"VICTORY IN JESUS"
I. WORDS SUCH AS VICTORY AND TRIUMPH PRESUME A CONFLICT.
A. As Christians we are in a conflict.
1. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of darkness in this world against spirit forces that are in high places.
2. There is a trinity of evil that is opposing your walk with Christ.
a. The world. The world system. We are commanded to love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. For all that is of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, the pride of life is of the world and is not of the Father. John goes so far as to say, "If any man loves the world the love of the Father is not in Him." How so? The world we are living in is in rebellion against God.
b. The flesh. This is our corrupt fallen nature. The unredeemed, biological drives that control a persons life. Though they were designed and created by God for your good, they were never intended by God to control your life. Our flesh is in rebellion against the law of God. The carnal mind is enmity against God and is not subject to the law of God.
c. The devil. The enemy of God, who is in rebellion against God, who hates the holiness of God, and is devoted to everything that is unholy and depraved.
3. These work in concert against the believer.
a. Any one or two of them pose no problem, it is when they all three work in concert, we have a real problem.
b. The world and the flesh would be no problem for me except for my fallen flesh.
c. The flesh and devil would be no problem for me, if it was not for the world that seems so enticing to my flesh.
d. The devil and the world would be no problem for me except for my fallen flesh.
4. Paul speaks against our flesh warring against our spirits and our spirit against the flesh, and these two are contrary.
a. Only a child of God knows this conflict.
b. The man who was always sharing about as he was going down the path this morning he met Satan and the great struggle that followed. His friend one day said to him, I don't know why you always seem to be meeting Satan each day as you go down the path. I never seem to meet him." His response was, "Maybe it's because you are going in the same direction."
5. Many Christians seem to be living a defeated life. They identify with the words of Paul in Romans 7
"The things I do not want to do are the things I do. The things that I want to do, I don't do. I wish to do the right things but I seem to lack the power. Whenever I would do good, evil is present with me."
a. They seem always to be falling into the snare of the devil.
b. How they need to know the victory in Jesus.
II. WHY IS IT SO HARD TO LIVE A LIFE OF VICTORY?
A. Some are not putting up much of a fight.
1. The scriptures tell us to resist the devil. But many just sort of yield every time he comes around.
2. The Bible says, "You have not yet resisted unto blood striving against sin."
3. Jesus said that if we wanted to come after Him we would have to deny self. But that is not the pattern of the age. We are living in an age that says indulge yourself. You are encouraged to follow every impulse of your flesh.
4. The world hates any thought of restraints. They do not want to teach our children abstinence, to suggest it always brings a great outcry.
5. It should be obvious that the sex education programs are not working. There are more teen pregnancies, more teen abortions, more teen venereal disease than at any time in history.
6. Jeremiah speaking of the depraved times just before the fall of Israel said,
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love [to have it] so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
7. That is just the question that people do not stop to consider, "What will happen in the end?"
B. People are listening to the lies of the world.
1. The world says that God did not create man, that man created God.
2. The Bible speaks of the last days when God will give those who do not have a love for the truth over to a strong delusion, that they would believe a lie rather than the truth.
3. I am beginning to think that the great lie that deluded man would believe is the theory of evolution.
a. Look at the influence and hold it has over our whole educational system.
b. Man is not here by purpose and design, but by sheer chance.
c. Man is a highly evolved animal. No eternal soul or spirit, no responsibility to one day answer to God.
d. God does not exist, but is a figment of man's imagination.
e. Evolution is a proven fact of science.
f. Ask for scientific proof, and they never can produce it. All they can produce is suppositions, and hypotheses.
g. Why can't we see any transitional forms of species taking place today? Their answer is, the changes are so gradual as to not be observable.
h. Then why can't we see the transitional forms in the fossil record? Their answer is, the changes were so fast that no fossils were formed. They call it punctuated equilibrium.
i. In other words no evidence exists that evolution ever took place.
j. But as some of them have confessed, not to believe in evolution leaves no other alternative but to believe in God.
k. The Bible tells us that they did not want to retain God in their minds.
III. HOW IS IT THAT SOME NEVER SEEM TO HAVE VICTORY WHILE OTHERS SEEM TO ALWAYS LIVE IN VICTORY?
A. Paul is thanking God that He is always causing us to triumph in Christ.
1. In 1 Corinthians 15:57
Paul thanks God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2. The only real difference in the two verses is in the preposition our text reads in Christ, the other through Christ.
3. We must assume that both are correct.
a. As I abide in Christ, He gives me victory.
b. As I trust in Christ for help, He gives me victory through His strength and help.
B. What is the secret to a constant victorious Christian life?
1. As we have already noted, it is abiding in Him.
a. He said, "Without Me you can do nothing."
2. It is by looking to Him in every conflict and asking for his help.
3. Victory comes through having His word in our hearts.
a. "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee."
b. Jesus said, "Now you are clean through the word I have spoken unto you."
c. Peter wrote in his second letter,
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
d. It is important to note that Jesus answered every temptation that Satan offered to Him with the Word.
4. The book of Revelation speaks of a future day of great conflict when Satan is cast out of heaven and makes war with the saints. It is declared that they overcame Him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.
5. If the truth were to be known, Satan is a defeated foe. He was defeated when Jesus died upon the cross. Paul tells us that Jesus spoiled these principalities and powers that were against us having triumphed over them through His cross. That is what is meant by they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.
6. They testified to the fact that they were abiding in Jesus and thus, Satan had no means to conquer them for he had already been conquered by Jesus.
7. The word savour takes us to the sacrifices which were intended to offer before God a sweet smelling savour. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins is a beautiful fragrance before God, and also to us.
C. Abide in Christ, abide in the word, abide in fellowship, abide in prayer, and you will abide in victory. You will be able to say with Paul, "Thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph through Christ."