"Who We Are: Conquerors"

Preached by on November 18, 2018
— From the series,

As we continue to look at who we are, we focus today on what it means to be a conqueror. The passage of scripture is dear because it describes God’s love, bit it all describes who we are.

Who We Are:  Conquerors

(Rom. 8:31-39)

 

Intro:

A.  Many of here are excited about Thanksgiving.  We may be excited for different reason.  I get to see my grandson.  I also am blessed to see most of our kids, but I get to see my grandson and that will put a smile on my face.

B.  Some of us are excited about the food.  Kerri is a great cook and with the kids coming in, there will be lots of food to eat, an abundance of the favorites and I like to eat.  Some people get excited for the special sales and try to get all their Christmas shopping done by next the Monday after Thanksgiving.

C.  But for others, this week actually feel lonelier because of the lack of family and friends.  They see it, but it is from a distance, and the hurt within them grows.  As Christians we have certain blessings that those outside of Christ do not share.  We have hope in a world that often seems hopeless.  We have security in Christ in a world that often feels insecure about the future.  We have each other in a world that connects online than in person.

D.  God tells us through Paul that we are “more than conquerors.”  It is a phrase that comes from a beloved passage, but for some, it feels like a pie-in-the-sky dream.  They see their own sin as sin, but have yet to accept the victory that has already been given.

 

I.  God Is For Us

A.  I want to start our text back in verse 31“What then shall we say then to these things?”  What things?  Paul has to be talking about the personal struggles of not being perfect enough (in chapter 7), the suffering of this present time (vs 18); and the weaknesses that the Spirit helps us with (vs 26).  “What shall we say?”  His answer, “If God is for us, who can be against us.”  It was not some platitude with Paul or a clique he was saying.  He tells us why God is for YOU.

B.  Vs 32-34.  Understand what God has done through Jesus.  There is no reason to ask God, “Do you love me?”  He took His own Son and put Him on a cross. The God who abhorred child sacrifice, allowed His own Son to get beaten and mangled and sent Him to the cross. Some people are offended by such a thing. Some say, “How could a God of love sacrifice his only son? What kind of a God is that?”  He is a God who, before the foundations of this earth, loved a creation that had not yet been created.  In spite of knowing that I would sin, he provided every opportunity for me to come home again, and that meant the cross.

C.  May I ask you, “What’s the greatest gift you have ever given to someone?”  Maybe you are thinking of a monetary gift.  Maybe it is the love you give to your family or maybe it was leading someone to a saving knowledge of Jesus.  But whatever it was or is, God gave you more.

D.  The greatest gift God ever gave was given to me while I was still wrapped up in my sin.  It was not me thinking about Him, it was Him thinking about me.  (Rom. 5:6-8; 1 Pet. 2:22-25)  Yes, God IS for us.  The cross and the empty tomb are proof.  God the Father, Son and Spirit love you.

E.  Paul faced more hardships than anyone in this room.  He knew what it was like to be hungry, poor, beaten, imprisoned, to be alone from people and many other trials.  But through all of those hardships, when he wanted to quit, he couldn’t because he was convinced of God’s love him personally.

 

II.  God gives us Victory!

A. But it is from the verses read for out text that I took the title of this sermon. Paul wants you to think about a question.  “Who or what can separate us from the love of Christ?”  (Vs. 35-39).  Now look again at verse 37.  It begins with the word “No.”  This “no” is saying that in all of those things I may have to face – including death – not one of them can separate me from God.  Why?  Because of who we are!

B.  Paul says “we are more than conquerors.”  We are more than conquerors over sin, because of Jesus; over Satan, because of Jesus; over the world, because of Jesus, over reproaches, afflictions, persecution, famine, nakedness, over anything in all creations and over death itself because of “him who loved us.”  That is who we are:  conquerors.

C.  Let me tell you, there are days when I don’t feel like a conqueror, but that doesn’t mean I am not.  It means I forget to realize what God has already done for me and what God has already made me.

 

Conclusion:

A.  In our reading today, Paul quotes from Psalm 44 when he says, “For your sake we face death all day long.  We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  Let me take you back to that Psalm, because Paul does something incredible with it.

B.  Ps 44:1-3, 9-11, 17-22.  These people did not understand why God let bad things happen to them when they were good.  If they were in sin, they would understand, but they were not in sin and still they were suffering and dying.  Paul turns back to that passage and uses it in a total opposite manner.  Paul said that for God’s sake they face death as Christians.  He doesn’t deny the pain and suffering that Christians face, what he says, is it doesn’t matter because death is not the powerful enemy some people believe.

C.  It is not “If” God is for us, but “Since” God is for us, who can be against us?  David trusted that God was on his side even though he failed God many times.  Some of the most assuring words about trust are penned by David.  In Ps. 121, he would write, “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?”  Then he answers.  He answer for himself, he answers because he accepts grace, he answer so I can hear, “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

D.  If we can help you experience the Love of God in Jesus Christ, then come as we stand and sing.

 

 

 

Because of Jesus,

Jeffrey Dillinger, minister