More than Conquerors
A Sermon on Romans 8:35-39
35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or trouble, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36Just as it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We were regarded as sheep to be …
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37Nay, in …
The truthfulness of the doctrine of final perseverance of the saints bumps up against several challenges and the apostle Paul addresses these in Romans 8. In this sermon “More Than Conquerors” on Romans 8:35–39, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that perhaps most troubling thought for the Christian is that they might fail under the scrutiny of intense persecution or temptation. How shall they persevere under such tribulation? Can they separate themselves from the love of Christ? What will keep them? The apostle Paul takes up this challenge to the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints and gives the proof that true believers will remain in the love of Christ until the end. Dr. Lloyd-Jones brings out the nuance of the apostle’s teaching in this passage and notes the efficacy of Christ’s death and ultimately what He sought to accomplish on the cross. Important for Dr. Lloyd-Jones is the meaning of “the love of Christ.” It is His love for His people, not their love for Him that keeps them in the end. The apostle Paul, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, was absolutely certain of this doctrine because he believes in God and the power of Christ’s love. If the Christian doubts the truth that one whom God starts saving could subsequently be lost, it would mean that God has been defeated. Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls the listener to no longer think according to feeble doubts, but to think Scripturally and according to the power of God.
- The apostle puts up the last challenge in his series of challenges to the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints.
- The possibility that we might fail. All these others, you see, have been challenges in terms of God's attitude towards us, any weakening of God's power, any lessening of God's love, the attitude of the Lord Jesus Christ himself.
- As judgment has been committed to him. They've all been from that side. He now takes up an argument from our side. What if we should fail?
- What if we, as the result of trials and troubles and problems and tribulations, should somehow or another fail and thereby be separated from the love of Christ?
- And he answers it as he's answered every other objection that he himself has put up for the sake of argument.
- What's the answer? Well, it's a twofold answer. In a very interesting way, he really gives the answer in the very form in which he puts his question.
- Did you notice that? Who shall separate us? Us, remember, from the love of Christ. What do I mean? Well, I mean this. The US, of course, refers to a particular people, only those who are christians, those whom God forenew and do me predestinate, and do me called, and whom he justified and then iglorified.
- This us is the same us as all these people whom he's been considering. This isn't a statement about the whole world. This only applies to christian people, to those who are the called according to God's purpose.
- So you see, the moment he says us, he is reminding us that we are the called according to God's purpose. And that's already the answer.
- Well, then the other part of the answer, in the very form of the question is, who shall separate us? He says, from the love of Christ. Now, that doesn't mean our love to Christ. It means his love to us.
- Who shall separate us from this love of Christ? That has taken hold of us. That's the magnet, you see, that's taken hold of us. He says, what's going to pull us away from that?
- And there, you see again, is the answer doesn't depend on us at all. He's not saying, can our love to Christ stand these tests? What he's saying is this. Can the love of Christ to us stand these tests?
- And of course, the whole thing is immediately changed. Now I can prove that that is what it means. Like this. His answer is, nay, in all these things, we are more than conquerors. Through him that loved us. That's it. It's through him that loved us. That's the thing.
- So it's the love of Christ to us. And again, the very end of the statement says the same thing. None of these things shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Same thing again.
- So that right through it isn't our love at all to Christ or to God the Father. It is the love of Christ to us. It is the love of God to us. So that here we already, as I say, have the answer to the question in the very way in which he formulates his question.
The Book of Romans
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.