- Sermon Notes
More than Conquerors
Romans is one of the most powerful books in the Bible; chapter 8 is the capstone of the entire book, and these verses we’re studying today are the great crescendo. Chapter 8 is about victory, but in these verses, Paul declares that you are more than conquerors – through Him who loved you.
You become more than conquerors when you 1) understand who you are in Christ; and 2) understand what God has done for you in Christ, and then 3) respond by having faith in Him; a faith that is sure and steadfast through every storm; and 4) by loving Him in response to the greatness of His love for you.
Paul has been building up to this through all the previous chapters. You were born in the sin of Adam, you were born with this flesh and will die with it, but you can be victorious; He has given the Spirit to transform you by changing your heart and your mind.
This is an important key; you cannot be victorious until you’re victorious in your mind. Therefore, what your mind and your heart take hold of will determine whether you’re victorious or defeated. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ,” Paul says. In other words, when you hear the truth, the truth can set you free.When you hear the words of Christ you can defeat the doubts, the fears; the lies of the enemy and the world.
For example, Paul wrote that you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received the spirit of adoption as sons by which you may cry out, “Abba! Father!” When you take hold of that truth and write it on your heart, it will transform your faith.
Paul is then straightforwardly honest; there’s a lot of suffering in this present world. The creation itself groans and suffers the pains of childbirth longing to be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We also groan within ourselves longing for something better because we live in a broken and evil world.
But God helps us in our weakness. We do not even know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Then, in verse 28, we read those famous words, “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” If you know this great truth, if you have strength of faith to stand on this great truth, you’ll look for it, you’ll watch for it. If you believe that God brings beauty out of ashes, then you’ll eagerly wait for that beauty and be watching. If you don’t believe, you’re left with ashes and are waiting for nothing. That is defeat.
But you can be “more than a conqueror.” What does it mean to be more than a conqueror? That phrase is a translation from the Greek. It’s one word and we can understand its meaning without much difficulty – Hyper-Nikeo. It’s not just victory, it’s surpassing victory.
I. Be Convinced that God is for You…
- If you take hold of this truth and write it on your heart, and live according to it, you will be more than a conqueror.
- If God is for you, who can be against you? There are many things and many people that may be against you, but Paul’s point is that if God is for you, none of those things can defeat you.
- In other words, the fact that God is for you has a greater significance than anything being against you. This is a rock on which to stand.
Psalm 27:1-3, The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear; the war arise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident.
- Those verses show the distinction between defeat and victory.It’s all about faith.You’re defeated when your faith is shipwrecked, and fear makes you it’s slave.You’re victorious when your faith stands firm and your confidence is in God.
A. God proves His love for you
- God proves that He is for you. Look at the extent He went to redeem you; He delivered up His only begotten Son that you might have eternal life.
- That is convincing evidence.When people experience the sufferings of living in a broken and evil world, they often see that as evidence that God is not for them. But they’re wrong; they only need to look at the great price that was God Himself paid.
Romans 5:8, God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
- If God did not spare His own Son, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
Psalm 23:1, 6, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want… Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Matthew 7:9-11, “What man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”
- Of course, as your Abba, Father, He doesn’t necessarily give you everything you may want. He doesn’t spoil his children; He transforms his children. A good father knows when to say yes and when to say no.His purpose is to make you like His Son.
B. No one can bring a charge against you
- God is for you; He is the one who justifies you.
- The power of God being for you is that there is no one who is able to bring a charge against you; there is no one who can condemn you.
Romans 8:1, There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
- The righteousness that God gave you far surpasses any charge that could be brought against you. You have the very righteousness of Christ added to your account.
- Who is it that could bring a charge against you? The enemy is called the accuser of the brethren, he would very much like you to join him in condemnation.
- You know who else might bring a charge against you? You yourself. Many people carry guilt and shame and feel very unworthy and unlovable.
- If you’re convinced you’re unworthy and unlovable, then you’re not standing on the truth. If God is the one who justifies you, even you yourself do not have the right to condemn yourself.
Illus – If we could only understand that God knows about every skeleton in the closet, every shameful thing we’ve done and yet His love never fails.
A.Christ is interceding for you
- God is for you so much that He did not spare His own Son. Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, who was raised, who sits at the right hand of God, and who also intercedes for us.
- In other words, the Holy Spirit is interceding for us with groans to deep for words, but not only that, Christ Himself is also interceding in our behalf. Can you imagine? Can you imagine Jesus asking His Father in your behalf?
Hebrews 7:25, Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
- Intercession prayer is praying for someone else.
Luke 22:31-32, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail.”
Illus – Sometimes people ask me to pray for them. It’s one of the greatest privileges as a pastor to pray for someone, but how much more precious are the prayers of Christ Himself? It’s a powerful thought to imagine Him praying for us by name.
II. Be Convinced of God’s Love
- One of the most important keys to being victorious, in being more than a conqueror, is being convinced of God’s love for you, that nothing can separate you from the love of Christ.
- If God is your Abba Father, then you must absolutely trust that His love for you never fails and that no matter what happens in life, nothing can separate you from that love.
- God has demonstrated that love when Christ Jesus took your sins on the cross. But he also says earlier in this chapter that the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
- We each have a testimony in our heart of God’s love and I’m convinced He demonstrates that love throughout the course of our lives in many ways.
Illus – I had lunch with my friend Steve who told me the story of a beautiful Jesus moment.
Illus – I remember one of my own amazing Jesus moments.
A.Nothing can separate us
- Earlier in the chapter Paul spoke of the sufferings of this present life, but here he gives clear examples we can all relate to; tribulation, distress, persecution for your faith, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword.This is a hard life.
- Jesus said, “In this world you will have many troubles, but take courage! I have overcome the world.” To take courage means to have greater faith, to trust that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.
John 10:28-30, “I give eternal life to them, 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. I and the Father are one.”
- What if worse comes to worst and you lose your life?Then you are still in your Father’s hand.
- The question in many people’s minds, however, is why God, in His great love, doesn’t keep us from these troubles. For many, it seems inconsistent, “You say you love me, and yet I go through troubles and trials and difficulties.”
- They are convinced that a God that is good should not allow evil to exist. There is such a place and it’s called heaven, but this is earth where God has made man with a will to freely choose to follow Him or reject Him.
Illus – Jesus gave a parable that the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat… the wheat and the tares will grow up together until the harvest…
- God did not promise to keep us from the troubles, but He did promise to be with us in the troubles.Believing and taking hold of that promise is what makes you more than a conqueror.
Hebrews 13:5-6, He Himself has said, “I will never leave you, nor will I ever forsake you.” So that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”
- In all these things, Paul said, we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. But notice that faith works together with love. “For I am convinced,” Paul said. That’s the key.
1 John 5:4, For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.
- Many people feel defeated in life. They feel beat up by all the troubles and struggles that comes with living in this broken and evil world. They live discouraged.
- What is the difference between a person who is defeated and the person who is more than a conqueror?It’s faith.That’s the difference.
- God wants us to have faith that perseveres through every storm; I love the line from that worship song, “My anchor holds within the vale.”
- Yet other people have faith that is easily shipwrecked. They become angry or bitter and because they don’t believe that God brings beauty out of ashes they’re not watching for the help God will provide.
Hebrews 6:18-19, We who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope you have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…
- This hope you have is not the English word ‘hope.’The English word ‘hope’ means “I don’t know.”Will the weather be good tomorrow?I don’t know.I hope, but I don’t know.No, the hope he’s talking about here is the hope that is sure and steadfast.“I know in whom I have believed.I know my Lord”
- How can you overwhelmingly conquer through such difficult things? Because your faith is sure and steadfast and not only are you not defeated, you have a peace that passes understanding.
Illus – Some years ago we had a receptionist; Janet. She received the worst possible news from her doctor.There was nothing they could do.I remember talking with her and asking how she was doing.“My anchor holds, my hope is sure” she said, “pray for my husband, and pray for my kids, but as for me, my anchor holds.”But she is more than a conqueror; her anchor holds within the vale.
- Faith is anchored in truth; God loves you as your Abba Father.That is a truth your faith can anchor to.
- God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.That is truth your faith can anchor to.
- Nothing can separate you from the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus our Lord.That is a truth your faith can anchor onto.
2 Timothy 1:12, I know in whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him until that day.
Romans 8:31-39 NASB
31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He 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? 33Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34who 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. 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36Just as it is written,
“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor 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.