More than conquerors…

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” ~Romans 8:35,37

There are so many verses that I LOVE but this one is at the top of the list.

Re-read the last sentence…..YET, in ALL these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through HIM who loved US.

Did you catch that?  MORE-THAN-CONQUERORS…… What does more-than-conquerors mean exactly?  When I first thought about it, I wondered what a “more than” conqueror might mean, what a “more than” conqueror might look like….  Would it be a person who has gone to battle, fought, and won, and then… all blood-soaked, beaten, and worn, give his prize to someone else?  To someone who hadn’t fought or done anything?  Would that then, make that person more than a conqueror?  I don’t know.

But, somehow, that just doesn’t seem correct.

I think maybe the “Yet, in all these things” means more than what we can see.  I think the real definition of the “more-than-conquerors” is held in the word “in” ….. Yet, IN all these things…  the key word is “in” and I think that maybe, “more-than-conquerors” means to conqueror in love, in spite of all these things….. IN tribulation, IN distress, IN persecution, IN famine, IN nakedness, IN peril, IN sword….We are to be IN the suffering with Christ IN us.  Here is an example…

Jim Elliot was one of five missionaries participating in Operation Auca, an attempt to evangelize the Huaorani people of Ecuador.  The Huaorani tribe was considered extremely violent and dangerous to outsiders.  In the course of almost 3 years, the five missionaries tried to build trust with the tribe, but was double-crossed by one of the tribe members.  This tribe member told lies on the missionaries as to why they were really there.  On January 8, 1956, ten Huaorani warriors met the missionaries with the intent to kill them.

Before this encounter on January 8, 1956, Jim and the other missionaries had discussed that if their lives would ever come into danger, that they would never kill a tribe member because the tribe members didn’t know Jesus yet.  Jim had a gun when the ten warriors came close to them, and he could have killed them, but he didn’t.  The reasoning was that if he should die he would go to heaven whereas his attackers, without knowing the gospel yet, will go to hell. He chose to be killed (more-than-conqueror) instead of killing (conqueror).

The final outcome, after his death, was the conversion and salvation of his attackers and their whole tribe. This is the meaning of “more-than-conqueror”. It is not about overcoming the enemy, but about converting the enemy to become friends by acts of sufferings of love.  To show them Jesus.

More-than-conquerors = converting enemy into friend, and threats into opportunities.  More-than is about the benefit of others and not about ourselves.

This is the way of the cross that Jesus has gone through before us.  This is Calvary love, and this is the attitude of Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” ~Written by Jim Elliot before his death.

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