Wednesday, October 2, 2013

More Than Conquerors In Christ: What does it mean to Christians?

Most Christians have heard sermons that talk about how God loves us and only wants what is good for us (Matt 7:11, Romans 8:28) or how Christians are "more than conquerors in Christ" (Romans 8:37).  We have heard rousing testimonies of how God is there to help us through the most difficult times.  We have seen with our own eyes, fellow Christians endure things we ourselves think we could never handle. (1 Cor 10:13)  And we have read where though some men may do things for evil, God means it for good. (Gen 50:20) But even with all of this, perhaps we wonder what it really means?  How can we claim victory when at times it seems we are even worse off than the most heathen?
Looking at texts of the Bible such as Ecclesiastes and Job are very revealing of this question.
In Ecclesiastes we read of a king (Solomon?) that set out to determine the purpose of life and how it could be lived and be satisfied.  We still wonder the same things today when we see other people living seemingly happy lives while we may think our own is not.  This becomes even more stark if we as Christians are comparing our lives to non-Christians who appear to live happier, more fulfilling lives than ourselves.
The king in Ecclesiastes has the opportunity that many of us will never get; he had the ability to live the other person's life -- that is the life of the person we THINK is so fulfilled and happy.  But at the end of the day, he found that the other life was no more fulfilling or happy.  As the verses say, "all is vanity" -- Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
This leads us to the book of Job where Job complains that if living a faithful and righteous life brings men no more reward in this life than the person who gives God no heed, then what is the point? (Job 10:3, Job 24, see also Ecclesiastes 9:1-2)
So then, we return to our original question; What does it mean to be more than conquerors in Christ?  How is it that the Christian is victorious?  Let us first note that the verse in question was penned BEFORE AD70, since I know some people who want to claim that victory did not come until the Jews were put down (as the Jews were the main enemies of the Christans at the time, not the Romans).  And note too that Jesus told Martha that she could have life NOW -- also before AD70. (John 11:26)  This ties in well with the fact that on the Cross, Jesus said it was "finished" -- also before AD70.
The point I'm trying to make here is that victory, although the meta-narrative of the Bible is that God will ultimately put down evil and judge wickedness, that victory is not merely a point on a time line, but IN CHRIST every day is victory.  Every day is life.  Every day is a conquest. These are not mere platitudes.  A true and solid faith in Christ perseveres.
You see, it isn't we who have obtained the victory or we who have destroyed death; but Christ.  Outside of Christ, though for a season a person may appear fulfilled and happy, they ultimately are not. Look at all the instances of the rich and famous, who though would appear to have it all, are at times the most lonely and empty people of all.
So, being more than conquerors in Christ need not wait for some future date -- nor was it meant to be understood as such -- Victory is now. Life is now. Amen and amen.

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