything but the future--and certain parts of the past and present!" None of us can face the past unless we know we are forgiven by the grace of God. None of us can face the present unless we know we are strengthened by the presence of God. None of us can face the future unless we are certain of the love of God.

   -- Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997).

See:  Psa 46:1; Rom 8:38-39; 2 Cor 13:14; Titus 2:11

   Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980), the movie director, told a parable in Guideposts (1959) about the unknown. There once was a king who was granted two wishes. His first was to see the future. But when he saw all that lay ahead -- the beauty and the pain -- he immediately asked for his second wish; that the future be hidden. "I thank Heaven," the master of suspense proclaimed, "that tomorrow does not belong to any man. It belongs to God."

See:  Isa 41:21-23; Eccl 7:14; Rom 8:38-39

   In 1 Corinthians 10:13, the apostle is talking about temptation. "No temptation has seized you except what is common." ...

   Satan says, "It's just you. You've been a Christian how long and you still struggle with that?"

   Against that voice comes the voice of God: "Listen, child, you're experiencing what millions of Christians through the centuries and across the world have struggled with. They have found some measure of victory, and you can too. It's not just you."

   -- Bryan Chapell, "The Great Escape," Preaching Today, Tape 181.

See: Mt 4:1-11; Ro 8:35-39; 2 Co 11:3.

A friend of mine named John Rogers used to teach at the Virginia Episcopal Seminary, and late one cold night he got a call from the bus station in Washington. It was a young man who had grown up in a parish that John had served years before. He once had been an acolyte. His family had been very active in the church. The young man told Rogers that he'd gotten into the drug culture. He had lost touch with his family and was out of work, out of money. Could Rogers, his former rector, give him some help that night?

   Acting with compassion, Rogers told the young man to stay right where he was.

   Rogers got into his car, drove through the snowy streets, found the lad-- emaciated in body, broken in spirit--and took him home. As the young man ate supper, Rogers tried to get some kind of understanding of his condition. He asked the lad if he had ever asked Jesus Christ to be a help to him in his troubles, and the young man said no. It had been too long since he had even thought about those things. Then he brightened, and said, "You know, when I get myself together and start coming back to church, I am going to ask Christ to help me."

   "My friend," Rogers said, "it will never happen that way. If you think that you have to get yourself together on your own and then come to Christ, you will never do it. You're going to have to come to Christ as you are at this moment, and then he will give you the strength to start getting things together."

   -- John Claypool, "You Don't Have to Be Good to Come to Christ," Preaching Today, Tape No. 83.

See: Ac 5:1-11; Ro 8:35; Eph 2:8

   An old seaman said, "In fierce storms we can do but one thing. There is only one way (to survive); we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there."

Commenting on this idea, Richard Fuller wrote:

      This, Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul,

      you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies

      on you. Reason cannot help you. Past experiences give you no

      light. Only a single course is left. You must stay upon the

      Lord; and come what may -- winds, waves, cross seas, thunder,

      lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers -- no matter what,

      you must lash yourself to the helm and hold fast your

      confidence in God's faithfulness and his everlasting love in

      Christ Jesus.

See:  Psa 18:2; Rom 8:38-39

There was a little boy who came from an extremely poor family. He received no gifts at Christmas time, but he often looked into the store windows at the pretty things other little boys could have but he could not.    

   One day he was run over by a car and taken to a hospital. One of the nurses brought him some toys -- a troop of soldiers. As he touched them, he said, "There isn't any glass between!"

   There is a glass separating us now from the things that many of our fellow men enjoy in this life, even great honor and respect in the house of God, but the day will come when there will be no glass.

See: Rom 8:38-39; 1 Cor 13:11; Eph 2:11-13

   In Tennessee Williams' play Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, the redemptive power of patient love wins. In the play, Brock, the son, tries to escape all his problems with himself, his wife, his father and his work with alcohol. The father, Big Daddy, in his rough profane way is deeply concerned for his son. Big Daddy pursues his son through every kind of evasion and rationalization, trying to break through to him. Nothing the son says is sufficient to turn the father away. He could easily have avoided the pain by abandoning his sick son.

   Instead, he hammers at the door of Brock's life with a love that is willing to accept every rejection that his son can offer. Finally his love and patience breaks through to his son and Brock is restored to life with his family and his work. That's the kind of love that God has for us. A love that never quits, breaking down our barriers, wooing us gently, patiently, with long suffering, urging us to trust Him.

See:  Psa 85:7; Jer 31:3; Rom 8:38-39

          D.      Application

Big Answer:

So how should we live present reality in light of future glory?

We can live victoriously in Christ knowing that all power is ours in Christ.

(v. 31)

We can live victoriously in Christ knowing that all things are ours in Christ.

(v. 32)

We can live victoriously in Christ knowing that all righteousness is ours in Christ. (v. 33)

We can live victoriously in Christ knowing that all vindication is ours in Christ.

(v. 34)

We can live victoriously in Christ knowing that all love is ours in Christ. (v. 35-39)

          --- in spite of suffering.

          --- in spite of death.

          --- in spite of evil.

          --- in spite of circumstance.

          --- in spite of anything.


I had to write to tell you how much I love you and care for you. Yesterday, I saw you walking and laughing with your friends; I hoped that soon you'd want me to walk along with you, too. So, I painted you a sunset to close your day and whispered a cool breeze to refresh you. I waited -- you never called -- I just kept on loving you.

   As I watched you fall asleep last night, I wanted to touch you. I spilled moonlight onto your face -- trickling down your cheeks as so many tears have. You didn't even think of Me; I wanted so much to comfort you.

   The next day I exploded a brilliant sunrise into glorious morning for you. But you woke up late and rushed off to work -- you didn't even notice. My sky became cloudy and My tears were the rain.

   I love you, oh, if you'd only listen. I really love you. I try to say it in the quiet of the green meadow and in the blue sky. The wind whispers My love throughout the treetops and spills it into the vibrant colors of all the flowers. I shout it to you in the thunder of the great waterfalls and compose love songs for birds to sing for you. I warm you with the clothing of My sunshine and perfume the air with nature's sweet scent. My love for you is deeper than any ocean and greater than any need in your heart. If you'd only realize how I care.

   My Dad sends His love. I want you to meet Him -- He cares, too. Fathers are just that way. So, please; call on Me soon. No matter how long it takes, I'll wait -- because I love you. (Your Friend, Jesus)

See:  John 15:15; Rom 8:38-39

Timeless Truth:

By knowing the absolute love of Christ we are assured of absolute victory. We can live victoriously knowing Christ's love will never leave us. The victory of his love is ours. Let us then live victorious lives as the children of God: victorious over all things worldly, and in spite of all things evil, and because of all things godly. True faith never suffers defeat and always cheers in victory. The battle may rage but the outcome is secure.

13  If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.

14  For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.

15  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16 ¶ So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.

17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

 (2 Corinthians 5:13-17 NIVUS)

Hymn # 473: "Victory in Jesus"

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