Rom. 8:37.---' We are more than conquerors through him that loved us.'

'More than conquerors' is an expressive phrase. It means we are super-conquerors, not ordinary conquerors, through Him that loved us.

We are not ordinary conquerors, because our victories through Him that loved us are always worth the cost. There is often a doubt, is there not, whether some victories are worth the price paid for them, victories in war, some victories in peace? At the end of a modern war, victors and vanquished alike are exhausted: the whole world is unsettled; trade, by which the victor must live, is disorganized; millions of the best citizens, not of one side only but of both sides, victors and vanquished, suffer loss. The price paid for victory in war is a long, long price, paid in part by the victor's children, and his children's children. An entirely justifiable question is---"If that is so, where did the victory come in?"

Is it not also quite frequently the case that a man gives himself up to carving out a successful career and nothing must stand in his way? He wins power, possessions, and glory; he is a great success; he is a great victor. The newspapers say so, his obituary notice says so, drawing attention to all his victories. But one sometimes wonders whether, far from being a victor, he is not one of the vanquished, his victories having cost him too much. The price may be his health---not that that is too much; it may be his home, and his friendships, and these are a good deal; it may be his peace of mind, and that is a terrible price; it may be his soul, and that is everything. He is a conqueror, but he is an ordinary conqueror. 'We are more than conquerors through him that loved us.' The victories we win because Christ loved us and because His love inspires us and sustains us are not such victories as these. They are victories that bring no regrets; they add no burdens; they never mean that we have sacrificed things of greater worth for things of less; they are always real victories and never camouflaged defeats. These victories are pure gain, not only for those who win them but for every one else.

We are more than ordinary conquerors also because our victories through Him that loved us are over our real foes. The victories which the world holds as its greatest victories, and will continue to hold as its greatest victories until it learns wisdom, are victories over men, with wives and children to worry about them when they are in the fighting-line, and to mourn for them bitterly when they are dead. These other victories, in peace, to which we have referred, so often mean, do they not, the remorseless trampling of competitors underfoot? Who are competitors but men with wives and children, mad sad by the same sorrows, and glad by the same joys, as all their fellows? Peace has its victories no less ordinary than war. They are victories over men.

But men are not men's real enemies. Our real enemies are within ourselves, our selfishnesses, our weaknesses, our jealousies, especially our fears. Fears of what? Fears of life and of death, of things present and of things to come; fears of deception and criticism, fears about our own sufficiency for the responsibilities and duties of life; fears to commit ourselves to the highest vision we have seen. Paul gives a fairly comprehensive list of these things that men fear: Tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, angels, principalities, powers, things present, things to come, height and depth. It is over these that 'We are more than conquerors through him that loved us.'

The world has plenty of ordinary conquerors whom it acknowledges and acclaims, conquerors whose conquests cost far too much, conquerors over men, who leave men's real foes unvanquished and undiminished. There is need for another word for the men and women whom no one acknowledges, whom no one ever recognizes as having won victories at all. What shall we call those who are bearing burdens cheerfully, who are making great sacrifices for others, who are resisting the temptations which so easily beset them, who are fighting fears in their own hearts? Paul's name for them is 'More than conquerors.' He means that there is more of the stuff of conqueror in them than in ordinary conquerors.

It was Paul who said, 'More than conquerors,' and he knew what conquerors were. He was a Roman citizen. He saw the Roman victors as they went riding in their chariots through the streets; they belonged to a conquering race. Paul knew them, knowing well that he might be arraigned before their governors. But Paul had to visit obscure corners of Rome and Antioch and Ephesus to find those who were 'More than conquerors.' There he saw men and women who were fighting against the old lusts, the pagan superstitions, who were indeed fighting a universe full, as they believed, of devils, angels, principalities, and powers. They were slaves and poor folk generally, but in the sight of God they were conquerors in a truer sense than those who despised them.

It was Paul who said, 'We are more than conquerors.' He was himself only a wandering preacher, not very strong, not of commanding presence, not very eloquent, seeking his precarious lodging from place to place, sometimes lodged in prison, sometimes thrown out of doors to be stoned and left for dead. No one thought of him as a conqueror in an Empire full of the pride of conquest. Yet does not history say he was, in his generation, the greatest conqueror of them all?

God recognizes and acclaims, not the ordinary conquerors, but those who are more than ordinary. Make no mistake about it. Men acclaim the ordinary conquerors, but not God. It is only as a man or woman wins a clearer, stronger, more Christ-like spirit that God will recognize in him or her one who is more than a conqueror.

In Christ, timothy. maranatha