More Than Conquerors

More Than Conquerors

• Tomorrow at 1p at CPC is the memorial service for Donn Larson, our dear brother. He and Martha were married for 68 years(!). Come support Martha and our own Bill and Shar Larson and the rest of the family. Memorial services are all about walking with people through hardship and hope in Christ. These are things we bear together and rejoice in together.

• Also a reminder: this Sunday we begin Christian Ed between services. So first service is at 8:30a, Christian Ed begins with introductions in the sanctuary at 10a before moving to classes, then second service is at 11a. Churches like ours, emerging from Covid, are rebuilding. Part of that rebuilding is this long-postponed return to Sunday school. It will take time, but we’ll get there.

• It’s easy to forget in hardship that the Christian faith is the story of light overcoming darkness, hope overcoming despair, joy overcoming sorrow: “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn 1). In the post-Freudian, psychologized atmosphere of their youth, baby boomers tended to re-frame Christianity as an elaborate self-help program, a coping mechanism that allows us to muddle through. But that framework misses the point of so much of Scripture, and specifically the Resurrection. As Paul said, we are “more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom 8:37).

• It’s worth paying attention to the phrase “more than conquerors.” In Greek it’s a single word based on Nike, the goddess of victory. The word is literally “hyper-Nike,” so this is not just narrowly avoiding defeat and eking out a win, this is Christ conquering sin and death, then crushing the head of the serpent. So Paul says he is certain that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (v.38). Far from just muddling through, this is the great and final victory over all things dark and miserable. As the ones whom Jesus loves, this is our inheritance, our new-birthright, our present, our future, our eternity. You cannot be separated from the one who loves and redeems you. Nothing is powerful enough for that.

• The Father wants us to know these things by faith so we might live by them. He has permitted us to be tested, which he describes as, “in this world you will have tribulation” (Jn 16:33). And just as with the prophets, who were never afraid to face the darkness, the culmination was always hope: “but take heart; I have overcome the world.” In Scripture, the “world” is a word for the entire unbelieving system of thought. But we believe, we hope, and in Christ we conquer. We can never be separated from that conquest.

— Pastor Eric