(This Bible Brief is the THIRD in a series of studies on the Subject of THE DOCTRINE OF MAN.)
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh? God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:2-4).
Dear Child of God, the battle rages! We “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” These enemies and the Devil are some of the Goliath’s which would defy the believer. But our David, the Lord Jesus Christ, crossed the “valley of the shadow of death” and triumphed over the enemies of our soul by the “blood of His Cross” and shouted victory from out of an empty tomb!
I. The enemy is defeated and ultimate victory is assured:
A. Positional Victory (Eph. 1:19-23-undeniable fact!)
- This occurred when the believer, by faith in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, was placed into union with Christ by the baptizing work of God the Holy Spirit (Rom. 6:1-4; 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Col. 3:3).
- Believers are “dead” to and “free from sin” (Jn. 1:29; Rom. 6:8, 10-11, 18, 22; 1 Cor. 15:3; Gal. 5:24; Col. 2:14; and “alive unto God” (Rom. 7:24-25; 8:2).
- The Lord Jesus Christ has crucified the “old man” – the sin nature (Rom. 6:6).
- Christ has “triumphed” over and “spoiled” the fallen angels (Col. 2:15) and Satan is a defeated foe (Jn. 16:11; Heb. 2:14).
B. Ultimate Victory: (1 Cor. 15:24-28)
…This comes when believers are gathered together into the Lord’s presence in glory (Rom. 8:29). The battle is done and the victory is won!
C. Ultimate Victory (Gal. 2:20; 3:3; Eph. 4:13; Phil. 4:13).
- During the time between the believer’s salvation and glorification, our redemption is not experientially complete (Rom. 8:23).
- The redemptive price has been paid in full (1 Tim. 2:6; 1 Pet. 1:18; Titus 2:14), but the “glorious liberty” of the children of God has not yet been delivered (Rom. 8:21).
- Believers are waiting for:
a. the “glory that shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18);
b. the “manifestation of the children of God” (Rom. 8:19);
c. the deliverance from the “bondage of corruption” (Rom. 8:21);
d. the change of this “vile body” (Phil. 3:20-21);
e. the “house which is from Heaven” (1 Cor. 5:1-9);
f. the“adoption” (Rom. 8:23); and
g. the “redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23).
- The indwelling of God the Holy Spirit is our “firstfruits,” “seal” and “guarantee” of the eventual and safe delivery of the purchased possession (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; 2 Cor. 1:22).
- Until such time the believer must have “hope” (Rom. 8:20, 24-25) and fight a spiritual warfare (2 Cor. 10:1-6; 1 Tim. 1:18; 2 Tim. 2:3).
- The enemies of godliness fight a guerrilla warfare against the human spirit (Gal. 5:16-17). Our spiritual enemies were dethroned and weakened at the Cross, but their nature has not changed. We are called to watchfulness and warfare against these enemies who are hostile and cannot submit to God (Rom. 8:7).
II. Life of victory in the Kingdom of Grace:
…The believer’s citizenship, because of his union with Christ, has changed from earth to Heaven (1 Cor. 15:42-50; Phil. 3:20). Believers have been “translated” (methistemi) – put out of the Kingdom of death and darkness and put into the Kingdom of the Son (Col. 1:13). Believers are now living under what the Apostle Paul calls the “reign of Grace” (Rom. 5:17-21). Thus, we have:
A. A need to break the bondage of the old Kingdom. The former alliances, love and servitude must be consciously acknowledged and broken. The Scripture calls upon believers to renounce our connection with the old sphere of existence by employing such commands as:
- “Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:11).
- “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5; Rom. 8:13; Gal. 6:14).
- “Put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitfullusts” (Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:8-9).
B. A need to pledge allegiance, loyalty, and love to the new king in the form of praise and worship:
- “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).
- “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3-12).
- “Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to Whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen” (1 Tim. 6:15-16).
- “Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Eph. 3:21).
C. A new battle plan:
- The battle has raged on and on for ages. Theologians have referred to it as the “War of the Ages” or the “Invisible War.” The battle plans have been spelled out in the Scriptures and are carried out according to God’s eternal purpose.
- However, since the defeat of Satan and the enemies of righteousness by the Cross of Christ, the conflict has been employed (Eph. 3:2-10).
- There, is, therefore, a need to “rightly divide” the truth concerning the “Invisible War.” It should be noted that the vast majority of instructions given to believers for the conduct of this spiritual warfare comes from the Pauline Epistles (1 Cor. 3:10; 4:16; 11:1; 2 Cor. 10:3-5) with a great emphasis placed upon the work of God the Holy Spirit in obtaining victory.
While all the plan is for our spiritual profit, it is not all FOR us or ABOUT us (the Body of Christ) in this Dispensation. Up until the resurrection of Christ, the warfare was focused against Christ and the nation of Israel. Shortly thereafter, the front lines of the battle shifted from doing battle against God’s earthly people to God’s heavenly people (1 Cor. 4:9-14; Phil. 1:20-30; Col. 1:24-2:1; 1 Thess. 3:2-4).