Do you ever feel like you’ve heard something you always knew for the first time? This happens to me quite often. Sometimes it comes through a podcast, or a dinner conversation or at church. However it comes, I am always caught be surprise by my lack of previous insight. Most often, it is topics of a spiritual nature that bring me to this place. It recently happened again in a Sunday morning service at Christ Fellowship. Our Pastor, Greg DePriest, was sharing a bit about who the Bible says we are in Christ. Part of this included the phrase “more than conquerors.” I had heard this phrase many times. In fact, I memorized the full passage surrounding this phrase as a child. Prior to this morning, “more than conquerors” had simply meant something to the effect of “a really super-great conqueror.” My thoughts were, now quite obviously, shortsighted and completely unfocused. Greg helped me to see this by telling a story…
On June 28, 1997 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV, Evander Holyfield faced Mike Tyson in their second heavyweight battle. Not only was this a battle between two of the hardest punchers boxing has known; this is the fight where Holyfield lost a portion of his ear to the mouth of Tyson. In the end, Holyfield rose victorious. He was indeed a conqueror; and, given the opponent he defeated, I think most would say he was a super-duper conqueror. For his victory, Holyfield received a 33 million dollar payout. – Wow!
After the fight, Evander went home to his second wife – Janice Itson – and shared his winnings with her. She received the prize and didn’t even have to fight. While it is true that Holyfield is a conqueror, Janice is more than a conqueror.
I think this story more accurately reflects what Paul was trying to share with the Romans:
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? 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, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
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.