The spate of terror attacks around the world (Manchester, Jakarta, Minya and Marawi) remind us that we live in a dangerous world. Most governments acknowledge that we are waging a war against terror. Can we overcome? Will we experience victory?
This same question has been raised on an even more sinister threat – the problem of sin. Is victory possible in the war against sin? Specifically, can a disciple of Jesus experience victory over sin in our lives?
Victory has been secured
Hear this triumphant declaration: “But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”(1 Cor 15:57)
This is the good news. Christ has secured the victory!
But how do we experience the victory that has been secured by Christ? The struggle with sin is real and can weigh us down, as Paul intimated of his own life (read Romans 7:18-24). Yet in the next breath he asserted, “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (v25,NLT).For each disciple, while the battle against sin is real and on-going, we have the confidence that we can experience victory through Jesus Christ.
But it’s important to acknowledge that the sinister threat of sin. Cain was cautioned that “sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you.” (Gen 4:7). Sadly, he disregarded the warning and stumbled. We need to take Peter’s warning seriously, “Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Pet 5:8). Knowing the nature of the threat, we, God’s people must pay careful attention to “put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” (Eph 6:11). We do well to be alert and prepared.
God wants us to be overcomers
Praise God, He wants us to be overcomers and has provided valued resources for us to use, so that we can experience victory in our day-to-day walk.
The Word of God to guide
God gave us His Word “to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives…” and “God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17). Indeed the psalmist extols “Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105). To experience victory, we need to receive and obey God’s Word.
The Spirit of God to empower
All who have put our faith in Jesus Christ will have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:11). He leads, convicts, teaches and equips each child of God. We should never take lightly the Holy Spirit’s powerful indwelling and be responsive to His prompting in our lives (1 Thess 5:9) and yield to His control (Eph 5:18-21).
Communication with God to cherish
Prayer is our privilege. We have access to God through Jesus Christ – imagine that! Yet we have often not given priority to prayer. Remember our Lord’s admonition to disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Matt 26:41). In our prayers, we turn to God for the needed strength to face the challenges we encounter (1 John 5:14-15).We acknowledge our limitations and express our reliance on God’s inexhaustible power.
The people of God to spur us on
God has given us another valued resource – the people of God to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb 10:24).Temptation is common to us all (1 Cor 10:13). We do not need to journey alone. A brother or sister or an accountability group can be God’s servant who comes alongside – to encourage, provide godly counsel and admonish where needed, rebuke where appropriate.
It is the Lord’s will that we grow in our spiritual walk. Sin is a sinister threat that lurks around. By His power, we can progressively overcome sin and become more and more like Christ. May we take each step forward fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2).
By Ps David LT Yap, Advisory Pastor (YCKC Bulletin 3&4 June 2017)