Rom 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Paul said, ‘no height or depth will keep us from the LOVE of Christ.’
‘We are more than conquerors,’ this is individually. All by yourself, you are more than a conqueror because of Jesus.
You don’t think of this list as a ‘who,’ you think of it as a ‘what.’ The translation can be either ‘who’ or ‘what.’ The reason the translators chose ‘who’ might be because sometimes it’s like these things that come against us seem to have personalities of their own. However, we have a greater Who that is for us.
What does it mean to be ‘more than a conqueror’?
A conqueror defeats his enemy, but ‘more than’ a conqueror subjugates the enemy. It’s not about eliminating the enemy, it’s about making it serve you. As more than a conqueror, you rule over your enemy.
You are not just a ‘winner,’ you are ‘more than a conqueror.’
In the New Testament, the Bible often quotes passages from the Old Testament. When this happens, look for the revelation.
‘For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ How does this fit the passage?
Psalm 44:20-26 “If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; 21 Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart. 22 Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. 23 Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever. 24 Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression? 25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth. 26 Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies’ sake.”
Paul quotes from this psalm all for the sake of the last verse ‘for thy mercies’ sake.’ It is written, remember when David cried out.
If you are in a dark, desperate place, remember God is able. You are ‘more than a conqueror.’ Nothing can separate you from God’s love. You will conquer and rule.
The reason why we have revelation is to tell us about the crown and the victory. It’s not to tell us about the troubles, it’s to know God’s power and promises, and to be revealed that we are ‘more than conquerors.’
Why does this help us? We’re not God. Know that the same God who created the universe is WITH you.
Being in the storm is scary. Sometimes, it feels like Jesus is asleep. Do you feel like He is not aware? His disciples were afraid that everybody, including Jesus, was going to die. God’s purpose is greater than the pain and suffering. Even if the ship looks like it’s going to sink, Jesus is in the boat and He won’t die.
Gal 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Get to a place where you say, ‘nevertheless.’
Why are you so afraid that this ‘boat,’ your body, is going to sink? Jesus is in the boat with you!
You are a stranger and a pilgrim in this world. You have a citizenship in another land. You have a different purpose and calling and destiny.
Even though the darkness is all around, I know something that I can hang onto: God’s love is unconditional, God’s power is unchallengeable, God’s purpose is unchangeable.
You life is not defined by your situation. It is defined by who Jesus called you to be. You are more than a conqueror.
Don’t think of suffering as an obstacle to being used by God. Suffering is not an obstacle to being used by God, rather it’s an opportunity to being used by God even more. What the enemy means for evil, God turns and uses for good.
The devil has an invisible fence around him. God allows the devil to do stuff, but sets barriers. The devil isn’t obedient. That’s why he has fences. If he could, he would kill you.
God knows that suffering is not the end of the story. It propels you further into His purpose.
Joseph understood that his suffering made him more compassionate, more like Christ, and forgave his brothers.
Esther went through unspeakable difficulty, losing her parents. She was adopted by her uncle and prevented a holocaust on her people.
You can squeeze a grape with your fingers and get grape juice. An olive must be pressed by a heavy stone, the oil comes out only through great pressure. They don’t anoint kings and priests with wine (or grape juice), but with oil. Anointing comes through pressure and squeezing.
Oil is symbolic of the Spirit of God. When the oil hits your life, it’s because there’s been some pressure. The fire is not meant to destroy you, it’s to get you closer to that fourth man in the fire. This is to reveal God, ‘greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.’
Goats freeze when they’re scared, ‘scared stiff.’ Goats faint when they’re scared. Be a sheep, not a goat.
Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
Nothing can separate you from the love of God. It doesn’t matter who is in office, that doesn’t relate to your relationship with Jesus Christ.
We’re not under Nero.
When we are forced to gather in homes instead of church, that’s God anointing us to show that we are more than conquerors. That’s why Jesus said, ‘Be not afraid, I have overcome this world.’
David suffered all kinds of things, running from his lunatic father-in-law.
Paul was named Saul. Why would anyone name their child after someone so messed up as King Saul? On the road to Damascus, he was blinded and told about Jesus and to seek a man named Annanias. Paul was called by God to suffer many things, tribulation.
We are called to deal with all of that. How can you win if there’s no combat? There must be a fight in order to have a victory. Don’t run from the battle.
Some days you feel pretty, some days you don’t, the truth is you are pretty, but you forget.
There is a time to fight a battle.
One day you will meet Jesus and He will ask, ‘Where are your scars?’
Anointing doesn’t come from studying the Bible or quoting Scripture or even memorizing Scripture. Anointing comes from the battles that you fight. It comes through crushing, a feeling of pressure.
2 Tim 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
1 Thes 3:3 “That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.”
Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane, ‘the olive press.’ It’s a place of pressing and suffering. It’s where He prayed, ‘Father, if it be your will, let this cup of suffering pass from me, but nevertheless, not my will, let your will be done.’
Jesus had joy when He went to the cross, but not in the garden. That was where He dealt with the fear. He chose to give up his own will and overcome. He became our example, an overcomer, ‘more than a conqueror.’
Get to a place where you say, ‘Nevertheless, not my will, but Thy will be done.’ There’s nothing wrong with being prepared. Wear that bulletproof vest, but deal with stuff first. The pressure will be great, but you can overcome and become ‘more than a conqueror.’
It will be okay. He is with you. He will never leave you. His love is greater. You are more than a conqueror!
Psalm 47:1 “O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.”
The rest of the chapter is about the coming battle. The shout isn’t a shout after the win, it’s the shout before the win. Before the battle, act like you’re a conqueror. We are not just winners, we are more than conquerors.
We will become stronger through the battle. Even if we die, resurrection is coming. We’ve already got the Life in us. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE in US! We are more than conquerors.
Jude 1:18-21 “How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 20But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
Nothing can separate you from God’s love, but you’ve got to keep yourself in the love of God and look for that mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray in the Spirit. Build up yourself on your most holy faith. He will make intercession for you. Walk in the Spirit. Be more than a conqueror. Know Him.
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- What really spoke to you in this sermon?
- What personal ‘battles’ have you faced recently? How have you changed because of them?
- Read Rom 12:1-3, 21. According to these verses, what is our responsibility? In our daily lives, practically, how do we keep from being ‘overcome by evil’ and instead ‘overcome evil with good’?
- How can you encourage yourself and others through what you’ve seen in this sermon and these verses?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.