Victory Through Our Lord Jesus Christ

In the Lord our labor is not in vain.

The sayings of our mouth and the mediation of our heart.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the words of the Lord God and the meditation of his heart?

As you spend time resting in the word of God daily, forgetting everything you know except Jesus the Messiah, are you aware of a growing desire for your every word and thought to please the Lord? Are you becoming conscious of the Lord’s response to your every word and thought?

Read the words of Scripture slowly and reflectively. Let them settle deep in your soul and take root as you wait in anticipation for the Spirit of God to bring them to life in you.

The path to true wisdom.

1 Cor 3:18-23 – Don’t fool yourself. Don’t think that you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. Be God’s fool — that’s the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid. It’s written in Scripture, He exposes the chicanery of the chic. The Master sees through the smoke screens of the know-it-alls. I don’t want to hear any of you bragging about yourself or anyone else. Everything is already yours as a gift — Paul, Apollos, Peter, the world, life, death, the present, the future — all of it is yours, and you are privileged to be in union with Christ, who is in union with God. (MSG)

Everything
Everything is already yours.
Everything is already yours as a gift!
You are privileged to be in union with Christ, who is in union with God.

Do we understand this? So what are we competing and striving for? Are we striving for what is already ours? Or maybe we’re not content with everything that we already have as a gift? Are we striving after illusions, imitations, emptiness, futility, uselessness? Are we rejecting the Lord God and everything he has already given us if we turn away and strive after the things of this world?

Everything is already yours.
What do you want that you think you do not already have?

Everything is already yours.
Do you believe? Do you trust this declaration?
You are privileged to be in union with Christ, who is in union with God.
Everything is already yours.
In union with Christ, who is in union with God.

Do you know this union, the privilege of this union in your everyday life experience? Do you actively, continuously abide in this union, in this given place, this given state, this given relation, this given expectancy?1 Or do you tend to get distracted and wander away?

The apostle Paul knew this union. He dedicated his life to sharing the gospel that tells about it and invites everyone to participate.

God himself is present in you.

1 Cor 3:16-17 – You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred — and you, remember, are the temple. (MSG)

Do you realize?

Who will separate us from the love of the Messiah?

Rom 8:32-38 – He who did not spare even his own Son, but gave him up on behalf of us all — is it possible that, having given us his Son, he would not give us everything else too? So who will bring a charge against God’s chosen people? Certainly not God — he is the one who causes them to be considered righteous! Who punishes them? Certainly not the Messiah Yeshua [Jesus], who died and — more than that — has been raised, is at the right hand of God and is actually pleading on our behalf! Who will separate us from the love of the Messiah? Trouble? Hardship? Persecution? Hunger? Poverty? Danger? War? As [it is written], “For your sake we are being put to death all day long, we are considered sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are superconquerors, through the one who has loved us. (CJB)

We are being put to death all day long…
Superconquerors, through the one who has loved us.

Read the texts again. What thoughts and questions and emotions arise? Does a word satisfy? Encourage? Convict? Prod? Instruct? Empower? Give hope?

Superconquerors through the one who has loved us.

I have overcome the world.

John 16:31-33 – Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (ESV)

Do you now believe?
In me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation, pressure, anguish, persecution, trouble.2
But take heart, I have overcome the world.

Is this our directive and goal, too? Is our life purpose and God’s will for us to overcome the world? How are we doing? Have we joined the world rather than doing whatever is necessary to overcome it?

Rev 11:15 – Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” (ESV)

1 Cor 15:19-21 – If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. (ESV)

John 12:25 – He who loves his life loses it, but he who hates his life in this world will keep it safe right on into eternal life! (CJB)

Are we experiencing resurrection life in Christ Jesus every day, or are we experiencing only life in this world?

In me you may have peace.
Peace: to join, prosperity, one, quietness, rest, set at one again.3

We can experience this paradox, being in these two states at the very same time. Tribulation, pressure, anguish, persecution and trouble in the world and the quietness, rest, and prosperity of being joined with Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior, who has overcome the world, hating his life in this world and keeping it safe right on into eternal life.

Overcome: to subdue, conquer, prevail, get the victory.4

Read the texts again. Chew upon these words. Turn them over and over in your mind and allow their significance to be absorbed by mind, body, soul and spirit.

Trust.

1 Cor 15:57-58 – But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (ESV)

1 John 5:4-5 – because everything which has God as its Father overcomes the world. And this is what victoriously overcomes the world: our trust. Who does overcome the world if not the person who believes that Yeshua [Jesus] is the Son of God? (CJB)

Firm in your trust.

1 Peter 5:8-11 – Stay sober, stay alert! Your enemy, the Adversary, stalks about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Stand against him, firm in your trust, knowing that your brothers throughout the world are going through the same kinds of suffering. You will have to suffer only a little while; after that, God, who is full of grace, the one who called you to his eternal glory in union with the Messiah, will himself restore, establish and strengthen you and make you firm. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen. (CJB)

God gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who called you to his eternal glory in union with the Messiah
Will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you and make you firm.
Our trust in him is the victory that has overcome the world.

Christ Jesus and apostle Paul modeled this firm trust for us.

Scripture describes life from several perspectives. Apostle Paul didn’t always know (zoe) life, this life of union with Christ.

Paul described his experience with each perspective of life.

Life. Bios. The means of life, livelihood, cares that pertain to this life and matters of this world.

I am of the people of Israel
Offspring of Abraham
Of the tribe of Benjamin
Circumcised on the eighth day according to the law
A Hebrew of Hebrews
As to the law, a Pharisee
A son of Pharisees
According to the strictest party of our religion
As to zeal, a persecutor of the church
As to righteousness, under the law blameless (Acts 23:6; Acts 26:4-6; Phil 3:4-6).

Life. Psuche. Heart, mind, soul, seat of personality, breath of the natural life, the living being, the individual life.

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God
The natural person is not able to understand the things of the Spirit of God because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:14).

Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (Mt 6:25)

We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. In our hearts we felt we were under the sentence of death. However, this was to get us to rely not on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead! (2 Cor 1:8-9)

Since the children share a common physical nature as human beings, he [Jesus] became like them and shared that same human nature; so that by his death he might render ineffective the one who had power over death (that is, the Adversary) and thus set free those who had been in bondage all their lives because of their fear of death (Heb 2:14-15).

Life. Flesh. Following the course of this world, the passions and addictions of our old nature and our own thoughts.

I don’t understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Ro 7:14-25)

I walk in the ways and course of the world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among the disobedient, who are unable to carry out what is right. We all once lived this way, following the passions of our old nature, obeying the wishes of our old nature and our own thoughts.

In our natural condition we were all headed for God’s wrath (Eph 2:2-3).

Having bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in my heart, I am false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice (James 3:14-16).

Life. Zoe. The Life of the living being. Life as a principle, in the absolute sense as God has Life in himself. The changing or fashioning anew. Impartation of spiritual Life.

Through one individual sin and death entered the world, passing death through to the whole human race, forfeiting Life (Ro 5:12). Forfeiting, giving up, losing, deprived of Life because of some crime, fault, mistake, or neglect of duty.

Yet that forfeited Life is redeemable by a specific action. Through one individual, the Son, whom the Father has given to have Life in himself just as the Father does, the whole human race is being redeemed (Jn 5:26).

For in bringing many sons to glory, it was only fitting that God, the Creator and Preserver of everything, should bring the Initiator of their deliverance to the goal through sufferings. For both Yeshua [Jesus], who sets people apart for God, and the ones being set apart have a common origin (Heb 2:10-11 CJB).

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the Life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Gal 2:20).

For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the Life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh (2 Cor 4:11).

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through the Messiah’s faithfulness, the righteousness from God that depends on trust — that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead (Phil 3:7-11).

Pause. Breathe. Reflect. What do you know about life?

Do you identify with apostle Paul? Can you map out your life experience in a similar way through your emotions, your thoughts, your will, your actions, your imagination, and desires?

Life. Bios. The means of life, livelihood, cares that pertain to this life and matters of this world.

Life. Psuche. Heart, mind, soul, seat of personality, breath of the natural life, the individual life.

Life. Flesh. Following the course of this world, the passions and addictions of our old nature and our own thoughts.

Life. Zoe. The Life of the living being. Life as a principle, in the absolute sense as God has Life in himself. The changing or fashioning anew. Impartation of spiritual Life.

“In our hearts we felt we were under the sentence of death. However, this was to get us to rely not on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead!”

Do not fear.

Luke 17:33 – If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you’ll lose it, but if you let that life go, you’ll get life on God’s terms. (MSG)

Life.
In this world.
Grasping and clinging on our terms.
Eternal.
Letting go to get life on God’s terms.

Do not fear what you are about to suffer.

Rev 2:10-11 – Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life [zoe]. (ESV)

Do not fear what you are about to suffer.
Fear: to frighten, to be alarmed, to be in awe of, revere.5
That you may be tested.
Tested: endeavor, scrutinize, entice, discipline, assay, examine, tempt.6
You will have tribulation.
Tribulation: pressure, affliction, anguish, burdened, persecution, trouble, to wound.7
Be faithful unto death.
Faithful: trustful, sure, true, to rely by inward certainty; agree, have confidence, yield.8

We give and receive power from what or whom we fear. Be constantly alert!

Save your fear for God.

Deut 31:8 – It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (ESV)

Luke 12:4-5 – “I’m speaking to you as dear friends. Don’t be bluffed into silence or insincerity by the threats of religious bullies. True, they can kill you, but then what can they do? There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life — body and soul — in his hands. (MSG)

Let go life on your terms – bios, psuche, flesh – and you’ll get life on God’s terms – zoe. “I will give you the crown of life.”

Crown: to twine or wreathe; a chaplet as a badge of royalty, a prize in the public games or a symbol of honor generally; but more conspicuous and elaborate than the simple fillet.9

Call on him.

Ps 145:18 – The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (ESV)

Truth: stability, certainty, faithful, right, sure; to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; to trust or believe, be faithful of long continuance; to be permanent or quiet.10

1 Cor 15:57-58 – but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! So, my dear brothers, stand firm and immovable, always doing the Lord’s work as vigorously as you can, knowing that united with the Lord your efforts are not in vain. (CJB)

Let go life on your terms – bios, psuche, flesh – and you’ll overcome the world to get life on God’s terms – zoe. United with the Lord we overcome the world, and the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.

Read the texts again, setting aside your own thoughts, perceptions, judgments, your own agenda, to allow response from your inner depths to surface. What do you discover?

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

Inhale.
Exhale.

Become aware of your breath. The breath of the Almighty in you.

Breath by breath. Become conscious of the presence of the Almighty in you. Seek his strength. Seek his presence. Surrender to the influence of the breath of the Almighty that you may serve him.

Inhale.
Exhale.

You must rely on the breath of the Almighty, the Spirit of God who lives inside you, to make you understand Gods words, to discern the thoughts and intentions of your heart, to seek the interests of Jesus Christ and not your own.

With your inhalation draw the words of the Lord God deep within you.

With your exhalation empty yourself of all your own ideas, plans, thoughts, imaginations, and words to make room for the words of God to take possession. Open yourself completely to what the Lord God wants to reveal to you about yourself and about him. Become reverently responsive to what he says.

Lam 3:57 – You came near when I called on you; you said, ‘Do not fear!’ (ESV)

Inhale: (draw the words of the Lord God deep within you)

I called on you

Exhale. (empty yourself of self to allow the words of God to take possession)

You came near and said, “Do not fear!”

Wait, watch, listen, be still, be willing for the Lord God to transform you from within, revealing who you really are. Strive and reach for the goal, alive to the energy that he powerfully works in you as you rest, completely dependent upon him to reach the goal, united with the Messiah.

As you receive the Word of God into that deepest place of your being, the Lord God is rescuing you, he is loosening your bonds to your old nature, he is delivering you from your illusions and foolish boasting. Through Jesus, our Messiah, God is gradually transforming you from within, revealing who you really are, becoming one spirit with him. Do not fear!

Inhale.
Exhale.
Breathe the Lord God’s words all day every day.

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Abide: NT:3306 <START GREEK>me/nw <END GREEK> meno (men’-o); a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): KJV – abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for),  thine own. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

2Tribulation: NT:2347 <START GREEK>qli/yi$<END GREEK> thlipsis (thlip’-sis); from NT:2346; pressure (literally or figuratively): KJV – afflicted (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

3Peace: NT:1515 <START GREEK>ei)rh/nh<END GREEK> eirene (i-ray’-nay); probably from a primary verb eiro (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication, prosperity: KJV – one, peace, quietness, rest,  set at one again. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

4Overcome: NT:3528 <START GREEK>nika/w<END GREEK> nikao (nik-ah’-o); from NT:3529; to subdue (literally or figuratively): KJV – conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

5Fear: NT:5399 <START GREEK>fobe/w<END GREEK> phobeo (fob-eh’-o); from NT:5401; to frighten, i.e. (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy, to be in awe of, i.e. revere: KJV – be (+sore) afraid, fear (exceedingly), reverence. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

6Tested: NT:3985 <START GREEK>peira/zw <END GREEK> peirazo (pi-rad’-zo); from NT:3984; to test (objectively), i.e. endeavor, scrutinize, entice, discipline: KJV – assay, examine, go about, prove, tempt (-er), try. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

7Tribulation: NT:2347 <START GREEK>qli/yi$ <END GREEK> thlipsis (thlip’-sis); from NT:2346; pressure (literally or figuratively): KJV – afflicted (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble.

NT:2346 <START GREEK>qli/bw<END GREEK> thlibo (thlee’-bo); akin to the base of NT:5147; to crowd (literally or figuratively): KJV – afflict, narrow, throng, suffer tribulation, trouble.

NT:5147 <START GREEK>tri/bo$ <END GREEK> tribos (tree’-bos); from tribo (to “rub”; akin to teiro, truo, and the base of NT:5131, NT:5134); a rut or worn track: KJV – path.

NT:5131 <START GREEK>tra/go$ <END GREEK> tragos (trag’-os); from the base of NT:5176; a he-goat (as a gnawer): KJV – goat.

NT:5134 <START GREEK>trau=ma <END GREEK> trauma (trow’-mah); from the base of titrosko (to wound; akin to the base of NT:2352, NT:5147, NT:5149, etc.); a wound: KJV – wound. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

8Faithful: NT:4103 <START GREEK>pisto/$ <END GREEK> pistos (pis-tos’); from NT:3982; objectively, trustworthy; subjectively, trustful: KJV – believe (-ing, -r), faithful (-ly), sure, true.

NT:3982 <START GREEK>pei/qw <END GREEK> peitho (pi’-tho); a primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy, to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively, to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty): KJV – agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) confident, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

9Crown: NT:4735 <START GREEK>ste/fano$ <END GREEK> stephanos (stef’-an-os); from an apparently primary stepho (to twine or wreathe); a chaplet (as a badge of royalty, a prize in the public games or a symbol of honor generally; but more conspicuous and elaborate than the simple fillet, NT:1238), literally or figuratively: KJV – crown.

NT:1238 <START GREEK>dia/dhma <END GREEK> diadema (dee-ad’-ay-mah); from a compound of NT:1223 and NT:1210; a “diadem” (as bound about the head): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

10Truth: OT:571 <START HEBREW>tm#a#<END HEBREW> ’emeth (eh’-meth); contracted from OT:539; stability; (figuratively) certainty, truth, trustworthiness: KJV – assured (-ly), establishment, faithful, right, sure, true (-ly, -th), verity.

OT:539 <START HEBREW>/m^a* <END HEBREW> ‘aman (aw-man’); a primitive root; properly, to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; figuratively to render (or be) firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quiet; morally to be true or certain; once (Isa 30:21; interchangeable with OT:541) to go to the right hand: KJV – hence, assurance, believe, bring up, establish,  fail, be faithful (of long continuance, stedfast, sure, surely, trusty, verified), nurse, (-ing father), (put), trust, turn to the right. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

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