Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Victory in Christ

Victory in Christ from Victorious Life by Charles G. Trumbull

Mr. Trumbull starts by asking a question, a rather uncomfortable question, “Is your kind of Christianity worth sending to the non-Christian world”?
   Not, “Is Christianity worth sending?” There is no question as to that. But what about your kind?-the kind that you showed by your life this morning, yesterday, last week, last year. Is that what the non-Christian world is waiting for, what is needed to revolutionize lives there?
   Now there is a kind of Christianity worth sending to the non-Christian world. It is the kind that Jesus Christ lives, the kind that He has always lived. And the Christianity that Christ Himself lives is the only kind worth sending.
   The kind of salvation that Jesus offers is the only salvation worth offering to anyone. So the kind of Christianity that Jesus lives, moment by moment, is the only kind of Christianity worth living…
   Jesus, you know, makes two offers to everyone. He offers to set us free from the penalty of our sin. And He offers to set us free from the power of our sin. Both these offers are made on exactly the same terms: we can accept them only by letting Him do it all…
   Trying is what we do, and trusting is what we let the Lord do…
   Victory is by faith; but faith must be fed; and faith cannot be fed apart from daily nourishment from the Word of God, and daily time alone with God in prayer…
   Having surrendered the whole life to the mastery of the Lord, having given up the pride of the flesh, all luxuries and self-gratification, there is the peril of asceticism. Perhaps fine clothes, or jewelry, or overindulgence in food were among the things that had to go when we surrendered wholly to the Lord. As we find our new joy in Him, not in these things, we may be driven beyond the will of God into an asceticism that dishonors Him. More than one wholly surrendered Christian has mistakenly become indifferent and careless about personal attire or appearance, and has actually become repellent to others because of this mistake. Or, having been delivered from the sin of luxury in jewelry, we may be driven beyond the will of God into supposing that every bit of gold or silver we have should now be given away or sold and the proceeds given directly to the Lord’s service. Christian women have actually sold their wedding rings under this form of sadly mistaken asceticism. The spirit is commendable, but neither the guidance nor the results are necessarily of God.
   We are to maintain a golden mean between the extremes of asceticism and luxury. We are to take care of our personal appearance, our cleanliness, our clothing, so as to be attractive to our fellow men; it is a positive duty to be attractive Christians, both in dress and in appearance, that others may be won to us in order that we may win them to our Lord. We are to do all things to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).
   This includes our pleasures as well as all else. We are not to believe the lie of Satan that everything that is pleasurable or attractive is sinful. We are to enjoy our meals, for example, not reduce them to the minimum of mere physical sustenance. And so of other temporal details of our life.
   We may get the mistaken idea that when we have a choice between something that is hard and something that is easy, the hard thing is always God’s will. His will may be just the opposite. There is not necessarily any virtue in difficulty, and there is not necessarily any sin in ease. The only question is, What is God’s will for us in each matter that comes before us?
   “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1). And we are never to abandon our God-given common sense in the Victorious Life.
   Here is one way of distinguishing between God’s leading's and Satan’s “angel of light” leading's. To the really surrendered Christian, who is trusting Christ for victory, God’s leading's and promptings never nag, or worry, or harass. Satan’s do just this. If one has a seeming “leading” to do something that in itself is good, yet with the impulse there is a sense of nagging disquiet, almost as though a mosquito or a gnat were buzzing about to try to drive us in a certain direction, that is Satan’s earmark, his calling card; and his false “leading” is to be instantly recognized and rejected. The Holy Spirit’s leadings to the surrendered and trusting Christian come with a sense of peace and quiet, even if they point in a really difficult direction which only the grace of God can enable one to follow.
   The Victorious Life is a supernatural life: it is a living miracle, a thrilling adventure, for it is God’s work and God’s working…
   God wants us to trust, not in supernatural experiences, but in Himself. It is for Him to decide when the unusual shall come into our life, and when our life shall be commonplace and humdrum so far as things of sight and sense are concerned…

   The secret of complete victory is faith: simply believing that Jesus has done and is doing it all

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