Sunday Considerations: Victorious Living

So we learn the story of all noble, cultured character. It is reached only through struggle; it is not natural—but is the fruit of toil and conquest; it bears the marks and scars of many a conflict. We often hear people say they would give large sums to have such a person’s contentment, or self-control, or sweetness of disposition, or submissiveness to God’s will, or power of giving sympathy. These are things that cannot be bought, and that cannot be learned in any school. Such qualities can be gotten only through victorious struggle during years of experience.

We say that Christ gives his disciples this spiritual loveliness, that he renews their natures and transforms their lives, imprinting his own image upon them. This is true; if it were not, there could never be any hope of saintliness in any human life. Yet Christ does not produce this change in us merely by instantaneously printing his likeness upon our souls—as the photographer prints one’s picture on the glass in his camera. He works in us—but we must work out the beauty which he puts in germ into our hearts; he helps us in every struggle—yet still we must struggle; he never fights the battle for us, although he is ever near to help us. Thus the noble things of spiritual attainment, lie away beyond the hills and the rivers, and we must toil far through strife and pain, before we can get them. The old life must be crucified, that the new life may emerge.

The duty of life is, then, to be victorious. Every good thing, every noble thing, must be won. Heaven is for those who overcome; not to overcome is to fail. In war, to be defeated is to become a slave. To be vanquished in the battle with sin—is to become sin’s slave; to be overcome by the antagonisms of life—is to lose all. But in the Christian life defeat is never a necessity. Over all the ills and enmities of this world we may be victorious.

Moreover, every Christian life ought to be victorious. Jesus said, “In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Nothing will do for a gospel for sinners, which leaves any enmity unconquered, any foe unvanquished. Paul, in speaking of the trials and sufferings that beset the Christian—tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, sword—asked, “Shall these separate us from the love of Christ?” That is, “Can these evils and antagonisms ever be so great, that we cannot overcome them and be carried still in Christ’s bosom?” He answers his own question by saying triumphantly, “Nay, in all these things—we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us!” We need never be defeated; we may always be victorious. We may be even “more than conquerors”—triumphant, exultant conquerors. “Whoever is born of God, overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.”1

  1. J.R. Miller. Practical Religion. 1888.

tagged as , in Christianity,Gospel

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1 Poolman April 27, 2013 at 10:24 pm

28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.


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