“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, not 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.” Romans 8:35-39 (ESV)
Is there a power stronger than God’s love? Paul follows this question by listing several trials and struggles. This isn’t just a theoretical list. Paul experienced all these things himself. So when Paul answers his own question with a resounding NO, he’s speaking from experience. Paul doesn’t just think God’s love is more powerful than persecution and danger. He didn’t hear about it secondhand. He KNEW God’s love is more powerful because he experienced God’s love at work during difficult times.
As Paul expands on his answer, he says we are more than conquerors. For so many years, I quickly skimmed over Paul’s answer and explanation because it seemed obvious that God’s love is powerful. I never stopped to think about what it actually means to be MORE than conquerors. We know a conqueror is someone who has fought and won a battle. But what does it mean to be more than a conqueror?
When we have God’s love fighting for us, we don’t just barely overcome challenges. We are without a doubt, completely, and utterly victorious. This is victory unlike anything else we’ve experienced or heard of. It’s so incredible that Paul has to make a new word to describe it by combining two Greek words. It means to “conquer completely, without any real threat to personal life or health” (MacArthur).
Because we have God’s powerful love, we know we win the battle against the curse of sin in this world. No matter what anyone accuses us of, we have God’s love defending us. We can face tribulation, anxiety, regret, exhaustion, discouragement, and temptation without fear. No matter what sin I’ve committed in the past or what struggle I’m facing today, I have God’s endless love. Christ already won the victory, and now he’s chosen me to be more than a conqueror with him.
That is powerful love.