A conqueror is king of the mountain. The victor. We envision a conqueror as one standing atop a hill with head held high, sword thrust high toward the sky and his shout of victory echoing through the land. From our standpoint, the conqueror has achieved the ultimate. But, according to Scripture, a person can be more than a conqueror? Paul straightforwardly announces that in Christ we are more than conquerors over hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, or sword. (Romans 8:35-37)
Some think that Paul was just being his flamboyant verbose self when he proclaimed this grand truth. Why? This truth would not need flamboyancy to make it forceful. We would be satisfied with being conquerors and the promise that we are in Christ is powerful in and of itself. But, the addition of "more than" reveals we who are in Christ are not to settle for being merely a conqueror. We are to be more than one! How? A careful reading of the verse within its context reveals that the question, how, is the wrong question. The verse is not a "how to" verse. It is an emphatic affirmation, "we are." It tells us why are we more than conquerors, not how to become so. Therefore, we need this passage to speak to us anew, allowing its abundant truth to sink deep into our hearts. Then we can begin living like people who are "more than conquerors," rather than a people just trying to make it through somehow.
We are more than conquerors because we are in Christ, who loved us! Paul was careful to use "loved" rather than "love," for by using the past tense he points to the cross. On the cross Christ showed us the full extent of His love, conquering sin once and for all! And there is nothing that can separate us from that love. For us the cross is the symbol of victory, for in Christ we are victorious.
Dr. Dennis Kinlaw, in his book, "The Mind Of Christ," puts it wonderfully; "We are tempted not tolive uprightly and cleanly in an immoral world; so God becomes our righteousness. We are assaulted by every sort of spiritual pollution that would corrupt our hearts and minds; so God becomes our sanctification. We are weak in the face of evil and liable to fall under the accusations of our spiritual Enemy; so God becomes our redemption. We can live victoriously day by day, because God continues to win the victory in our lives."
Second, we are more than conquerors because the very things that could defeat and destroy us, God transforms into things that accomplish His good. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and live according to His purpose." (Romans 8:18) Be sure not to define good from a human, earthly perspective. Doing so is a gross misuse of this great truth. Good for God's people is always to be understood from God's perspective. God alone is good and therefore good has to do with holiness.
It does not say that God causes all things, but that He uses all things for our good, for our holiness. We are not only more than conquerors over "these things," but in them and through them as well. The assaults, troubles, hardships, and hurts of this life do not have the final say, Christ does. "Greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world." (1 John 4:4) And He is able to make all things work for good in our lives! All things!
With the quiet assurance that all things will accomplish God's good in our lives and the peaceful confidence that nothing can separate us from His love in Christ Jesus our Lord, we are more than conquerors! We are conquerors who humbly and readily acknowledge that we are so only in Christ, not by anything in ourselves. We are conquerors who do not lord it over others, but serve in Jesus name. We are conquerors who glory in Jesus Christ and Him crucified wherein our victory lies! We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus!