Faithlife Sermons

More Than Conquerors

Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Through Christ, we have security and victory

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I recently heard a story about a Russian immigrant named Peter Deyneka (DAY-NECK-UH) who fled to America in 1911 to escape the communist revolution. He tells the story of his escape from Russia- His parents sacrificed everything to get him a boat ticket to America.
He got on the boat with virtually nothing- no money, just a small pack with a few articles of clothing and a couple pieces of stale bread that his parents tucked in for him.
He said that throughout the journey, he would often look into the dining hall, wishing he could have some of the glorious food that was being served.
Because he was desperately hungry, he approached some of the boat’s crewman and they told him if he agreed to work with them, he could share in their meager meals- mostly gruel and hardtack, but better than moldy bread.
He said it wasn’t until his last day of the trip that he realized that three full meals per day came with the purchase of his ticket.
“Because I could not read what was on the ticket, I didn’t know what I was entitled to.”
Paul signals in , that many Christians live out their spiritual journey in much the same way. We know that through Christ we have a ‘ticket to heaven’ but we don’t understand all that comes with it.
The Apostle Paul is a wonderful teacher and he lays out an argument that we are going to look at
Is it real? How can I be sure? What does it mean for me right now?
I want us to begin this Resurrection Sunday, by understanding God’s purpose- we see Paul state it in verses 29-30.
In verse 29, we see that God is determined to make us more like Jesus. Now, for some, you might wonder why on earth we’d want to be more like Jesus- we see all these pictures that are meant to depict Jesus as a mix between Fabio and Ric Flair… and, you know, that’s not really what we are hoping to be like… but let’s look at what Scripture tells us:
Verse 30, says that these (that is those who God foreknew) are called, justified, and glorified.
Now, we are going to real-quick like, deal with some theological terms here.
Foreknew- means to know ahead of time, but “to know” in Scripture is not simply an intellectual assertion- think back to Jesus’ words in , when he explains that not all who call out Lord Lord will enter His kingdom- Depart from me for I never KNEW you.. he is God- he knows everything and everyone, but what the word “know” means here is that he did not have a relationship with them. So, back to Romans, those who God foreknew- those He placed His love upon.
Now, we’re getting muddy, but let’s talk - those he predestined (determined the destination) - In other words, those who God foreknew, he predestined to look like Jesus… Don’t get too excited, we’ll try unravel this a little more as we go on. This is an encouragement- Before time began, God had a purpose for you and nothing can deter Him from that.
Those He foreknew and predestined, he called. Now, we aren’t talking on the telephone… we are talking about a call on your life; basically, you were drawn to know Him.
Discuss: How do I know if I’ve been called?
John 6:44 NASB95
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
Also,
1
1 Thessalonians 1:4–5 NASB95
knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you; for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
So you were called if you have a desire to know God and you experienced conviction of sin and were convinced that the Gospel is true.
Now, there is some mystery here for us and you don’t have to grasp it fully, but hear this- JD Greear put it this way:
“If you belong to Jesus, it’s because you chose Him; but if you chose Him, it’s because God was drawing you.”
So, those he foreknew, he predestined, called, and justified- we’ve talked about this in the last few weeks- it means that we are completely forgiven and awarded unmerited favor before God. It’s “just if i’d” never sinned.
Finally, those he foreknew, he predestined, called, justified, and glorified.
Now, this is the last step- it’s what Paul is talking about when he says to be like Jesus.
Glorified means that we are completely eradicated from sin and made perfect in body and soul… we are not yet there. In fact, we cannot even comprehend it… like a kindergartner comprehending the beauty and complexity of a famous Picasso or Rembrandt painting… (actually, I don’t even grasp what the fuss is all about there… maybe I need a better illustration..?) You get the idea.
But, Paul uses the past tense- why? Here is where we begin to get into some real meat this morning. Because Christ took our sins on the cross, died and rose again, it is as good as if it’s already done. God paid the highest price to initiate this process- His own son on a cross. He supplied the power of the resurrection in His Holy Spirit which dwells within us, and he has sworn to finish what He started.
And so Paul asks, in verse 31, “What then are we to say about these things?”
And, being the wonderful teacher that he was, Paul initiated some rhetorical questions to lead us down this path so that we can understand what Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection means for you and for me this morning.

Question 1: If God is for us, who is against us (31)

Now, we need to understand that Paul is NOT saying no one or nothing will ever be against us. In fact, the Bible tells us the exact opposite. Jesus said, “in this world you will have trouble..” No, Paul is saying that nothing that opposes us can overcome God’s purpose in our lives.
Some of you can really relate with this
Some of you are facing all kinds of opposition… we are all facing this global pandemic, some of you are facing difficult work situations, challenging marriages, chronic health issues… some of you are homeschooling your kids for the first time and are finding out that even our kids oppose us sometimes...
But listen friend, God is ALL-Powerful! He is the one who spoke the world into existence! Nothing is too difficult for Him!
And we have to recognize that this God IS for us! It does not mean that we will not face hard times- in fact, that’s exactly what David was feeling when he penned - Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me...
When I was a kid, I would go to my grandpa’s for several weeks during the summer. I would mow his grass, help clean out storage building, etc. Well, grandpa had a building that was riddled with snake skins… and I was terrified to go in there alone. But, my grandpa wasn’t afraid of anything… so, as long as he was with me, I was not afraid.
That’s what David is saying… That’s what Paul is saying- because God is with me, I can go through this. You are stronger than this valley.
Friends we cannot always avoid the valleys, but because God is with us, anything that opposes us is subject to God who will use it for His glory and our good ()
Discuss: How strong is God?

Question 2: Why worry about our needs? (32)

Let me read the verse for you:
Romans 8:32 NASB95
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
Here, we need to consider the first part of this verse- He who did not spare His own Son..
You ever watch some of those shows like “Storage wars” or “Pawn Stars”? Isn’t it interesting how much or little people are willing to pay for stuff? My wife and I like to watch Antique Road Show- I’m always amazed at what people think their junk is worth! But then there are times when someone brings in something and it’s like an old picture- kinda ugly and they value it at $20k. Whoa.
So here’s what Paul is saying: God sacrificed His son, Jesus to redeem you. There was no higher price that could be paid.
Why would He make that kind of investment into you and not give you what you need to accomplish His will?
Why would He rescue you from eternal damnation, and not give you the help you need in your marriage?
Why would He send the Holy Spirit to indwell you and not give you wisdom to raise your kids?
Discuss: How high a price did God pay to redeem you?
We tend to get worked up about our life- What if I make the wrong decision? And we worry so much that we get paralyzed. Don’t you realize that God has more invested in your life that you do?
Look back at - David says “The Lord is my shepherd....” “Your rod and staff they comfort me...” Friends, we are not called to be sovereign. That’s God’s job. We are called to be sheep. He supplies our needs.
Just like a loving parent supplies the needs of their children, God gives us what we need out of love.
Hey, it’s my delight to take care of my kids! My wife enjoys buying gifts for them.
It is God’s delight to care for us. Jesus is the visible demonstration of God’s love for us.
The next two questions are connected, so we’ll deal with them together:
Romans 8:33–34 NASB95
Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

Question 3: Who’s approval do I seek?(33)

Question 4: What guilt do I bear? (34)

Why d
Question 4: What guilt do I bear?
Let’s work through the logic of these two statements:
Scripture tells us that God has committed all judgment to the Son ()- That means that one day, everyone will eventually stand before Jesus to be judged.
So, listen closely, the one who will judge me one day has died in my place. The Judge is the one who paid the penalty. He Himself bore my penalty and bears the scars.
I cannot be condemned! Remember ? Why?
In order for Jesus to condemn me, Jesus would have to deny Himself.
Discuss: What does it mean that Jesus is Judge and intercessor?
And even now, the Judge is interceding for me based on the finished work of the cross and resurrection!
Listen folks, this is what the apostle John is talking about in
1 John 1:9 NASB95
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
And so, if you are sure God has accepted you based on the work of Jesus, why worry about anyone else’s approval? Why do we try to put on a show for others? Or, one better, why do we withhold forgiveness for ourselves when God has forgiven us already?
How many of you are holding onto shame and guilt? How many of you are unwilling to forgive yourself because you think.. “you have no idea what I’ve done...” Listen, God does. Are you greater than God? Does your opinion of yourself outweigh God’s?
You want to know something? Your identity- who you believe yourself to be- is established by what the most important person in your life thinks of you. If that person is you or your spouse, your boss, or any other person, you will always struggle with guilt and disapproval.
God must be the most important person in your life.
Discuss: Whose approval do I seek?
Because of the work of Jesus some 2000 years ago, I can be confident that God is for me, that He will provide for me, that I am free. I am justified. I am a child of God. I am who You say I am Lord!
And finally,

Question 5: Who will separate us from the love of God? (35-39)

Paul lists out a number of things which we all face-
Romans 8:35 NASB95
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
And here’s the thing-
Now, Paul answers this in verses 37-39. And here is what he says, “In Christ, we will overwhelmingly conquer these things”
Do you know what it means to overwhelmingly conquer? And no, I’m not talking about how the Patriots came back from a 28-3 deficit to win the super bowl against Atlanta in 2017.
No, I’m talking about what David refers to in - let’s go back there.
Psalm 23:5 NASB95
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
Psalm 23:
or maybe more clear
Psalm 110:1 NASB95
The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
It means that not only do you defeat your enemies, but you make them your servants.
When we look at , the verse just prior to our study, we can see that God works all things for good because He is good.
The God of our salvation is greater than the “who” of our opposition and He takes all that which is wrong and evil and uses it for His purpose, that is that we would be more like Jesus.
Paul quotes a verse from right in the middle of this… and it sounds kind of depressing, but what he’s doing is drawing our minds to a time of lament in Israel. Enemies were all around and the Psalmist asks God if he had taken his eyes off of them…
And Paul’s answer in is NO. The Gospel is so powerful- not even our sin could separate us from God, how could anything else? We turned our backs on God and He pursued us…
Romans 8:38–39 NASB95
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So what?
Some of you are living in today.
You are in a dark, desperate, hopeless place. Maybe it’s your fault! Maybe it’s just the circumstances… can I tell you something?
Your is overwhelmingly conquered in .
Do you feel like a sheep being led to slaughter? Even death cannot separate you from the love of God.
Look, all that is opposing you- all the suffering you are enduring- those are just the situation. They cannot touch your identity. Nothing can take away what God has given!
I’d like to read this quote from D. Martin Lloyd Jones: “Think, man! Are you afraid (31)? You aren’t thinking! Are you worried (32)? You aren’t thinking! Are you feeling guilty (33)? You aren’t thinking! Embrace the logic of free grace and justification! These aren’t dry doctrines; they are life itself. And if you are not living right now with overwhelming assurance and power, you haven’t really understood them!”
You have nothing to fear. Who can stop the Lord Almighty?
Who can condemn you?
What can cause despair?
This resurrection Sunday, let us worship God and embrace His purposes in our lives.
Discuss: What does it mean to overwhelmingly conquer?
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