Monday, November 4, 2013

WEAPONS FOR REVIVAL SERIES: More Than Conquerors (1)

Romans 8:18-39
Key Verse 8:37---- “No, in all these things
we are more than conquerors through him
who loved us.”
Romans chapter 8 is the conclusion of
chapters 1-7. In chapter 8:1-17 we learned
that there is now no more condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus. We also
learned that we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. In chapter 8:18-39 we learn Paul’s personal faith and conviction.
It is the faith and conviction that
believers in the Lord Jesus should have. He
said in verse 37, “No, in all these things we
are more than conquerors through him
who loved us.” Paul suffered greatly doing
God’s work. He often went about hungry
and in ragged clothes. He was in danger
continuously. Yet he never thought that he
was a loser. He never became fatalistic
about his human condition. Instead he
knew that God was working out all things
for his good purpose. He believed in all
things that God loved him.
Accepting and believing God’s love in all
life’s trials and circumstances is the key to
our living a victorious life of faith. Let’s now
think about why we are more than
conquerors. I pray that through this
message, we may think deeply about the
love of Christ. May God help you to accept
that through Jesus you are more than
First, We are more than conquerors
because we have the future hope of God’s
glory. Let’s read verses 18, “I consider that
our present sufferings are not worth
comparing with the glory that will be
revealed in us.” Paul mentions sufferings
and glory in this verse. It is natural for
human beings to want glory because we
were created in God’s image. God is the
God of glory. Glory can mean honor, fame
and recognition. But because we all live in
a fallen world, we must struggle hard to get
even a taste of glory. If people get a taste
of it, it is just a taste. It is short lived and
gone like the early morning dew.
many people suffer because they barely
taste even earthly glory.
But Christians will receive a glory that will
not be taken away from them. In this life,
whether we are a believer or not, we will
suffer. Unbelievers suffer from their ego,
pride and sin in general. They hope to
catch the rainbow, such as winning the
lottery. But in the end, they die without
hope because their hope was in the
perishing world. Believers suffer from trying
to live a godly and holy life like Jesus Christ
in this godless world. They struggle to be
like Jesus and give up many things.
look like their suffering and losing life is in
vain. But not so. This is because we who
believe will have the glory of the kingdom
of God. One day we will behold Christ in all
his glory. One day we will be honored by
God in his kingdom and hear his voice say
to us, “Well done, good and faithful
servant.” We will then all receive a beautiful
crown of life and we will shine like the sun
in the kingdom of the Father. One minute
of the glory of heaven will make us forget
all our troubles and hardships in this life.
Let’s read verses 19-22, “The creation waits
in eager expectation for the sons of God to
be revealed. For the creation was subjected
to frustration, not by its own choice, but by
the will of him who subjected it, in hope
that the creation itself will be liberated
from its bondage to decay and brought into
the glorious freedom of the children of
God. We know that the whole creation has
been groaning as in the pains of childbirth
right up to the present time.”
According to these verses God subjected
the whole creation to frustration. When did
this happen and why? According to the
book of Genesis, when man disobeyed
God’s command. Once God said of the
world and all that was in it, “It was very
good.” But after man disobeyed, sin came
into the world. Then the world and all its
creation was not good because of sin. God
cursed both man and the creation. Since
that time, all of creation suffers to live in a
world in sin. “Survival of the fittest” is not
only man’s motto but also all the creatures
and even the plants motto.
There are plants with thorns and plants like
poison ivy that live in fear. They hope that
their thorns and poison will protect them
from being eaten up or trampled on.
Animals struggle to survive, only to get
eaten up by other animals. Did you ever
see a lion sneak upon a helpless young
zebra? It attacks it without mercy and bites
into its jugular vein in its neck, killing it
instantly. When the mother zebra sees this
it cries and cries that it has to live in a sin
cursed world. The animal world suffers in
fear from man who know that if they don’t
eat animals, animals will eat them.
All of creation is frustrated from living in a
world of sin where they have to struggle to
survive. However God who frustrated it is
the only one that can liberate it. Only God
has the power to do so. The creation is
waiting for that day when it will not be
ruled by sinful man, but by the children of
God. The prophet Isaiah spoke of this day
in Isaiah chapter when he talked about the
restoration of creation order. Let’s read
Isaiah chapter 11:6-9.
In that day there will be a new heavens and
a new earth. It will be glorious and
beautiful. But until then, we will still hear a
lot of groaning of animals and plants. Who
else is also groaning?
Let’s read verse 23, “Not only so, but we
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan
inwardly as we wait eagerly for our
adoption as sons, the redemption of our
bodies.” We are also groaning because our
bodies are subject to sin and weakness.
Verse 23 mentions to us the firstfruits of
the Spirit. This is the Holy Spirit. As
believers in Jesus we have the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is like a deposit
guaranteeing our inheritance until we are
fully redeemed. In us it promises better
things will come. The better things that will
come are our adoption as sons and
daughters into the kingdom of God where
we will have a new and powerful
resurrection body. Paul talked about this in
1 Corinthians 15:42-44, “So will it be with
the resurrection of the dead. The body that
is sown is perishable, it is raised
imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is
raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is
raised in power; it is sown a natural body,
it is raised a spiritual body…”
Until that time, we groan inwardly looking
forward to the day when we won’t have to
suffer from bad knees, bad backs and
allergies, asthma and all kinds of
sicknesses. Our bodies will be like Christ’s
glorious resurrection body. Jesus said that
we would be like the angels in heaven. Let’s
read verses 24-25, “For in this hope we
were saved. But hope that is seen is no
hope at all. Who hopes for what he already
has? But if we hope for what we do not yet
have, we wait for it patiently.”
Hope is a key ingredient in our spiritual life.
Hope is like faith. What are we putting our
hope in is a barometer for our life of faith.
Where should our hope not be? Our hope
should not be in a world that is in decay
and that is dying. If we put hope in
anything or anyone in the world we will
eventually be disappointed and
discouraged. Human glory is only short lived at
best and leaves us empty.
The hope of believers is not anything in this
world and it is not in anything that can
seen. If it were, then it would be no hope.
The real hope for all believers is the
redemption of our bodies and to be with
our Lord Jesus Christ in heaven in glory
and in honor. Right now there is absolutely
no sign of it. But this does not mean it will
never happen. What we all need to do is
wait. But waiting is never easy because it
requires patience.
young men and women have the great hope
to get married. But they, too, need to learn
patience and to wait on God’s time.
No one by nature is patient. This is why we
have to read the Bible and learn from how
the great men and women of faith learned
patience. God promised Abraham a son
and to make him into a great nation.
Abraham had no sign of this, especially
since his wife was old and barren and he
also was too old. However, Abraham did
not doubt the promise of God. He believed
that God had the power to do it even
though year after year there was no change
in his human situation. However, when he
had hope in God he experienced the power
of God and the joy of God. Twenty-five
years after the promise, God gave him and
Sarah a son. They had joy that no one
could take away. Their hope and patience
had paid off. Now they are experiencing
eternal joy in the kingdom of heaven
because all they were promised has
become sight. So I ask you, please be
God has something great planned
for you, far better than the decaying things
of this world. It is a new heavens and a new
earth. Let’s read Revelation 21:1-4 to find
Let’s read verses 26-27, “In the same way,
the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do
not know what we ought to pray for, but
the Spirit himself intercedes for us with
groans that words cannot express. And he
who searches our hearts knows the mind of
the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for
the saints in accordance with God’s will.”
God does everything to give us hope and
strength. God knows that we are weak while
we live in this weak body of flesh. God
through his Spirit wants to encourage us to
pray. Sometimes we feel too tired to pray.
Sometimes we don’t feel inspired to pray.
But when we ask God to help us to pray
God inspires us and intercedes for us
through his Holy Spirit.
Sometimes all we can do is groan to God
because of our unfaithful sheep or our
many mistakes and weaknesses. Nothing
seems to come out of our mouths, except
groaning. But God knows what we are
groaning because he has the Spirit
interpreting our groans to God and God
understands us.
Through the Spirit God reveals his will for
us. Many Christians say that they do not
know what God’s will is for them. They do
not know what to pray for and how to pray.
But through the help of the Spirit, he
shows us what to pray for and how to pray
and he gives us strength to be men and
women of prayer. Through the Spirit we
know the will of God. What is the will of
God? Jesus prayed and said, “Father,
hallowed be your name, your kingdom
come, your will be done.”
When we keep on praying we realize that
God wants us to pray for America to be a
kingdom of priests and a holy nation for
the world. God wants his Son Jesus to be
glorified and his kingdom come in Nigeria.
To be continued...

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