We Are More Than Conquerors, but What Have We Conquered?

Posted on September 11, 2019

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By David Ettinger

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A Victorious Proclamation
It is one of the most beloved verses of Scripture, a cherished truth and victorious proclamation rolled into one. It is Romans 8:37: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

The context is the condemnation the world heaps upon Christians compared to God’s unyielding love for us. Let the world do to us what they will, but one thing it cannot do is separate the Christian from the love of Christ. Yes, God has proclaimed us as conquerors, but what have we conquered?

The First Conquering
The first thing Christians have conquered is death, specifically, spiritual death. All Christians (except those who are alive at the Rapture) will die physically, therefore, whenever the Bible speaks of Christians not being subject to death, it is speaking of the eternal state.

A major verse on this issue is Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Man was originally created to live forever, physically and spiritually. However, sin brought death to both realms. Though God did not remove physical death, He did provide a way out from spiritual, eternal death for the soul by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Those who accept Christ as their Lord and Savior will be “saved” (Acts 16:31), i.e., spared eternal separation from God in Hell.

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John 3:16 concurs: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Because we know all mortals suffer physical death, the word “perish” must refer to something else. It does, and that is spiritual death, the separation from God for eternity.

John 3:36 solidifies this truth: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” Those who have “eternal life” are the conquerors, having conquered spiritual death.

Second Conquering
What about here and now in this life?

Through Christ we have conquered sin as a controlling force in our lives. Because we have fleshly bodies, sin is still active in us. However, in Christ, we have the capability to fight against sin and not succumb to its furious temptations.

This raging battle is examined in Romans Chapter 7, where Paul writes in verses 21-24:

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

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This means that as blood-purchased children of God, we have the desire to want to obey God in every aspect of our lives. However, our flesh persistently opposes us, striving to consummate our desires. Still, we are conquerors in that we have the desire to battle our temptations where most of the world looks to embrace them.

But what about the ability to not sin? Paul tells us in verse 25: “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” In other words, when temptation hits, God’s Holy Spirit enables us to fight it. However, the Spirit does not go as far as to stop us; this is up to us. Left on our own, we are incapable of shunning sin, but “through Jesus Christ our Lord” we can say, “Lord, Your will be done and not mine,” allowing us to conquer sin both in action and as a controlling force.

Third Conquering
Being in Christ gives us the ability to conquer the “present sufferings” of life (Romans 8:18). Though there are wonderful moments to be experienced, overall life is “downward” – it winds its way toward death. However, when we understand that this world is not our home (1 Peter 2:11), it can transform our lives. Paul said it best in Romans 8:18: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Yes, this world can be tough, but when we compare it to what lies ahead, it makes the struggles and suffering bearable.

As conquerors over the “present sufferings,” we can say along with Paul: “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8).

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So, as Christians, we have conquered at least three things: spiritual death; sin as a controlling force in our lives; and the suffering of this world.

Living as Conquerors
Living as conquerors is to fight sin. When temptation assaults us, we get down on our knees, call out to God, and ask Him to give us the victory by shunning sinful acts.

Being a conqueror means to “overcome” this life. When faced with danger and death, we remember that ultimate death – spiritual death – was defeated by Christ at the cross, and we no longer need fear it. If the situation ever arises that we must renounce Christ or die, we call upon Christ to help us overcome the temptation to save our physical lives knowing that a glorious existence awaits us.

As conquerors we proclaim the One who gave us the victory, and share with others how they, too, can be conquerors through Christ who secured the ultimate victory: the defeat of spiritual death and assurance of life eternal!

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