One-a-Day...for the Heart: More Than Conquerors
No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37 ESV). Remember the satisfaction of tying your shoes or riding a bicycle? Neither skill came without failure at the initial attempts, and once learned, no further instruction was needed.
We mastered such challenges of growing up, but not before tripping over botched, untied shoelaces or bandaging scrapes and scratches from wrecking our bikes several times. I still recall the exhilaration of balancing my 24” Huffy bicycle on the driveway and cruising onto our street for the first of many glorious, carefree bike rides. I nailed the first challenge of biking!
Rarely do we unlearn such skills. Webster’s Dictionary says to conquer something is to eliminate or minimize a difficulty. It also means to win, as in a battle or struggle. In Romans 8, we read about our victory in Christ. The Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection eliminated the death sentence on humankind, as the blood of Christ washed sin away from anyone who believes in Him. Separation from God was defeated and nailed to the cross. Man’s greatest enemy, death, was defeated. Jesus nailed it!
Because He eliminated that difficulty, we are now more than conquerors. In all these things, we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37 NASB). Before Christ’s tremendous victory over sin and death, we did not stand a chance of gaining Father God’s favor or blessing. Each of us was hellbound, whether we knew it or not.
The moment we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are catapulted into the safest, most secure place of God’s love, and absolutely nothing can separate us from it. Paul writes, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35,38-39 NASB).
Death cannot snatch us into hell. Christ put a solid end to that threat. The word conquer in this text is the Greek nikao, from which we get Nike, meaning to conquer, also overcome. Being more than conquerors is the Greek hypernikao. It means to be more than a conqueror, to gain a surpassing victory (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon). Hypernikao is a powerful, emphatic word. Literally, we are hyper-conquerors because of Christ’s victory!
The Latin word for conquer is vincimus. The famous Roman General Julius Caesar’s quote, “Veni, vidi, vici,” means “I came, I saw, I won (or conquered).” Jesus put His own spin on the “vici” part of that phrase, for He overwhelmingly conquered sin and death—He more than conquered them. Again, we are hyper-conquerors because of Christ’s victory!
Before the hypernikao verses, there is a rich gem of truth tucked into the text: If God is for us, who is against us? (Romans 8:31). That’s what fuels the hyper part. God’s love keeps, empowers, strengthens, enables, and equips us for our victories over sin and evil.
Albert Barnes comments, “We are the victors, not they. Our faith is not destroyed; our love is not diminished; our hope is not blasted. But it is not simple victory; it is not mere life, and continuance of what we had before; it is more than simple triumph; it augments our faith, increases our strength, expands our love to Christ” (Albert Barnes Commentary on the Whole Bible). Every time we win over a sinful habit or an evil encroachment in our lives, we grow and expand in our love for Christ.
We overcome by learning God’s promises, growing in faith, confronting sin, and putting on the armor of God as described in Ephesians 6:10-17. Christ Himself infuses us with His Spirit, and VOILA! We become His hyper-conquerors!
© 2023, Chris Werre