Devotional

“For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!” – Deuteronomy 20:4

In every facet of life, we have seen victory snatched from the jaws of defeat. That requires a person or team to win, succeed, or be victorious at the last moment, despite the apparent likelihood of failure or defeat. A prime example is the Houston Oilers. 1993 AFC Wild Card Round, playoff game verses the Buffalo Bills known as “‘The Comeback” and rightly so. The Oilers were up 35-3 early in the second half. The Bills went on to put up an incredible 35 unanswered points and ended up winning the game in overtime 41-38. There are two opponents that we can never snatch a last minute victory over: sin and death.

The Bible tells us everyone has sinned. Every one of us occasionally pushes God aside to do what we want to do. Our sinful nature is very difficult to control and so it can easily gain control.  In Romans 7, the Apostle Paul makes an honest portrayal of his enslavement to his sinful nature. If we were to be as honest as Paul, we could probably relate to his inability to do what he wants to do or stop doing what he doesn’t want to do. It is a universal problem. Sin is one enemy we cannot defeat no matter how much time and effort we put into it.

Death is the other enemy we can’t defeat. We can’t control sin, and sin results in death. God told Adam and Eve if they sinned, they would die, and the wages of sin remains death today. (Romans 6:23) We die. It is pretty hard to argue with that fact when death has been batting a thousand since Adam and Eve.

Fortunately, God is a god of victory. In the Old Testament we see God victorious, and giving the ultimate victory to His people. But even then there were two enemies even God’s people could not defeat: sin and death. So God sends His only Son Jesus, born in manger in Bethlehem. God takes human form. “Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form.” (Philippians 2:7)

Jesus lived a human life and then went to the cross. Tortured, beaten and bloody, He died a horrible agonizing death and was buried in a tomb.  It seemed like the most devastating loss ever suffered. The one who many thought was God in the flesh was now dead and buried. Defeat seemed total and final. Except it wasn’t final, it wasn’t total It was not even defeat. It was the ultimate victory. For it was on the cross Jesus overcame our sin problem. Three days later, Jesus walked out of the grave, overcoming our death problem and setting us free.

1 Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  We can live with confidence. A confidence not in ourselves, but in the One who has the power to experience victory over sin and death.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does a victorious life look like?
  2. Through Christ, we have victory over sin. How can that be evident in your life this week?