The evangelist stood up and said he needed to go to the bathroom so he climbed out of the boat and walked on the water to shore. He came back ten minutes later the same way.
Then the minister decided he needed to go to the bathroom, too, so he climbed out of the boat and walked on the water to shore. He, too, came back the same way ten minutes later.
The priest looked at both of them and decided that his faith was just as strong as his fishing buddies and that he could walk on water, too. He stood up and excused himself. As he stepped out, he made a big splash down into the water.
Then evangelist looked at the minister and said, "I suppose we should have told him where the rocks were."
Copying the evangelist and the minister didn’t work too well for that priest when he tried to walk on water, but the bible does tell us in Hebrews 6:12 to be “...imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
This article is about how we, as Christians, can live a victorious life.
In the gospel of Matthew 13:1-23, we can read Jesus’ Parable of the Sower. In this parable, a farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, it fell in different places: some fell along the path, some fell on rocky places, some fell among thorns, and some fell on good soil. Only the seed falling on good soil produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Well the good news is if you have believed in Jesus for eternal life and the forgiveness of sins you are good soil. But in the good soil there is variation in the size of crop produced: hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. So how can we be 100-folders rather than 30-folders?
These verses in Colossians provide some clues:
1For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
12Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.
So in order to be mature, victorious believers, we need full assurance of Christ and the knowledge of what He gained for us. And we need to know that it is God’s will for us to live victoriously.
Firstly then what has Jesus gained for us?
1. Jesus has given us victory over death
1 Corinthians 15:50-58
50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed--52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.
14Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
2. Jesus has nullified sin
24For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with (athétēsis) sin by the sacrifice of himself.
The words “do away with” in Hebrews 9:26 is a translation of the Greek noun athétēsis which means an annulment (cancellation), nullification, abrogation, i.e. what is rendered "no longer in effect" (literally, "no longer having a place").
3. Jesus has given us the gift of righteousness and abundant grace
For if, by the trespass of the one man (Adam), death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
2 Corinthians 5:21
God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
4. Jesus has disarmed demonic rulers and authorities and triumphed over them, destroying the works of the devil
13When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
1 John 3:8
....The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.
5. Jesus has defeated sickness
16When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17This was to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“He took up our infirmities
and bore our diseases.”
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
1Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits--
3who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
6. Jesus has given us His authority and great power
19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
The God of peace will soon (táxos) crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
táxos – swiftness (speed), quickness; hastily, immediately, i.e. done as quickly (speedily) as is appropriate to the particular situation.
7. Jesus has provided for our needs
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 9:8-11
8And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”
10Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
So is it God’s will for us to live victoriously?
A resounding YES! If the bible says Jesus has provided all of the above, then it must be God's will for us to possess each provision. The following verses confirm it!
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."
26May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion;
may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace.
27May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, “The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.”
The word translated “well-being” in Psalm 35:27 is the Hebrew word “shalom”. This word shalom means completeness, soundness, welfare, peace and prosperity. So the Lord delights in our all-round well-being!
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors (hypernikáō) through him who loved us.
The phrase “more than conquerors” in Romans 8:37 is a translation of the Greek word “hypernikáō” which comes from “hyper” meaning "beyond" and “nikáō”, meaning "conquer". So hypernikáō actually means to exceedingly conquer, to be "more than a conqueror," or a "super-conqueror" who is "completely and overwhelmingly victorious"
So how do we live a victorious life?
Abide in Jesus and His word
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
1Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
3That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
Trust in Jesus
7“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
8They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
4For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
5May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.2He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought.3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ ”
6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Be fully persuaded!
18Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded (plērophoréō) that God had power to do what he had promised. 22This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
The phrase translated “fully persuaded” in Romans 4:21 is a translation of the verb “plērophoréō” which comes from “plḗrēs”- "full" and “phérō”- "carry, bring". So “plērophoréō” means to fully carry-through (make full); bear (or wear) fully. Plērophoréō ("fully carry through") is used of God's power bringing the believer to maximum potential.
Plērophoreō is often translated "giving full-assurance," but it properly means "bearing (wearing) the work of God to the fullest extent." That is, to the full capacity of the individual believer who is "fully persuaded" by Him.
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured (plērophoréō) in all the will of God.
1For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance (plērophoría) of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
9Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. 10For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. 11And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance (plērophoría) of hope until the end, 12so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
19Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance (plērophoría) of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.