2015 January 4: More Than Conquerors

Many Christians are taught by speakers who do not know the truth to confirm their condition of being conquerors.  The confidence is built for years until they feel strongly that they truly are conquerors.  Of course the belief is based on Scripture, especially in Romans 8:37. This is a mistake. These Christians do not understand how to comprehend the Scriptures. Supposedly to understand the original meaning of a verse, we must carefully consider the context background of the verse. Romans 8:37 is not addressed to all Christians aimlessly.  It was intended only for the Roman congregation or the Christians who have such faithfulness as the Roman congregation.  Although they had lost everything for the sake of their faith in the Lord Jesus, they remained faithful. 

At that time the Christians in Rome suffered severe persecution from various societies, among others, from the Jews who think Christianity is a cult or false teaching and from the non-Jewish (the people of Rome) who heard the slander of a spokesman for the Roman empire that Christians had burnt the city of Rome and from the Roman empire who perceived Christianity as dangerous group due to having their own king or ruler, the Kyrios Jesus. The people experienced severe circumstances. Their citizenship was revoked, they were arrested to be jailed, were put in a cage of wild animal as bait, were burned alive even were crucified.  In the eyes of the community, Christians at that time were those who had lost, compared to the population of Rome whose wealth and honor were materially greater than theirs. 

Paul’s early letter containing that verse was intended only for the Romans who had faced severe persecution from the Roman Emperor in about year 57 AD. It was probable that this letter was written by Paul in Corinth a few years before Paul was beheaded by the Roman Empire.  Paul said that “we are more conquerors”. The word “we” in his writings were the Romans, including Paul himself.  Paul encouraged the congregation by saying that they were more than conquerors.  It is very naïve if Christians today who have no faithfulness like the Christians in Rome, resembling themselves to those in Rome by claiming themselves as conquerors.  Many Christians feel that they are already the conquerors while they never yet struggle appropriately to have a victory like the Roman congregation. 

Christians at that time were citizens of the oppressed, poor and in “persona non grata” right (not preferred). Their lives were always in danger. People who were hostile to them appeared as if they were victorious.  Of course with this condition Christians think of themselves as people who had “lost”.  But Paul affirmed that they, including Paul himself, were people who were more than conquerors.  More than conquerors, not won politically, financially, supremacy, outward appearance and everything earthly and materially, but more than the Romans in terms of having the Lord Jesus who would rule as King one day, loved by God so that nothing could separate them from His love.1 The Lord Jesus loved them by dying on the cross.  God’s attention further was real when they were allowed into persecution, so that through that circumstance they were shaped in order to be perfect like Jesus.  In the end they would be acknowledged to be glorified together with the Lord Jesus.

1) Romans 8: 33-39

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