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MORE THAN CONQUERORS
Intro: The photographer for a national magazine was assigned to get photos of a great forest fire. Smoke at the scene hampered him and he asked his home office to hire a plane. Arrangements were made and he was told to go at once to a nearby airport, where the plane would be waiting. When he arrived at the airport, a plane was warming up near the runway.
He jumped in with his equipment and yelled, “Let's go! Let's go!” The pilot swung the plane into the wind and they soon were in the air.
“Fly over the north side of the fire,” yelled the photographer, “and make three or four low level passes.”
“Why?” asked the pilot.
“Because I'm going to take pictures,” cried the photographer. “I'm a photographer and photographers take pictures!”
After a pause the pilot said, “You mean you're not the instructor?”
That is exactly how way life appears to us at times, isn’t it? It seems at times that whoever may be driving the plane doesn’t know where he is going, or what he is doing. But, that’s just how things appear to us. From our vantage point it seems that our lives get into more messes than we can figure out. But, again, that’s just how things appear.
According to the Bible, the children of God are a perpetually victorious people. We can’t always see it. We don’t always feel it. We don’t always live like it. It’s true nonetheless.
The verse before us today has brought comfort and hope to the hearts of God’s children for 2,000 years. It reminds us that us that we are “More Than Conquerors” in spite of how things appear to us, or in spite of how we may feel about our circumstances. I want to spend a little time in this verse today, because the facts revealed in it clearly remind us that we are “More Than Conquerors”.
You may not feel like a conqueror today. You might feel like an inexperienced pilot is at the yoke of your life. Regardless of how you feel, this verse offers words of hope, peace and encouragement to those who feel discouraged, defeated and overwhelmed by life. Let’s take a fresh look at this familiar verse. Let me show you the facts that are revealed here that teach us that we are “More Than Conquerors”.
I. THE REALITY OF OUR CONQUEST
· Paul uses the phrase “more than conquerors”. This translates a word that only appears here in the New Testament. It refers to those who “gain a surpassing victory.” It means, “to be completely victorious; to carry away an overwhelming victory.” It literally has the idea of us being “Super-conquerors”.
That’s what the Bible says we are, but that is not always how we feel. Most of the time, most believers I know seem to be overwhelmed by life.
· When Paul writes that we “are” “super-conquerors”, he uses a tense that suggests a “present tense, active situation.” In other words, he is saying that Christians “keep on winning a glorious victory.” He is saying that even when all of life is arrayed against us, we are still “super conquerors.”
· Regardless of how things feel to us or look to us, we are still “more than conquerors”. That is the clear testimony of the Word of God, 2 Cor. 2:14; 1 Cor. 15:57.
· Our prayer should be that we would accept by faith the promises of God concerning the victory we have in Jesus. Our prayer should also be that God would help us to live out that victory everyday, in spite of how things look to us, or how we feel about our circumstances.
II. THE REALM OF OUR CONQUEST
· Paul says that we are “more than conquerors” “in all these things.” Most of us have the idea that victory occurs when we are living lives that are free from troubles, afflictions and heartaches. Paul says that reality is something far different. We are “super conquerors” in spite of everything the world and the devil can throw at us.
· The “these things” Paul is referring to can be found in verse 33-35. Let’s take a look at this list of problems. You will see that many of these things are a common part of living.
· We are “super-conquerors” in spite of those who Charge Us, v. 33 – We are victorious over all those who would challenge our relationship with the Lord. God has “justified” us and nothing will ever change His mind.
· We are “super-conquerors” in spite of those who Condemn Us, v. 34 – We are victorious over those who would declare that we are unworthy before the Lord. Jesus Christ died for us on the cross and shed His blood to save us and no one can undo what He did for us on the cross!
· We are “super-conquerors” in spite of those who Confound Us, v. 35 – The world and the devil have ever been the enemies of the children of God. The attacks are frequent and they are severe. In spite of everything they throw in our direction, we are still victorious over all their efforts to defeat us and to destroy us.
Look at the list of attacks the children of God face in this life.
· Tribulation – To be squeezed or to feel pressure. This is the common problems all people face, John 16:33; Job 14:1.
· Distress – Literally “a narrow place”. It means to be hemmed in by one’s circumstances. To be trapped with no way out.
· Persecution – Suffering inflicted on us because of our relationship with Jesus.
· Famine – A lack of necessary resources. This is the natural byproduct of persecution.
· Nakedness – A lack of proper clothing. To be in a state of destitution. This is also a byproduct of persecution.
· Peril – The threat of imminent and awful danger.
· Sword – The threat of murder. The cold, hard death dealing instrument that sent many believers out into eternity.
· We are “more than conquerors” not by avoiding these things, but by triumphing over them through Jesus Christ. Our pain in our suffering is very real, but so is God’s purpose. We must remember that His plan for our lives and our plan for our lives is rarely the same plan. Here is what He is doing:
Ø He is Refining Our Lives – 1 Pet. 1:7. Just as a goldsmith heats the ore to remove the impurities, God uses the trials and afflictions of life to rid of the imperfections and impurities of the flesh.
Ø He is Remaking Our Lives – When He finishes with us, we will be less like ourselves and more like His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, Rom. 8:29; Eph. 4:13.
Ø He is Realigning Our Lives – Ill. Paul 2 Cor. 12:7-11 – God is working in us to bring us to the place where life ceases to be about us, and all about Him and His will for us.
· This process is very painful, but it is very necessary if He is to be glorified in us. We must remember that God will get more glory from our lives when we are being purified than He will if we are allowed to live lives of ease. That truth can be seen in Job. That truth can be seen in us as well.
When do you pray more? When does the Bible mean the most? When are you more likely to seek the Lord? The answer to all these questions is simple, and it is universal. We are more likely to do these things when the heat is on! That is just reality, and that is why the Lord sends trials our way, Psa. 103:14. Just as it takes time, heat and pressure to transform coal into diamonds; it takes the same circumstances to transform sinners into saints!
III. THE REASON FOR OUR CONQUEST
· Paul tells us that the only reason that we are victorious in this life is “through Him that loved us”. Our victory does not lie within ourselves; our victory rests in Him alone!
· Consider for a moment what we deserve, Rom. 6:23; Eze. 18:4. Then, think for a moment about the nature of His love for us, Jer. 33:3. Then, stop and think about what He did to prove His love for us, John 3:16; Rom. 5:8.
· The love of God for His children is so vast, so deep and so far reaching that God wants us to know that nothing can come separate us from His great love for us.
· Verses 38-39 are a commentary on the depth, breadth, height and length of God’s love for His children. Paul tells us that none of the things mentioned in these verses can “separate us” from the love of God. The word “separate” means “to divide, to put asunder, to divorce, to put away.”
The word “able” in verse 38 means “to have power”. In other words, none of the things people fear so much has any power to divide us from His awesome love.
When we go through those things, we need to be assured in our hearts that even the pains, sorrows and afflictions of life are evidence of God’s love for us.
· Paul knew his share of the trials and torments of life, 2 Cor. 11:23-28. Yet, he tells us in verse 38 that he “is persuaded”. That phrase is in the “perfect tense”. It means that “Paul stands convinced, and nothing can change his mind about the matter.” He knows that God knows what He is doing and that the saints can count on the boundless, eternal love of Jesus Christ to see them through whatever they may face in this life. That was Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians believers, and it is God’s will for us, Eph. 3:16-21.
· So, we are “more than conquerors”, but we don’t have to do anything to ensure our victory. Victory is ours because the Lord loves us and promises us that His love is the guarantee of our conquest of all the things that come against us. Would to God that we could learn to rejoice in who we are in Him!
Conc: Are you convinced? If you are saved, you are “more than a conqueror”. I don’t always feel like it’s true. I don’t always live like it’s true. But, the Bible assures me that it is.
I am interested in that truth becoming a reality in our lives. It can, but we must take God at His Word and learn to trust Him by faith, even when nothing that is happening in us or to us seems to back it up. In the end, victory comes down to faith. Either I believe what the Bible says, or I believe what my eyes see, my mind thinks or what others say.
So, my fellow “super conquerors”, what should we do with this information? I think we should seek the Lord’s face and ask Him for the faith to live like a “super conqueror” even when we don’t like that’s what we are. I think we should seek His help to live in victory, even when we feel defeated. I think we should just take God at His Word and leave the details with Him!