The Good News - Home
What Do We Mean: Victory in Christ Jesus?
By David A. DePra
Victory in Christ Jesus means that potentially, and then in experience, we have victory over everything Jesus has victory over. But what does that mean? When the Bible says we have, "the victory," what does it really mean?
Well, one thing is for sure, to have victory in Christ does not mean we are problem free. In fact, if you think about it, if you didn’t have problems, there would be nothing over which to have victory! No. Victory in Christ is, in fact, something that is independent of whether we have problems. Victory in Christ is possible despite the problems.
But what IS victory? Just this: That I am free to walk in everything Jesus has won for me, in my relationship with God. In the end, it comes down to that. If I am walking in VICTORY, I am walking in a relationship with God that is unhindered by anything that would disrupt or cast a shadow over it. Fear, unbelief, and sin, while still possibilities, have been overcome. They no longer come between myself and God. They have been defeated.
Isn’t this what Jesus came to win? Sure. Jesus came to redeem us back to God. But not just to save us in the sense of making heaven our destiny. No. Jesus came to save us back into the relationship with God that He originally intended us to have, and designed us for. But fellowship with God requires a great change IN US. The, "overcoming," which eventually results in victory is nothing more than this very change being worked out. I overcome those things that belong to the old creation, and the redemption of Christ begins to transform me back to where I cannot live, walk, and fellowship with God. Each degree of this change is a stage of victory.
When we are saved, we are born again all at once. Salvation is not progressive. You are either born anew or not born anew. But if you are, the old HAS passed away, and all things are brand new. But for this age this is talking about our spiritual man – not yet our physical man. It should not be a debate as to whether your body is brand new. It isn’t. You are aging. And it should not be a debate as to whether your mind is brand new it isn’t. That is why it needs to be continually renewed. And it should not be a debate as to whether your emotions are brand new. Surely we know they are not. No. You are a brand new creature by virtue of the fact that Christ has come and made Himself one with you by the Holy Spirit in you. You are ONE with Him, and that spells eternal life – newness of life. THAT is the seat of the, "new man in Christ."
So we see that God actually saves us, "from the inside out." We are one spirit with the Lord. But there are so many dimensions of our being that while not being made brand new for this age, do need to be brought under the governing power of the new man through the Holy Spirit. What we have mentioned – emotions, body, and mind – are a few.
This is where the overcoming and victory apply. So often, our mind – our understanding or lack thereof – rises up and exalts itself against the knowledge of God. We cannot or do not understand what God is doing, and it is possible to allow this to come between ourselves and God, so that we are not free in our relationship with Him. Or perhaps our emotions rise up and won’t work in a way that is harmonious with the Holy Spirit. Rarely will they. If we don’t realize what is going on, our emotions may end up coming between us and our walk in the Truth. All of these things need to be overcome so that they no longer disrupt our relationship with God. And when they are overcome, we have VICTORY.
Now, of course, all of this must come back to FAITH. We overcome unbelief – BY BELIEVING! We overcome everything in us that seems to contradict the Truth by believing the Truth, instead of believing everything in us. This is a lesson that is easy to accept on paper, but it is quite a struggle when it comes to actually living.
For example, are you able to stand by faith, even when everything in life is falling apart? Or do you look at what is happening in life, and conclude from it that God must be punishing you, or that you must be out of God’s will? Does this result in fear and confusion? If so, then you are being faced by an enemy you must overcome by faith. You will not overcome it any other way. And if you do get to the place where you stand by faith DESPITE the unchanging, and maybe even disastrous circumstances, then you have the VICTORY!
Again – victory has to do with our relationship with God. We believe Him no matter what seems to contradict Him, and refuse to allow anything to come between ourselves and Him.
Do we recognize that because of Jesus Christ, there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God? That there is NO condemnation for those in Christ Jesus? That there is never a time when we are cut off from God? The Blood of Christ is our assurance of these Truths. The question is whether we believe.
At some point in our lives, we are going to have to make a choice. We are going to have to decide whether we really believe. And I will promise you that if you want to go on into a deeper relationship with God, that HE HIMSELF will bring you to that point by testing the very fabric of your faith. God will bring you to where you may have to question everything. But this is good, because once you question everything, you will find the answers, not in a doctrine, but in the Person. And you will emerge stronger than ever.
There are going to be times in our lives when EVERYTHING seems to prove to us that God is not with us. Not only will circumstances suggest this to us, but WE will suggest this to us! Do you know what I mean by that? You will face times where there is NOTHING in you that is able to understand. You will have no frame of reference for what is happening to you, and you will not be able, no matter how hard you try, to reconcile it to God’s faithfulness. To make matters worse, your emotions will rebel. You may be mad, afraid, and feel betrayed by God. No matter how many times you drag your trial into the court of common sense and human understanding, you will come up with the same verdict: God has forsaken you. Otherwise, you reason, this could not have happened!
Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, you will pray and pray and pray, asking God to reveal the answer to you. You will tell Him that is all you want – the Truth. And God won’t answer. He will be silent. This will simply verify to you that you are lost. Maybe the whole thing is a lie. Maybe you are deceived.
Well, the good news is that everything I have just described is in the Bible as a possibility for a Christian. We read it with David in the Psalms, with Job, and we find bits and pieces of it in the Bible. There are going to be times for each of us, an hour of crisis, when nothing in us is working right, and when everything seems to be proving our faith wrong. But it is precisely during those times that our faith is right. Faith is right to the complete disregard of our circumstances, feelings, and understanding. It is right when we cannot see how it is right, and do see how it is wrong. Faith in God is always right, because God is always right.
Unbelief is an incredible thing. Unbelief can be the result of a hardness, in which case it is our fault. But we are born in unbelief. Much of it is simply the result of us not being able to function in accordance with eternal things.
It is a humbling thing to come to the place where we finally admit that our inability to see, and our inability to understand, is OUR FAULT – at least in the sense that the inbred problem is in us. Are we willing to consider that our certainty that God has let us down could be totally false – based on an unbelief in US? Are we willing to consider that no matter how sure we are that God has forsaken us, that He has in fact always been there – and that all of our proofs and reasonings have been wrong? If we are willing to consider, we are on the path to victory.
I remember one time when I was in a great trial and I was lamenting before the Lord about it, really, I was griping. I said, "I really believed You, God. I really believed You are faithful, and true, and could never fail. But now, it seems I was wrong. Nothing has happened as I expected. In fact, I’ve lost everything." What came back to me, which I believe was God’s voice speaking to my heart, was this, "What if everything you believed about Me is the Truth? And the problem is simply that you are looking at your circumstances and letting THEM rule your faith?"
It was one of those moments that sets a person free – because it was the Truth. I began to see the problem. My circumstances were REAL – but my interpretation of them as to God was WRONG. My interpretation was wrong, even though I could not see how it could be wrong, because, it was the only one I had. So were my expectations for life wrong. I thought God had promised me certain things in life, but God was really working towards the greatest thing of all, to reveal His Son in me. I had finally began to see that I was responsible for creating the unbelief I was in, because rather than trust God, I was trusting in my understanding.
What is the solution? How does a person OVERCOME all of this and enter into VICTORY? You begin by stepping outside of your understanding, and putting it aside, and by trusting God. You do that no matter how contrary it seems to everything inside of you. You believe God even though you don’t see the sanity in it, or feel good about it, or have a clue as to where it will take you. You will feel like you are jumping off a cliff and expecting God to catch you, but have no sense of where He is. You just believe because, on the basis of Christ’s victory for you, He has promised.
If you know what I am talking about here, I am talking about a real death. We talk about unconditional surrender to God, and picking up our Cross, and dying to self – well, this is where all of that happens. You have to absolutely relinquish control of your life to God by faith. You fall into His hands – with no conditions attached. You trust Him for a resurrection.
Sometimes people want to know how a person can come to know God, and to know the Truth. It is right here, in these situations. I’ve said it before: You cannot have LIGHT without the LIFE. Light without Life is dead doctrine, as factual as it might be. But in order to come into REAL LIGHT AND TRUTH, you have to have a release and enlargement of Christ in you – His LIFE. But this means you must first DIE TO YOURSELF, to your control over your life. In short, if you want LIGHT, you must have LIFE, but to get LIFE, the first step is DEATH.
God can offer us no other way. But He will be constantly working towards this if we will open ourselves to Him.
Victory is not a matter of you fixing or changing the circumstances. No. Victory is IN YOU. It is YOU coming to the place in your relationship with God where you believe – completely independent of your circumstances. Or believing completely independent of lots of spiritual malfunction in you. That is the victory of faith.
Victory means freedom. It means that I am free to be to God what He intended me to be, because I have seen what He is to me. Victory is the result of pushing through, by faith, all that would keep me from walking in the Truth.
For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4)
"The world," in this passage, means all that is of the world IN US, and all that is of the world that comes against us. FAITH is that victory. Faith is not based on whether we can overcome. Faith is based on the faith that Jesus has already overcome every enemy that will come against us. Our faith stands in the fact that despite contradiction, the victory is assured because of Jesus Christ.
If I will believe, I will eventually see. Not sometimes, but every time. I will not only see the salvation of the Lord working out in ME, and my circumstances, but I will actually come to the place where nothing will be able to greatly move me from my faith. That is victory.
Truly my soul waits upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved. (Psalm 62:1-2)
They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abides for ever. (Psalm 125:1)
The Good News - Home