“Victory in the Great Spiritual War”
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith (1 John 5:4).”
This coming weekend there will be a number of high profile NCAA and NFL football games slated. You can be sure there will be upsets. College Conference championships are a week out where the underdog wins more than 30% of the time. As far as the NFL, it is such upsets that gave rise to the saying, “On any given Sunday…” But in our examination of Spiritual Warfare there is a final consideration that cannot be ignored – that is the assurance of the final complete eternal victory by Christ and those that are His. Unlike any other contests this one is a lock.
Almost immediately after sin entered into the world God told the serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His head (Genesis 3:15).” This was no hopeful boast but a promise of the final outcome of the Spiritual War that had commenced upon the earth that day. As promised, the Son of God was manifested to destroy Satan’s works (1 John 3:8). As the devil schemed to undo God’s work by smuggling sin into the world leading to death Jesus had already prepared a plan for victory. As His hour of the cross approached Jesus said that the ruler of this world was to be cast out (John 12:31). Now the decisive battle of the war was near at the cross of Calvary. Christ bore the penalty of sin, which is death, for all of us that day (Romans 6:23a, 1 John 2:2). Afterwards the good news of His atoning sacrifice has gone out to all men so that they can share in the victory.
“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death (Revelation 12:10-11).’” Our accuser no longer has any ground upon which to bring a charge against the saints (Romans 8:33-35). God Himself has justified Christians through the sacrificial blood of Jesus (Romans 3:26) and has declared us “not guilty.” Through His death He destroyed “him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage (Hebrews 2:14-15).” That is complete and total victory Christians. Because of Jesus we are no longer subject to that death that Satan held over us.
God rescued us from the bondage to the prince of the power of the air forever and delivered us into His kingdom (Colossians 1:13). If we continue to let His word dwell in us we have assurance of victory (1 John 2:14). No matter what we may suffer in this life we overwhelmingly conquer through Him (Romans 8:37). Ritchie writes that this is to “gain a decisive or surpassing victory.”1 He explains further it is as a football game that ends in a 100-0 score, the outcome of which was determined early on and never in doubt.
At the ultimate conclusion of this epic war, there will be billions who lived on earth standing before God. Everyone who has ever lived will be there. Adam & Eve, Abraham, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Elvis, Hitler, etc… And then there will a separation of the sheep from the goats. Those who did not know God or obey the gospel will share eternity with that serpent (Matthew 25:41). But draw comfort with the assurance of victory Christian – your name is written in the Book of Life (Revelation 20:11-12). Live in victory.
“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).”
Lonnie Ritchie, A Layman’s Simple Commentary on the New Testament, p.767, Volume II