More Than Conquerors: Part Three
- 2003 20 Aug
In parts one and two of "More Than Conquerors" we looked at two 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? How would [God] not graciously give us all things?
The first question was answered after studying the story of David's anointing to be king, leading to his flight from Saul and nearly losing his life on several occasions. God sustained David through the years of hiding and unfair accusations as he anxiously awaited sitting upon the throne of Israel.
Therefore, the answer to number one is: absolutely no one.
Question two-He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?-was explored by remembering the preciousness of what God gave in order to connect to His children. We reminded ourselves that like Lincolns we are high in value, and like heirlooms we are prized. Literally, we are loved beyond our own understanding.
The answer to number two is this: With so much invested in us, God is not about to let us down when it comes to anything we need.
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? (Romans 8: 33)
Have you ever been blamed for something you didn't do? I have and in a very big way. I was working in a medical office where money was disappearing. One afternoon, I was called into the doctor's office where the good doc and his wife, who served as the office administrator, were waiting for me. When I was asked to shut the door, the ominous mood became tangible.
As an honest person, I still cannot begin to express within the confines of the article the absolute hurt I felt as the accusations began. "It was obvious," the doctor said, that I was the one "taking the money." I'll always remember the next line: "If it walks like a duck and swims like a duck, it's probably a duck."
I had just been accused of being a money stealing, feather shedding, pond swimming bird. The thought "dead duck" swiftly came to mind...or was it "sitting...."
I knew I had not taken the large amount of money that was missing, but I couldn't imagine anyone else in our office doing it either. Though no formal charges were filed (after all, there is no law against imitating a duck), I quit the one job I had loved the most since I'd graduated from nursing school. It took me several weeks before I even dared show my face in the medical community again in order to search for my next employment. I was embarrassed as much as confused. I hadn't taken the money!
But, get a new job I did and over the course of the next year I grew spiritually and was-overall-happy, though I was still hurt and confused. One afternoon I received a phone call from my old employer, asking what time I got off from my new job and if I could come by the office to talk with him and his wife before I went home for the day.
I said I could and told him what time I would be there. A few hours later, I sat across a table from the two of them and listened as they told me that some time after my departure, money came up missing again. Finally, in a sting operation, they were able to catch the front office secretary. Charges had been filed, but now "old wounds" needed to be healed. "Can you ever forgive us?" the doctor asked.
God had not forgotten my innocence! "Absolutely," I said.
That was nearly 15 years ago and we remain good friends. Better still, I am free from the hurt of having been unjustly accused and have been able to move forward in my life spiritually and in all other ways.
To Be Charged With Truth
How might that story have been different if I were being accused of something I was guilty of? What if someone from my past walked up to me right now and said, "I remember you; you're the girl from high school who...." Or, "I remember you, you're the young woman I once knew who used to...."
Well, just fill in the blanks. I'm sure I've done it, and if I haven't done it I probably thought about doing it, which Christ said was tantamount to having done it.
I have a young friend who says, "You couldn't have possibly ever done anything wrong. I just can't imagine it."
But, God has not forgotten the accused!
Neither has the devil. He delights in reminding us of our past sins; of insisting that we couldn't possibly be clean enough...worthy enough...saved enough.... He sneers and hisses while pointing his finger toward us as he spits out his charges.
"You did this!"
Yes, I did.
"You thought that!"
Yes, I did.
I have to tell you right up front: I do not allow Satan more than a nano-second of this kind of blame. To give in, to hunch my shoulders and allow myself to agonize over every black deed of my life, is to throw the blood of Jesus right back into His face and I will not do that.
It is God who justifies! (Romans 8:33b)
Warren W. Wiersbe says in his book "Be Wise" (a study of First Corinthians) that "the successful Christian learns the vocabulary of the Spirit and makes use of it. He knows the meaning of justification...."
Justification, for those of us who might struggle with the exact meaning, is (according to Easton's Bible Dictionary) the opposite of condemnation. It is God's prerogative by which He forgives the sins of those who believe in His Son. It is His act of pardon by which He declares us righteous in the eye of the law.
Romans 5: 8-11 says: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Yes we are sinners. Yes we have made mistakes. Yes we will continue to fall short of God's glory. But God has not forgotten...and He has forgiven. He has called us out of condemnation and into salvation. We are sitting at a table across from our accuser and we are found not guilty! (Though we'll not make friends with the devil!)
Tie Them Together
What then shall you say to this?
If God be for you, who can be against you? (No one)
But what about those days when it seems the whole world is? Remember, God has invested His Son into your life. You are precious. You are valuable. He is not about to let you down now.
And those times when we hear Satan ridiculing us with accusations? He can't. The blood of Christ has justified you, reconciling you to the Father. The one True Judge has declared you "not guilty!" In Him, you are innocent.
A Note From the Author: With every set of articles my email box becomes more and more filled with wonderful responses. Many of you have informed me that you use my articles in your personal or group Bible Study. Allow me then to give you a few questions to think about, journal on, or discuss within your group.
1. Have you ever felt like David in the wilderness after a time of receiving God's promises for your life? How did God prove Himself faithful?
2. What parts of life do you sometimes feel you are losing control over?
3. What is the most precious thing you own? The most expensive? How does it feel to know that you are incomparably valuable to the Father?
4. Have you ever been accused of something you didn't do? How did God prove Himself faithful to you during that time?
5. How does Satan attempt to accuse you most? What can you do to stop the accusations?
Award-winning national speaker, Eva Marie Everson is the author of Shadow of Dreams, Summon the Shadows and the recently released and highly anticipated Shadows of Light. She can be contacted for comments or for speaking engagement bookings at www.EvaMarieEverson.com