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How the Christian Conquers


By Benjamin H. Liles

          For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. ~ Romans 1:20, New King James

          For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and all the things that make him God [his divine nature]--have been clearly seen [perceived], understood through what God has made. So people have no excuse. ~ Romans 1:20, Expanded Bible

          I find that sometimes a verse needs a little clarification with a different Bible version so that we all understand what's being said. In the time that Paul wrote Romans, it wasn't just to build up the Church that was founded in Rome. Jews were apparently following after Paul doing their best to discredit him, calling him a liar and that his teaching was off.

          Imagine for a moment as I add this on: in Acts we're told how much Paul gave ascent to and practiced in persecuting followers of Christ (i.e. mocking them with the word Christian - a term meant for deriding those who follow Christ, who was crucified, buried and subsequently rose from the grave. Acts 7:1-60 all the way to Acts 9:1-43 tells us all about this as well as 1 Peter 4:16 for the explanation of "Christian." Another good, and outside, source for further explanation on the term Christian can be found at ecclesia.org.

          Jesus Christ, when it came to explaining and showing the love of the Father - God - toward us, had disciples. Later terms for faithful adherents for following Christ are brethren (or brothers), saint/s, believers, followers, and even the elect. But not once did these people who followed Christ called themselves Christian.

          Paul, when he wrote the beginning of Romans described people who claim they believe God, or in God, but don't practice what He truly stands for. He, Paul, then lists attributes of those who claim God as their own, yet practice the opposite of love, which can be found in Romans 1:26-31.

          today, those who actually follow Christ, even to death, have an uphill battle due to various organizations such as Westboro Baptist Church. In regards to them all I can say it they are neither part of the Church body or adequately show the Baptist traditions; their love for others is a total disregard for what the Bible says: "If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen" (1 John 4:20, New American Standard).

           While I won't go into other organizations or people groups who claim Christ as theirs but practice hate, I can add on is they oppose everything Christ is as well as the disciples who became apostles. Those who rely on the power of God, through and by their testimony, by way of His Spirit, are vessels in which God works.

          It isn't done by human means, but by the hand of God: "The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing" (Zephaniah 3:17). As a people who love God we will also love others, not just to our death, but to be a benefit to mankind, thus showing God's amazing and life-giving power along with His loving-kindness which the Bible - His word - ultimately talks about.

          This is how we are to conquer and subdue nations. It isn't by bloodshed or hatred. It is done by being so heartbroken over souls that we are driven to our knees sharing our burdens to the Lord God Almighty. We tell Him what it is we desire, asking Him to assist us in our endeavors as we preach the gospel of Christ. We do these things not on our own strength or accord, but by the strength and power of the One who sends us: Jesus Christ.

          He said this, to those who follow after Him, "They hated me first, so they will also hate you" (paraphrase of John 15:18-25). In closing, what can truly be said is that the best form of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ is allowing it to be seen, not just with our words. Paul and the other disciples lived this way and so should we. We do all these things in Jesus Christ by doing what we're commanded, out of love first, duty second. This is how we go about conquering. It's by God's hand and not our own.

          Father, I thank You daily for all You do with and through me. You allow me to speak Your word to those who are in desperate need of You. Your word is light. It is truth. People need You, Lord. Some die for You. Others wait patiently to see You. They wait for You to work on their behalf. Hear their heart cries and do those things which I cannot. Show them who You are by Your hand, by Your strong power. Heal their hearts. Heal their land. Heal their sight. Heal their bones. Heal their mouths. Heal their minds. Give them You in such a way that they can do nothing but praise and thank You for all You are and all You do. For in this Your name is made great and powerful. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.