Victory In Jesus–Finding Triumph In Our Battle With Sin

Life in Christ is filled with may “plateau moments”–moments where we can stop and look back to see the gracious and good hand of God leading, preserving, correcting, and sustaining us. Those seasons of reflection may relate to family, self, vocation, or church life, but inevitably for the child of God it always involves reflecting on one thing that constantly intertwines itself in all we do–our own sin.  As we grow in grace, we become increasingly aware that we daily sin in word, thought, and deed.  We hold ourselves up to the standard of perfection because we long to be like Christ. And He is perfect.  It is His perfection that clothes our imperfections. But while we acknowledge that sinless perfection can only come in glory (1 John 1:8), the child of God longs to so war against his own indwelling corruption that he can honestly say “to live is Christ” and that “as you see and hear in me do, and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:9).  We want to live victoriously in Jesus Christ.  Thankfully, God’s Word gives us help.  We can live in such a way that “the joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10), and go on in that joy “from strength to strength” (Psalm 84:7).

Strive to have the Father’s view of sin

Many today are quick to treat God’s law as useless and even undesirable.  But Paul says that God’s law is holy, just, and good (Romans 7:12).  God’s law is good because it is the moral revelation of God’s character, the standard Jesus fulfilled to earn the clothes of our righteousness, our standard in our pursuit of Christ-likeness, and the bar against which men, rulers, and nations are judged in time and eternity.  And have you ever considered that the cross was the greatest demonstration of God honoring His holy law? When our sin–our violations of the law (1 John 3:4)–was placed on Jesus at Calvary, the Father turned away all love and favor from Christ and poured only wrath on Him. And all to satisfy His holy law. The Father abominated sin so much that he spared not His only Son but delivered Him up for the Church (Romans 8:32, John 10:15 ).  Victory against our own sin starts here–praying for God to give us His hatred of sin!

Strive to have the Father’s view of Christ

At the same time that the Father turned away His face of love and turned His face of wrath to Jesus, never forget that Jesus was able to sustain that wrath because He was the perfect Lamb of God. Throughout all the centuries of Old Testament Israel, the fire consumed the sacrifice. Here at last was a Sacrifice that consumed the fire. He was the one that the Father, at the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, said was His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased (Matthew 3:17). The Father looked upon Jesus in His earthly ministry with infinite delight, upon Jesus in His passion as infinite satisfaction, and upon Jesus now in His mediatorial session as the Lamb worthy to sit at His right hand and rule. Let it sink in–the Father is infinitely pleased with Jesus Christ as the all-in-all of His Church, His believing people.  Let us pray for a view of satisfying faith in Jesus as the Father sees and declares Him to be.

Remember your union with and inheritance in Jesus

It’s good to have the Father’s view of Christ–that view of infinite satisfaction with the One Who has done all, borne all, and conquered all.  It is certainly wonderful to stand back and admire Christ because He is simply worthy to be admired–He is the infinitely perfect “sunrise of beauty”. But you know why it is really so wonderful for the Christian in our battle with our own hateful sin? Believers are in union with Christ at every step of His earthly ministry.  Did Jesus earn a perfect righteousness? Did Jesus pay the full satisfaction for the sin that was placed upon Him? Was Jesus buried, indicating He died to the dominion of sin and also placed Himself fully under the final fruit of sin? Did Jesus rise again, conquering sin, death, and hell? Has Jesus ascended on high, leading captivity captive and giving gifts to men (Ephesians 4:8)? YES! And you know what? Christian, you earned that perfect righteousness.  You died on the cross. You were buried. You were raised. You ascended. You reign. Why? Because the child of God is at every stage in union with Jesus.  And here is the highest summit of comfort when we see how the Father views Jesus–because we are in union with Christ as the vine and the branch, when the Father looks at Jesus with infinite satisfaction He looks at us with infinite satisfaction too. The Father also sees the gifts of grace, life, and Holy Spirit power and fruit that Jesus died to purchase for us.  And those gifts are distributed as the inheritance of Calvary.  The testator died, and the will is therefore executed to distribute the inheritance of spiritual gifts to redeemed sinners (Hebrews 9:15-17).

Remember how Jesus fought temptation

Pray for grace to hate sin. Pray for a soul-overwhelming view of the loveliness of Christ as God and man, as Savior, as your Prophet, Priest, and King. Remember your union with Jesus and the spiritual gifts He has purchased and distributes by His Spirit. And last of all, as you battle against sin remember how Jesus battled temptation–with the Word of God (Matthew 4:1-11). Soak and saturate your mind in the Word of God. Read God’s Word, memorize God’s Word, pray God’s Word, and remember that it is your sword to strike tremendous blows on the devil and the sin that yet remains in and around you.

There may of course be other helps–like brotherly accountability, church small groups, etc., but true victory is ultimately obtained when we mortify the old man and temptation on a private basis–when nobody else is watching. Jesus has purchased such grace and power for us that we can walk this world in white at home and abroad, by ourselves or in a crowd. O may God open our eyes to see what we have in Jesus! Then the Church will be filled with men and women of Gospel holiness and power who radiate the beauty of holiness. Then the Church will realize what gifts, graces, and power are at Her disposal and will be more than equal to the task of fulfilling the Great Commission and seeing realized what was prophesied as the end result of Calvary’s agonies–the triumphant march of the Gospel over all of creation (Psalm 22:1,27).