REV. JOE WASHINGTON: Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ
Throughout our lives we are all looking for victory and the ability to overcome the seemingly insurmountable challenges. We need to look no further than Jesus Christ, our Savior who has provided us with the Victory in every aspect of our lives.
The Apostle Paul in our chosen text gives expression to the gratitude of his heart for a unique victory that is assured to those who exercise a firm faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He is expresses great joy and satisfaction because of the confidence he has in the ultimate victory that will be ours through faith in Christ Jesus.
In 1 Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul has concluded his discourse on the resurrection of Christ by stating his confidence and conviction that those who trust Jesus Christ will likewise experience complete victory over death and the grave. Paul rejoices at the ultimate victory which awaits him and his heart sings with joy and thanksgiving.
If we follow the example of Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, we would thank God for our victory through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
1. We can be thankful for victory over sin.
Since Jesus Christ shed His innocent blood and died on Calvary’s Cross for our sins, we can be thankful for forgiveness of sins and victory over Satan who causes us to sin. The Holy Book tells that through Jesus Christ we have victory over the penalty of sin, which is death (Rom. 6:23); we can have victory over the power of sin (Phil. 2:13); and we will one day have victory over the very presence of sin (Heb. 9:28). For Christians every day is Easter or Resurrection Sunday because we are thankful for the victory we have in Jesus Christ over our sins.
2. We can be thankful for victory over suffering.
Sooner or later suffering becomes the lot of almost every person who lives. For some, suffering is a crushing blow that shatters them beyond repair. How can one face suffering, disappointment, or defeat in a victorious manner? Paul discovered that being a follower of Jesus Christ did not immunize one from hardship and suffering. There is no promise of exemption from suffering merely because one has faith and lives a life of faithfulness. Paul found in the grace of God the strength and the wisdom to be victorious even in the midst of human suffering. We can do likewise if we will keep our hearts open and if we will let Jesus Christ have possession of our minds and spirits. Through Christ we can truly triumph over tragedy.
3. We can be thankful for victory over death.
Paul declared that the last enemy of humans is death (1 Cor. 15:26). Seemingly, death wins the victory over everyone, but our Lord came to demonstrate that life is more powerful than death. He came to taste death for every person and He came to strike a death blow to death and to destroy its very power. He came to deliver people from the fear of the power of death and for that we ought to be grateful and joyous. Jesus Christ came to die for us that we might not have to die.
He affirmed that His victory over death should be taken as a proof that we would also be delivered from death and that we would live as He lived. I Corinthians 15 is the classic New Testament passage that affirms that through Jesus Christ we will experience victory over Satan, sin, death, and the grave. In view of this, it is understandable that this great chapter should close with an anthem of praise and with a challenge to faithfulness in working for the Lord Jesus Christ. Victory is a beautiful word to those who are the victors. Through Jesus Christ we are assured of victory in the game of life in which everything is at stake. Daily we should express our thanks to God for the joy and the assurance of this victory. To contemplate the full significance of the victory that is ours through Christ will fill our hearts with joy.
Hearts that are filled with joy will find a way to communicate that joy to others. Our expressions of thanksgiving and joy will cause others to want to know our Savior.
The words of our text should be in our minds every day: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).