More than Conquerors

08/02/17

More Than Conquerors

Hypernikomen. I’ll let you reread that word a few times so you can try to figure out how to pronounce it. What you have just read is a fancy Greek word that Paul wrote in Romans 8. Hypernikomen is the word that gets translated into “We are more than conquerors” in English. This word only appears once in all of the scripture, and that is in Romans 8:37, ” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” This is a verse that should make us feel confident when we read it. Paul is telling us that we have become “more than conquerors” which sounds awesome, and it is. But wait, what exactly does it mean to be “more than conquerors?” What have we conquered? Those are great questions, thanks for asking. I’ll be happy to answer them for you.

Let’s start by examining what hypernikomen means. The root of the word is nikao which means “to be victorious” in war. So when Paul adds the prefix “hyper,” he’s stepping it up in a big wat. He is no longer talking about just winning a war but utterly demolishing an enemy. Imagine it this way, one country has invaded another country and won the war, but instead of taking over their newly conquered land, they decide to destroy everything. Not only are they going to destroy every standing structure that they find, but they are also going to salt the earth so that nothing can ever grow there again. They have made it so that life can never exist there. Hopefully, you are grasping the sheer intensity of this word. The literal translation of hypernikomen is “we are over-conquerors.” The only way to have been an “over-conqueror” to the level that Paul is suggesting would to be infinitely more powerful than your enemy. Keep that image in your mind as we look at what it is that “we are more than conquerors” over in our lives.

The first thing that I think of when it comes to that verse is sin. This is why it’s important to read Romans 8:37 in full, “No, in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Who is it that loved us? You could answer God or Jesus here. I will even accept the Holy Spirit. There is an obscure Bible verse that you have probably never heard that speaks to this, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) It is through what Jesus did on the Cross and proved at the Resurrection that we can “over-conquer” sin. Christ has defeated sin, and He has bestowed that victory onto anyone who believes in Him. Scripture tells us in Romans 6:16-18 that we are no longer are slaves to sin because Christ has set us free and now we can choose to be obedient to righteousness. This is where our responsibility comes in. Christ has set us free, but we much choose to not go back to our previous master. We know that there is no joy and no life there. Why would we ever go back? Jesus has conquered sin for us, He imputed His victory onto us, so now we must live as people who have not only conquered sin but have “over-conquered” it. Let’s salt the earth that sin once lived on so that it can never grow in our lives again.

The second place where I see that we are “over-conquerors” is with the circumstances in our lives. This may come as a total shock to you but, periodically, life can throw some crappy situations at us. Even worse, a lot of times, it’s not our fault. Nobody likes to be put into those circumstances, but that is the reality of living in a world that has been wrecked by sin. We are going to face sickness, disease, false claims, financial trouble, broken relationships, problems at work, problems at school, family issues, etc. Unfortunately, that list could go on and on. I’ve been through several of those circumstances in my life.

I remember one time when I was working for a ministry before I came on staff with the church in a small town. I had big dreams and expectations of how the ministry would go and everything started off going more or less as planned but then we had some hard times. There was one particular day that was the climax of several weeks of things that weren’t going as well as expected, and I remember at the end of the day, sitting in my vehicle weeping and yelling at God. I recall asking Him, “Do you have any idea of what you’re doing.” I didn’t feel much like a conqueror that night.

It’s in those down times when we need to hold on to the truths of scripture the most. We need to cling on to the fact the “we are more than conquerors.” That doesn’t change based upon life’s circumstances. No matter what you’re going through, Christ still rose from the grave victorious over death, and He passed that victory onto us through our faith in Him. He did that simply because He loves us and Paul tell us in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” There is nothing that “can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!” It is because of that love that we can “over-conquer” any circumstance that life will throw our way.

The final way that we can look at being an “over-conqueror” is by looking at the battle to which we have been called. Are you aware that we’ve been called into a battle? If not, let me enlighten you with the words that Jesus spoke to us in Matthew 28:18-21,

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

You may recognize that as The Great Commission. When Jesus said those words, He called us into the battle of bringing God’s kingdom into this world. Make no mistake about it; this is an intense battle that has been waging for 2,000 years. Jesus calls Satan the “ruler of this world” in John 12:31 and Paul calls him “god of this world” in 2 Corinthians 4:4. We have been called and commissioned to take this world from Satan and to establish God’s kingdom. That may sound scary and daunting but let me let you in on a little secret; the war has already been won. Satan was defeated on the first Easter morning when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords walked out of that tomb.

We are not entering into a battle that we are hoping to win, for it has already been decided. At this point, we are on a victory march spreading the Gospel and love to all those who we meet. “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Cor 15:55) Death has been defeated, once and for all. We now get to live as “more than conquerors” over death because of Christ’s victory over the grave. We now have the freedom to go and establish God’s kingdom in this world by making disciples of all nations. So we must go, as victors, and spread the love of Jesus and the Gospel to all the nations.

You are more than a conqueror through Christ. It is paramount that we live our lives in a way that represents that. Sin has no control over you, life’s circumstance cannot shake you, and death no longer has a hold you because Jesus loves you. Take the freedom and the power that has been given to you through your faith in Christ and go and establish God’s kingdom in this world knowing that you cannot fail for the victory has already been won. Always remember, as you go, that “nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our lord!”
 
By Kyle Smith, Director of Youth Ministries

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