Much is being said these days concerning the victorious life, and with so much preaching, praying, and discussion, the questions arise: Why do so few seem to experience complete deliverance from sin and the joy and satisfaction such freedom is said to produce? Why is it that many who really love God and desire earnestly to walk with Him, manifest and confess an utter lack of power to do it? Why do others who have enjoyed a genuine and happy experience, fall back into habits and practices once forsaken, and in their life deny their profession, though they do not give it up?
Why is it that devoted Christians confess tbeir sorrow over habitual. sins of impatience, selfishness, pride, criticism, and love of the world, though they profess to believe what the Scriptures say, "He shall save His people from their sins"? Why do some rejoice in the fact that they have victory over great sins, but are constantly defeated by little ones? Is it not strange that Christ can save from the big sina, but cannot save from those they regard as comparatively small? Only recently a young man said, " Week after week 1 hear earnest professors of religion confess their defeat and failure. I can do as well without making a profession. Therefore I have no desire to be a Christian, nor any intention of ever becoming one." Is it not deplorable that many Christian workers, instead of testifying to the world that Christ saves them from their sins, should publicly bear witness that He does not save them? What hope has the church of attracting sinners to a Saviour whom the church leaders acknowledge does not save them? Can any one deny that these are fundamental and intensely vital questions?
Three things are essential to a really satisfactory Christian life:
Courage.-- One who is discouraged can be neither happy nor helpful. And one who is conscious of defeat and con- demnation cannot be filled with courage. Courage abounds in 'the heart of him who through Christ is victorious over sin.
Power.--Paul speaks of a class who have "a form of godliness," but deny " the power thereof." The very name " Christian " implies power to live a godly life. To practice sin means to acknowledge weakness and failure, but victory means power.
Joy.-- The Christian life is to be a fruitful life. This is the test of its success or failure. But one of the greatest essentials to fruitfulness in the Christian life is the exhibition of joy that attracts and wins to Christ. How can one experience overflowing joy while continually defeated by sin?
So these three great essentials--courage, power, joy--can be experienced fully only in the life that is victorious over sin. Apparently many do not understand what the Scriptures teach concerning the need and the possibility of victory.
We need victory for Christ's sake, because a sinner really saved from sin is the evidence that His pIan of redemption is a success.
We need victory for the sake of other men, for we can have little power to win men to a Saviour whom we acknowledge has not saved us.
We need victory for our own sake: for "the wages of sin is death," and if we keep on sinning, we must expect to receive the wages.
But we need not despair. The inspired word says, " Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory."
Let us enter individually upon a prayerful study of this important subject, with the solemn affirmation in our hearts, Thanks be to God, I can have the victory.