Life of Victory - Mead Maguire
Life of Victory - Mead Maguire
Much is being said these days concerning the victorious life, and with so much preaching, praying, and discussion, the question arises, Why do so few seem to experience complete deliverance from sin and the joy and satisfaction such freedom is said to produce? Why is it that many who really love God and desire earnestly to walk with Him, manifest and confess an utter lack of power to do it?
Why do others who have enjoyed a genuine and happy experience, fall back intohabits and practices once forsaken, and in their life deny their profession, though they do not give it up?
Why is it that devoted Christians confess their sorrow over habitual sins of
impatience, selfishness, pride, criticism, and love of the world, though they profess to believe what the Scriptures say, "He shall save His people from their sins"? Why do some rejoice in the fact that they have victory over great sins, but are constantly defeated by the little ones? Is it not strange that Christ can save from the big sins, but cannot save from those they regard as comparatively small? Only recently a young man said, "Week after week I hear earnest professors of religion confess their defeat and failure. I can do as well without making a profession. Therefore I have no desire to be a Christian, nor any intention of ever becoming one."
Is it not deplorable that Christian people, instead of testifying to the world that Christ saves them from their sins, should publicly bear witness that He does not save them? What hope has the church of attracting sinners to a Saviour whom the church members acknowledge does not save them? Can anyone deny that these are fundamental and intensely vital questions?
Three things are essential to a really satisfactory Christian life:
COURAGE-One can be neither happy nor helpful who is discouraged. And one cannot be filled with courage who is conscious of defeat and condemnation. Courage abounds in the heart of him who through Christ is victorious over sin.
POWER-Paul speaks of a class who have "a form of godliness," but deny "the power thereof." The very name "Christian" implies power to live a godly life. To practice sins means to acknowledge weakness and failure, but victory means power.
JOY-The Christian life is to be a fruitful life. This is the test of its success or failure. But one of the greatest essentials to fruitfulness in the Christian life is the exhibition of joy that attracts and wins to Christ. How can one experience overflowing joy while continually defeated by sin?
So these three great essentials-courage, power, joy-can be experienced fully only in the life that is victorious over sin. Apparently many do not understand what the Scriptures teach concerning the need and possibility of victory.
The fifth chapter of Romans speaks of the experience of justification by faith in Christ and peace with God. This means deliverance from the guilt and condemnation of sin. The seventh chapter describes the man who has believed in Christ for the remission of sins that are past. He delights in the law of God and hates evil: yet he is bound by a law in his very being which compels him to violate the law he loves, and to do the things he hates.
It is not a question of justification and deliverance from wrath and the
condemnation of the law. This has been dealt with in the first chapters of
Romans. It is evident that the man who has been justified needs yet another deliverance from the law of sin and death which is in his members. Without this he is powerless to do the good he longs to do, or to refrain from the evil he hates; for he says, "To will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not."
Many make this discovery in their own experience, and are greatly perplexed. They supposed that when their sins were forgiven and the love and joy of God filled their hearts, the conflict with sin must be about finished; but in truth it had scarcely begun. When the real secret of victory is discovered, it is so simple and plain that the glad believer usually cries out, "Why have I not seen and understood this before?" How many there are everywhere, who like the writer of the following words, have long groped in darkness and defeat, seeking in vain that which is so freely provided?
"For the first time I have found rest of soul, because for the first time I have the assurance that Jesus has come into my heart. Why is it that I have been so slow in getting this experience? I have needed it so much, and have longed and prayed and pleaded for it. I have studied and thought much about it, and discussed it with others, and knew there was a reality to it. I doubt if any made a more complete surrender than I, and yet others seemed contented and satisfied with their Christian experience while doing things which my conscience would not permit at all. It has been a tremendous struggle with me ever since I gave my heart to the Lord in childhood."
We need victory for Christ's sake, because a sinner really saved from sin is the evidence that His plan of redemption is a success. We need victory for the sake of other men, for we can have little power to win men to a Saviour whom we acknowledge has not saved us.
We need victory for our own sake; for "the wages of sin is death," and if we keep on sinning, we must expect to receive the wages.
But we need not despair. The inspired Word says, "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory."
Let us enter upon a prayerful study of this important subject, with the solemn affirmation in our hearts, Thanks be to God, I can have the victory.