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WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS - BISHOP ODEDEJI

WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS - BISHOP ODEDEJI

(An extract of Presidential address of the 1st Session of the 8th Synod)

 

Text: Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. - Romans 8:37-38 (AKJV)

 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  - Romans 8:37-38 (NIV)

 

Introduction

Life is a battlefield, right from the womb to the grave. There is always a battle to fight and a struggle for something. There are enemies everywhere. Every man or woman will fight his or her own battle. We are all entitled to some enemies. If there is the grace of God in your life, then enemies are inevitable. If you do not have enemies, it could either mean God has forgotten you, or perhaps Satan has forsaken you. Whatever the case may be, that is a problem. You are in a battle front that you must fight. In the battle of life, there are plenty of casualties. Men and women are falling as casualties to the enemies. That s why the Bible says, How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished (2 Samuel 1:27). The battle of life goes on, whether you realize it or not, and that battle determines our eternal destiny. Of all the battles of life, the most terrible battle the enemy is fighting us for, is against our destinies. We all need divine wisdom to work in principles that guarantee all round victory and conquest. Before we can conquer and master an enemy, we must know who and what exactly is our enemy; his name, his habits and place of abode.

 

Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. - Psalm 144:1-2 (NIV)

Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. - 1 Cor. 9:26-27 (NIV)

Romans 8:31-39 is a great reminder that, God is on our side.  We are God s and He is ours.  He is not withholding anything from us but has given His Son to make us His own.  Jesus supports us and His victory is ours.  Nothing can separate us from God s love for us; it is present, it is real, and it is incredible. This is the significance of super and abundant victory that is ours in Jesus.  We have been given everything we need in life: godliness maturity and success in God s Kingdom (2 Peter 1:3:11).  We must take care to guard our hearts and minds in Christ.  The good news is that God is committed to the transformation of our minds when our minds wander and conform to this world. 

 

What Does it Mean to be More Than Conquerors?

The Bible declares that Christian believers are more than conquerors through our Lord Jesus Christ who loves us. To conquer is to be victorious over an adversary. To conquer is to subdue and exercise control and have dominion. To be more than a conqueror means we not only achieve victory, but we are overwhelmingly and consistently victorious. If the final score of a football match is 9 – 0, we know that the opposition puts up a fight, but they were no match for the victors. The win was beyond the scope of a regular victory. Consider also, in a wrestling contest of five rounds, the person that wins is declared as winner and decorated with award of belt and huge financial reward. There will be much happiness, rejoicing and jubilation. However, if in the middle of the jubilation she slumps and died, and could not get home to celebrate, enjoy her reward and tell her story. Can we describe her as being more than conqueror? Definitely not!

 

To be more than a conqueror, therefore, means we not only achieve victory but to be consistently and overwhelmingly victorious. It is to overpower in victory; to be abundantly victorious; prevail mightily. It is to gain a surpassing victory. Surrounded by insecurity, banditry, kidnapping, trials, uncertainties, COVID-19 Pandemic, #ENDSARS / #ENDSWAT fear and death, the Word from God to us is, WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS (Romans 8:37).

 

He was confronted with many struggles and challenges in his bid to satisfy and make his wife comfortable in life. In those battles, he was despised, mocked, bruised, battered, and brutalized but remained committed to his mission and eventually won all the battles. He was recognized by the authority and awarded with a crown. This is what Jesus Christ did for us that made us to become more than conquerors. He fought the battle on our behalf and won the victory for us. This is the victory and conquest enjoyed Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and so on. It is an already won victory by Christ for all Christians. It is just left for us to key into redemption work; appropriate, exploit and enjoy the blessings of Calvary.

 

To conquer is to have victory, prevail or overcome an enemy or someone who seeks to destroy you or your possession. It means to overcome an incredibly challenging situation or circumstance. The word used in Romans 8:37 is Huponikao which means  over-conquer . It is not just victory or overcoming but more than that is  to gain a surpassing Victory.   The ultimate Conqueror is Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, He is the One Who has gone out Conquering and to conquer. We are not just struggling to overcome the enemy; let it be settled once and for all that in Christ Jesus, we are pre-eminently victorious.  We are hyper-conquerors and have pre-eminently overcome the enemy.

 

The word  conqueror  is a military term which describes a person who has come out victorious from a war or conflict situation. To conquer is to overcome by conquest and have dominion over a person, territory or kingdom. It is to be victorious over an adversary. Conquest is the act of conquering. That one is involved in a battle does not make him a conqueror. That he is a winner does not make him a conqueror either. The conqueror is one who consistently wins in battles and is permanently on the winning side. It therefore, follows that a conqueror or overcomer is someone who has the ability to consistently defeat or overpower, subdue and suppress a person, territory or kingdom to the point of surrender.

 

In the battlefield, there is nothing like being assured of your victory before the fight begins. This kind of assurance can only be possible by an external and higher force, whereby creating a confidence in you even in the face of obstacles to winning. We are all aware that life and all that it entails is a journey to those who seek refuge in God and so our assurance to victory lies in the ability of God, the Ruler of the universe. Therefore, our Diocesan theme for the year 2021, WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS (Rom. 8:37) is an assurance of our victory as believers even in the face of challenges, changes, and chances of life.

 

Background

Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the brethren in Rome and the emphasis is on their relationship with God; to be established and sustaining it irrespective of the temptation, trials and troubles of life that comes their way. The chapter is truly relevant in a time like this. In a Perilous or Difficult or Terrible time (2 Timothy 3:1-9); a time when the devil unleashes different schemes or instruments of wickedness or lawlessness, especially on everyone that claims to love God or believes in Him (Matthew 24:12-13). It is evidence that at a time like this, every believer should expect such in different dimensions and on different occasions or time. Every believer will be tested or tempted. Abraham s love for God was tested (Genesis 22:1) and Jesus Christ pass through the same school (Matthew 4:1-11).

 

There are many illustrations in the Old Testament, of God bringing miraculous victory to His people, Israel. Humanly speaking, Israel was no match for their enemies, but God cautioned them not to be afraid that He would fight their battles for them. Exodus 14:14 says, The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still. The Lord told Jeremiah that he was bringing armies against the rebellious Israelites as punishment for their disobedience, but even then  They will not overcome you for I am with you and will rescue you,  declares the Lord (Jer. 1:19). In one instance, an entire army fled their own camp when God caused them to hear a great army coming. The famine-racked Israelites were able to plunder the enemy camp and provide for their families through no act of their own (2 Kings 7). Not only were they saved from an approaching army, but they benefited from the threat. They were more than conquerors.

Conquest has its roots in God. This is why the Bible categorically states that He has made us more than conquerors. Conquerors are men who consistently win in battles through the backing of God and as such know no defeat. They are men that can only be defeated when it becomes possible to defeat God. Of course, we all know that God cannot be defeated. They are men with the hand of the Lord upon them. As long as the hand of the Lord is upon us, our conquering is established. Judges 14:19 says,  As it is written: And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father s house . As long as the anointing was upon Samson, he prevailed.

There is an anointing that makes battles cheap and there is power that makes conquerors out of ordinary men. Exodus 14:14 says,  The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace . In the time of Deborah, the Bible says,  They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera  (Judges 5:20). When Sennacherib threatened Hezekiah, the Lord said,  Concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there  (Isaiah 37:33) and  the angel of the LORD went out and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses  (2 Kings 19:35). Here the Lord gave victory to Israel without their knowledge or input impute. God fights for us and some of us are ignorant of the unseen battles He wins for us and instead of thanking Him we go about complaining about the things He has not done. 

In 2 Chronicles 20, where we read of a battle where God s people were more than conquerors. The Moabites and the Ammonites came against good king Jehoshaphat for battle. Jehoshaphat was afraid, just as we can be afraid when we are faced with troubles, but Jehoshaphat set his face to seek the Lord, and he called all Judah to fast and seek help from the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:3-4). Then Jehoshaphat prayed: for we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you (2 Chronicles 20:12). Then Jehoshaphat and the people waited, and God gave a Word through the prophet Jahaziel:  Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours, but God s … You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf (2 Chronicles 20:15, 17).

 

The next day Jehoshaphat spoke to all the people: Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets and you will succeed (2Chronicles 20:20b). And God brought about a great victory. This is what it means to be more than a conqueror. If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him give us all things? (Romans 8:31). They were all  more than conquerors.

God s Provision for our Victory

Romans chapter 8 is one of the most impactful chapters of the Bible.  It lays out the key to true Christian life which is living the new life in Christ by the leading and help of the Holy Spirit. Although trials and suffering may surround us and sometimes it is as though the sentence of death is passed on us, during all these, we see the power and victory that God has given us in Christ Jesus.  In Jesus we see hope and glory that are eternal and transcends this present world.  For the sufferings of this present cannot be compared with the glory that shall be revealed when Jesus shall come.  In addition to this hope of glory, we see the unsearchable Love of God.  God s love, demonstrated in Christ, is beyond understanding.  The grace and mercy of God surpasses all.  God chooses to before us and has not given up on us and therefore no power can work against us.  God did not spare His only Son but gave Him up for us all.  He will do anything for us graciously, not because we merited it but He loves us and graciously gives us.

 

Romans chapter 8: Hope Chapter

Romans chapter 8 is known as the Hope Chapter and it is also foremost in Scripture on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. It lifts us up, gives us encouragement and strength to handle any situation. In this chapter, Apostle Paul reminds us of who we are in Christ, and how we are no longer slaves to the law or ways of the old, but that we are set free through the sacrifice of the sinless Lamb. Therefore, making us, who believe in Him, a righteous people and gives us confidence like no other. It is this confidence that we have, that qualifies us to be a  joint-heir of the kingdom.  Hence, we are not subjected to the flesh but the Spirit that made us sons of the Father, giving us the privilege to cry,  Abba, Father!  . The chapter begins with  no condemnation  by the wrath of God (Romans 8:1) and ends with  no separation  from the love of God in Christ (v. 39). The overall theme is assurance.

 

In chapter 6, Paul emphasized that, because we have a union with Jesus Christ we should therefore walk in the newness of life. In chapter 7, He stressed that, by death and resurrection, we have a relationship with the risen Christ, and therefore we should bring forth fruit to God. However, in chapter 8, Paul deals with the power of the Spirit that is available, thus, enabling us to meet these two requirements.

Paul begins the chapter with  Therefore.  In all probability the reference goes back to chapter 7 verse 6. In Romans 7:1-6, he traced the analogy of marriage to show death to the Law and marriage to Christ. Verses 7-25 are an excursus, probing whether the Law was sinful or good. Even though it was good, it has become the messenger of death because, it pointed out sin. So then, chapter 8:1 picks up the discussion prior to that.

He announces in verse 1 thus:  Therefore, there is now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  The term  condemnation  according to Apostle Paul means an ultimate condemnation unto sin, and not merely defeat in the spiritual life. This is why the reference must go back beyond the discussion of the spiritual struggle. This is a matter of redemption. If people are  in Christ,  that is, true believers, identified with Christ by faith, there is no condemnation for them. God cannot condemn and will not condemn those who are  in Christ,  because He condemned Christ on their behalf.

The reason for our freedom from condemnation is expressed in verse 2: the law of the Spirit of life set us free. This is not a reference to the Law, but to the new principle which operates with the rigid nature of the law (a fixed principle). By coming to faith in Christ, we have received the Holy Spirit; and that Spirit produces life, whereas the Law produced death. So, we have been set free; it has been accomplished, we do not have to strive to get freedom, but rather stand in the freedom that has been given to us.

 

Paul goes into some detail to show that this is not an enslavement to fear at all; rather, it is an adoption, because we have received the  Spirit of adoption  or literally the Spirit who makes us sons (not slaves). By this Spirit, then, believers can cry, Abba Father. The cry refers to calling on the Lord in prayer, following the teaching of Jesus to use the term  Our Father.  The term  adoption  works much like the term  justification  in these writings. They are both declarative and forensic. Adoption, like justification, bestows an objective standing; it is a pronouncement that is not repeated. It has permanent validity. Paul is probably drawing upon Roman law of adoption both here and in Galatians 4:5. So, the believers are called both  sons  and  children  without any appreciable distinctions, other than that, son refers to legal standing and children to family relationship.

 

With the introduction of the aspect of sharing in the suffering of Christ, the Apostle now turns his attention to the glorious provisions for the future. He first dealt with the assured hope of the future glory (vv. 18-25), then the confidence that one has a strong advocate in prayer (vv. 26,27), then the certainty that all is well because, it is in the Father s will and plan (vv. 28-34). Finally, the confidence that nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus (vv.35-39).

 

Paul compared the glorious future that lies ahead for us as believers after we might have greatly suffered in this life. That light and temporal circumstances we are to face while defending our faith is light indeed. Paul enlarges the discussion to the whole of creation, which he personifies to be groaning for the great day of redemption. Until that time, there is only frustration, a perfect term for the effects of the curse, because nothing has been able to fulfill its capabilities or achieve perfection under sin. So, the creation longs to share the glorious freedom of the children of God; a freedom that liberates them also from the bondage of decay. According to verse 22, the suffering of creation is both a result and a prophecy; a result of the curse of sin, but a prophecy of a new age that is coming (hence the idea of birth). Christ Himself spoke of the renewing of the world as a rebirth (Mt. 19:28).

Paul then parallels the creation and the saints in two ways: they both groan and they both wait eagerly for the new era, and in answer to the idea of the transforming of the earth, Paul looks forward to the  redemption of our bodies.  Only the people of God have the first fruits of the Spirit, the seal or pledge or down payment toward that complete renewal. In 1 Corinthians 15:44, Paul describes that finished product of redemption as a spiritual body. The future resurrection will be the full harvest. Our bodies will be something like that of the glorified Christ (Phil. 3:20, 21). So what Paul is dealing with here is the anticipation of glorification, the final process of salvation when adoption, redemption and sanctification will be complete.

Here, then, is the emphasis on hope, the hope does not call into question our salvation; rather, Paul affirms that in this hope, we were saved. The point is that, since an element of our redemption is held in reserve, the redemption of the body, we have a legitimate exercise of hope. If hardships and sufferings come, then patient endurance will be the aspect of hope that we have in the faith. But the pilgrimage is inspired by the sure hope of glory.

 

Matthew Henry s Commentary explains Romans 8:37 thus:

It is only through Christ that loved us, the merit of his death taking the sting out of all these troubles, the Spirit of his grace strengthening us, and enabling us to bear them with holy courage and constancy and coming in with special comforts and supports. Thus, we are conquerors, not in our own strength, but in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. We are conquerors by virtue of our interest in Christ s victory. He hath overcome the world for us (Jn. 16:33), both the good things and the evil things of it; so that we have nothing to do, but to pursue the victory, and to divide the spoil, and so we are more than conquerors.

 

John Pipper says  A conqueror defeats his enemy, but one who is more than a conqueror subjugates his enemy. A conqueror nullifies the purpose of his enemy; one who is more than a conqueror makes the enemy serve his own purposes. A conqueror strikes down his foe; one who is more than a conqueror makes his foe his slave.

 

We may therefore wrongly think that victory depends upon getting out of impossible situations, but rather it is the fact that we are already  more than conquerors  even while we are in the midst of the impossibilities.  We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us,  means our victorious position in any situation is not circumstantial. It is relational. We are united by faith to the victorious one, the Lord Jesus Christ, as it is written thus: …but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).

 

In all things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. We are therefore convinced that neither death nor life, neither Angels nor Demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus our Lord. John Gill s Exposition of the Bible posits that, not only do we have victory over sin and Satan, but over the world, afflictions, and persecutions in it. But, not only do we overcome, but better off and stronger for it. Therefore, not only are we conquerors with victory over sin, Satan and over the world but even over afflictions, persecutions, and trials. We are more than conquerors because we can glory in the struggles and persecutions, because our faith and joy can increase as a result of this, since by the blood of Jesus Christ we already have the victory, but we experience even more victory when God uses our hardships and turn it around for His good. 

 

In verse 26, 27, Paul says the final work of the Holy Spirit mentioned in this chapter is intercession. The section is introduced with  in the same way  which seems to link the theme with the hope discussed above. This also will bring great comfort in times of distress. Paul s mention of  weakness  or  infirmity  probably has a broad reference to the many aspects of human weakness that he has been discussing in previous chapters of the book. So, when it comes to prayer, he affirms that we do not even know what we should pray (that is, the content of the prayers).  But in contrast to this frustration is the joyful news that  the Spirit helps us.

The only other place where this New Testament word occurs is when Martha wanted her sister to help her (Luke 10:40). The implication of the word  help  is that we still will be doing our part, praying. This needs to be stated since everything else in these verses will be talking about the Spirit. But as we pray, in the background and often unknown to us, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. The groaning of the Spirit might seem to us to be unintelligible prayers; but God is no stranger to the intent of the Spirit, especially since the groaning are in complete harmony with the divine will.

 

By these groaning, the Lord hears what we ourselves could not have told Him, so that He will accept what He Himself has to offer.

These verses 28-34 provide great comfort for the saints as they face the difficulties and challenges of this life. The referent of  all things  is probably in Paul s mind, those things that are adverse but are turned around for good by the sovereign operation of God. The idea of  good  is left general but must be taken to mean in conformity to the Son. The beneficiaries are those who love God and are called according to His purpose. The call is then explained in terms of foreknowledge and predestination.  Foreknowledge  does not mean advance awareness or knowledge, but refers to God s choice, his electing decision. This is clear in 1 Peter 1:20. But God s calling is not haphazard, or cold or formal; rather, it is filled with the warmth of God s love, as the Hebrew word for  know  makes clear. The emphasis on God s calling precludes any possibility of human merit as entering the decision.

 

The process of God s working out His purpose for us is laid out in verse 30: predestined, called, justified, glorified. They are all written in the past tense to stress the certainty of fulfillment, because He who has begun a good work will complete it. The use of tense is borrowed from Hebrew prophecy, which often writes in the past tense; it is as good as done because, in the mind of God it has been done. The verse reveals how glorious and majestic God is, and how our destiny is in His hands, from beginning to the end.

Paul s conclusion of this discussion (vv. 31-34) is that if God is for us, who can be against us? He tries to emphasise that God has not make empty promises. He has not started something He is unable to finish. He is fully aware of our sins and our failures. He has acted, and what He has done in Christ and through the Spirit constitutes all the proof we need that the glorification will be ours one day.

Finally, Paul raised the question of any conceivable contradiction between Christ s love for us and our suffering. His point is that suffering cannot separate us from the love of God. Separation through suffering is no more thinkable than the idea that, the Father ceased loving the Son through the agony on the cross. It all has a purpose; our suffering is a part of our identification with Christ.

Paul was therefore calling on the Roman Church to be ready to suffer with Christ in order that we may also be glorified with Him (Romans 8:17). The assumption is that, if they choose to walk in God s way, they will experience at least some suffering just as Jesus did. He left as an example that, they and all Christians must follow in His steps (1Peter 2:20-21).  All these things are the sufferings Apostle Paul was taking about. He also talks about the personal hardships and difficulties (all these things) he has faced in his life and ministry (Romans 8:35), which included: Tribulation, meaning  pressure , Distress, meaning anguish, Persecution which includes marginalization or hardship because of our Christian faith, Famine meaning lack of food, Nakedness meaning lack of clothing or nudity (we can also imagine it to include any sense of shame), Peril meaning  danger and Sword meaning war, or possibly judicial punishment.

Paul himself has experienced all these things in one way or another (2 Corinthians 11:23–29). Yet, he concluded that we are more than conquerors, not because we escaped tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and sword. We are more than conquerors because we endure them all through faith in the Conqueror, knowing that nothing can separate us from his love.  For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith.   He felt we conquer when we love him more than our lives and choose his sustaining presence in the suffering over the comforts of worldly ease.  And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death  (Revelation 12:11). The trials are not a sign that God has let us go or that we are less than a conqueror. The trials are the opportunity to conquer. When we love Jesus and believe He is reliable to hold on to, even when all earthly evidence says He has let go, we have conquered with Christ.

Exegetical Discourse

Therefore, the Greek word used for  we are more than conquerors  here is a single word  hypernicōmen , an inflected form of  hypernicaō . The verb is composed of the basic verb  nicaō,  conquer  with the prefix  hyper -,  over ,  beyond  added to it. The idea appears to be that this is an absolute conquest. We are not just defeating tribulation as a boxer  might  be defeated, only to have to go another round with them later; we are not just defeating tribulation as we might defeat a nation, only to have the citizens turn and rebel against us again; this defeat will be overwhelming and final, so 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  (Romans 8:38-39).

Paul saying that we are more than conquerors in Romans 8:37 meant that we are  super conquerors  as that is a more accurate translation of the Greek word  Hupernikao  used in the context. This, as Paul says, is through Jesus Christ. Being a more than conqueror is different from being a regular conqueror. A more than conqueror is a person who never fights his battles but is still a victor because God fights all his battles for him! So, we do not worry if our battles seem too big, because God is the one fighting them for us. We are to see every challenge and tough situation or problems as an opportunity to glorify God. We should not feel threatened by them. We are conquerors by faith and love. We are more than conquerors because our God is a more than enough God; He is bigger than every mountain and bigger than all our problems. Revelations 20:10 says that, the Devil is an already defeated foe and we are much bigger than he ever was. So, we have nothing to fear!

Romans 8:37 says  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us . Paul teaches in Romans 8:37 that the Christian is overwhelmingly victorious in the midst of every category of undeserved suffering in life through Christ who loved him.  Nay ,  But  or  Yet  is the adversative use of the conjunction which introduces a conclusion that is in total contrast to what might be expected as a conclusion from Paul s statements in Romans 8:35-36. In Romans 8:35, Paul assures his Christian readers in Rome that no category of suffering in life could ever separate them from Christ s love for them. He uses a rhetorical question that demands a negative response from his readers, namely; no suffering can ever separate the Christian from Christ s love for them. Paul lists the common troubles that Christians meet, and he interrogates them one by one,  Shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword?  (v.35).  Tribulation  means,  adversity  and is used in a general and figurative sense in relation to the intense outward pressure or extreme adversity caused by people or circumstances that the Christian will at times experience in life.  Distress  means,  anguish  and is used in a general and figurative sense in relation to the intense mental pressure or extreme anguish caused by people or circumstances that the Christian will at times experience in life.  Persecution  denotes suffering or pressure, mental, moral, or physical, which authorities, individuals, or people inflict on others, especially for opinions or beliefs, with a view to their subjection by recantation, silencing, or, as a last resort, execution.  Famine  refers to the widespread lack of food over a considerable period and resulting in hunger for many people.  Nakedness  is used in a literal sense and means to be destitute of convenient or decent clothing because of having no means to purchase or make any.  Peril  means,  danger  and refers to the dangerous and life-threatening circumstances that a Christian might experience during his life as a Christian.  Sword  is used in a figurative sense for capital punishment. In Romans 8:36, Paul cites Psalm 44:22 to remind his readers that they should not be surprised if they suffer martyrdom.

Romans 8:37 presents a statement that is a strong contrast to what might be expected as a conclusion from the statements in verses 35-36. Paul is saying that it could be concluded from the statements in verses 35-36 that the Christian is overcome and separated from Christ s love by these seven categories of undeserved suffering.  But on the contrary  the Christian overcomes this suffering through Christ who loved him. We see Paul asking this question,  who can separate us from the love of Christ?  It is important to also take notice of the answer he provides in verse 37. What we notice from his response is that, rather than simply saying, no such things can separate us from the love of God, he says  Yet in all these things  meaning that while we are amid our distress, while we are encircled by our enemies, while we feel hopeless, in the midst of all of this, he says we are more than conquerors.

 

Paul teaches that it is the union and identification with Christ that gives the Christian the capacity to endure these various categories of undeserved suffering, and in fact prosper spiritually because of them. These verses are the conclusion of the answer to the question raised at the beginning of the paragraph,  What, then, shall we say in response to this?  (v.31). The chapter is hinged on the security and blessedness of the Christian life as experienced by the children of God loved by God their Father. His love has adopted them as sons. His love is working all things together for their good. His love has foreordained that they will be conformed to the likeness of God s Son. His love will call and justify and glorify them. God has committed his Son and his Spirit and his attributes of omnipotence and love to ensure that every promise he has made will be fulfilled. All of God is for all of us. No one dare condemn those whose condemnation has been taken away by Christ.

 

Then Paul comes to the very last question of all: if all these things are true, if we are loved in all these ways, to this measure and extent, if all this is so then,  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  We can be separated from so much else, but if all these things that Paul has said are true then what power or person or spiritual force or providence can cut the golden chain that joins us to Christ s love? Here in the text before us, Paul develops this great theme to the end of the chapter, the theme of the constancy and the invincibility of the love of God in Christ for us, and he exhausts all the various forces that threaten that love right down to the end of this chapter. He interrogates them all, one by one, and asks whether they can separate us from the love of Christ. He concludes that nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ and in every one of these things we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

To be more than conquerors means we face the trials of life with the certainty that we are going to be victorious because we are not alone, and we have a mighty Father who fights for us. We approach the darkest valleys with confidence knowing that nothing can happen to us that is not permitted by our loving Father and we know that whatever He permits is for our good. This does not mean we do not have battles; we do. But it means we are more than conquerors because the battle belongs to the Lord. If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him give us all things? (Romans 8:31). We speak of being conquerors based on God s declaration concerning us in 1 John 4:4, which says that we have overcome them because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

 

Furthermore, we have the confidence to confront our enemies because God assures us in Romans 8:31 that if He is for us, no one can successfully stand against us. Indeed, regardless of the challenges we face in life, we are more than conquerors through the love of Jesus (Romans 8:36-37). Obviously, Jesus is the ultimate conqueror and overcomer. He fought for us, and through His conquest, we are more than conquerors, having obtained victory over the devil without having to fight him. The Bible records many examples of winners and conquerors, but the greatest of them all is our Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 2:15 says,  Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it . When Jesus died, he went to hell, where He captured the devil and freed the captives. He paraded the devil and his cohorts in an open show of shame, confirming His supremacy over the kingdom of darkness. 

No matter how hopeless your situation may be or the fierceness of the battle against you, your enemies will be disgraced, and you will be victorious, in Jesus  name. Not only are we conquerors with victory over sin and Satan but over the world, over afflictions, persecutions, and trials. We are  more  because we can glory in the struggles and persecutions because our faith and joy can increase as a result. By the blood of Jesus Christ, we already have the victory, but we experience even more victory when God uses our hardships to turn it around for His good. Life is a battlefield and not a playground; the greater your mantle, the greater your battle; the higher your flight, the tougher the fight. The battles of life, many times, do not give notice. Whether you are ready to fight or not, fight will look for you. That was why the devil fought to kill Moses and our Master Jesus even as infants. But who can hurt whom God has hidden? So, in Christ Jesus, victory is guaranteed in the battles of life. 1 John 5:4 says:  For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

As Christians, we are soldiers in God s army. We have before us the task of pulling down the strongholds. Remember what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:4:  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.  Who exactly are these enemies we are warring against? There is a three-fold enemy going against us: the world, the flesh, and the devil. We have our own flesh wanting our old life back. We have the world trying to drag us back. And we have the devil making sure it all goes according to his plan. We are fighting against our old nature, the devil, and this world, not the physical globe but this depraved society that is separated from God. The world system and all its trappings are our enemies. The world is anti-God. What do you do, having identified the enemies of your soul? You must fight the good fight of faith. Paul told Timothy:  Fight the good fight of faith.  (I Timothy 6:12). 

 

Contextualization

There is no way for us to avoid the challenges and the perils of life; we cannot even try to stop their blustering and threatening. We cannot pretend that they are not there, those things that seem intent on separating us from the love of God and obscuring our sense of His love for us. There is no denying the fact that, sometimes they place us under tremendous stress. We know that they seem to imperil our souls and affect our health of body and mind. They come crashing into our lives and they can seem to be all powerful. We cannot evade their full-frontal attacks, but we know that there is only one way to the Celestial City and that is through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. But in those trials, and through the Valley we shall be more than conquerors.

In John 10:27–29, Jesus said,  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father s hand.  So, to be more than conquerors means we face the trials of life with the certainty that we are not alone. We have a mighty Father who fights for us. We approach the darkest valleys with confidence, knowing that nothing can happen to us that is not permitted by our loving Father for our good (Psalm 23:4; Romans 8:28). We have His promise of eternal life (John 3:16; Titus 1:2; 1 John 5:11) and the presence of Almighty God every moment of every day until we see Him face to face (Psalm 139:7–12; Deuteronomy 31:8; Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20). No sin of ours and no attempt of the enemy can steal the loving care of God from our lives, and that makes us more than conquerors through Christ who loves us.

Although, we all experience pressure in our lives, including pressure in the family, in relationships, in the extended family, in the workplace, with people who perhaps have strong anti-Christian views. We all experience anguish; for example, the death of a loved one, financial problems, ill-health, unemployment, sleep problems, etc. We all experience persecution of all sorts, lack of some basic and necessary human wants, such as: food, clothing, housing, etc. Also, our nation is currently faced with insecurity, economic downturn and the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, but in all of these things, we are more than conqueror not in our own strength, but through Him who loved us with an everlasting love.  Jesus Christ is the one who died for us, more than that, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God who indeed is interceding for us (Romans 8:34). Therefore, just like Apostle Paul, we are convinced that there is absolutely nothing in heaven or on earth able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39).

We are children of God, greatly loved by Him and  can do all things through Him who gives us strength  (Phil 4:13). We must believe in what God says about us. We must know who we are in Christ. 1 John 5:4 says  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  If we face life situations with a faithless mindset, we have already lost the battle in our mind before we even lift our hands to fight. That was what happened to the soldiers of Israel when they saw the giant Goliath and heard what he said (cf. 1 Sam 17). They felt weak and terrified. The battle starts to victory and conquering start in the mind. We need to gain control over our mind and feed it with the truths of God s Word, else damaging thoughts will take over. Wrong thoughts in our minds instill fears and rob us from victory.

The soldiers need to believe what God says, and not what their enemy says. We must fight with an attitude of reliance in God because He is not our last resort; He is the first we cry out to, 2 Cor 10:3-4 says,  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We have a strength that is not physical, not earthly, not of this world. It is the DIVINE POWER to demolish strongholds, the  power of God . Paul says,  If God is for us, who can be against us?  (Rom 8:3). Therefore, what we need is not human strength, wisdom, or skills. We need God in all the Challenges of our life and nation at large.

Also in 2 Cor. 4:7-9, Paul says  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  This is because we are  OVERCOMERS  through Christ who loved us, who dwells in us. That was Paul s experience, and this can be our experience today! Charles Spurgeon says it in an interesting way:  You look at man as he is, and what can he do? He can do nothing!  But look at man with God in Him and I will reverse the question:  What can he not do?  And so, brethren, as believers and children of God, we must face life s challenges with FAITH and a complete RELIANCE upon God in a time like this

Who shall separate us from the love of God?  Shall troubles, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword, or violence?  These may abound and some of us may be passing through them, let us know that often God allows these to come.  They are not meant to destroy us but to burn off the chaff in our lives and bring focus on the things that matter with God.  These may very often be part of our calling in following Jesus for we may be like lamb counted for the slaughter for the sake of Jesus Christ.  Shall we then turn away from following Jesus because of persecution, trials and afflictions, and hunger?  No, we must refuse to surrender to the scheme of the devil and worldly powers and system.

 

Different Types of Enemies

Satan is our adversary, and He always wages war against us. He sends all kinds of life-defeating, joy-stealing attacks to threaten the well-being and faith of God s children and this is why he is called the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10). Many of those attacks are listed in Romans 8:35–39 which includes trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, and sword to mention a few. Paul is therefore encouraging us to stand firm in our faith when those attacks come, reminding us that not only will we win in the end, but Jesus enables us to win now. Satan lacks the power to steal our eternal destiny, and he cannot separate us from the love of God right now. If we are His children through faith in His Son, then we have His pledge of love and protection.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:37-39).

 

The issue is that there is a raging battle and warfare, and we need to identify the Enemy and the contention we are engaging in or that is confronting us. Wherever the word  Nike ,  Nikao , or  Nikos  is used, the enemy is clearly identified, and it is a definite victory. There are various kinds of enemies. They are as follows:

  1. Satan

        The number one enemy is Satan, the Devil. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour (1Peter 5:8). Then,  He who sins, is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning.  For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil  (1 John 3:8).

                                                                                                                                 

  1. Principalities and Powers of Darkness

The next on the devilish hierarchy are the principalities, powers, world rulers of the kingdom of darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. The same way we have Angels operate in their respective hierarchy, so we have demons operating in their hierarchy. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).

 

  1. Human Satanic Agents

There are also human beings who have been initiated and dedicated as satanic agents in this world. They can be among our relations and friends. Remember how Joseph s brothers turned to enemies. Judas Iscariot, one of the disciples, friends and a close associate of Jesus betrayed his Master.

 

  1. Sin and Oppression

Other manifestations of the enemy are sin, death, sickness, attacks, and destructions.  The devil can target a person as he did to Job and afflict him to destroy him.  Jesus calls the evil one  the thief,  as He said, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10). When Jesus Christ gives life, it is eternal and surpassingly abundant, when He gives victory, it is surpassing victory.  When He heals it is complete all-round-wholesomeness.

 

  1. Flesh/ Oneself / Yourself and Carnality

      A person can become one s self s personal enemy. How? Through disobedience to divine instruction; habitual sinful life; carelessness and recklessness. Plato says, The first and best Victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self, is of all things, the most shameful and vile. Suffering, trials, pains, insecurity, and devastations surround us.  At every interception of life, we are confronted by poverty and oppression economically, socially, physically and a decaying societal norms and morality.  We have not fared better in the Church.  It seems that increasingly, people are keener on what they can get than what they can give.  Paul, speaking to the Elders of the Church in Ephesus confronted this same tendency when he said  I have shown you in every way, by labouring like this, that you must support the weak .  And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, it is more blessed to give than to receive.

 

The pursuit of selfish gains, greed and self-glory and self-perpetuation have brought corruption in the handling of the Word of God and service to God and God s people. One of the vicious enemies to contend against is the flesh and the alluring of the world.  We live in times in which holiness of life, purity of thought and action and life intentionally dedicated to God is an exceedingly rare commodity. The disconnection between what we say and what we do is so loud that the power of the Gospel is beclouded. This is a big enemy of the church and the gospel!

 

Three Other Kinds of Enemies                  

  1. Indecision
  2. Doubt
  3. Fear

These unholy trio are closely related; where one is found the other two are close at hand. The first two blend and they become fear. These three enemies are extremely dangerous. They breed laziness, bitterness, and wickedness. They are the real enemy of progress. The enemy called average - complacency. Oga ta o, oga o ta o, owo alaru a pe; meaning: Whether there is business or not, the boss must pay the labourer s wage. Most time, they are busy, but you always see them resting after laziness. This is an I-don t-care attitude which is the major reason for failure, poverty, stagnancy, and stagnation in life. Such people eventually become unproductive and unprofitable to themselves and their organisation. You should not be surprised to see that attitude even in the church among some clergy. It is quite common in African society. You may now need to analyse yourself carefully through personal examination and then determine to set yourself free from all kinds of enemies and bondage.

 

The Weapons of Conquest

 

  1. Faith and Fearlessness

      Faith is the greatest force in the world. Faith is the basis for all miracles and breakthrough in life. Faith is the essence and anchor of Christianity. When faith in God is absolute, results become inevitable.  Fear is a thief and a robber that has robbed great men of their great destinies. It brings a glorious future to naught. It holds kings captive. The man who will conquer is the one who will not be afraid. Fearlessness is the conqueror s backbone for exploits and achievements (2 Chronicles 20:15b). Fear leads to destruction. It takes one to the depth of hardship and frustration. 2 Timothy 1:7 says,  For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind . Elijah was a great man of God, known for his fearlessness; King David was a fearless warrior who knew no fear and he conquered. We saw how Goliath and the host of the Philistines fell into his hands because of his fearless stance. Fear is a spirit, and it does no good to anyone. So, resist it and you will prevail in every circumstance of life. God has promised never to leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20). David knew His God and was constantly conscious of His presence. This eliminated fear from him, and he spoke out boldly: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me (Psalm 23:4). The valley of the shadow of death is one place greatly feared by men. Fear is the enemy of faith. Where there is fear, there is no faith.

      At new birth, every child of God is empowered with the armour of conquest, which enables you to disarm the devil and his demons, breaking their strongholds and taking territories for God.  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked  (Ephesians 6:16).  God is at work where faith is at work. Faith is key to pleasing/moving God into action (Heb. 11:6). The weapon you need to survive the challenging times such as we are in, is the weapon of faith. Faith must be released for desired results to be realized. The Bible admonishes us to fight the good fight of faith. Thus, faith is a principal aspect of the whole armour of God that we can engage for fighting and not for playing (1Timothy 6:12). Remember, we live in an embattled world. Most of our challenges in life are more than what we have the capacity to handle and there is no human capacity that can resist them except through the fight of faith. Violent faith requires bold declarations. That is why a closed mouth is a closed destiny (Luke 21:15). Jesus made it clear that, if you want to move a mountain, say it with your mouth and refuse to doubt it; it will move (Mark 11:23; Psalm 81:10).

  1. Confidence that God will give you victory.

      This is to be fully persuaded about the faithfulness of God and the integrity of His Word, the prevailing circumstances notwithstanding. It is to be fully persuaded that God is who He says He is and can do whatever He says. You live with confidence that God loves you no matter what and He will never leave you nor forsake you. As you fight the good fight, you must know that God will give you victory. The weapon of fearless courage/boldness must be activated in your life (Psa. 27:1-6; Judg. 7:3). David said concerning Goliath, in 1 Samuel 17:9,  If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us . These are bold words David is speaking.  He was not fighting this battle in his own strength; he knew in his heart that God would give him the victory. It is making your boast in God against the circumstances confronting you. With confidence, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said to king Nebuchadnezzar that our God whom we serve can deliver us and He will deliver us; even if He does not, we are super confident in Him and His Word and God showed up (Daniel 3:17).

      Consider Jeremiah 1:19  They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you, declares the Lord . 2 Corinthians 2:14 says,  Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place . Jesus took away the power of death, hell and the grave when He made an open show of the devil. Thus, we are conquerors, not in our own strength, but in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. We are conquerors by virtue of our interest in Christ s victory; He has overcome the world for us (John 16:33 ). With your confidence in God, you are sure to obtain the promise and arrive at what He has spoken (Hebrews 10:36). Remember that we are more than conquerors; God has given us the victory even before we are faced with any battle. Beloved, you need to possess this mindset and develop a habit of thanksgiving for the victory He has obtained for you through Christ Jesus and for every unseen battle He constantly fights and wins for you.

  1. Obedience to Divine Instructions

      Divine instructions are very vital in the accomplishment of any task. The man that will conquer and be more than conquerors is the one who asks for and receives instructions from God. Listening to the voice of God leads to victory. One of the greatest secrets for David s outstanding success was his reliance on divine instructions. Every step he took was based on instructions he received from God (1 Sam. 30:8). He was a master at making enquiries and he took nothing for granted. In Jesus  ministry, He always listened to and obeyed the voice of the Father. He never did anything by Himself. He operated on divine signals. He knew the power of God is only manifested when one follows God s signals. Concerning Jesus, the Bible records:  …and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things  (John 8:28b). He acted on God s instructions, no wonder He was the Conqueror of conquerors. To what extent are you obeying the instructions of God? The inputs of God into a man s life will stop where his obedience to divine instruction stops. The widow in 2 Kings 4:1-7 went to Elisha and the prophet gave her some set of instructions: Go and borrow empty vessels, not a few; shut the door behind you and your sons and pour the oil into all the jars. She obeyed the instructions of the prophet and was blessed.

 

  1. Thinking like a Victor, not a Victim

      During challenges, stop allowing your mind to be sidetracked with victim thoughts like, instead, try thinking victorious thoughts. The limit of your thoughts determines the limit of results or possibility (Eph. 3:20; Prov. 23:7). You are not a victim but a victor; you are not a failure but a success. Declare what you desire (Job 22:28; Ps. 18:43-45; Isa. 43:26; 44:26; Luke 21:15). Your mind is one of the most powerful and creative tools that God has given you to shape your reality, influence your life and make you more than conquerors (Prov. 23:7). Whatever we focus on, we empower; if we focus on negative things, we empower negativity in our lives. Stop looking at what you see and start looking at what you can have (Phil. 4:13).

 

The devil is seeking people who will take on the role of a victim when he attacks, so that he can then devour them. The devil s only chance to devour believers is if we stop believing, laying down the truth that we have the victory in Christ, and taking up the lie that we are victims. If we think of ourselves as victims, we become victims and give the devil opportunity to devour us; not because he is so mighty, but because we have chosen to lay down our power by exchanging our overcomer s identity in Christ for a victim identity in our current circumstances. Instead, if we choose to fill our minds with the truth that we are victorious in Christ, who has done all and won all, we will see that victory made manifest. Jesus said  … I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you  (Luke 10:19). This is what makes us a victor and not a victim and thus gives us the confident that we are more than conquerors in all battles of the enemy.

 

      Twelve spies were sent by Moses to the Promised Land. Ten were giant-conscious and two were God-conscious. You must major on the opportunities, not the obstacles. Losers talk like victims; winners talk like victors (Numbers 13; 14). Daniel is one of the greatest champions of the Old Testament. He was besieged, captured, trafficked, persecuted, attacked, thrown to the lions, mocked and yet despite being victimized in a variety of ways, Daniel refused to be a victim. We see one of the keys to this in Daniel 1:8; he made up his mind not to be a prisoner of bitterness and offense. He made up his mind to have faith in God, no matter what. The way Daniel chose to think about the situations he found himself in, made all the difference in his life. Instead of being a victim, he was a victor. Instead of suffering all his days, he prospered and succeeded. He faced many challenges and difficulties, but by always trusting in the goodness of God and the truth of His Word, Daniel saw the blessing, provision, and protection of the Lord all his days. Daniel did not let his circumstances influence how he thought about God; he let how he thought about God influence his circumstances. 

 

  1. The Weapon of Praise 

      The one sure way of bringing down and always carrying God s presence to our battle fields is through praises offered from a holy life (Psa. 22:3). Praises to God bring down His presence and makes Him to show His omnipotence and unlimited power. When we live holy lives and fill our lives with praises, we fill our lives with God s presence which is greater and higher than all the battles and challenges of our lives (Neh. 8:10; Hab. 3:18-19; Prov. 24:10; Josh. 6:20; 2 Chron. 20:22-24). Do you want your enemies silenced, do you want God to go before you, fight all your battles and make you a victor, then lay down your garment of complain, worry, fear, doubt and unbelief and engage the weapon of praise. 

 

      In 2 Chronicles 20, we read of a battle where God s people were more than conquerors. The Moabites, Ammonites, and others with them besides the Ammonites came to battle against Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was afraid, just as we can be afraid when we are faced with troubles.  Jehoshaphat sought the Lord, and all the people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:3-4). Then Jehoshaphat prayed, then Jehoshaphat and the people waited, and God gave a Word through the prophet Jahaziel:  Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours but God s. … You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you…  Praise became their weapon of war which gave them victory and made them more than conquerors. God brought about a great victory. God gave victory to them without having to fight. This is what it means to be more than conquerors. In the book of Joshua, the Israelites were confronted by the wall of Jericho; God told them to move round the wall once in a day for six days. On the seventh day, they moved round the wall seven times, and on the seventh, they shouted praise, and the wall came down (Joshua 6:20).

 

      In Acts 16:16-40, Paul and Silas were thrown into prison, in the midnight of their ordeal, they sang praises to God and He stepped in. The foundation of the prison was shaken, all the doors were opened, and everyman s chain was loosed. In response to praise, God stepped in and leveled their battles. Praise is a God-given weapon in our hands with which to humiliate the devil. It is an unbeatable weapon in the battles of life. We are created to bring pleasure to God. But only those who belong to God can touch Him by praise, because the sacrifice of a sinner is an abomination before God (Prov. 15:8). All the people that brought down the presence of God through praise in the bible were people of God. If you want God to accept your praise, and to come down for your help, you must first do away with sin. Give your life to Christ, and He will give you a new heart from which heavenly ordained praises can come (Acts 3:19).

 

  1. Remember who gives you the victory.

      1 Corinthians 15:57 in the Amplified Bible says:  But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory (making us conquerors) through our Lord Jesus Christ . Nothing will separate us from the love of Christ because Christ is alive and loves us. He is at the right hand of God and is interceding for us, which means he is seeing to it that his finished work of redemption does in fact save us and bring us safe to eternal joy (Rom. 8:34). His love is not a memory. It is a moment-by-moment action of the omnipotent, living Son of God, to bring us to everlasting joy.

 

Keys to Being More than a Conqueror.

We know that we are victors and conquerors through the blood of Christ. From all the aforesaid above, we can boldly state that, we have been vindicated and justified by what Christ has done for us. His grace is sufficient for us and his power is perfected in our weaknesses (2 Cor. 12:9).  The question therefore remains, how do we consistently live in the victory provided for us in Christ?

 

The major ways we can always be conquerors is through our faith and obedience.  For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith.  (1 John 5:4). Faith believes in God as our Savior and Lord.  Faith rests on the fact that God is in control and we are not.  It trusts God in everything.  We get faith from the Holy Spirit and through reading the Bible.  Faith in God is our victory over any situation.  It does not take the situation away, but it gives us the victory in our hearts.  You see, the battle is always won and lost in our heart.   While on obedience, Romans 6:17 says  But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.   When we obey God from the heart, we often put God in charge of our lives. Obedience is giving someone else the authority they deserve.  When you follow the teaching of the Bible and obey it, we allow God to be in charge of your lives.

 

Also, as believers, our mind is a major factor in determining our victory and being more than conquerors. Our minds when given over to the Holy Spirit bring the life of Jesus to bear upon our natural and spiritual lives.  Rom 8:5-6 says  Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace . Other things we can also do to remain more than conqueror are:

 

  1. Watching our Focus

  Whatever we focus on, we empower.  If we focus on negative things, we empower negativity in our lives. If we focus on selfish and carnal things, we empower our fallen nature. If we murmur, complain, and focus on how unfair everything seems to be in a difficult situation, we are not helping resolve the issue. Instead, we are empowering more frustration, anger, bitterness, disappointment, and injustice in our lives. If we choose to focus on the positive of Kingdom truth, however, then we empower the love, light, and life of Jesus to fill us and flow through us. 

 

It is therefore our obligations as believers to let Christ rule our heart and mind. Paul states that, Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report…think on these things (Philippians 4:8). Paul wrote this from prison. He was locked up in awful conditions, not sure if he would live or die. Yet he wrote again and again about things like joy, rejoicing, eager expectation, the privilege of walking with Christ, hope, confidence, and peace. Near the end of his letter, he shared how this is all possible: by choosing what we focus on. By deciding what we think about, by filling our mind with thoughts that are  true…honest…pure…lovely…good.

 

  1. Being Heavenly Conscious Always

In Paul s epistle to the Colossians, Paul again talks about the importance of what we allow our mind be filled with. He says  Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth  (Colossians 3:1–2).

 

We are new creations in Christ, and the old things have passed away, including the old ways of thinking (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are not to dwell on the things of this fallen world anymore. We are not to allow our mind to be mired in fear, doubt, frustration, anger, lack, depression, self-pity, anxiety, worry or anything else that does not line up with the truth that Jesus has fully restored us to relationship with our heavenly Father and His Kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:18). The more we allow our minds and our thoughts to be filled with these truths, the more we will see them made manifest in our lives but when we allow fear rules us, then it takes effect in us, just as Job said  for the things I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me (Job 3:25).

 

  1. Making up our mind to serve God

The bible says  Daniel made up his mind not to defile himself.  (Daniel 1:8). He made up his mind not to be defiled by the situation that had been forced on him. He made up his mind not to partake of the things of that place and those people, because he knew they were not good for him. He made up his mind not to be a prisoner of bitterness and offense. He made up his mind to have power over himself, even if he did not always have power over his circumstances. He made up his mind to have faith in God, no matter what.

 

Joshua also did likewise when he declared that he and his household will serve the Lord (Josh. 24:15), which was our Diocesan theme some years ago. Joshua made it clear that for him and his house, serving God was total and complete, regardless of the difficulties involved. We are to hold on to God who has declared that His purpose of saving us is to be able to serve Him without fear and in holiness all the days of our lives (Luke 1: 74, 75).

 

  1. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead us

Being led by the spirit of God is dependent on our submission to him. Rom 8:14 says, for as many that are led by the spirit are the sons of God. This gives us the clear fact that we are to always let the Spirit of God lead us to victory. Through His prompting, we can only overcome and thereby declaring ourselves conquerors. Jesus Christ our Lord is being lifted before our own eyes as God s Ultimate and pre-eminent Victory over Satan and his agents and devices, over sin and every corruption, over sickness and oppression and affliction. In Christ Jesus, we are more than Conquerors.  Jesus Christ has never changed.  God still desires holiness and sanctified life from His sons and daughters.

 

We have victory over sin and death in Jesus Christ.  And may there be the shout of victory  I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord . Overwhelming victory comes by total commitment to Jesus Christ.  Jesus looks into our eyes and say to you and me If anyone desires to come after Me, let him / her deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save… (Luke 9:23-24). May we so encounter Jesus Christ afresh that our old man of sin will be crucified, and the New man of righteousness will come alive, so that we shall live in Victory. The strength to live to please God can only come from the Holy Spirit. We can be more than conquerors over the flesh and the alluring pleasures of the world through walking in the Spirit. I say then:  Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

 

  1. Victory Through His Blood

It could be that the enemy may bring charge and accusations and attacks against us as he did to Job.  Even then God has justified the believer by Christ Jesus.  Christ is our Mediator and Intercessor: He will speak for us.  His blood speaks better things that the blood of Abel.  Apart from Jesus we are condemnable, and stand condemned because of sin.  But because of Jesus who is it that condemns?  Jesus Christ died. Rose up on the third day, He is exalted, and He intercedes for us.  He paid the price for our offenses.  Justice demands that a man shall not suffer twice for an offence he has been penalized.  Jesus paid it all and cancelled our debt and nailed them to the Cross and triumphed over them.  On the Cross, Jesus cried out,  It is Finished .  We have victory through the precious blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross of Calvary. We are always covered and protected by His Mighty Blood.

 

Seven Ways to Conquer Enemies

  1. Recognise the fact that there are enemies and destruction in life. Then believe there is divine victory and protection for you. We have sufficient assurance in the following scriptures: Romans 8 verse 37, Psalm 91, 121, 23, 46 and so on.

 

  1. Do not run away from enemies. The righteous is as bold as lion. Read Hebrews 10:35, 1 Samuel 17:37-47, Jeremiah 1:19, Remember Sennacherib, King of Assyria and King Hezekiah. See also Colossians 2:14-15; James 4:7.

 

  1. Do not hire anybody to fight on your behalf. You do not need any prophets, prayer contractors, prayer warriors, Baba Aladura, spiritualists, or ritualists. Never get involved in river bath ritual or carrying some fruit or food provision to town junction, under tree or river side. It is a dangerous venture; please avoid it, (Jeremiah 17:5,6).

 

  1. If your enemy remains unrepentant and determined to destroy you, use dangerous prayer points aggressively to conquer and overcome her, (Psalm 56:9; Psalm 55:17). Use much more prayers in the name of Jesus Christ; apply the power of the blood of Jesus; call on the fire of Holy Ghost; invoke the power of resurrection and power of the cross of Christ. You should not die foolishly in the hands of your adversary!

 

  1. Use the armour of holiness - Ephes. 6:13-14; 1Thessalonians 4:3-7.

 

  1. Deploy the power of positive thinking and confession - Romans 10:10.

 

  1. Ignite the power of praising God. Let God fight the battle for you – 2 Chronicles 20:22,23.

 

Our Surpassing Victory.

Romans 8:31-39 is a great reminder that, God is on our side.  We are God s and He is ours.  He s not withholding anything from us but has given His Son to make us His own.  Jesus supports us and His victory is ours.  Nothing can separate us from God s love for us - it is present, it is real, and it is incredible. This is the significance of our super and abundant victory that is ours in Jesus.  We have been given everything we need in life: godliness, maturity, and success in God s Kingdom (2 Peter 1:3:11).  We must take care to guard our hearts and minds in Christ.  The good news is that God is committed to the transformation of our minds when our minds wander and conform to this world.

 

In all these things, in the face of these trials and afflictions we are surpassingly victorious. We are more than the Roman Imperial Army conquering territories.  We have all-round victory in Jesus Christ.  We have conquered the world and satanic forces.  We have victory that brings us into Eternal Life and inheritance. 

 

Therefore, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but have no power over the soul, but fear God who will destroy both the body and put the soul in hell fire. Do not fear the principalities and powers of this present darkness.  God has provided us with the armour of God to fight against them.

Therefore, child of God, take up / put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore… (Ephesians 6:13-18). Do not be afraid or be troubled concerning death.  Jesus Christ died and rose again and shall die no more, even so all who believe in Christ have overwhelming victory over death.  Jesus died and rose again that He shall be Lord over both the living and the dead.  When Jesus shall return in Glory at the sound of the trumpet, the believers in Christ shall be raised incorruptible, and we who are alive shall be changed.  We all shall be raptured.  When this corruptible put incorruption and this mortal put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written:  Death is swallowed up in Victory .  O Death, where is your sting, O Hades, where is your victory  (1 Corinthians 15:53-55).

 

Conclusion

To be more than Conquerors means we face the trials of life with the certainty that we are not alone. We have a mighty Father who fights for us. We approach the darkest valley with confidence, knowing that nothing can happen to us that is not permitted by our Good and Loving Father for our good (Psalm 23:4; Romans 8:28).

 

The world has been infiltrated by a pandemic. Lock-down was imposed in many parts of the world. Schools were closed. Travel was limited. Hospitals in some countries were overwhelmed by patients. Businesses were closed. People lost their jobs. In some countries church services have been banned or are being held with limited attendance. The enemy is unseen, a virus. In addition, there is high level of insecurity, banditry, kidnapping, insurgency, and various forms of criminality are witnessed daily; uncertainties have enveloped the land. Many things have and will continue to change in our everyday lives but those who are in Christ can be confident that we are still victors regardless of the outcomes. In times like these, when life seems to be very challenging, what are we to say of these things and how does Paul s writing help? God is not unaware nor is He uncertain of any outcome, yet all things are working towards the good of those who love Him.

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