A Certain Hope in Uncertain Days: 30 Days of Hope-filled Focus
Day 10: More Than Conquerors
Romans 8:37, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
“The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” That tag line from the old “Wide World of Sports” program is something that is common to our experience—in sports, in politics, in business, in life.
The “victory-defeat” theme is especially relevant to life in the spiritual realm. A long war against God has raged since the Devil’s rebellion, and on this earth, since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. Their sin unleashed a contagion of sin through which we’ve all inherited a sin rebel’s heart. The world cheers sinners on in the devil’s cause, and the flesh is ever looking, in this world, to satisfy its lusts.
Were it not for Jesus there would be no hope, but He came into this world for the express purpose of delivering sinners (1 Timothy 1:12). He took on flesh and blood, “that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). In fact, He has defeated all our foes. “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), but Jesus said, “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). The flesh is relentless in its pursuit of sin, and we might say with the Apostle Paul, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 8:24). But then he went on to say, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 8:24-25).
Victory is assured to those who trust in Jesus for salvation. They are at once delivered from “the domain of darkness and transferred…to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13). Having been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, they stand before God, from that point forward, clothed in the very righteousness of Christ (Cf. 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Having been declared righteous by God Himself, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ—the One who is even now interceding–there is no one able to bring a charge against the believer (Cf. Romans 8:33-34). God being greater than all, there is likewise no one who can work to “snatch” the believer from His hand (John 10:29).
The believer on earth faces many obstacles and threats, some are listed in Romans 8:38-39, though the list by its very nature is intended to be all inclusive: “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.” We are assured in this passage that there is no entity in all creation that can work “to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).
Note that our text doesn’t just say that we will merely conquer, it says that in all these things we are “more than conquerors.” Its not that we will barely eke out a victory, we will win “going away” and in the context of tremendous challenges. Ray Stedman explained the matter this way: “If we barely manage to win our way to heaven by the skin of our teeth, we could be said to be a conqueror, but a “more than conqueror” is someone who takes the worst that life can throw at him and uses that to become victorious. “More than conqueror” is one who, by the grace and the gift of God, and in the strength of God within him, actually takes the very things that are designed to destroy him, and they become stepping stones instead of stumbling blocks. That is being “more than conquerors.”
It was years ago when this specific verse came to my mind in a most unlikely setting. A lady in our church has dealt with a long series of difficult health problems. A surgery failed to correct a matter and she was barely hanging on to life in the ICU. Her husband was there with me. He had been won to Christ years earlier through her prayers and the witness of her life in Christ. There she was in the ICU. Tubes ran to and fro from all sorts of IV bottles. All kinds of electronic instruments were tracking her vitals and such. She looked very needy and destitute in that hospital bed. And despite having the best that modern medical care could provide, her prospects—from an earthly perspective—were very dim. But that was looking at the matter from the wrong perspective. And that’s where this verse came in. I said to myself, things are not what they appear. This beloved sister-in-Christ was not a helpless victim of an ailment that would lead ultimately to her doom, she was a saint, beloved by God, who was on the verge of her greatest victory. God would bring her safely home and she was soon to be with Jesus in glory. In a place where there would be no more sin or death or sorrow or pain.
Every believer is a “more than conqueror” in Jesus. They are that every day, from earth to glory. They are that “through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). Praise the Lord!