Romans (19): More than Conquerers
Romans 8: An Exposition (19) - More Than Conquerors
All Saints * Dr. Gregg Strawbridge * October 26, 2008
And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with agonizings which are verbalized; 8:27 and He that examines the hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because He appeals on behalf of the saints according to [the mind] of God. 8:28 And we know that to them that love God, [He] works everything together into good, even to them that are called-out according to His purpose. 8:29 For those He chose (and loved) ahead of time, He also decided beforehand to conform them to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren: 8:30 and those He chose beforehand, them He also called-out: and those He called-out, He also declared righteous: and those He declared righteous, those He also glorified. 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 8:32 Indeed, He that did not spare His own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously grant us everything? 8:33 Who will accuse God’s elect ones? It is God that declares [us] righteous; 8:34 Who is the one that condemns? It is Christ Jesus that died, rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 8:35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will oppression, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 8:36 Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are killed all the day long; We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 8:37 No, in and through all these things we victoriously conquer through the Loving-One who loved us. 8:38 For I am absolutely convinced, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 8:39 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. (Romans 8:25-39)
We are __________. Romans 8 is a new covenant manifesto. It declares that we are true, renewed Israel (Eph. 2:15f). [If that were not the point, then chapter 9’s explanation would not follow.] Paul has made clear that “in Christ” as joint heirs (8:17) we are given all the covenant blessings of Israel: redemption (exodus), sonship/adoption, land/inheritance = new creation, and the restored glory. Yet, we have not received the full consummate form of these blessings which will come in the Resurrection (8:23).
We are Being ______________________. The overlap of the ages creates a longing for such a consummation within and without. Creation groans (8:22), the Church groans (23), and the Spirit groans (26). The Spirit “helps” (Lk. 10:40) us in our weakness with lamenting groans (Acts 7:34) for transformation and intercedes for us precisely because we do not always know what to say and how to pray (Zech. 12:10). The Spirit’s internal searching transformation (8:27) has a larger canvas: God works “everything/all things” together “into” our good (8:28) by which we are being conformed to the glorious image of the True Man, Christ (8:29). Thus we sing, “Whate’er My God Ordains is Right.”
We are Secured in ____________________________________. We are secure in the “golden chain” of grace (8:29-30) of which no link may be broken: From God’s Fore-choice/love to Predestination, to our Calling, to our Justification, all the way to our Glorification (John 6:44). The “Amen” of this passage is even more beautiful (8:31-39). The fierce questions/answers (8:31-39) allude to three OT subtexts. “He that did not spare His own Son” (8:32) alludes to Abraham’s almost sacrifice of Isaac (Gen. 22 cf Ps. 8). God “justifies” (8:34) is the Servant Song and right hand vindication (Is. 50-53/Ps. 110). “For Your sake we are killed all the day long” is a direct citation of Psalm 44:22 (cf Ps. 89). We are “more than conquerors” since nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Our salvation is protected by the power of God (1 Pet. 1:5). Praises be to the Protector.
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more