February 27. Romans 8:37. Living in Victory.

Romans 8:37. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Yesterday, we wrestled with the question “are we winners or losers?” What about those who never win the battle with sin and suffering in this life? Are they still conquerors? Yes. In Christ, and in God’s ever present love, they are. You are. I am.

Today let’s ask the question “can we live in victory today?” Before Heaven? In the midst of sin and suffering how do we stand as more than conquerors? Is it even possible?

This is where Paul has taken us over the past three chapters of Romans. Our victory is rooted in Christ’s victory on the cross and our co-crucifixion and co-resurrection with him (Romans 6). Our victory is never to be realized in the flesh or through the law (Romans 7). But in the Spirit there is a life of peace available to us, a life of victory (Romans 8).

In Christ, it is possible to live in victory each and every day. Why? Because victory is your position. Even when you are failing you are a conqueror through HIM. You are already a winner. You are already seated at God’s right hand.

But what about our condition? Can we experience this victory right now? Yes. But how?

First, you must experience God’s grace in your weakness. This is the first step. Until you recognize your own dependency, your own need, your own inadequacy and inability in this fight we call life, until then, you will not experience the real victorious life of Christ.

2 Corinthians 13:4. For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him.

Many Christians try to experience victory over past failures or sufferings by burying them, never to be spoken of again. I’ve heard Christians who, believing themselves to be right and pious, have told me that the hard situation they have experienced, such as a divorce or losing a child, is in the past and “God has brought me through it so I don’t need to talk about it anymore.”

But this is not victory. It is defeat. Hiding our weaknesses, our sorrows, our pains, our failures means we are also hiding God’s greatest victories of grace in our lives. If he won, if he healed you, if he forgave you, if he restored you, why would you not proclaim that conquering grace of God to the world? The truth may be that we just don’t want to relive the pain. But are God’s grace and glory worth it to us or not?

Second, after receiving grace in weakness, we must move forward in faith. Now it’s time to claim the promises that God has made to us in Christ. We are more than conquerors is, like the rest of Romans 8:18-39, an eschatological statement. It is our future. But faith in this future promise can and does impact our present reality.

Just like Dr. Strange, we have seen the future and it includes the hope of victory.

If we know the promise of eternal life, of an everlasting inheritance, of a home with God in his presence forever, then can we actually live a life here on earth free from fear? Free from despair? Trusting our Abba?

If we know the promise of his eternal inseparable love for us, then can we risk loving others today? Can we put our heart out there for the cause of Christ? Knowing that any earthly rejection is met with complete acceptance and honor from our Father?

If we know the promise of eternal righteousness, of complete and final victory over sin and its greatest power, death, then can we live today battling for holiness and striving from grace for an end to our addictions? Can we set aside the sin that clings to us and run with endurance the race set before us?

“To live is Christ” is to know that we have the victory. We ARE already conquerors because God has promised that one day we WILL BE conquerors. Jesus has fought for us and won. We are free now to fight and win, even when we fail. How? Because God works all things for the good – our transformation into the character of Christ, the One who has conquered us.

2 Corinthians 2:14. But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

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