Jack Graham - More Than Conquerors
Take your Bibles and turn with me to the eighth chapter of Romans, Romans chapter 8. "What shall we say to these things", verse 31, "If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger or sword? As it is written, 'For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord".
The title of this message is "More than Conquerors". Mark Batterson reminds us of the 1977 power ballad, "We are the Champions". It was the traditional encore at the end of performances by the British band Queen. And while it never hit number one on the charts, a team of scientific researchers dubbed it "the catchiest song in the history of pop music". Maybe it's the unique combination of jazz chords, major and minor; sixth, seventh, eleventh and thirteenth harmony. Or perhaps it was the male high C in falsetto belted out by lead singer Freddy Mercury. Regardless, once it gets in your head it's tough to get out. Nearly three decades after the original recording, it was voted the world's favorite song in a worldwide music poll. "We are the champions". It's a power ballad.
When you go to it an arena or a stadium you often hear music that powers the people up. Songs that are arena driven, that challenge us all. And here we have in Romans chapter 8 the greatest power ballad of all time. That's what Romans 8 really is; it's a power ballad, in that we have the powerful promises of God regarding our security and our certainty in the Lord Jesus Christ, that we are forever His, loved unconditionally. And we live with an unstoppable and undeniable conviction that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ. This we know. You can tie together verse 28 of Romans 8, "For we know that all things are working together for good to those who love the Lord, who are called according to His purpose", and the words of the Apostle Paul as you drop back down to verse 38 where it says, "For I am persuaded" I am sure, this is a chapter full of undeniable confession that we live in victory, that we are super conquerors, that we are more than conquerors.
And this passage of scripture contains some of the most powerful and beautiful assurances in all of the Bible. That's good to know in a cancel culture, that no one can cancel what God has done and is doing in your life through Jesus Christ. We are held in His hand, in His omnipotent grip. Peter says in 1 Peter 1:5, "We are kept by the power of God". Jesus said it in John chapter 10, verses 27 through 29: "My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life and they will never perish and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand". We are eternally secure because of what Christ has done for us.
So the Apostle Paul is reminding us of this truth. When Paul says, "What shall we say then to these things"? It’s just overwhelming, isn’t it? To stop and think and contemplate what God has done. "What shall we say to these things"? It’s a leading question. And Paul here is like an attorney. We said this early on as he is making his case for the Gospel, and he is leading with a question here: "What shall we say then about all these things"? It’s a question really with an exclamation point; it’s a question that becomes an exclamation point. Sometimes when I'm texting, maybe you do the same thing, when I want to ask a question and make a point at the same time, I'll make the statement and I'll put some question marks, and then I'll put a bunch of exclamation points. And that's what the Apostle is doing in this text.
"What shall we say then to these things?" Question mark, exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point! Because this is what God had done. And this entire passage, all of Romans 8 and this great close. It is a worship experience to walk these last verses of Romans chapter 8. And one commentator said, "This whole passage strikes us as transcending everything in language". One Gospel orator said in speaking of this passage, "Here Paul dips his pen in golden glory"! That's descriptive. Paul is looking back at all that he has written and reminding us that because of what God has done, there are certain things that are true that can never change. What is left to say?
John Stott, the great British preacher and commentator, said this, he said, "The Apostle’s answer to his own question is to ask five more questions, to which there’s no answer. He hurls them into space in a spirit of bold defiance. He challenges anyone or anybody and everybody in heaven and earth or hell to answer them and to deny the truth which they contain. But there is no answer, for no one and nothing can harm the people whom God has foreknown, predestined, called, justified and glorified". So Paul in response to his own question, "What shall we say then to all these things"? He responds to his question with five unanswerable questions. But I'm going to turn it around and with these unanswerable questions that the apostle givens us, that we read here in the Scripture, comes a promise from God.
Promise number one, question number one: For the believer there is no intimidation. That’s why in verse 31 he writes, "If God be for us who can be against us"? There is no intimidation! Now we have adversaries, there are enemies that we face, there are haters all around us in the world. We may within ourselves accuse ourselves with a guilty conscience. Satan himself accuses us and seeks to defeat us. Satan is defeated but he is not destroyed; he is not done on this earth. Satan is alive, well, and living, though wounded, on planet earth. Even to this day for the Christian, Christ holds the keys of life and death, but to all who don't know Christ, Hebrews chapter 2, verse 14 tells us that Satan holds the power of death. He is a death-dealer, he is an assassin, he is a killer! "If God be for us, then who can be against us"?
There are adversaries and if you don't know God, if you are resisting God, then God is resisting you. What a terrible thought it is to consider that God would accuse you, resist you, because you don't know Him, that God would be against you. "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble". What a terrible thing for a nation to have God resisting that nation. And if we are not troubled here in America, if we keep doing what we're doing and going where we are going, then ultimately the judgment will come and God will resist the nation. The Bible says, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord", "but sin is a reproach to any people". And God may choose, if He's not already doing it, to resist America. A terrible thing for God to resist you! But God said, the Scripture says, "To those who are in Christ", those who are believers, those who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, that God is for you. Secondly for the believer there is now no limitation.
Look again at verse 32 of chapter 8. "If God did not spare His only Son will He not freely give us all things"? Question mark, exclamation point, exclamation point exclamation point! He’s answering this rhetorical question, if you will. God did not spare His Son, but gave Him up for us all! And if God did that for you, will He not freely and fully then give us all things? Jesus the Son, sent by the Father; cursed and condemned by our sin; took our place and space on this cross, our judgment. He drank the cup. Remember the garden? Gethsemane, when Christ prayed in agony, sweating drops of blood? He drank the cup of indescribable agony to the very last drop! To the dredges! In that cup was the toxic sin of the world and Jesus’ love drank it all! And now that cup is empty for me and for you, if you know Christ. So don't you know that if God has done this for you, will He not then freely give you all things?
Paul's point is if God did this, will He not keep you forever? You are His child; you belong to Him. The word, really not freely give us all things. That word freely is in the language of the New Testament charizomai which is the root-word for great. You may hear the word charis which is great, Charizomai is there. And so charizomai here, freely means that He just keeps pouring out the grace. He keeps giving and giving more and more grace. Grace so abundant; blessing after blessing. He gives us all things. And this grace just keeps coming over and over and over again. He freely graces us; He freely and fully gives us all things. This is how we can know that God will never cancel us; that this salvation is not losable because it's grace from beginning to end. If you think for one minute that somehow works saves you or works helps to save you, then you have missed grace! Grace is the unmerited favor of God. And if God gave you His Son, would He not freely give you all things? If God would give you His Son, will He not give you everything that He has? This is how God keeps us, that we are freely and fully and forever forgiven. This causes us to overflow in gratitude to God.
Question number three, he asks and promise that follows: For the believer there is now therefore no accusation. Let's look at the scripture again. "Who shall bring any charge against God's elect"? It is God who justifies. So there is no accusation in that he asks this question again. Question mark with a series of exclamation points. Who shall bring any charge to the elect, that is, to the Christian? There is no accusation! Satan is called the accuser of the brethren. Verse 10 of chapter 12 of Romans. And his chief tactic as the accuser is to slander you, to shame you, to stigmatize you, to condemn you, to crush you. He looks for every opportunity to defeat you, to discourage you, to defame you, to dissuade you. So when accusations come, you know that Christ died and rose again and has ascended and is interceding for you at the throng of God. You have an accuser, but He is your advocate. And your advocate says, "'No charge!' against God's elect. That one is my child"! And He's praying for you.
And then, not only that, not only is there no accusation but there is now no condemnation. Look at verse 34. It says: "Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, He was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us". Which means, that the prayer of Christ for you will see you through to the end and beyond. You believe Jesus gets all His prayers answered? Yes, indeed. And He is praying for you. When He prayed the very high priestly prayer in John chapter 17 for His disciples and all who would follow Him, He said, "I pray that their faith fail not". And so the prayers of Christ Himself, the prayers of Jesus, the one who is alive and ascended, and in the presence of God. This prayer keeps you, holds you by His mighty hand. There's no condemnation.
And that’s when He says: "Therefore we are more than conquerors to Him who loved us". Not in us, but because of Him who loved us, that He always causes us to triumph. Second Corinthians chapter 2:14 says to the Christian, that he is always, always causes us to triumph in Jesus Christ. So who is the one who is condemned? The answer: No one! No one! Because we overwhelmingly win. The word "more than conquerors", you may have heard this before, but it's worth repeating, "More than conqueror" means we overwhelmingly conqueror. The word nike is there, to win over, to win gloriously, to defeat the enemy completely. So it's a word we are more than conquerors which means we dominate. We don't just squeak out a win at the end; no, we are winning now! It's like a pre-school team playing a professional team. We don’t just win, we don’t just get by; we gloriously, victoriously win! We are more than conquerors because this victory is in Jesus. No one.
One finally thing, there are battles to fight but you can't have victories without battles. And we're going to win those battles because nothing can defeat us and nothing can separate us, he asked the final fifth question: "What can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ"? And then he writes: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors. For I am sure neither death or life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ". Here's the promise: No separation from the love of God. No fault, no foe, no failure can stop the love of God in your life! No wonder the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 1:21: "For to me to live is Christ; to die is gain". I win either way! I live, I win; I die, I win. Even more, His love holds us.
Have you read the end of the story? Have you read the end of the Book? When Christ makes all things new and we are gathered in His presence and forever and ever the cheers celebrating the victory that we have in the Lord Jesus Christ! Have you read it? So know then that whatever you're going through in your life, death, disease, things above you, things below you, demon powers, distress, all these. Whatever is coming against you, nothing is going to take you out of the love of God that is in Jesus Christ! So to recap: There is for the believer no intimidation, "If God is for us, who will be against us"? There is no limitation. "He has freely, fully given us all things in Jesus Christ". There is no accusation. "Who shall lay anything to God's elect"? NO, Christ died, He rose again, He's interceding for us. There is no condemnation because "We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us". Who shall condemn us then? Nobody! Not one condemnation. And therefore for the believer, there is no separation for "Who will separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ"? We are guarded, we are guided by the hand of God and the hope that is ours in Christ. You are more than a conqueror! You don’t just barely win, you win and win and win and win again because of Jesus. Amen?