Romans

Full and Final Glory

April 26, 2015 Series: by Chris Strevel

Gospel Salutations (vv. 21-23)

As a humble and warm-hearted man, our apostle – for he is the “Apostle to the Gentiles” – was quick to recognize and praise the faithfulness of those who labored with him in the gospel. He never sought to monopolize over the affections of the church. Here he sends salutations from his gospel son and helper, Timothy, who was with him for a time in Corinth, as well as Lucius and Jason. Sosipater is one of several of his kinsmen who worked with him. What a comfort it must have been to him to be surrounded and assisted by gospel-loving family members! Tertius, Paul’s amanuensis, sends his greetings also. Either because Paul’s handwriting was poor or his eyesight bad, which may have been residual effects of his Damascus Road blinding and his “thorn,” he utilized men who wrote his letters for him, either by writing as he spoke or cleaning up his own poorly written copy (Phil. 4:23; Col. 4:18). He often certified his letters with a distinctive signature (1 Cor. 16:21; 2 Thess. 3:17). Though we know nothing else of Tertius, he will be forever dear to our hearts for his work in faithfully transcribing this wondrous letter. Gaius, whose hospitality is singled out, also salutes the Romans. He was likely that Gaius whom Paul baptized, an early convert in Corinth (1 Cor. 1:14). Erastus, the city treasurer of Corinth, and therefore a Gentile, as well as “Brother Quartus,” likewise sends his greetings in the Lord. They still send their greetings to us, now from heaven, for “he who believeth in me shall never die.” All believers are living and united in Christ the Head. As part of the faithful cloud of witnesses, they urge us to be zealous disciples of our Lord Jesus and to do our part to promote his glory in the world.

Twice Commended to our Savior’s Grace (v. 24)

Again the apostle commends them to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (v. 20). We cannot hear often enough that we have no strength in ourselves but that our Savior is mighty in us (John 15:4 w/ Phil. 4:13)! The world remains much the same today as in the days of these Roman believers: blind, alienated from the life of God through ignorance and hardness of heart, and determined to pursue its mad course of rebellion against God and his Christ. The world of unbelieving men is “led captive by Satan to do his will” (John 8:44; 2 Tim. 2:26). The Roman church lived at the heart of the emperor cult, which would spell persecution under Nero. Paul likely anticipated that the Roman powers would not long remain passive toward those who served “another King, one Jesus;” a clash is inevitable when statism and man-worship begin to be more self-conscious and consistent with their ultimate commitments. These believers are thus commended to the power and safe-keeping of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our steadfastness in serving God against the attacks of the world, the flesh, and the devil does not depend upon our strength but upon our Savior’s.

What does it mean for the grace of Jesus Christ to be with us except for Jesus Christ himself to be with us? Paul closes most of his letters with this these words (1 Cor. 16:23; 2 Cor. 13:14; Gal. 6:18; Eph. 6:24; Phil. 4:23; 1 Thess. 5:28; 2 Thess. 3:18; 2 Tim. 4:22; Phm. 1:25). They combine a prayer, a blessing, and a promise. The parallel in 2 Timothy 4:22 makes explicit the connection between the grace of Christ and his presence. His “grace unto grace” is all the blessings of life and salvation that has obtained for us by his life, death, resurrection, and continuing intercession at God’s right hand. These are sealed to us by his indwelling Spirit. They are inexhaustible, refreshing, and empowering. They are part of that “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). It is his life in us that preserves us against the onslaught of sin and Satan, gives us grace and peace in trusting and obeying our Father, and fills us with his indomitable hope. We must pray daily for our Savior’s grace to keep us in the right way, deliver us from evil, and preserve us holy and blameless in his sight. If we would but avail ourselves of this promise, we should be more fervent in spirit, contented in his providence, and diligent in serving him. What were his ascending words? “And, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). Because he is with us, we are strong, for he is strong in us. We are God’s chosen in him, the favorites of heaven, protected by angelic hosts, and kept by the power of God so that no matter how many trials through which we must pass on the way to God’s eternal kingdom, we shall overcome them all and persevere to the end of our race.

Final Dedication of the Letter to the Powerful God (vv. 25-26)

We come now to the end of the letter, and it concludes as it began, with glory and praise to the Lord our God for all that he has done for us. These lines are in the form of a dedication of the whole letter to God. As all streams have a fountainhead, so the gospel has its springs in the mercy of God. And in a fundamental sense, we cannot think of God without immediately thinking of ourselves. We are bound to him, as he is to us. All that he is, he is for us. He is our God in the fullest, deepest sense of the phrase. As the powerful God, he keeps us. Whenever we think of his power, we must always think that his power is constantly exercised in watching over us. This is a great comfort, for otherwise we should be tossed by our troubles, fall prey to Satan’s schemes, and never be “settled and immovable.” Yet, since we are supported at every hand by the power of God, we may have good confidence and joy that everything that happens to us is according to his will and intended for our good. What a wonderful God and Father!

Any consideration of God’s power must lead us straight to his gospel, for it is his power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). Through the gospel of his Son, he raises us to new life. We are joined to Jesus Christ our Head, our Life, the living Vine from whom we draw justifying righteousness, forgiveness of sins, and fullness of grace unto holiness. He is the main subject of the gospel, for God’s promises are “yes and a-men” only in him (2 Cor. 1:20). He is also the main preacher of the gospel. His dying hope and his living work is to “proclaim the name of the Father in the midst of his brethren” (Ps. 22:22; Heb. 2:12). He uses weak men, to be sure, but this is to test our faith and to lead us away from trust in men so that our faith stands in the power and faithfulness of God (1 Cor. 2:5). Thus, whenever we hear the gospel, we must know that it is our Savior who is preaching to us, by his Spirit, through men whom he has sent to us. Is it any wonder that we should be “careful how we hear” (Luke 8:18)? We shall profit far more from the preaching of the gospel if we remember that a sermon is not an entertainment, a diversion, or a lecture to be critiqued. If it is the word of God, it is the living voice of Jesus Christ preaching the everlasting gospel to us!

Because this gospel was not known in ages past, it is called a “mystery.” Save from one people and a few isolated Gentiles, it was kept hidden or secret. The old world was largely left alone, to be pillaged and ruined by man’s sin until in the “fullness of time God sent forth his Son” (Gal. 4:4). In him, the power of God is made manifest and his grace has appeared (Tit. 2:11). This is not to say that the gospel was completely unknown, for God sent “his servants the prophets” to proclaim it to the Jews. Through them God gave his Scriptures to his people of old. They spoke by the “Spirit of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:11), pointing the faith of God’s people to believe in him and to long for his appearing. Thus, everything in the Old Testament set forth Christ to come and had its proper fulfillment in his saving work and his mediatorial reign over the nations. The Old Testament should never be read apart from the light now afforded with the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. But in those days, the full light was not yet revealed, only glimmers of the coming dawn. Now, the mystery has been unveiled. God’s grace and power to save men and nations is no longer secret, his purposes no longer hidden. He intends to gather all things into one under Christ the Head, his Beloved, the only Savior of sinners, and King of the nations. 

It may seem to us that God waited long before making this mystery known, especially when the Jews to whom God gave his covenant of grace were largely disobedient to the word and suffered horribly for their unbelief and ingratitude. When they should have been a blessing to the nations (Deut. 4:6-8), “the name of God was blasphemed among the Gentiles” because of them (Rom. 2:24). Yet, God’s purposes are deep and his patience infinite. He was preparing the world for its Savior by revealing sin’s horror and the irremediable bankruptcy of man’s philosophies and programs to save himself: vain philosophy, idolatry and perversion, militaristic globalism and every form of statism, and mysticism. Sin’s full, bitter regimen was tried and shown to be a miserable failure and the source of incalculable heartache and tyranny. Then, to an obscure family in Nazareth, to a stump of David’s family, God revealed his grace in his promised Son, the seed of the woman, the true Covenant, Jesus Christ. According to God’s commandment, that gospel is now being sent to all the nations that they may believe and obey him. His saving grace was never intended to be limited to the Jews. All men are sinners and in need of the Savior from sin. God has sent him. We must believe in him to have everlasting life. He quenches all our thirsts brought on by sin and separation from God. He holds the key to the treasures of true wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3-8). He raises dead men and nations from the grave of sin and judgment. He is the Heir of the covenant, the Prince of Peace, the Savior and Judge of all men. He is the Christ, the Son of the living God.

We are secure because we are in covenant with the God of our salvation. His throne is our shield. “Of him, and through him, and to him are all things” (Rom. 11:36). Regardless of the hostility these early believers would face for obeying God’s gospel, as his power brought salvation to the world, so his power would establish them, make them strong, and enable them to overcome all opposition raised against God’s Christ. When in our own day we see the church tossed and troubled by “every wind and wave of doctrine,” savaged by howling wolves, or deceived by those who arise within her ranks that try to draw away disciples after themselves, we must trust our God and Father. His wisdom will prevail, and his gospel purposes to bring all nations to the obedience of the faith will be realized. Look at what he has already done. History does not stretch for eons behind us, chance and change, without any clear purpose or direction. The hand of God directed every age, every moment, and every man. He did so in such a way that his Son would be brought into the world and that his everlasting commandment to “repent and believe the gospel” would be proclaimed to every nation under heaven. Can his purposes be frustrated? Can evil men overthrow the Rock of Ages that was cleft for us and upon which our faith is so securely grounded that if Satan hurled every single missile and unleashed all his legions upon the earth, he could do nothing beyond what God allows. The simple gospel armor that God has given us would be sufficient to make him tuck tail and run. This is the age in which we now live: the gospel and kingdom age, the reign of God and of his Christ. His kingdom will never cease increasing, but from age to age will grow stronger and more pervasive until every knee bows and tongue confesses that he is Lord. This is the God who sustains us. His zeal will perform what he has designed. He does not change; his purposes are joined to his power so that no weapon formed against his church will prosper. He fears no man-grasshoppers; he holds all the heathen in derision. He has set his King upon his holy hill in Zion.

To God be the Glory Forever (v. 27)

Our security and steadfastness lie in this closing dedication! To this God, the only true God, God only wise will be glory forever. What an astounding claim! These believers lived in the seat of the beast, the Roman Empire and its cult of emperor worship. A subtly tolerant environment it was. As long as you made your obeisance to the emperor, all was well. Very soon after this letter was written, the high cost of discipleship would become apparent. The circus would be filled with the blood of the martyrs. How were these believers to prepare themselves? To God alone be the glory. He will be glorified through Jesus Christ. His Son and our Mediator will go from strength to strength, victory to victory, conquering and all-conquering. Each believer must determine to live in gratitude and constantly glorifying the God of our salvation. It matters not when we live, how the hounds of hell are baying, or the bitter warfare we have with our own sinfulness. God will be glorified. He is the only wise God. He did not crucify his Only Begotten only to have his church and kingdom fail. “The pleasure of the Lord will prosper in his hand,” his royal hand (Isa. 53:10), his actively reigning hand. It is true that we must suffer a little while before entering his eternal kingdom, but along the way, he will never leave or forsake us. He will gather the nations. The gospel is the preaching not of the “crucified in weakness” but of the “living by the power of God” Lord and Christ. He will prevail. We shall overcome in him, by believing in him and keeping God’s commandments (Rev. 14:12). This is our patience. It is our shield. It is our guarantee of victory. Jesus Christ is. His enemies today can no more resist his voice than they could when he walked on earth. “Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46). He still speaks. He is reaping the nations.

If the church would but recover the conviction that she is armed with the everlasting gospel, walks Jeremiah’s old paths, and live by God’s holy word, she would find her voice again. Doubt would give way to certainty, fear to courage, compromise to fidelity. God would be glorified. We should see the gospel going forward in our own land. We would see more clearly that the path of gospel progress is not worship circuses that attract the masses but humble believers speaking God’s truth and preachers that see themselves as speaking only God’s word in the power of Jesus Christ. God honors the faith of his church, her loyalty to his word, her patient endurance of suffering for his sake. Let us labor to recover some sense of God’s greatness, his sovereignty over history, the certainty of his promises to his Son, and his unshakable purposes. He is the only wise God. All other philosophies and programs are doomed to failure. We must trust his wisdom, that he uses the weak to confound the strong, the foolishness of preaching the cross to trounce the wisdom of this world. Faith in the God who will glorify himself, living for his glory in all we do is the way to please him. It is the way his kingdom comes and his will is done. He will prevail. This is his world. Jesus Christ is his Beloved and his King. He will build his church. He will preserve us until we hear his “Well done.”

 

God's Promise to Trample Satan

April 19, 2015 Series: Scripture: Romans 16:19-20 by Chris Strevel

Paul did not want his warnings to cause offense to the Roman believers. He did not believe that divisive and scandalous individuals were active among them, but he urged caution. Satan hates thriving churches and thriving believers, and they are often the target of his malice. Perhaps in the ceremonial and cultural differences existing in the congregation (ch. 14-15), he saw the seeds of potential conflict and wished to prevent it. Had he not witnessed this among the Galatians? As a parent will warn his children of sin’s consequences without thinking that they are already enmeshed in them, so faithful pastors and teachers who know something of the deceitfulness of men’s hearts and Satan’s schemes will warn God’s people to be vigilant. “For we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor. 2:11). Our blessed Savior is always building his church, but the evil one is always trying to tear it down. Bitter controversies and heart-wrenching divisions in his body often have seemingly insignificant origins: loose talk, insinuations and suspicion, or a questionable teacher allowed. We should never be offended when a godly man warns us. He may see dangers that we do not. His experience may be broader. His acquaintance with church history may give him a particular alertness to the seeds of division. Through wise warnings, our Savior warns us, as he warned Peter of his pending denial and fall. Look at how Peter took offense rather than humbling himself to listen. He did not plead with Jesus to help him, and he fell. Let us take every warning to watch as a message from heaven to guard vigilantly our hearts and lives in Christ Jesus.

But we shall take offense at the warnings God sends to us if the spirit of our age dominates us more than the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Pride, willfulness, and stubbornness make a man little inclined to receive a warning. We often think the preacher’s warning applies to someone else, but not to us. Our heavenly Father tests us on this point. Will we say, “Yes, I needed to hear that, for I am weak; thank you, Lord, for telling me to be on guard?” Or, shall we be puffed up with pride and take offense because we think we have it all together. If we felt our weakness as we should, we would welcome even the strongest warnings as God sending us an angel from heaven to keep us on the straight path, or to strengthen weak areas of our thinking or practice. Not one of us is above such warnings; we need them far more than we know or feel. “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished” (Prov. 22:3; 27:12). If we would yield more promptly to our Savior’s faithful shepherding, we should not find ourselves in so many scrapes, wondering what in the world has happened, when all the time we would have been preserved from sin’s pit if we had humbled ourselves under God’s hand.

Defend a Good Reputation by Continued Obedience (v. 19)

We should rejoice when we hear that the Lord is blessing his church to grow in grace, knowledge, and usefulness. The good reputation of churches throughout the world should fill our hearts with gratitude to God. If our congregation is unsettled or struggling, then hearing that another is thriving should give us hope that our Savior will also build us up! He is not stingy in his gifts and graces. His will is that we bear “much fruit” (John 15:5,8). He has fullness of grace and life to share with us. It is remarkable that the Roman congregation had so early a reputation for obedience. Notice that word “obedience.” This is not the normal standard for evaluating men and churches. Men first think of charisma, or social relevance, or fine buildings and programs, and especially in our day cutting-edge music. The Holy Spirit thinks first of obedience to the gospel, to the commandments of God, to sound doctrine, to love and service. Unless we think of obedience first, we shall go astray in our judgment. It is obedience to the word of God that proves we love Jesus Christ and are his friends (John 14:15; 15:14). Obedience assumes that the Christian faith is not a “pick and choose what is meaningful to you” religion. Each of us should be chiefly concerned with pleasing our God and Savior by obeying him. Then, our likes and dislikes will be shaped and sanctified as we yield ourselves to his word. “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (John 13:17). The disciples’ joy and badge of honor is obedience to God out of love for Jesus Christ and gratitude for his grace and mercy.

Paul rejoiced in their obedience. Nothing fills a godly man’s heart with more joy than obedience and to hear that other believers are walking in obedience to God’s word (3 John 4). This is also the reason that he has written them a magnum opus of Christian doctrine and living. The grace of repentance unto obedience is such a precious gift from God that those to whom he gives it must cherish and preserve it through continued faithfulness to his truth. It is a danger, as later happened in Ephesus, for a good beginning to give way to a cold heart. The only way to prevent this is to hold fast to the good, to guard against all occasions for slipping away from our “first love,” and to abide closely in Jesus Christ, the lover of our souls and the living fountain of preserving grace and vital piety.

Wise in Good, Untainted by Evil (v. 19)

How we may walk closely with him, and therefore with one another?  We must be wise in what is good. We must know and love the good things of God’s word and praise him for his goodness with joyful hearts. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:8). The good things he has shown us in his glorious gospel are like a vast mansion of innumerable rooms, each one filled with treasures of inestimable splendor. Our Father calls us to search out these gospel blessings, never tire of them or think we have mastered even one of his chambers, and find all our joy in his goodness. Toward him, we must be adoring, prayerful students of his word, walk with integrity and gratitude, and praise him with joyful hearts. Toward one another, we must “go about doing good,” as our Savior did (Acts 10:38).

We must also be simple or untainted by evil. In context, two of these evils are divisive attitudes and scandalous lives. Strangers we must be to pride and worldliness. We must never search out Satan’s deep things (Rev. 2:24), be inquisitive about the world’s sins, or crave its fleeting pleasures. At all times, disciples of Christ must endeavor to put on his meekness and gentleness (2 Cor. 10:1), especially in dealing with our brothers. As Paul told the Corinthians, it is better to be wronged than to insist upon our rights (1 Cor. 6:7). If we are wise in what is good, we shall seek those gospel attitudes that promote unity and love: forgiving and bearing with injury; seeking peace as much as it depends upon us; covering a multitude of transgressions with love. These two ideas are capable of wide application, both in the world and in our relationships with one another. The Holy Spirit’s main injunction here is for us to be experts in being and doing good but to be novices in sin. This is a mark of “true and undefiled religion” (1:27).

God’s Promise to Trample Satan (v. 20)

Yet, many are gripped by the dangerous and ultimately futile idea that the safety, progress, and victory of the church depends upon being as relevant to the world as possible. This idea assumes that the world knows best what it needs, and the church’s responsibility is to adapt to the expectations of fallen men. It also assumes that the gospel must make its progress in the world just as any other human philosophy or social movement. In other words, it ignores if not implicitly denies that the gospel of Jesus Christ is of supernatural origin and that the preaching of that gospel is God’s power unto salvation. It is a wonder that professing friends of Jesus can treat their Master so meanly and give his power and wisdom so little credit! We must remember that the human race is divided into two seeds: of the woman and of Satan. The former are those who believe in Jesus Christ and keep the commandments of God (Rev. 14:12). The latter are those who “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:19) and are “alienated and enemies in their minds by wicked works” (Col. 1:21). These two seeds or lines are not absolute in history, for “such were some of you, but ye are washed” (1 Cor. 6:11). God often in mercy turns his most determined foes into his devoted friends. Yet, the antithesis between the church and the world is not to be blurred. Those who yet remain enemies of God do the works of their father, the devil (John 8:44). They are not usually conscious of doing his bidding, for they are “held captive by Satan to do his will” (2 Tim. 2:26). Any attempt to make the world a better and holier place by the church’s being friendlier to the world’s philosophies and expectations is working against God’s purposes. We are not permitted to lower the claims of the gospel or to blur the difference between light and darkness (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1).

 It would seem that such a separation consigns us to irrelevance, but this is unbelief talking. Since the Lord is always fighting his war with the sharp, gospel sword coming out of his mouth, he will subdue all things to himself by his invincible power (Phil. 3:21). Satan bit him on the heel, but he crushed or bruised his head. This gives us incredible hope of victory not by looking for ways to erase the barriers between faith and unbelief, righteousness and sin, truth and falsehood, but by being faithful to the victory that our Savior obtained on the cross and by his resurrection. He won this victory for us, for he is our Mediator and Head. By being lifted up on the cross, he judged the ruler of this world, cast out the accuser of the brethren, and bound the strong man (John 12:27-31; Rev. 12:10; Matt. 12:29). The power of the evil one has been broken. He can no longer deceive the nations en masse; the gospel will go forward, as we see it has been doing for the past two millennia, until every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord. His victory is our victory. It is the hope that inspires personal obedience, congregational faithfulness, and missiological zeal for the gospel. We go forth to serve our Lord in the strength of his victory, confident that he has “destroyed him who had the power of death” (Heb. 2:14).

The Way God Tramples Satan (v. 20)

In the strength of this historical, decisive trampling that occurred at the cross, the Lord continues to bruise Satan under the feet of his faithful people. This is a very significant promise. There is no indication that it refers exclusively to the final coming of our Savior, although every intermediate “bruising” throughout history in which God’s truth and church gain a signal triumph over Satan is  a pledge of the final destruction of the evil one at our Savior’s return in glory. A more specific, more local victory seems to be intended. The reference is uncertain. What is more important for us to know is that the way in which God promises to bruise the serpent. First, the “God of peace” will bruise him. God achieves peace through righteousness by trampling upon Satan and his schemes, so that they are exposed and defeated, thwarted completely by his power and providence, or turned to serve the good of his church. To give us courage and good hope, we must remember that all of the turmoil we see in the world is completely governed by the God of peace, and the hard struggles through which we must pass on the way to God’s eternal kingdom have peace as their goal. Therefore, we should never fear to enter the lists of combatants for God’s glory and truth in the world. Victory is assured. The God of peace rules over all by his great power and through his Son rules over all things for the sake of the church.

Second, he tramples Satan through the faithfulness of his people. While the living God will obtain the victory, which is never in question, the means he has ordained to gain this victory are often ignored. Will we dedicate ourselves to being wise in good and simple in evil? Will we be on guard against attacks against his truth and defend his honor by speaking his truth in love and with the confidence that our Savior is subduing all things to himself? Will we steer clear of sin? The church’s maintaining of the antithesis between light and darkness, truth and falsehood, holiness and worldliness, are the means God has ordained to crush Satan. This is true both of individual believers, single congregations, and the whole church. We shall not witness the bruising of Satan by the hand of God through compromise, or holing up in our caves of fear, or praying for a miracle from heaven without being diligent to serve God according to his word. Our Savior had to endure the cross to save us; we must fight the good fight of faith to obtain the victory. We must resist sin and the devil (Rom. 6:13; James 4:7). When faced with a temptation, we must not think, “Well, my little private issues mean little; no one cares about me.” Really? The angels are watching, child of God! We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Even more, God still looks down from heaven to see if there are any who understand, who seek after him. Shall we not do our part? When sin generally or Satan specifically comes to attack the child of God, or sets up his little squabbles in the local congregation, or infects the church with wolves and their heresies, then is the time to be wise in the good and untainted by evil. Then is the time to say, “Here is my opportunity to see God bruise Satan. Jesus Christ has won the field. Look! There is his banner, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the crucified in weakness but raised by the power of God Savior!” Shall we not flock to it and do our part to stand for truth and godliness in our homes, relationships, marriages? Is not his honor worthy of our most strenuous efforts, our most determined resistance? What of your private battles against lust, fear, worry, unbelief, and prayerlessness? If we love Jesus Christ, we shall enlist, run to him, and see our conflicts as part of the larger struggle for God’s glory in the world, a contest that continues unabated every moment of every day in millions of lives and circumstances around the world! Trust the power of the God of peace. Fight clothed in the armor he has provided (Eph. 6:10-18). Expect for the Lord to give you victory.

The Sustaining Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (v. 20)

But what if it comes not soon, as is promised here? We must leave it to God to define “soon.” It may be temporally soon, as multitudes of believers have found when they have become serious about godliness, prayer, and Jesus Christ. It may be soon in the sense that our lives are brief and that we have but a short time to serve Jesus Christ before his return. The day is at hand! Either way, Jesus Christ has prevailed, and it is an honor to fight for him. His grace will sustain us. Because he is always with us, his grace and strength are. Do not be unbelieving, but believe. Trust him. Call upon him. He who conquered is more than able to give you the victory. Abide in him and his word, and God will bruise Satan. He is a defeated worm. The cross is protruding from his crushed skull. Resist him, and he will flee; he must. The God of peace will cause him to flee. We have our Father’s promise. We have our Savior’s grace and presence. The battle may seem long and weary in terms of our wispy lives, but soon we shall see the Lamb in his glory. Let us not offer him that which costs us nothing but labor to be found in him, to spread the aroma of his gospel, and to unfurl his gospel flag of sovereign grace and Satan conquered wherever we go, beginning in our lives, families, and congregations. Because Jesus Christ is always with us, his grace and strength will never fail us. He will subdue us and all things to himself.

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