Romans 8 Conquering Love

April 13, 2014   Romans 8:28 – 39   Conquering Love 

  When we think about today and what today stands for we turn our thoughts to Jesus and his triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  It was a time of joy and celebration.   Luke wonderfully records for us that the Jewish leaders told Jesus to rebuke his disciples!  It is like they are saying stop the celebration.    Many do not want Jesus to be worshipped today and then.    Jesus said if they keep quiet the rocks will cry out.   We know that Jesus wept over Jerusalem at that time.  Jesus walked in victory and power but I wonder what else was on his mind.  Certainly what was facing him must been in his thoughts.  Jesus told the disciples on more than one occasion that Jesus must go to Jerusalem and suffer and die.   But Jesus sets his face like a flint to obey the father and to willingly lay down his life.   Jesus certainly saw things very differently than his disciples, the crowds and the Jewish leaders.   As Jesus approaches Jerusalem he weeps.  God had poured out so much of himself on his people and on this city and yet the people of the city rejected Jesus their creator and Jesus is broken hearted and weeps.    But Jesus does not come in defeat or weakness though.  Jesus conquers.  Jesus comes as a conqueror.  He came in power and in victory.   The cross was not the end for Jesus and Jesus saw beyond the cross.  Jesus is an example of conquering love. 

      The emperor and conqueror of nations, Napoleon Bonaparte, rightly recognized the absolute uniqueness of Jesus, & expressed it in these words: "I know men, and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the World there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius?--Upon force.   Jesus Christ founded His Empire upon Love, and at this hour millions of men would die for Him."    

      Jesus could see the coming destruction of Jerusalem by the hands of the Romans.    Jesus said not one stone will be left upon another and they will dash you to the ground.  The understanding of that vision that God gave to Jesus would cause anyone to weep.   History tells us that thousands of Jews would be crucified.    Jesus said it will happen because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.  It is like God is saying I have sent my people to you and you have killed them and now I have sent my son to you and you have rejected him.  I have warned you and you reject my warnings.   There are consequences for missing Jesus when he comes to us.  They rejected Jesus and it cost them a great deal.   We are not exempt when we do things in rejection of God’s word.    We need to be alert to God.  Jacob at one point said surely God was in this place and I did not know it.  Brothers and sisters we do not conquer when we are not walking in the Holy Spirit but in Jesus we conquer.  

     What does it mean to conquer or be a conqueror?    Here is a definition.   To overcome by force or fighting; subdue, especially in war; crush the resistance of; vanquish. 2. To overcome by mental or moral power; subdue by an inward struggle; surmount or remove by effort. 3. To gain in war or by fighting; win or secure by a struggle in which obstruction or opposition is overcome.   Do you feel like you are a conqueror?   Do you feel like a Patton after the Battle of the Bulge?   Do you feel like an Alexander the Great a brilliant conquering general?    I suspect that most of the time we do not feel like a conquering Caser coming back from war with thousands lining the streets in Rome to celebrate over the great victory that was won.   I know I did not feel great victory all the time this week as I forced my knee to do what it did not want to do.   It would be great if the scripture said we were conquerors.     But that is not what the bible says here is it?   Now in all of these things we are more than conquerors.   The bible tells us that we are more than conquerors. 

    What is a more than conqueror?   More than conquerors it is like a super conqueror.   Even at times when we feel like we are just surviving maybe we are doing better than we think.   Even in pain we are conquerors.   When we think of conquering we tend to think of victory.   When we think of victory we think about winning.  That is perhaps the most thought of way that we consider that.   But it is not the only way to think about that.   God used every stripe on Paul’s back and every time he was in jail and in every ship wreck God was there.   To many it seems like defeat but not when God is in it.  We are more than conquerors in Jesus.  

     There is a very interesting scene in the Old Testament.  The spies come back from looking at the Promised Land and 10 spies say we cannot do it Joshua and Caleb and say we can go in and take the land.   Joshua says in Numbers 14 Only do not rebel against the Lord.   And do not be afraid of the people of the land because we will swallow them up.   Their protection is gone but the Lord is with us.  Do not be afraid of them.   Do you hear what Joshua is saying here?   They are food for us.   These giants and these battles will bless us and strengthen us.   We are more than conquerors.   It does not mean that there will not be battles.   What does this passage say?   In all these things we are more than conquerors.  In all of what things Verse 35 says shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword.   I think Paul had a pretty good handle on these things.   Those are tough words.   This is not fun and games.   In the midst of life and death we win we conquer we are victorious.   Jesus was and is victorious and in Him I also walk in victory.   It was victory when Jesus died on the cross.   It was a huge victory.  When I walk with Jesus I walk in victory.   It may seem like something else in the eyes of the world but God sees things differently than the world.  

      Ronald Reagan had this to say about Jesus.   Meaning no disrespect to the religious convictions of others, I still can’t help wondering how we can explain away what to me is the greatest miracle of all and which is recorded in history.   No one denies there was such a man, that he lived and that he was put to death by crucifixion. the miracle I spoke of?   Well consider this and let your imagination translate the story into our own time -- possibly to your own home town. A young man whose father is a carpenter grows up working in his father’s shop. One day he puts down his tools and walks out of his father’s shop.    He starts preaching on street corners and in the nearby countryside, walking from place to place, preaching all the while, even though he is not an ordained minister.   He does this for three years.    Then he is arrested, tried and convicted.  There is no court of appeal, so he is executed at age 33 along with two common thieves. Those in charge of his execution roll dice to see who gets his clothing -- the only possessions he has.   His family cannot afford a burial place for him so he is interred in a borrowed tomb.   End of story?   No, this uneducated, property less young man who...left no written word has, for 2000 years, had a greater effect on the world than all the rulers, kings, emperors; all the conquerors, generals and admirals, all the scholars, scientists and philosophers who have ever lived -- all of them put together.   How do we explain that?...unless he really was who he said he was."    

       When I walk in Jesus I walk in victory.   We were made to conquer in Jesus.   I believe that even our sin can bring conquering victory.  The miracle is in the passage.  We are more than conquerors because all things work for good to those that walk with God.   We do not see the celebration down here but heaven I think rejoices.  When Jesus was beaten and whipped God was doing great things.   When Paul was being beaten and whipped God was doing great things.    Oswald Chambers says this, "It is a shameful thing for a Christian to talk about getting the victory. The Victor ought to have got us so completely that it is His victory all the time, and we are more than conquerors through Him."   Jesus is in us.   God’s Holy Spirit dwells in you.   Victory and power are in you.