Is constant victory really possible for every believer?
This is a vitally important question for you and me, my brother or sister in Christ. Should a Christian expect and experience constant triumph, every day and all day, over sin and self? Is the “victorious life” really practical..? …Is it some great ideal to which we must ever seek to aspire in the vague hope that, after years of experience or service, we may perhaps approximate to such a standard? Does the Word really promise a life of true spiritual achievement, conquest and supremacy to the simplest and weakest believer, or has God reserved such a priceless blessing as this for only a few of his favorites?
Many Christians are asking these questions today. We are faced with the never-ending antagonism of a threefold enemy – the allurements of the world, the insidious outworkings of the flesh, and the subtle devices of the devil – all combining in a terrible assault against the testimony of real Life. The whole matter constitutes an acute problem as to Christian ethics and the real practicability of certain doctrines and theories.
What is the Victorious Life?
Now let us consider this question simply and honestly, with minds and hearts open to the revelation of the Spirit of God. Firstly, what is the victorious life? In answering this question, it will be helpful to consider what it is not. It is not a creed, or dogma, or dictum, or merely a particular line of Bible teaching, or a system of rules and regulations, or a code of ethics, or even spiritual principles.
The victorious Christian life is A PERSON (Jn. 14:6). And that Person is the Lord Jesus Christ himself. HE is the believer’s life (Jn. 11:25). Apart from him there is no life for you and me in the spiritual realm. Real life finds its birth in the reception of him as Savior. Entrance into the family of God must be by the regenerating operation of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).
Spiritual life is not an abstract principle, or mere objective doctrine. It is Christ. His advent into the heart that opens to him is the “Alpha” of a spiritual career, for “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his” (Rom. 8:9).
Allow the Holy Spirit to write this upon your mind and spirit with an indelible pen. It is a simple fact which calls for a new emphasis today, because there are many who are trying to live the Christian life before they have received the Christian life to live (Rom. 10:3).
Every believer, every true Christian, every Child of God, possesses Life because such a one has received Christ. [“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” -Col. 2:6], and for no other reason. Separation from him means spiritual death (Eph. 2:1). Real Life is more than joining a church, or passing through a religious ceremony. It is not imagination or imitation, or reformation, or confirmation, or education. It is REGENERATION, the production of “a new creation” in Christ Jesus. [“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” –2 Co. 5:17].
What happens, then, when one is “born again” (Jn. 3:3)? Nothing short of this: Christ HIMSELF enters (Rev. 3:20) to dwell in the heart by faith through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 3:17). The human spirit is made alive with the very life of God. This is imperative – the first great transaction between the soul and God. Nothing less than this can lift the soul into the only realm where victory becomes a possibility.
Is Christ Divided?
Now consider therefore: How much of Christ did you receive at your regeneration? When He says, “I will come in”, is there any statement or inference that He will only partially enter? Of course not! Such a suggestion is illogical and foolish. “Is Christ divided?” (1 Cor. 1:13). What sort of a Savior entered your heart, then, when you turned the handle of faith and admitted him? The Savior of the Bible, and no other.
There is only one Lord Jesus Christ, and He says, “All authority has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18). Think of it. All power is vested in the Christ of God – the Christ who lives within you. “In him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).
Yes, amazing as it may appear to be, this mighty triumphant Christ, the omnipotent Son of God, actually abides in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit. Seek to grasp the implications of this glorious fact. Fix your gaze upon the PERSON of Christ. The victorious Christian life, therefore, is not a great, exalted ideal to which the believer is ever struggling to aspire. Christ himself is your life, and since his life is a victorious life, you received all the potentialities of complete victory the very moment you received HIM.
Part 1 of 3 This article is from chapter one of The New Life by Reginald Wallis. It is available in print with discussion questions from Grace Fellowship International.