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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Victory In Jesus

Every attempt on the part of Satan to destroy the church and lead saints into apostasy and eternal loss serves as another example of the great power of our God to overcome the forces of the devil and bring victory out of defeat.  Great battles have been fought from the very inception of the church; and there will be battles yet to come.  But the final outcome will be victory in Jesus.   


Christianity has passed through several generations, each one with its own antagonists and enemies of the cross.  Some have suffered immensely; some only moderately.  But regardless of the age in which we live we remind ourselves of the words of Paul:  "They that live godly lives in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12).  When one considers the battles the Lord's church has faced, and the eventual outcomes, he stands amazed at the power of God and the fulfillment of His promise that He would be with us "to the end of the world" (Matt. 28:20).


During the long succession of centuries the church has outlived an immense array of attacks by the devil, and it has remained intact, and in most instances revitalized and stronger as a result.  She has survived the encroachment of Judaism, the destruction of Jerusalem, the dissolution of the Roman Empire, and the rise and fall of nation after nation, few of which have lasted more than two centuries.  She has overcome fierce persecutions from without, and heretical corruptions from within.  The barbarian invasions, confusion of the dark ages, the papal tyranny, the ravages of infidelity and revolution, and the rise and fall of philosophical systems and social organizations without number – all have come and gone, and the Lord's church still stands.   And not only does she still live, she lives in greater strength and with a far wider influence than any other ideology of man could ever dream possible. 


Christianity has been involved in controlling the progress of civilization, and the destinies of the world.  She has marched over the ruins of human wisdom and folly, moving ever forward and onward.  She has survived more than two thousand years of relentless attack, but she still lives.  We can say without fear of contradiction that the church can never die.  As Phillip Schaff has noted, "It will never see the decrepitude of old age; but, like its divine founder, it will live in the unfading freshness of self-renewing youth and the unbroken vigor of manhood to the end of time, and will outlive time itself."   Human systems will come and go the way of all flesh; but the church will never be destroyed.  She will simply exchange her earthly garments for the white robes promised by our Savior.  And once ushered into that heavenly abode, God's people of every age will enjoy an endless day of glorious bliss promised by our Savior.  That will truly be "victory in Jesus" as together the saints of every age sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. 


I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood's atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.


I heard about His healing,
Of His cleansing pow'r revealing.
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see;
And then I cried, "Dear Jesus,
Come and heal my broken spirit,"
I then repented of my sins
And gained the victory.


I heard about a mansion
He has built for me in glory.
And I heard about the streets of gold
Beyond the crystal sea;
About the angels singing,
And the old redemption story,
And some sweet day I'll sing up there
The song of victory.


O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.


-- by Tom Wacaster


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