“For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world and this is the victory that overcome the world, even our faith. ”
I John 5:4
To be like Christ, to overcome sin and to live above the world. God took me to Bible School to teach me this precious lesson. Sometimes one hears testimonies of missionaries and preachers who after years of failure attend a Keswick meeting and suddenly come into blessing. Some Christians try and try and when they don’t succeed, sink down to a lower level of Christian experience, living on a standard lower than they desire, but helpless to advance and fearful lest they make fools of themselves by trying. Other Christians have never heard of the victorious life and continue sinning and confessing, sinning and confessing. Is this all that Christ has to offer?
POSSIBILITY OF THE VICTORIOUS LIFE
The Bible teaches glorious victory over sin for every believer. I John 5:4, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. ” John isn’t speaking about victory in heaven but victory on earth-daily victory. If this verse is not true in a believer’s life, then there is something wrong. Satan will do his utmost to keep this knowledge from a Christian. The devil does not mind a religious person or a powerless Christian, but he surely fears the power of a triumphant life. I would add my testimony to many others that this victorious life is possible, not only for the sanctified few but for every one born into the family of God.
PROMISES OF THE VICTORIOUS LIFE
John 7:37,38, “Jesus stood and cried. . . out of his inmost being shall flow rivers of living water.” This is Jesus’ own promise to you, a believer.
John 10 :10, “I am come that they might have life, and . . . have it more abundantly.” Jesus doesn’t want us to have just a little bit of life and victory, but abundantly.
Rom. 6:14, “For sin shall not have dominion over you.” This is strong language.
II Cor. 2:14, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ. ”
“Always,” not just sometimes, but always. Ours is the victory through Christ.
I Cor. 10 :13 promises victory over every temptation for every believer.
Rom. 8:37, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him.” Not just victory, but abundant, super-abounding victory over our enemies.
Gal. 5 :16, The Christian life does not fulfill the lust (will or desire) of the flesh.
PRINCIPLE OF THE VICTORIOUS LIFE– “By Faith”
The principle is that the victorious life is a gift received from God by faith. Our salvation was a gift. We did not deserve it or earn it in the least. Victory is also a gift. We cannot attain it in our own strength. That is impossible. Rom. 1:17, “The just (the ones justified) shall live by faith.” See also Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38. The believer is saved and begins a new life in the Spirit. Most Christians are like the foolish Galatians that tried to continue in the flesh by works. Victory is the work of the Saviour in us, not our accomplishment in the least. Our “strength is made perfect in weakness,” II Cor. 12 :9. As we confess our inability to gain victory and yield to the mighty power of Christ, He gains the victory. The drunkard is converted and immediately gets victory over liquor. That is the victorious life. Respectable people need victory over themselves and pet sins.
“Faith does nothing; faith lets God do it all.” (Dr. C. G. Trumbull)
“One qualification that you must have for the victorious life is the broken pinion, the broken nature, uttermost weakness,” (Dr. C. G. Trumbull). Surely we can qualify. The secret of victory is in the indwelling Christ. Victory is in trusting, not trying.
SECRET OF THE VICTORIOUS LIFE- “Identification”
I believe that the secret of the victorious life is our identification with Christ.
Rom. 6 :4-22 is generally accepted as the victory chapter. In the cross of Christ two important truths are taught-substitution and identification.
1. Identification with Christ’s death: I died with Christ.
Rom. 6:5, “… planted together (Christ and I) in the likeness of His death. . .”
Rom. 6:6, “… our old man (the Adamic sin nature) is crucified WITH HIM . . .”
Gal. 2 :20, “I am crucified WITH CHRIST. . .” Absolute identification.
Death frees a man once and forever from the power and dominion of sin, Rom. 6:7.
2. Identification with Christ’s burial-I was buried with Him.
Rom. 6:4, “Therefore we are buried WITH HIM.” Dead things ought to be buried.
3. Identification with Christ’s resurrection. I rose with Christ.
Rom. 6 :5, “WE (Christ and believer) shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. ”
4. Identification with Christ’s present triumphant life.
Rom. 6:4, “… even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
Rom. 6 :6, “… that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
Rom. 6:8, “… we believe that we shall also live WITH HIM.”
Rom. 6:10, “… in that He liveth, He liveth unto God.” By life lived only for Him.
The secret is that the indwelling Christ lives in the heart and life of each believer for the purpose of becoming Lord and Master of that life. Col. 1:27, “… Christ in you, the hope of glory. . .” “I am dead and the living Christ lives and rules in my yielded body and gains constant triumphant victory for me. “
THE REQUISITE IN A VICTORIOUS LIFE– “Yield”
If it is true that I am dead to sin with Christ, then there is only one thing for me to do and that is to yield myself to God. Rom. 6:13, “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead.” Assume your new position by faith-“alive from the dead.” You are now living on resurrection ground-on the victory side of the cross. Sin and the world have no hold on you. Don’t fight sin. You can’t. Instead, yield to a more powerful force–the power of the resurrected Christ.
THE CHOICE OF A VICTORIOUS LIFE– “Victory or Defeat”
As a Christian I still have my own free will. If I choose victory I certainly may have it as a gift from the Lord. If I reject this gift of victory I will continue to live a defeated Christian life. Rom. 6 :16, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” The choice is mine: righteousness or sin.
Rom. 6 :18, “Being then made free from sin . . .” Freedom is ours for the taking.
Warning from verse 19: If I choose uncleanness it will lead down from iniquity to iniquity. Exhortation from verse 22: Since you are free from sin become a bondslave to Jesus. The choice then is to whom will I surrender myself?
What shall we do if we try this and fail? Remember that I John 1:9 is still true. He has not failed. Your fall does not weaken Christ. He will forgive you and cause that this fall will be used to strengthen you against a similar failure. Do not rely on past victories for future victory. Always rely on Christ alone. Memorize the promises. Quote them to the devil. Rest in the Lord constantly. Victory can only be ours as we obey all the commands of the Spirit to us personally. The only time that you can live the victorious life is NOW. Begin today. Let us not only know this truth doctrinally, but also know it experimentally in our lives. Hudson Taylor came into victory through this sentence: “… not a striving to have faith, but a looking off to the faithful One seems all that we need.”
My desire, “… I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…” Gal.2 :20.
Notes: 100 Bible Lesson