15.5 Romans – Conquerors

Verse 37 says, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Let’s break that sentence down and look at the depth of what it is saying.

We: believers in Christ.  Not some of us, not a few of us, not the leaders among us, but we, collective, all of us, past, present and future

Are: Not will be, not might be.  Are.  Closed book.  Present tense but complete.  Not similar to.  Not like.

More than conquerors:  Not fighters, soldiers, warriors, but conquerors.  The object of our battle is already defeated, conquered, done.  Not only that but we are more than conquerors.  We are those who inherit the land and live in peace having conquered.

Through Him:  Not by our own thoughts, words or deeds, but through Christ Jesus and His work, His grace, His power, His sacrifice

Who loved us: the reason why Christ came and sacrificed himself, for God so loved the world.  It is also the reason we have been adopted as “more than conquerors” with Him, because we are part of the royal family whom He loves.

In all things: Not just the hold of sin on our lives, but in ALL things, we are more than conquerors.  Our identity is not as weak, but as victor, not as fighter, but as conqueror, not as trying, but as complete.  Not in some things, but in ALL things.

Paul goes on to explain that not only is this true, but there is absolutely nothing in Heaven or Earth of Below the Earth that can take this away from us.  This is who we are in Christ.

But here is the unstated question:  Are you living the life of someone who is more than a conqueror?  Are you still fighting the battle that is already won?  Are you still acting like you are weak and unimportant?  Do you think you are unqualified, unworthy, untrained, unloved?

Do you believe the word of God?  If so, act like it.  You are a conqueror.  Done.

My Answers:

11.
These are not new questions, but instead of us being like sheep to be slaughtered, Jesus Christ took on that role for us and was slaughtered as a sacrifice for our salvation.

12.
a.
The things are the things listed above and eluded to in the previous verses that, with God’s power, we can and do overcome. We conquer them through Him who loves us

b.
It has enabled me to turn things over to him, accepting that I do not know and do not have any of the answers but He is faithful and just and loving and will work things for good, for me and for those I love whom He also loves. He has given me words to speak and helped relieve my feelings of inadequacy and hurt and loss.

13.
finances, uncertainty, people are unpredictable, death is everywhere, hurt, pain, cancer, the instability and evil in technology, hyper connectivity, lack of connectivity, isolation, uncertainty.
I know that God is greater than all of these and that I, through Him, am a conqueror.

15.4 Romans – It is OK to ask questions

One of the things I love about Paul is that he is not afraid to ask stupid questions.  Too often, we don’t do this.  We go along.  We feel lost, we feel weak, we feel alone, and we just accept it.

But, Paul shows us it is OK to ask questions and it is equally OK to answer them.

Why would God leave me all alone to face this?  He didn’t, He is with you and already has the solution.

But what about the evil in the world?  God is greater

What about my life?  God is working for your good

How do I not be afraid?  Trust in God

We know the answers.  We just don’t ask the questions.

My Answers:

9.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? — The truth
If God is for us, who can be against us? — No one
How will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? — He will give us all things
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? — It is not possible except as a lie
It is God who justifies; who then is the one who condemns? — No one
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? — No one
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword separate us from the love of Christ? – No

10.
I struggle with the idea that God will give us “all things”. I know He is capable, but I often only ask for the bare minimum. Bread, not a banquet. It is encouraging to know where Christ is now.

15.3 Romans – Control

What does God control?  The short answer is everything.  He knows everything.  He has planned everything.  He does the work.  He issues the call.  He gives us the power to accept.  It blankets us in the righteousness of His Son, justifying us through Christ and He brings us to glory to be with Him forever.  That is in addition to the universe and everyone and everything in it, all matter, all time and all space.

What do we control?  Our choices and our attitude.  The big choice we control is to answer God’s call.  It is a call that requires a response and we each have the free will to respond to that call.  Once we accept, we then have the choice to obey or disobey God; to walk in light or in the shadows, to speak words that glorify Him, to grow in our knowledge of Him.

Our main choice is over our emotions.  Og Mandino wrote:

  • If I feel depressed I will sing.
  • If I feel sad I will laugh.
  • If I feel ill I will double my labor.
  • If I feel fear I will plunge ahead.
  • If I feel inferior I will wear new garments.
  • If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice.
  • If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come.
  • If I feel incompetent I will think of past success.
  • If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals.

He wrote this with a perspective of mind over matter or fake it until you make it.  While I have nothing against the power of positive thinking, I do not think it is sufficient.  Instead, I think his list is absolutely correct but for an entirely different reason.

  • If I feel depressed I will sing praises to the God of the Universe who has promised to work for my good and lift me up high.
  • If I feel sad I will laugh because I know true joy in Jesus and it is foolish and laughable to think of something that He cannot handle.
  • If I feel ill/weak I will double my labor because by working and serving God and His people I find true nourishment and strength
  • If I fear I will plunge ahead because legions of angel armies are at my side and greater is He who is with me than he who is in the world.
  • If I feel inferior I will strap on the armor of God
  • If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice to heaven and call on the one who knows all and is all powerful and has a perfect plan for my life
  • If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come and the riches of God’s glory
  • If I feel incompetent I will think of past success such as the stories of the Old Testament and Jesus’ life and conquering of sin and death
  • If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals, not the troubles that I see all around me but the things to come because the things of this world are temporary but the things of God are eternal.

My Answers:

6.
a.
F: God knows all things outside of time bounds, so past, present and future
P: God is in control and has full knowledge so he knows and is master over all destiny
C: God invites, while He knows the choice we will make, He limits His power and allows us to choose
J: To be found not guilty by the fulfillment of the penalty of our sin through the sacrifice of Jesus
G: To be made back into our original “good” image that can live in harmony with God in His presence

b.
God is in control and uses that control for the ultimate good of His people and His creation

7.
God works through all things – some examples include struggles, challenges, temporary exile, hardship, blessings, bringing comfort and love into our lives, provision, the Word, believers, the Church. They do not because of the weight and burden of sin. Sin distorts us into something we, ultimately, do not want to be.

8.
Through the blessings of my wife and her daily prayer for me. Through the blessing and struggles of work and health. Through joy, peace, kindness and prosperity. Through my worries and doubts and the burdens I carry. Through my faith and my lack of faith. Through my prayer and the recognition when I have not prayed and pushed forward

15.2 Romans – Works

When we think of God, we normally think of Him, seated on His throne in Heaven. While this is true, it is not the complete picture of God.  Instead, what we learn in Romans 8:28 is that God works.  Not only that but that God works for you and for your good.  Not only that but He is doing it in ALL things.

If that doesn’t blow your mind, it should.  No other religion, no other philosophy, no other belief system or people is so bold as to believe that their god is working for them.  Sure, maybe an occasional favor or wish or blessing if they work enough to appease their god.  But for a god to be alive and active and working for their benefit, no way.  They work for their gods, not the other way around.

This one verse is a radical concept.  It should change everything about our view of God.  Going back to the analogy of loving parents and an infant, we are the infant.  We do nothing but coo and smile at our best times and poop and cry at our worst and we often do both in the same day.  Our parents did all the work.

But, what do you say to those who don’t see it?  I became a Christian and I’m just as poor as I was before, not only that, but I seem to have less fun and more troubles than before.  I’m not getting the things I want.  I just want God to show up and deliver a little bit.  Is that too much to ask?

Too often our view of good and God’s view of good are two different things.  The parent who takes us away from shoving metal objects in the electrical outlet.  The parent who limits the number of cookies we have.  The parent who makes us go to school, which we hate!  The parent who makes us get shots, uggh.

We don’t like being thought of as infants, but all too often we act like them.  We throw our temper tantrums and get mad at God because, well, He isn’t delivering!  We try to claim we trust Him and His word, but then we want to go by what we think is right and our words.  We somehow think we have the right to do a performance appraisal on our creator.  If that isn’t childish, I’m not sure what is.

If we aren’t seeing God’s work for good in our lives, it isn’t God that needs to change, it is us and our perspective.  We may not be seeing the problems He kept us from.  We may not see the things He is aligning and putting in place.  Most of all, our vision may be focused on the next 20 minutes and not the rest of eternity.

My Answers:

3.
ultimately he justifies and glorifies His people

4.
a.
God is in control of all things and, ultimately, uses all things to bring those He loves to Him for an eternity of love and glorification

b.
To ask for help submitting to His sovereignty and authority. To be accepting of what I don’t like or understand. For Him to make His presence known to me.

5.
God works. God works for good. God works for the good of those who love Him. God calls. God has purpose for each person. God is good and works for the good of all His people.