Big Brown is a colt that has won five races by a combined 39 lengths. Jockey Kent Desormeaux rode him to impressive win at the Kentucky Derby and didn’t even need to use his whip! If Big Brown wins at the Belmont Stakes on June 7, ’08, he will become the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 30 years.
What could be greater than achieving a victory? than being a winner? than being a conqueror? God’s amazing grace answers this question. Through radical Christ-centered living we can testify that “we are more than conquerors”! See how Scripture declares this astounding promise: “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37). Notice that the context here is severe persecution. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter'” (Rom. 8:35,36; Psalm 44:22).
Although victory is provided by God for His children, how many of us are living up to this potential? You may be thinking, “It’s a major accomplishment just to endure this situation.” And hopefully, “By God’s grace I can overcome this trial.” Well and good, but this falls short of being more than a conqueror. How does God intend for us wave this banner?
As I’ve pondered this, a working definition has come: “You are more than a conqueror as you endure, overcome, and are prepared to help others with the overflow of your victory. Wow. Let’s consider what this looks in the following scenarios.
Case 1: From thief to giver
Ephesians 4:28 exhorts, “Let him who stole steal no longer…” This is level one–conquering the sin of stealing. The text goes on to describe the “more” aspect: “… but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” Notice the progression: not stealing, working productively, then sharing with the needy. This is the “more than a conqueror” life!
Case 2 : From persecutor to church planter
Paul’s conversion and deployment in apostolic ministry is a famous example of this abundant victory. Galatians 1:13-23 gives a glimpse of his testimony: “For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood … And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. But they were hearing only, ‘He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.'”
Through his new birth Paul ceased persecuting God’s church. As he was filled with the Holy Spirit, the apostle began to courageously preach the gospel. Even as he became the target of relentless persecution, Paul was used of God to plant churches, write New Testament epistles, and pray intensely for unbelieving Jews (See Acts 7:58; 9:4; 1 Tim. 1:12-16; Rom. 9:1-5).
By God’s miraculous grace, Paul was more than a conqueror. “Yes, but that was Paul!” you say. Yet he would be the first to remind us that, in Christ, we have the same resources!
Case 3: From tax collector to missionary
When Christ called Matthew to be one of the twelve disciples, Matthew was enjoying a high paying (yet controversial) job. He was a tax collector for Israel’s oppressive overlords–the Romans. He responded to Christ’s call and invested the following years as an apostle of the King of kings. After Christ’s resurrection and ascension, Matthew went all the was to south India to reach this region with the gospel. He didn’t just cease taxing his own people excessively while helping the Roman government; Matthew fully identified with the Messiah and laid down his life for God’s kingdom. More than a conqueror!
The Corinthian church was blessed that “the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort” was their source of consolation in hard times. However, this victory was to progress to triumphant faith and victorious ministry: “[God] comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ” (2 Cor. 1:3b-5).
As we sensitize ourselves to this level of victory, we start to recognize it in the Body of Christ today. When I was in Nashville, Tennessee at a Christian counseling conference, I spoke with two brothers in the faith at the ministry display hall. They represented a ministry for those dealing with chronic problems of sexual brokenness. As we discussed their ministry resources, they shared how God had delivered them individually from strongholds of sexual sin. Yet they didn’t just privately benefit from Christ’s liberating truth; they committed themselves to help others with similar struggles. More than conquerors.
I sometimes listen to a popular radio program about money management. The talk show host suffered financial ruin years ago. Yet, he turned to the Lord, applied biblical principles and values, and regained financial freedom. Now he offers the radio program and publications to help others get out of debt and become strategic stewards of God’s resources.
When we look around us and over our shoulder to the past, being more than a conqueror sounds very idealistic–maybe a dream, but not a vision. Yet this potential becomes an assured opportunity as we look unto our infinite source of victory–“Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27b). So, fellow believer, tap into the energizing grace of God that equips you to endure, to overcome, and to be ready to help others. Your future reward will be more valuable than a Triple Crown. You’re “more than a conqueror” through the One Who loves you!
 See a similar testimony and ministry at http://www.newheartexpressions.org
Copyright 2008 by John Woodward. Permission is granted to copy for non-commercial use. Biblical quotations are from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson.