More Than Conquerors

We, as Christians, have been given the most wonderful news anyone could possibly imagine. Our sins have been forgiven by God, and we’ll no longer be punished for them:

Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

If we don’t think that’s good news, just think of all those sins we’ve committed in the past. Those selfish decisions we’ve made. Those selfish actions. Things we can’t undo. They’ve happened. We can’t do anything about the consequences now, it’s too late. Yet:

John 3:17

God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

If we come to Jesus Christ, put our trust in Him for our salvation personally, stop trusting in ourselves for anything, then we too can know for sure in our hearts the forgiveness of sins for ourselves. That’s good news. And before we think that means that now we’ve been forgiven we can sin all we like and still get to heaven, the Lord changes our hearts so we just wouldn’t think that way any more.

But no matter how many times we’re told that this good news really is true for us, we still find it difficult to believe. In Romans 8:31-39 we’ve got a remarkable list of every possible objection we could ever think of, that might get in the way of us being assured of our salvation and of the love of Christ for us:


[31] What shall we then say to these things?    

The “things” here, refer to everything previously mentioned in chapter 8. And the first “thing” we must acknowledge is the reality that, by nature, no matter how hard we try, we simply cannot please God:


Romans 8:7-8

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.


That’s the state we’re all born into, and we need to accept that. We shouldn’t hide from it. But all is not lost. If we’ve come to the Saviour God has sent into the world, our Lord Jesus Christ, we’ve been given the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, to change us, and to help us begin to live a life that will be pleasing to God:


Romans 8:9-10

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.


And the Holy Spirit even prays for us when we don’t know what to pray for ourselves:


Romans 8:26-27

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.


Prayer can only work because God is in control of all things. If that wasn’t true, we could argue God might want to help us, but He couldn’t do anything about it. That’s not God:


Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.


Because of these things, we can be confident every aspect of our salvation is assured:


Romans 8:30

Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.


So, what shall we say to these things? What is there that could possibly still concern us? 

If God be for us, who can be against us?   

If God is in control of all things, and He has set His love upon us, then nothing and nobody can be against us. But what about when things, in our mind, “go wrong”? Earthquakes, famines, illnesses, pandemics, the loss of loved ones. These things occur, but it doesn’t mean God has lost control. Joseph was sold by his brethren. He was imprisoned unjustly for 3 years. But he became a leader in Egypt, and saved Israel and Egypt from famine. He said to his brethren afterwards:


Genesis 50:20

But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.


God works through our difficulties, and works them all together for our good. And what was the greatest thing the Lord has ever done in the history of the world?


[32] He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 


God’s own Son was put to death by wicked men. But it was all in God’s plan:


Acts 2:23

Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain....

Men hated Christ so much, they put Him to death. That was a wicked act, and those who were responsible will be punished eternally for it, unless they repented before they died. They had absolutely no idea that their wicked actions were going to be used by God to redound to His glory. Without Christ’s death on the cross, there would be no salvation for any of His people 

John 3:16

God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

If the most wicked act to have ever occurred on earth was turned around for good by the Lord, how much more shall He not freely give us all things? Paul is arguing from the greater to the lesser. If He gave such a precious gift as His only Son to such undeserving creatures as we are, all other things are so much smaller. Of course He’ll give them to us. The “all things” being, not everything we want, but everything we need:

2 Peter 1:3

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue... 

[33] Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 

Even though we know we’ve now passed from death to life, we still sin, and our continued sinning can be a genuine concern to us. We read verses in Scripture such as 

1 John 3:6

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

And this can make us wonder if we’re one of the Lord’s people at all, because we do sin. But the writer, John, also said this, earlier in the same letter:

1 John 1:8-9

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

So, John can’t be saying Christians don’t sin any more. What he is saying is that if we abide in Him, we won’t sin. To the extent we abide in Him, we don’t sin, but to the extent we rather follow our old selfish desires, yes, we do certainly sin. But we have an advocate with the Father:


1 John 2:1-2

....these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins....


So, because we continue to sin, we might think the Father can still bring charges against us. And Satan, the accuser of the brethren, knows this and tries to take full advantage of it. But, “it is God that justifieth.” Nobody, not even Satan, can lay any more charges against us because we’ve been freely forgiven by the One who matters, the Lord of Glory 

[34] Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 

There are three things here: Christ’s death, His resurrection and His intercession 

We’ve been reconciled to God by Christ’s death, so nobody can condemn us any more: 


Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.


His resurrection is proof of this. Without the resurrection, we wouldn’t know whether God the Father had accepted Christ’s atoning sacrifice or not. We’d still be in the dark. 


And He “maketh intercession for us.” 


We’ve already seen that the Spirit makes intercession to the Father for us:


Romans 8:26

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.


We’re told here that Christ also makes intercession to the Father for us:


Hebrews 7:25

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.


So, we’ve got the whole Trinity involved in our upkeep. That’s remarkable. Why should a holy God, Creator of the universe, Lord of heaven and earth, be bothered with you and me? Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit both know what we need more than we do ourselves, and both pray to the Father on our behalf. What more could we want? But what we must do is accept the Father’s will, rather than seeking our own will all the time.


[35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? 

This is another rhetorical question, the answer is nobody. Christ died for His people. If only one person was going to be saved, He’d still have gone to the cross for them. 

1 John 3:1

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.


And then we’ve got a list of other things which we may think could separate us from Him: 

....shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 


And the answer again is that neither can any of these separate us from the love of Christ to us. Some of these refer to what we call “natural disasters,” such as famine. Others are more sinister - cruelties man would inflict on his fellow man. And we are called to be patient in tribulation, whether “natural” or not 

Most people won’t understand why anyone would be patient in any of these unpleasant situations, when they certainly wouldn’t be. They’ll try to explain Christians away using their own ideas. They’ll think we’ve just got some psychological problem, or we’ve been educated badly or brainwashed. And we’ve got to put up, not only with the persecutions, but also with these false accusations against us. The apostle Paul was told that he was mad by the Roman governor Festus. But Paul replied gently:

Acts 26:25

But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.


Often, when people come across something they don’t understand, they will react violently against it. Maybe we’ll end up in prison unjustly, like Joseph, Paul, Silas and many others. Maybe we’ll be killed, like Stephen, or our Saviour Himself. Whatever anyone does to us, our duty is to glorify God. We don’t look for persecution, but if the Lord sees fit to send it, He’ll also send grace to endure it:


1 Corinthians 10:13

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.


[36] As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 


This is a quote from Psalm 44:22. It is inevitable that we are going to be treated unfairly. Welcome to the Christian life. We don’t look for it, but the Lord often takes His people through the valley of the shadow of death, as the way He wants us to glorify Him. 

We know we ought to glorify God in our good works:


Matthew 5:16

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


But we should also be prepared to glorify God in our sufferings too:


1 Peter 4:16

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.


[37] Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 


Whatever happens to us, whether pleasant or not, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Still difficult to believe? 


In the seven letters to the churches in Asia, to every one of them, God’s promises are given to the individuals within each church who overcome:


Revelation 2:7

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh....


That doesn’t mean we must make an effort ourselves to overcome all obstacles. Because we can’t do it. We can’t even forsake one sin, let alone anything else. No, but through Jesus Christ, we are more than conquerors. The only way we can overcome any obstacle, including the biggest one of all, our own sin, is by asking Jesus Christ to do it for us. We can’t trust in self, that would be a disaster. But Christ alone can conquer all things. 


And then, if that wasn’t enough, we’ve got another list of possible objections:



[38] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, [39] Nor 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.


Can you spot the difference between this list and the previous list in v.35? The previous list contained things that could happen to us in this world. But here, this list goes beyond  this world:


Death” can’t separate us from the love of God in Christ. We’re told not to fear the death of the body:


Matthew 10:28

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.


angels, nor principalities, nor powers.” Supernatural beings can’t separate us from the love of Christ. Not even Satan.


We’re not told much about spiritual beings in the Bible, and that’s a good thing, otherwise we might start worshipping them or taking an unhealthy interest in them. But we are told about their existence. We’re told that angels serve God’s people, although some fell:


Hebrews 1:14

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?


But those who fell are reserved in chains for judgment:


Jude 1:6

And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.


And we’re told about the “principalities and powers” that are mustered against us:


Ephesians 6:12-13

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.


But we’re also told that Christ has already defeated these on the cross:


Colossians 2:15

And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.


nor things present, nor things to come.” If we’re worried about anything now or in future, we can never be separated from Christ. We can’t lose our salvation. It’s secure forever:


Philippians 1:6

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ....


John 10:27-28

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.


Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature.” “Any other creature” includes our own worst enemy, ourselves. 


What’s missed out in this list? Either in this physical world or in the spiritual realm?  Nothing, anywhere “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


The only objection I can think of now is that we might say, “Maybe I’m not one of the Lord’s people after all.” If that was the case, yes, I agree, none of these promises would apply to us. These promises are only for Christians. So we need to examine ourselves:


2 Corinthians 13:5

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?


Philippians 2:12-13 out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.


2 Peter 1:10

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall....


Have we been changed in the heart? Do we no longer chase after the things we used to? Do we love God? Do we hate sin, especially our own continued sinning? That didn’t bother us before. Do we love the Lord Jesus Christ more than anything for what He has done for us? When we look back at our lives, can we see the countless occasions when the Lord has truly helped us? Only each one of us as individuals can answer these questions. If the answer is “No,” or “I’m not sure,” call on Him in prayer. He will make everything clear. He is the only One we have who is able to give us true assurance. And He is willing to save all who come to Him:


John 6:37

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.


And if we know that we are His, then all these promises are ours. Why do we still think they’re not? Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.