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By B.McCall Barbour.
‘Victory for me?’ Yes, for you. Calvary does not spell defeat, it spells victory. Praise God there is the possibility of a victorious life for every soul who will believe and receive the salvation of God and the finished work of Calvary.
To the blinded eyes of the godless and un-regenerate the Cross is a spectacle of ignominious failure, of weakness and defeat. To the emancipated soul it is the scene of victory and triumph over all the power of the enemy.
‘Thrice blest is he to whom is given the instinct that can tell, that God is in the field, when He is most invisible.’
“It is finished”, was not the dying gasp of a defeated victim. It was the victory shout of our triumphant Christ. He “cried out again in a loud voice” (Matt.27 v50). Let us never forget that His life was not taken from Him, He laid it down of his own accord (John 10 v18).
When the work that was given Him to do had been accomplished (John 17 v4), by an act of His own will, He laid down His life, “gave up His spirit” and in that mighty shout of victory proclaimed, “It is finished”. It was finished, but He was not.
‘Up from the grave He arose with a mighty triumph o’er His foes. He arose a Victor from the dark domain and He lives for ever with His saints to reign, He arose, He arose, Hallelujah! Christ arose.’
Victory! Yes, victory. That victory is the purchased right of every blood-bought child of God, united to the Conqueror Christ by living faith. Believe it, victory is for you.
As surely as Satan and the powers of darkness were triumphed over, and all things put under the feet of Christ, when God “raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephes. 1 v20-21), so surely are these powers beneath our feet as members of His Body, and sharers of the victory of Him who is our Head.
Make it intensely personal and practical. ‘Victory for me’. It is so. We shall honour Him who won it for us by His own blood and gives it to us freely, fully, and now, as we receive it.
What a word is this, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you” (Luke 10 v19). Let us no longer doubt it, but receive it, make it ours, and live in the power of the ever victorious life. “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God, who raises the dead” (2 Cor. 1 v9).
Doubtless there are many who know the victory is for them, in Christ, because God’s word declares it is so, who nevertheless fail to experience its power in their daily life. Why is this? It may be the process of receiving is not clearly understood. There may be countless wealth at our command, but what avails it if we are debarred from receiving it by ignorance of how to make it ours. God’s way to receive the victory He gives in Christ is very plain and it needs to be understood, for there is no other way.
It is by identification with the person of His Son. The first step to the life of victory with Christ upon the throne is by death with Christ upon the Cross. Blessed is the fact that “He loved me, and gave Himself for me”, and for ever set us free from the condemnation of the past. But how unspeakably precious is that further fact, “I died with Him”. In the person of His Son the ‘I’ life was in God’s sight finished there on Calvary. I was crucified with Jesus and the Cross has set me free.
Free! Free from this cruel self, that was for ever rising up in its impetuosity and impatience, its touchiness and moodiness, its talkativeness and inquisitiveness, its haste and heartlessness, its murmur and fret, its worry and discontent, its fuss and fume, its meanness and unkindness, its thoughtlessness and thanklessness, its criticism and scandal, its pride and conceit, its hatred and malice, its foolishness and flattery, its emptiness and vanity, its grieving of the Spirit and marring of His witness, its hindering of His work and disgracing God.
Oh blessed freedom, dead in Christ, to self, to sin, to the world, to the Law, to the Devil, but alive in Christ to God.
What a revelation of the Spirit this is, when we let ourselves go where God has put us, on the Cross of Calvary, identified with Him, the crucified.
To see by faith our old nature hanging there in the person of God’s Son, and to claim His victory as ours, and shout with Him, “It is finished”. To go down with Him into the grave - “buried with Christ”, to see the new creation rise and know that we are “seated with Him in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority” - is the only way to know the power of the victory in our experience, for it is His, and only ours in the measure that we are identified with Him.
Not knowing about it, not singing about it, not speaking about it, not preaching about it, will make it ours. It must be received. When resting on the facts of God’s sure word, by a living faith, we take our place in identification with Christ on the Cross, in the grave and on the throne, and claim moment by moment His risen victorious life as ours, “to tread down all the powers of the enemy”, then we shall know in our experience the blessed fact of victory.