In the first four installments of "More Than Conquerors" we looked at four of Paul's five questions found in Romans 8, beginning with verse 31:

 

1. If God is for us, who can be against us?

2. How would [God] not graciously give us all things?

3. Who will bring charges against those whom God has chosen?

4. Who is he that condemns?

5. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

 

We determined the answer to question one is: absolutely no one. The answer to number two is: With so much invested in us, God is not about to let us down when it comes to anything we need. After carefully considering question three, we answered: It is God who justifies!

 

Question four, Who is he that condemns, was viewed from two sides; 1) the one who attempts to condemn those of us who are blood-bought children of the King and 2) the One who, by rights, should condemn us, but chooses not to but rather to stand at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, saying "This one is mine. This child is free."

 

Question Five

 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

 

Two questions. One answer.

 

As Paul asks these questions, completing his list of issues found in the short section of his letter to the church in Rome, he quotes a beloved passage from Psalms 44. For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. (vs. 22)

 

I wonder if Paul might have also been remembering the words of Jesus, spoken while He lived and walked among the early believers. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it." (Matthew 16:24)

     

Or, perhaps Paul was reflecting on what the Messiah had said shortly before His crucifixion as He gave His "Oliviet Discourse." (Matthew 24) Jesus never said that the Kingdom of God would come easily...but only that it would come.

 

Saul to Paul

 

No one understood persecution better than Paul, who we first meet in our Bibles as Saul, a man who gave approval and ordered the persecution and deaths of early Christians.