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More Than Conquerors Part 2

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So last week we began a look at the promises of in light of the many trials that we face in living life on this fallen planet
We began with the realization that life is going to throw all sorts of stuff at us but that that does not mean that each and every thing that comes our way is some sort of trial or plan from God, or even an attack of the enemy, although some of it falls into one of those two categories there’s still another category, life
When Jesus warned His disciples that in this world they would have trouble, He wasn’t really saying anything that anyone didn’t already know
Of course He was getting to the point that in serving Jesus we are setting ourselves up for even more trouble than the average person because the enemy can’t stand to see a life that is lived to the glory of God and so just as he did with Job, he will try to make you miserable
But even apart from that life is difficult
We often think of the book of Psalms as a giant hymnal of praise and worship but would it surprise you to know that almost 50% of the Psalms are classified as laments?
Which means they are filled with complaints, anxiety, despair, and protest.
Author Brooke Lester says this about the lament Psalms, “In a lament psalm, a petitioner addresses God directly on the occasion of some calamity. Given God's history with God's people, the psalmist is comfortable charging God with "dereliction of duty" and unabashedly urges a favorable response. In fact, many readers prefer the term complaint psalm, since the passive connotations of lament do not match the vociferous and active tone common to psalms of this genre.”
And the wisest man to have ever lived begins his book on wisdom with these words
Ecclesiastes 1:1–9 NIV
The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:1-
Despite all this negativity however, last week we saw in the first few verses of our text that A) regardless what happens and what life throws at us, God is still able to use those things as part of His plan to produce good in your life
Now that is NOT to say that God orchestrated those things or brought them into your life but He is not thrown off by them either
Just look at the life of Joseph, it was God’s intention to have him in a place to save his family when the drought hit and none of the roadblocks thrown up by life were able to change that but actually made him an even better ruler
Now please don’t misunderstand me I am not trying to say that every cloud has a silver lining, what I am trying to say is that your situation has not knocked God off His throne
The second thing that we learned is that God has a purpose for you and that purpose is to remake you in the image of His Son, to help us become more like Jesus and nothing that has happened or is happening can disqualify from that purpose
The enemy would love to make you believe that but God’s promise is this “If God is for us, who can be against us”
Now let’s move on this morning to the next promise from this passage to see us through the struggles of life and that is that no matter what happens to us, Christ is sitting right next to the Father pleading our case!
Romans 8:33–34 NIV
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. 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.
Romans 8:33-
The author of Hebrews put it this way
Hebrews 7:25 NIV
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Let me just pause right there for a moment and let that sink in because if we can really grasp what the scriptures are saying to us here it will absolutely change everything
That no matter what you are facing and no matter what your situation, Jesus Christ, the faithful Son of God who pleased the Father through His obedience has been given the position of sitting right next to the Father, not simply for the position of authority that it represents but so that he could personally be the one to plead your case to the Father
How absolutely incredible is that? To know know that whether you are awake or asleep or anything in between, strong or week, facing the challenge head on or feeling like you are about to give in, in all of that Jesus is turning to the Father and pleading for you
You may feel like you’re in it all alone or that nobody has your back and Paul says Jesus is pleading with God to intervene, to do something, to make a way where there is no way, to offer hope in a hopeless situation, to get you through the uncrossable waters
It’s not just your prayers, or the prayers of some angel or some saint, it is God’s own Son pleading your case, and although you may feel like your prayers are falling on deaf ears (and I can assure you that they’re not) you have to be encouraged by the fact that God will not ignore Christ
What better advocate could we possibly ask for? What better friend could we have on our side?
Let me just give you one example, when the test results come back and the news is not good Jesus is right there pointing out your situation to the Father and reminding the Father (not that He needs reminding) that the stripes on His back are there to provide for our healing
And even though Satan may be before the throne accusing us day and night and pointing out our short comings and our failures, the one who paid the price is right there to remind them all that He personally bore that and He personally paid for that
The final point from our text that I want to give you this morning is found in the last 5 verses
Romans 8:
Romans 8:35–39 NIV
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. 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.
Because of the first 3 promises; 1. That God can use the bad that happens to bring about good results, 2. That nothing can thwart the plan of God to bring about the life of Christ in you, 3. That Christ Himself is our intercessor
Because of these 3 things we have this 4th promise and that is that we are therefore MORE than Conquerors
God doesn’t want to just bring you through the other side of the problems of life battered and bruised and worse for wear
Paul uses a single Greek word for what the NIV has translated as “More than conquerors” and it is the word “hypernikao” and this is the only time in scripture that it is used
The literal meaning of this word “hypernikao” is “To overpower in victory, to be abundantly victorious, to prevail mightily”
In other words, God wants your victory to be so overwhelmingly convincing that no-one dare question it
Like the New England Patriots playing against a high school junior team
God wants you to come to the end of this life living in such victory that the enemy is not only defeated but is utterly humiliated and crushed
God doesn’t want your epitaph to be, “Life was tough but I made it” God wants your epitaph to be “Life was rough and I absolutely crushed it”
Yes Jesus said that life was going to be tough but He went on to say, “but take heart, be encouraged, don’t get down because of the challenges you will face, because He has overcome the world
We often use this passage to remind ourselves that Heaven will make all of life’s challenges worth while after all Paul said,
2 Corinthians 4:16-
2 Corinthians 4:16–18 NIV
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
But I want you to notice something very important, Christ did not make His statement about overcoming the world AFTER he had rose from the dead and defeated the grave ensuring eternal life!
He said it BEFORE!
In fact He said it before He even faced the greatest challenge of His life which was the cross
Jesus was not saying that life is hard but Heaven makes it all worth while, He was saying life is difficult and I have shown you how to overcome the hardships of this world and to live in victory in spite of them
And so when God brings about His purpose in us which is to remake us into the image of His Son in spite of the challenges of this life we can be more than conquerors, we can be abundantly victorious and we can prevail mightily
I need someone to yell “Amen”
I started this message because of the overwhelming evidence that our church and the people of our church have been and are in the midst of a spiritual battle that seems to have been lopsided
Well I want to declare this morning that it IS lopsided, but not in favour of the enemy, it is lopsided for us because God is for us and therefore no one can prosper against us and we will be more than conquerors
As we prepare to transition towards communion this morning I want you to prepare yourself not just for the sacraments but for after because as the service draws to a close I am going to invite anyone who would like to come to come to the alter and we are going to anoint people with oil and we are going to pray and we are are not going to accept anything less that abundant victory
But before we do that let me close my message with my doxology because it is one of my favorites and it speaks so poignantly to this message, it’s from
Ephesians 3:20–21 NIV
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Let’s pray
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