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More than Conquerors: On Romans 7 & 8
By Leonard Ravenhill
Romans Chapter 8. Read verse 37: "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."
This 8th chapter, as many of you know, begins a new section in this wonderful epistle to the Romans.The 7th chapter is a chapter of gloom, the 8th chapter is a chapter of glory. The 7th chapter is a chapter of condemnation, the 8th chapter is a chapter of emancipation. The 7th chapter is a funeral march, the 8th chapter is a wedding march. It's the song of a "soul set free," to use the phrase of a lovely hymn. Romans 7 is a chapter on the tomb. Romans 8 is a chapter on triumph.(If you want to use the phrase of John Milton,) The 7th chapter is the chapter of paradise lost. It's a chapter of depravity. The 8th chapter is a chapter of deliverance and delight.
Now this is a magnificent chapter. If you want to make a special bonding here, chapter 7 is a chapter of misery and condemnation. The 8th chapter is a liberated soul. You can explain this by this fact: chapter 7 is a chapter on a self-centered person. The 8th chapter is a chapter about the Christ-centered person. In the 7th chapter you read that first person over and over and over until you get weary of reading "I, I, I, I," "I want to do this but I can't...," and "I find I'm in bondage...," and so forth and so on. If you count you'll discover 41 times you find that "I," and no mention of the Holy Spirit. In the 8th chapter there is no mention of the "I" except in two verses where he says "I reckon" and "I am persuaded" (where there is no alternative). But the difference in the 8th chapter is that there is all the mention in the world about the Holy Spirit. Nineteen times the Holy Spirit is mentioned.
"There is therefore now no condemnation..." So, the chapter begins away in the heights -- there is no condemnation. And it ends -- "there is no separation." "What shall separate us from the love of God?" But it does not say there is no tribulation. In fact, it marks tribulation out for us very, very carefully.
A wretched, sin-bound man in the 7th chapter and no Holy Spirit. A liberated man in the 8th chapter, and over and over again he pays tribute to the Holy Spirit of God.
This is an amazing Word of God. Here is a man talking about emancipation. He's talking about an individual having under his feet the world, the flesh, and the devil.
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THANK YOU, LORD, that even before You created the world and man You chose us as Your children in Christ. You provided the Solution even before our first sin offended Your holiness. May we allow Him to live His resurrection life in and through us that You may receive more glory, and Your name admired in us more and more each day (2 Thes 1:12,10,11).
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FABC (Foundation for Applied Biblical Counseling) is the non-profit partner ministry of Browning Therapy Group, Inc. working with churches and Christian organizations across the country to bring affordable help and healing to those in the throes of life’s storms. We provide Christian and secular counseling in a variety of ways to meet the needs and demands of today’s busy lifestyle – in-person, video conferencing, e-mail/online, and telephone counseling.
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