You’re ‘More than a Conquerer’
This past Sunday we considered what it meant to be a conquerer, but I wanted to share this helpful resource with you all to help us consider this more deeply from a Theological standpoint. I trust this will be helpful for your personal Bible study and encouragement this week.
Because of Jesus’s resurrection, all threats against you are tamed. Jesus conquered death, so death and evil aren’t the end of the story. You can have hope.
In Revelation, one of the key themes is conquering through suffering. The number of occurrences of the verb “to conquer” illustrates this (it appears 17 times). John describes amazing promises, addressing them specifically to those who “conquer”:
- “To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (2:7)
- “The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death” (2:11)
- “To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it” (2:17)
- “The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations” (2:26)
- “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels” (3:5)
- “The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name” (3:12)
- “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne” (3:21)
The One Who Conquered
How will these staggering promises come to pass? How will those who conquer do so amid affliction and persecution? How will they find strength to endure and overcome against all odds? The apostle gives the answer: They will conquer by looking in faith to the One who has already conquered:
And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain. (Rev. 5:5–6)
John describes Jesus as both the kingly lion and the meek lamb who has conquered all his and our enemies. He is “the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth,” and he’s also the One who “loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father” (Rev. 1:5–6).
We reign with him because he died and freed us and made us a kingdom for his glory.
This truth is meant to encourage you in the midst of suffering. We follow a crucified Redeemer who, by his death and resurrection, has triumphed. “Fear not,” Jesus tells us. “I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades” (Rev. 1:17–18).
This image of the conquering Christ prevailing through suffering is also meant to give you hope. In being united to him, you too will conquer as you look with eyes of faith to the One who has accomplished everything in your place. It is for this reason John writes: “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” (Rev. 12:11).
What Will He Not Do for Us Now?
This truth is meant to free you to breathe a sigh of relief and thanksgiving instead of despair. Because God’s plan is to never allow anything to separate you from his love, you can face the worst of the world’s uncertainties with confidence. As the apostle Paul declares:
What then shall we say 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 with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure 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. (Rom. 8:31–39)
No opposition. No accusation. No condemnation. No separation.
And since God refused to withhold his only Son, but gave him up for us all, he will most surely—without any doubt or possibility of failure—provide for you. As John Chrysostom (AD 347–407) observed:
The wonder is not only that God the Father gave his Son but that he did so in this way, by sacrificing the one he loved. It is astonishing that he gave the beloved for those who hated him. See how highly he honors us. If even when we hated him and were enemies he gave the beloved, what will he not do for us now?
Because God’s plan for you is so certain, you can face the most difficult circumstances, the most terrifying enemies, and the most devastating ordeals with confidence. You don’t merely survive your trials; you’re “more than a conqueror” because absolutely nothing will be able to separate you from God’s endless love in Christ.