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Devotional Thoughts The Bible tells us that if we are in Christ we are more than conquerors. Think about that phrase for a moment. We hear it quoted often. It seems we think of being more than conquerors in emotional terms. When we see tough times, we are facing a struggle, and we are feeling down we are reminded by well intentioned friends that we should rejoice because we are more than conquerors and as a result should be able easily to overcome these bad feelings. We just need to have a little faith, make positive confessions, and remind ourselves of this truth about who we are in Christ.
However, this verse, Romans 8:37, is seated in an immediate context that tells us that we are more than conquerors when facing death for our faith. Not struggles. Not trials. Not hard times. Death! And frankly, death makes a lot of things that happen in this life seem insignificant by comparison.
We must be reminded that Jesus conquered death and sin. His life of righteousness, imputed to us, and His obedient death, paying the penalty for our sin, has freed us. We know the Truth and the Truth indeed has made us free. Free from death. Free from the curse of the law. Free from the power of Satan. Free to overcome temptation. And free from the power of sin.
The Bible tells us that if we resist the devil he will flee from us (James 4:7), that if we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16), and that have been given the Armor of God so that we might stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph 6:11).
But wait a minute – if all this is true, why do we struggle so much with sin? Why are we tempted? Why do we fall so often and fail to overcome?
It is true that we are still living in fallen bodies and that this flesh is driven by lust (James 1:14). But it is also true that we are being redeemed and that we have been given the power, desire, and ability to stand firmly against temptation and sin. We are in fact more than conquerors. So why do we feel more like cowards than the conquerors that we are?
We find our answer in Ephesians 6:10. Here at the start of a study of The Whole Armor of God we begin by seeing that we are told to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” How? By believing what God has said in His Word – we are more than conquerors through Christ (Rom 8:37).
This little preposition is the key to answering our questions. We are more than conquerors through Christ. We can do all things through Christ (Phil 4:13). Our consolation abounds through Christ (2 Cor 1:5). We are heirs of God through Christ (Gal 4:7). And if we look closely we see in the Word of God this simple truth – Jesus says, “without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).
It is not that we do these things with Christ or for Christ. We do them through Christ. That means that it is not our ability, our power, or our accomplishment. It is Christ’s ability. It is His power. It is what He accomplishes through us. This is why we are told to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
How powerful is God? How mighty is He? He is all-powerful. Nothing for Him is impossible (Luke 18:27). He is all-mighty, in fact we shorten that to refer to Him by His attribute as a name, the Almighty God. There is nothing too hard for Him. Jesus lived a sinless life. He conquered sin and death. He has defeated Satan. And we, if we are to stand, must stand in His power and by His might.
If we depend upon ourselves what can we accomplish? On our own, our righteousness is worthless and filthy before God. But His righteousness and power are clean and right and pure. Without Him we can do nothing, but through Him we can do all things. If we need strength to stand against temptation and sin where will that strength come from? Let us not look at our own hearts, our own ability, or our own intellect. No. Let us look to Christ. Through Him we are more than conquerors.
Remember, we have been crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20). We died with Him and we live through Him. We are a new creation created in holiness and righteousness (2 Cor 5:17; Eph 4:24). And just as we were crucified with Him yet we are still very much alive. As Paul puts it:
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
If we are to stand against the wiles of the devil then we must stand in His might and by His power. It must be His ability – and He will provide for us so that through Him we can stand firm, resisting the devil and every desire to rebel against the Word of God. He will not put on us more than we can bear and He will provide for us a way of escape in every trial. That way of escape is through Christ.
As John MacArthur writes in his New Testament Commentary on Ephesians (p. 337):
The unprepared believer becomes the defeated believer who seeks to serve the Lord in his own wisdom and power. The strength of the Christian life is dependence on God, being strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Any other strength proves impotent.
When we lose our way, when we believe a lie, when we feel as though our lives are meaningless we hear His Words – “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). And it is through His power, His ability, and His might that we are enabled to live every day as more than conquerors.
Links for Further Study (links to study each daily topic in more detail if you have the desire and the time)