Sunday, 4 August 2013
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37
In verse 35, the list of “these things” was given. It included seven things which are contrary to us – tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, and sword. Because these come against us as faithful believers, “we are accounted as sheep for slaughter.” The world may laugh at our faithfulness to God even in these attacks against us and even to the point of martyrdom. But Paul says despite such mocking, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors…”
The word he uses for “more than conquerors” is hypernikōmen. It comes from two other Greek words – huper which we would translate as hyper, and nikao, meaning victory. The word nikao is the basis for Nike – the god of victory (and a good athletic shoe -ed. DBV Apprentice). The idea which we are given is that we are hyper-victorious “through Him who loved us.” “Through Him” implies that we are in no way victorious on our own. Without Christ, those seven words of woe would overcome us and our life-journey would be ended. But in Christ, they can’t even be considered minor setbacks.
In fact, the trials and perils we face, when faced in Christ and for Christ, only make the victory sweeter and they serve to complement the “hyper-ness” of the already supreme victory. As Paul notes in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Yes, in Christ we are more than conquerors.
Life application: Be sure to rightly apply Romans 8:37. When Paul says that “we are more than conquerors in Christ, he does it in a verse beginning with “yet.” To understand the context, we need to evaluate what verses are being tied to. In the case of this verse, it is tied to suffering. If you suffer, know that your suffering is already defeated. Through Christ who strengthens you, the victory is already assured.
Lord, when I wake up, there are pains in my body and so I rub on ointment. When I go to read, I need glasses. My head hurts Lord, and I take aspirin. When things aren’t right with me physically, I use that which corrects or heals my failing. How can I expect to treat my spiritual weaknesses any differently? Lord, open my heart and mind to understand Your word – the cure for all my spiritual woes. Amen.