Listen to audio above while reading transcript below (also avilable to download in Word from www.biblestudyministriesinc.com)
Once again as we come to prepare to look into the word of the Lord I remind you of an indispensable principle; total reliance on God’s Holy Spirit. The Bible is like the Lord Jesus. It’s both human and divine. There’s a human side and there’s a divine side. If we only see the human, we miss everything. Only God can show us the divine side. Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”
God doesn’t give His Son and something else called “peace”. He doesn’t give His Son and something else called “power”. He doesn’t give Himself and something else called “joy”. If you have Christ you have peace. If you have Christ you have joy. If you have Christ you have power. If you run after joy, peace or power you’ll find nothing. You’ll only get frustrated. Let’s pray together and ask the Lord to focus our eyes on Christ.
Heavenly Father, we thank You that you have put Your Holy Spirit in our life, a Bible Teacher living in our hearts, One who searches the depths of God and reveals Him to us. Take the veil away, Lord. Take the veil away. Enable us to see Christ in a living way. In Jesus’ name. Amen
We are looking at the great foundations of our faith. What I’d like to share now is the truth of victory in Jesus. What could be more foundational than knowing how we can have victory in Christ Jesus? Some people, when they think about victory, only think of indwelling sin, “I’m a Christian and I still struggle with sin. Is there victory over indwelling sin? Of course, the answer is yes but there is victory that is larger than that.
I want to choose one word that the Holy Spirit chooses to describe this victory. I want to use the word “world”. How much is included in the word “world”? If we could have victory over the world, we would have victory indeed! I would like to show you the Lord’s provision for us for victory over the world.
The Bible uses the word “world” in several different ways. I’ll mention a couple of them and then we’ll look at the summary. John 15:18&19, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” This is the world of sinners. We live in a world of people that don’t believe in the Lord; ungodly people who persecute Christians. Is there victory over that? We’re strangers here. We’re pilgrims here but we have to live in a world of sinners.
There is another use of the word for “world” in Mark 4:18&19, “And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, and the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” This is Solomon’s word, “All is vanity in this world.” It has no value. Abraham was a millionaire but he never owned anything except that he bought a grave. That’s all this world has to offer. There is nothing else. There’s victory over the things of this world.
Then there is James 4:4, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” This is the world’s ideas and the world’s methods. This is humanism and the values of the world and what they think is important.
Let me give you a summary and it’s in 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.”
I’m sure you are all familiar with that passage. “All that’s in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.” I don’t know how it is in France but in America, depending on where you go, they have a different list. They say, “Don’t be worldly. Don’t’ smoke and don’t drink and don’t gamble and don’t play contact sports and don’t use dice.” Anyway, they all have their own standard of holiness. But God includes more under the word “world” than Christians do. God includes the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
On one side you have the world. What is the opposite of the world? Listen to 1 John 2:17, “And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.” It’s an amazing contrast. It’s either the world or the will of God. Every time I don’t do the will of God, I’m worldly. It’s not just a list that some people keep. It’s missing the will of God.
2 Corinthians 2:14, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” He always leads us in triumph. Romans 8:37, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” Is such a life possible, that we are in everything conquerors, and not just having life but abundant life?
Let me share God’s provision for victory. Galatians 6:14, “But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” The Apostle Paul saw himself as crucified to the world. The key verse is John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
“Take courage. I have overcome the world.” Let me break it down. “I have overcome the lust of the flesh. I have overcome the lust of the eyes. I have overcome the pride of life.” Let me say it another way. Jesus claimed that He has overcome everything that stands between you and the will of God. Do you realize what a provision that is? There is nothing between you and the will of God; nothing in heaven, nothing on the earth, and nothing under the earth. Nothing can hinder you from doing the will of God. If that is not victory, I don’t know what is, that God has already overcome everything between me and the will of God.
Notice that He didn’t say, “Be of good cheer, you shall overcome.” He said, “I have overcome.” Christians always want to be overcomers but He is the overcomer. This is the most glorious news that can ever reach the ear of a burdened Christian. I’m in Christ and all that is in Him belongs to me. I just want to have that verse read again. John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” In the world you’ll have tribulation. You are in the world. You are also in Christ. In Christ, He has overcome the world. Once again, God doesn’t give His Son and something called “victory”.
Romans 6:8-11, “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.” He is dead to sin and alive to God. I want to be dead to sin and alive to God but He is not going to allow me to be dead to sin and alive to God because He will not give His glory to another. He is dead to sin and alive to God and I’m in Him. He’s dead to sin and alive to God and you are in Him.
I can’t fly. The airplane flies. I’m in the airplane; I fly. Everything that is in Christ is yours. Everything that is in Christ belongs to me. He’s the Son of God. You are sons of God. He’s righteous. You have been made the righteousness of God in Him. He’s an overcomer. So are you; in Him. He’s elect and so are you because you are in Christ Jesus. Everything He has belongs to you.
I hope God has taught your heart that when He died you died. When He rose from the dead, you rose from the dead. When He ascended into heaven, you ascended into heaven. When He sat down at the right hand of God, you were seated with Him. You are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.
So, what is victory? Victory is Jesus. It’s a Person. It’s the Lord Himself. He has overcome the world. He has overcome the world of sinners. He’s overcome the world of all the vanity in the world. He’s overcome all the methods that the world uses. All that is in the world that stands between you and the will of God, He has already overcome. There’s only one Person who has ever lived the Christian life. His name is Jesus. And there is only one Person who can ever live it again. It’s not you. It’s Jesus. That’s why He lives in you and me; to share His victory. If you look for your own victory you will be sadly disappointed.
Some people read Romans 7, the great struggle, and they think that’s Paul’s testimony and every Christian will struggle until he gets to heaven. That’s not what Romans 7 is about. The apostle Paul went further in the flesh than any person that has ever lived. He tried to live the Christian life on his own. He went further than you or I ever tried. When he was all done he said, “I love God and I love His will. I hate sin and I can’t perform.” Imagine loving God, hating sin and not being able to perform. He gave his testimony and said, “Don’t go there. That won’t work.”
Romans 7 is not how to live the Christian life. Romans 8 is how to live the Christian life. If you try, you’ll get to Romans 7:24, “Wretched man that I am. Who is going to deliver me?” How do you get out of Romans 7 and get into Romans 8? Romans 7:25, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” How do I get out of Romans 7 and into Romans 8? I say, “Thank You.” That’s it; you just say, “Thank You.” He’s done it all! He’s the Overcomer! He has overcome everything between you and the will of God.
To enjoy victory is to enjoy Jesus. Now, that’s the theology. Let me give you an illustration from the Old Testament. I’ll set it up with a verse from the New Testament, Colossians 1:13, “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” There are two kingdoms; the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the devil. He said, “I translated you into the kingdom of God.” He gives us a picture of that in Daniel 2.
Daniel 2 was that great dream of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel 2:19, 22-23, “Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven… It is He who reveals the profound and the hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. To Thee, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for Thou hast given me wisdom and power. Even now Thou hast made known to me what we requested of Thee, for Thou hast made known to us the king’s matter.”
Remember that Nebuchadnezzar said, “Tell me the dream and the interpretation.” Daniel’s only hope was to call on the Lord and he called on the Lord. Here is the dream. Daniel 2:31-36, “You, O king, were looking and behold there was a single great statue; that statue which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs off bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and crushed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. This was the dream; now we shall tell its interpretation before the king.”
It was a dream of a giant man. He had a head made out of gold and he had shoulders that were made out of silver and his middle was made out of bronze and his legs were made out of iron and his feet were made out of clay and iron that were mixed together, and as God interpreted that, He said, “That’s the kingdoms of the world.” The head is a picture of Babylon. The silver is a picture of the Medes and the Persians. The bronze is a picture of Greece. Rome is the legs. Then sometime in the future the ten toes are ten kingdoms or something like that. What I want you to see is that it was the image of a man; an awesome image of a man.
There was a second part to the dream and it had to do with the little stone coming out of heaven. The stone hit the foot of the image and you know the rest of the story. I’m suggesting what we read in Colossians is in Daniel 2. I think there were two kingdoms. You might say, “I thought there were four kingdoms, and maybe more if you have the confederations of ten nations.” There were two kingdoms; the kingdom of man and the kingdom of God. That’s why it’s an image of a man. It’s one image with many parts but only one image; the kingdom of man.
I want victory over me. I want victory over the kingdom of man. I want victory over the flesh. The New Testament calls it “the old man”, the “old nature”, “the old Adam”, “the carnal man”, “the flesh”, “Esau”, “Ishmael” and “Agag”. It’s all the same thing. It’s the kingdom of the flesh. Let me give you what I think is the spiritual message. Daniel 2:31, “You, O king, were looking and behold there was a single great statue; that statue which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you and its appearance was awesome.” He saw a great image. It was extraordinarily large. How tall was it? We get a hint in his second dream.
Daniel 4:10-11, “Now, these were the visions in my mind as I lay on my bed; I was looking and behold, there was a tree in the midst of earth, and its height was great. And its height reached to the sky and it was visible to the ends of the whole earth. The tree grew large and became strong.” He has a picture of a tree that reached to heaven and the branches reached to the ends of the earth. That’s a big tree!
He said that the head of the image was made of gold. He used the word “great image”; it was a great tree that reached to the heavens and to the ends of the earth. How great was this image that He made? That was only a picture of the head, not the whole image. According to Daniel 3:1 it was sixty cubits, or about ninety feet high. Just understand that this was very big, very impressive, very large and very scary. When we think about our own sin nature and we want victory over it, it’s very big, very large, and very impressive and it’s very scary. If you have ever struggled with the flesh, you know how big it is.
When you look at the image, it’s just an image. In other words, it’s a statue. It’s not alive. Gold glitters but it’s dead. Silver sparkles but it’s dead. You can shine brass but it’s dead. Iron is strong but there is no life in it. When you are wrestling the flesh you forget that it’s not real. It’s a kingdom of stone. That’s all it is. As you look more and more you see the value decreases as you get to the foundation. This image of man has a fading glory. Gold is more valuable than silver and silver is more valuable than brass and brass is more valuable than iron and iron is more valuable than clay mixed with iron. With these eyes it looks so big and it looks so scary; but it’s dead! Jesus took you to the cross and there is no value in it at all. As you look at the image of man you say, “How can we deal with that image? It’s too big for me.”
One time I was studying with a friend and he finds principles everywhere. I asked my friend, “Why does God tell us that Goliath had six toes on each foot?” And his answer was, “To teach us that we cannot stand toe to toe with the enemy!” When we see the flesh we can’t handle it. You can’t fight Satan. That’s why Jesus did it for you. He didn’t do it once as your example. He did it as your substitute, so that you don’t have to do it. The war is over.
Daniel 2:34, “You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and crushed them.” God showed Daniel a little stone coming out of heaven, a stone not made with hands.
Daniel 2:35, “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” The stone hit the feet of the image of man and the stone began to grow and it continued to grow until it filled the whole world.
What do you call a stone that grows? You call it a “living stone”. As it grows, it’s alive. It’s a picture of the Lord Jesus and the Lord Jesus is the only One that can deal with that image. He comes down and He hits the very foundation and as that thing falls down, He begins to grow. He’s the Living Stone.
That will be true when Jesus comes back again someday. That was true when Jesus died on the cross. That was true when Jesus came into your heart. He struck at the image of man and brought it down and now He’s filling your life; growing and growing and growing. Did you notice that there was a lot of dust? The Bible says that the wind came and blew it away. Do you know what the wind is a picture of in the Bible? It’s the Holy Spirit of God. Do you see what God is saying for your life and mine? He’s saying, “Don’t deal with that big image. I’ll deal with it and what I knock down, the Holy Spirit will blow away.” You don’t have to try to clean up your life. You don’t have to struggle to get into the will of God. He has overcome everything between you and the will of God.
When God comes into your life and strikes at the foundation and a lot of dust comes from that crash, don’t think that is the dust from the devil. That’s not dust from the devil. That’s the dust from the Lord. When He cleanses the temple, He makes a mess. We call it “a cleansing” but the tables are upside down, the animals are running all over the place, and money is all over the floor. That’s how my children used to clean their rooms. They said that they cleaned it but it didn’t look clean.
When the Lord Jesus deals with some sin, some flesh in your life, He’s replacing that kingdom with His and as that comes down, His kingdom grows and the Lord Jesus will fill the whole landscape of your life. What is victory? Victory is Jesus. You have Jesus. He has authority and you have Him. You don’t have authority. He has all authority and you have none. You have Him. You don’t have victory. You have Him. He is your victory. You don’t have to deal with the flesh. He does. When He does, the Holy Spirit blows it away.
This is a process as you go on in the Lord. Jesus knocks it down and the Holy Spirit blows it away. That is the life of victory. I hope every brother and sister here knows Christ as their victory. You have Him and you need nothing else. Pull out all the stops and believe it with all of your heart. There’s nothing between you and the will of God. This very moment you can be in the center of the circle of the perfect will of God. Just say, “Thank You.” He did it all. As soon as you say, “Thank You,” He takes you out of Romans 7 and He brings you into Romans 8 where there is no condemnation.
Father, thank You for Your victory. Lord, we just ask You to make that real in our lives. Work thanksgiving in our hearts. Translate us from the kingdom of the enemy to the kingdom of God, the kingdom of the Son of Your love. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen