Monday, March 18, 2013

Conquerors!


"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, 

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”  

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

-- Romans 8:35-39 ESV

"[M]ore than conquerors"....

Soak in that for a moment.

In the context of Paul the citizen, the conqerors were the Romans; an empire who ruled a fair portion of the world that was known to the people of Palestine and Asia Minor.  In the context of Paul the Israelite, when they had claimed the Promised Land, it was not uncommon to bring the existing settlement or city to utter ruin including all of the farm lands, cattle and sometimes, even people.  No tillable ground was left for the enemy to replant.  No stone left upon another.

The life of a committed follower "in Christ Jesus" sits ATOP these definitions of conqerors as "more than conqerors".  Ponder the implications of this.  No matter the circumstances of life, no matter the difficulties, no matter the distress that appears unbearable, being "in Christ" gives one access to the power, the love, and the self-control or a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:6-7) to lay waste to any strongholds in the natural life, so there will be no fertile ground for our Enemy to replant seeds of destruction.

Paul's prayer was that we understand this position of "more than conqerors" and walk in it.  Notice again the appearance of power, love and self-control or a sound mind to comprehend.  He prayed:

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

-- Ephesians 3:14-21