Summary: Because of Christ's love, you are more than a conqueror of all of life's problems.
Have you ever witnessed a team getting beaten very badly? Just last month, in Major League Baseball, the White Sox lost to the Twins, 20-1. Can you imagine losing by that much? How would that feel? The most lopsided loss in modern baseball history was when the St. Louis Browns lost to the Boston Red Sox, 29-4. Ouch. That’s not just a loss. That’s a super-loss, a whooping, a thrashing.
What does it feel like to be on a team that loses that badly? Maybe some of you have experienced that sort of a feeling of losing. If you’ve ever been in a bowling league or a softball league or something like that – maybe some of you have experienced the agony of defeat.
No one likes that feeling of being a loser or a super-loser, getting beaten by a wide margin. Sometimes in life, we feel like we’re getting beaten badly. Have you ever had days where everything was just terrible? With the economy being difficult, maybe some of you have experienced bad financial days – a job loss, a cut in salary or hours. Less money, but more bills. You feel like you’re losing in your financial situation.
Or maybe it’s your health. You try to eat right and exercise a little. But the health problems continue. You feel like you’re losing. Or maybe it’s something else – relationships, family issues, difficulties at church. There are all kinds of things that happen in life – things that aren’t good – and sometimes those things make us feel like we’re losing in the game of life.
Are we losing? There are times when it’s very obvious that we are not the Church Triumphant but the Church Militant - we are people who are at war with the Devil – he does everything he can to make Christians unhappy. And the Devil has an ally, the world, and he uses the world to bring problems into our lives. And the Devil has another ally, someone on the inside – our sinful nature – and that sinful nature tempts us to sin, and those many sins that we commit often bring more problems into our lives. Are we losing to the Devil? Are we getting beaten badly by the world? Are we super-losers to our sinful nature?
God’s Word for today tells us that the opposite is true. Listen again to these words of God written by the Apostle Paul: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors.” Paul was writing about all the things that he and his brothers in Christ were facing. They had financial issues too, as they faced famine and nakedness. Local governments and city leaders were not being cooperative, and as a result they were facing hardship and persecution. Fellow Christians weren’t showing up to worship because they were dead – those first century Christians are described as sheep lining up to be slaughtered. In that first century, it looked like the Christians were on the losing side. The Devil was working hard on those Christians, doing all he could to make them miserable. From an observers point of view, it looked like it wasn’t even close. From all outward appearances, the Christians were receiving a thrashing from the Devil, and from the world, and even from their own sinful flesh.
But the Apostle Paul says, “No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors.” More than conquerors. The word “conqueror” in the original Greek Bible is actually the word “nike” or “Nee-kay.” In the original Greek, it means to be a winner. To be victorious. And not just victorious. The word in the Bible is “super victorious.” More than a conqueror, one level above being a winner.
How could Paul say that, with all the adversity that he and his fellow Christians were facing? How can we say that? The answer comes from the words that follow: “We are more than conquerors, through him who loved us.” It is through Jesus Christ, who loved us so much that he became one of us, and lived a perfect life for us. Through him, who loved us so much that he took all of our sins upon himself and died on a cross for us. Through him, who rose from the dead and ascended into heaven and intercedes for us because he loves us. Through him who loved us, we are more than conquerors as we face all of our earthly problems.
There is a unique aspect of Christ’s love that’s highlighted in this section of the Bible, and here it is... The love of Jesus Christ is something that is permanently attached to you. It is always on you, and there is nothing can separate you from that special love of Christ. I once heard someone compare the love of Christ to the shining of the sun. If you think about it, the sun is always shining, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, regardless of your circumstances. There are days when you can see the sun shining – the blue sky. And there are days when you can’t, depending on where you are. But even on a cloudy day, the sun is still there, still shining down upon our world, and upon you – just because you can’t see it or feel it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Even at night, the sun is still there shining down on our world. Obviously you can’t see it, because of the earth’s rotation. But it’s still there – it hasn’t gone away, regardless of your circumstances.