Alexander The Great. Arguably one of the most well-known textbook conquerors of all time overcame some 2.2 million square miles of territory a few centuries before Christ. For comparison, that’s basically everything East of Colorado – the entire Midwest, Texas, South, and entire Eastern seaboard of the United States. In one lifetime.
Genghis Khan. He wasn’t exactly a role model of morality but is estimated to have conquered over 4.8 million square miles of territory in the 12th and 13th centuries. That’s the ENTIRE continental US, Mexico, and Central America – combined (plus a smidge if my math is correct).
Is this what you think of when you hear the word “conqueror”? Or do other images come to mind? Take a moment to think about it...
Is your mind filled with Generals or the battle cry of their armies? Or maybe you’re thinking more along the lines of strength, or power, or the might of a warrior.
Let me make a suggestion for you to ponder this weekend. Grab your Bible. Go to Romans chapter 8. Then find verse 35. The Apostle Paul asks this, “Who shall separate us [born again Christ followers] from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” He then goes on to answer his own rhetorical question in verse 37 by saying, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (ESV). You, my friend, my fellow brother or sister in Christ, are not just “a” conqueror. The Bible says your and I are “more than conquerors” because of Jesus Christ! That’s amazing!!! Right?!?
But can I be honest for a second and ask… what in the world does that actually mean?
Let’s talk about that.
First off, let me encourage you to examine other versions of the text. The NASB renders this phrase as, “we overwhelmingly conquer”. I find this to be a little bit closer to the original intent and drives at the fact that there is a definite action going on here. We aren’t just conquerors as a title or static attribute. We conquer by action, deed, AND by characteristic all because of who we belong to. Our being in Christ empowers our doing of conquering. Cool.
But what is the difference between being just a conqueror, and MORE than a conqueror or OVERWHELMINGLY conquerors? Why did Paul specifically say it that way?
Pastor and helpful study guide commentator David Guzik asks, “How is the Christian ‘more’ than a conqueror?” and offers up this 4-point concept:
But perhaps the explanation of this passage that hits me even harder, is the one that I heard years ago. It’s never left my heart or mind. In fact, as Patrick preached through “Transformed Attitudes” this past Sunday (check out the app or the social media pages if you want to re-listen to the sermon) and he presented Romans 8:37 towards the end – the hairs on the back of my neck stood up with the memory of this thought:
“A mere conqueror defeats his enemy… but one who is more than a conqueror subjugates his enemy. A mere conqueror nullifies the purpose of his enemy… but one who is more than a conqueror makes the enemy serve his own purposes.” (John Piper from an article in The Gospel Coalition and various sermons)
Paul could have said, “no matter what life throws at you, you will overcome, in Christ.” And he would have been right. Biblical. Scriptural. But he didn’t JUST say that. He implies that those in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, have been made not only to overcome, but to make that which has been overcome, into a tool that serves our own purpose. He’s saying that your trials, tribulations, hardships, death, and danger… or even sorrow, guilt, shame, brokenness, heartache, depression, or illness… all become life experiences that He wants to USE IN US for personal growth, empowerment, maturation into Christlikeness, discipleship of others, and ultimately >>> HIS GLORY!
Are you willing, are you prepared, to allow your worst experiences, to become the strongest tool in your toolbelt?
Church family – Believer – Christian – You are MORE THAN A CONQUEROR.
If you have any questions about this subject, this passage, your walk with Christ, or how to grow closer to Him, please reach out to us at email@example.com or come find us Sunday. We’d love to hear your story and help any way we can to see you become more like Jesus.