Faithful Christians Are “More Than Conquerors”

As Paul concluded Romans 8, he asked, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rom. 8:37). The apostle made clear that no physical adversity can separate us from Christ’s love. Paul listed (1) “tribulation,” which is trouble, hard circumstances, suffering (Rom. 2:9; 5:3; 12:12; 1 Cor. 7:28); (2) “distress [anguish, ASV],” which is difficulty, trouble (Rom. 2:9; 2 Cor. 6:4; 12:10); (3) “persecution,” which is being “hunted down” for following God (Mt. 13:21; Acts 8:1); (4) “famine,” which is hunger (2 Cor. 11:27); (5) “nakedness,” which is without sufficient clothing, poverty (2 Cor. 11:27; Rev. 3:18); (6) “peril [danger, ESV]” (2 Cor. 11:26); and (7) “sword,” which is a literal sword, but can also be used figuratively for war, violent death, execution (Mt. 10:34; Lk. 21:24; Acts 12:2; Rom. 13:4; Heb. 11:34, 37). Paul experienced all of these (2 Cor. 4:8-12; 11:23-29). Physical adversity has always been the lot of those who follow God (Rom. 8:36 cf. Ps. 44:22). Suffering is a sign not of failure but of God’s will (Mt. 5:10-12; Jn. 15:18-20; Acts 14:22; 2 Tim. 3:12). Over all these, God makes us “super-conquerors” (Rom. 8:37)! Paul, by the Holy Spirit, invented this word, by taking the word for “conquer” and adding the prefix “hyper.” Thus, Paul taught Christians, through Christ’s love, are “hyper-conquerors,” or “we overwhelmingly conquer” (NAS95). Victory takes place through suffering, not apart from it, and God even works through harsh realities (cf. Rom. 8:28). The victory comes not in escaping suffering or having courage in the face of suffering, but in God’s love for us in the midst of suffering!