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Victory In Jesus

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Victory In JesusRevelation 12:9- 11             JESUS CHRIST said, John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  Hearing that we are prompted to say, "Jesus, you sure knew what you were talking about. With the problems I have. I need Help."

The telephone rings, and the young mother answers. "Honey, it’s mom. I called because I know that you’re busy with the three children, and I want to give you some help. I’m going to stop by to clean the house, take care of the baby, and prepare dinner for when the boys get home from school.

I want you to get ready to go to my beautician, I paid her already, she is going to give you "the works," your appointment is at 1:00.

Give George a call at the office and tell him that you will meet him at Chez Jays for dinner, on me..."

The young mother suddenly interrupts and asks "George, who is George?" "Your husband." says the caller. "My husbands name is Fred." She replies. "Is this 555-3212?" "No this is 555-2212" "I’m sorry I have the wrong number." says the now embarrassed caller. After a pause, the young mother sheepishly asks, "Does this mean that you’re not coming over?"

               Our predecessors in the faith had problems also. They had major financial problems because they were believers. If they were turned in for having faith in Christ, their worldly possessions were sold and the person turning them in given 10% of the value.                They had emotional problems. Their stress was caused by such things as gladiators, lions, and torture. They knew loneliness. It often was caused by exile, deportation into slavery, banishment, or imprisonment.             Hear the testimony of one persecuted saint who later was beheaded, Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” But in spite of all that God wants ust to have victory in our life with Him.

Text… Revelation 12:9-11 (NIV) “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:  “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

               Verse 9 defines and describes the one defeated. He is "that ancient serpent called the Devil and Satan who leads the whole world astray." In verse 10 "SALVATION" is a reference to the great act of rescue and the resulting safety for you as a believer. "power" that effected this salvation through the miracles of incarnation and resurrection belong to you as a believer.               "Kingdom" is a reference to God’s rule of grace by the Holy Spirit in the lives of those experiencing His salvation. "Power" is the word for authority. This is the authority spoken of in Matthew 28:18, "All authority is given to me in heaven and earth..."               First he tempts us to do evil by deception. In v. 9 he is spoken of as the one "leads astray." Once he is successful he instantly becomes our accuser, according to v. 10. Once he has deceived us, he then broadcasts news of our sin and demands God's justice in punishment. This one, the Devil, is "hurled down," therefore we have victory in Jesus!               As a Christian, you have assurance of the optimum ultimate victory in Jesus Christ. For you, as a believer, the spiritual war is won. However, for the campaign there is a lot of mopping-up action requiring your best. You have challenges, temptations, problems, and tribulations that are not to be minimized. However, remember, Jesus said, "Be of good cheer."               Let's reflect on the basis of this eventual victory and draw from it lessons which will enable daily victory. Revelation 12:9-11 contains a simple truth summing up the basis on which our predecessors were and we can be assured of overcoming our problems.               1. The Ultimate Cleansing is by "The blood of the Lamb"               This is the starting point. "The blood of Jesus Christ... purifies us from all sin" 1 John 1:7. Notice, it says "the blood." It does not say "the blood plus... anything." Some persons hearing salvation is free think that is too easy. It is free to us only because it has been paid for at great expense by Christ. It is free but not cheap. Satan has attacked the basic fact that "the blood... cleanses us" by trying to persuade people of a system of works salvation. Some want to water it down by saying "the blood -- plus baptism." Many well intending persons isolate a few verses and without an understanding of the intent of the text in context say baptism is essential to salvation. It is essential only so far as obedience to the Christ who cleanses us by His blood is an indication of salvation. Saying that faith in Christ plus baptism saves is like saying getting on a plane going to Los Angeles and sitting down will get you there. It will, but it is the getting on the plane not the sitting down that gets you there.               The blood of Jesus Christ shed for the forgiveness of sin on Calvary is applicable in all lands. In 1990 in South Africa one of our missionaries had been praying for revival among the Zulus for years. Little or no response had been observed. It seemed the Zulus were not open to the forgiving grace of God offered by the shed blood of Christ. Then one day a Zulu woman showed up at his door begging, "I am bound in chains and can't bear this any longer. Can you help me?" He responded, "No, but Jesus can."                In the next few moments he saw the blood of Christ cleanse her from "all sin," and that was a lot. She left as a woman overcomer.               A few days later she returned with approximately 50 women. You see, this woman was not only a witch she was an instructor of witches. They had heard her story and wanted to be saved also. They too left as overcomers -- theirs was victory in Jesus. Weeks lapsed and over 200 Zulu men showed up. (This is the South Africa story the press doesn't have time to tell us.) In essence these men said, "Our women have changed. Tell us what you told them that we might experience this change." Score, 200 more victors in Jesus.             I rejoice to tell you the story continues to this day. There is such a revival among the Zulu people that today they are building a 10,000 seat auditorium among their people. Interestingly, it isn't within 40 miles of a city. Revelation 5: 9 speaks of the scope of the cleansing blood of Jesus: “And they sang a new song:  “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

 2. Uninhibited Confession "The word of their testimony"               If you want to gain and maintain victory in Jesus, go on the offensive. The best defense is a good offense. Be inoffensively on the offense by being vocal about your spiritual values. In doing so be sure your life is a demonstrable confirmation of what you are sharing. Consistency in Christ is basic. Francis of Assisi said, "Everywhere you go preach Christ --- and if necessary use words."                Whatever your testimony is rejoice that it is yours. In Scripture there are two extremes noted. Paul's experience on the Damascus road is well known. It was a dynamic and climactic one. Thank God for it. However, one that is just as important was that of young Timothy. He was reared in a Godly home. There was never a day he didn't know of the love of Christ and love Christ. However, there came a day when his love for Christ was expressed by repentantly trusting Him as Savior.               It takes just as much of the grace of God to spare you a life of sin as to save you from a life of sin.  3. Unrestricted Commitment "Did not love their lives..."            They did not fear death. They loved Christ more than life. Many modern professors of faith are characterized by Demas of the New Testament of which it was said, 2 Timothy 4:10 “for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica…”

The spirit of commitment that more nearly characterized the Christians who constituted the early church was spoken by one of them in the early second century. Tertullian wrote: "We engage in these conflicts as men whose very lives are not their own." There are those today who live in this manner.

               Two Chinese students attending Stanford University are from wealthy families in China. Recently a pastor in that area won them to Christ. Later in the pastor's home they confided in him their burden for the families that had never heard about Christ.                One was on the Communist "black list" and the other not. The one not on the list wrote his parents telling what had happened to him and asking for permission to come home. The father replied: "We do not know you. Your name has been erased from our family record. Never write us again. Never come home again. You are disinherited. You're dead."               The pastor asked the student if he would be able to finish school and how he would support himself. Hearing the student explain that he would have no money to continue, the pastor exclaimed: "What a pity!"               After a long silence the student said, "You don't understand pastor. That isn't the problem. The problem is our parents haven't heard of the love of Christ."                The student on the Communist "black list" said, "I am going home to try to lead my family and his to be Christians." "But you are on the Communist 'black list'; they will kill you," commented the pastor.                "Yes, I know," said the student, "but they won't do anything to me for a few months. First they will be all smiles, until they find they can't brainwash me. Then they will stand me up against a wall and let the firing squad shoot me. But I'll have those few months to try to lead my father and mother and my family to Christ. And I am going to try to lead my friend's parents to accept my Savior. We want you to pray for me. We believe God will answer our prayers."               This student did not love his life "to the death."                          Recently I read about a member of the newly established Romanian government. He is a physician, a strong evangelical Christian. He told of how their their recently won freedom was gained. For years they had prayed. They had no weapons. Then the day came when their own children stood in the streets before the Communist tanks to resist them only to be crushed by them. Their faith in Christ and hunger for freedom of worship gave them the ultimate victory in Jesus.                Now in these next few moments you are going to be asked to invite Jesus into your life. Some of you are instinctively initially be prompted to respond with a casual American air, a reluctant spirit. I appeal to you to put aside any restraint and like the Zulu of South Africa and the students of China and Romania stand for Jesus.               Will you give testimony by putting your faith in Jesus in this loving atmosphere where you are prayed for? Regardless of whatever lies ahead of you, when you have a personal relationship in Christ "Victory in Jesus" awaits you.               A strict interpretation of our text means the holy angels of the Lord have defeated the fallen angel, Satan, "by the blood of the Lamb." This song as sung in the Revelation is a dramatic flashback to the cross of Calvary. At the cross a great spiritual battle was waged. The two supernatural superpowers of the universe met there in mortal combat. Christ won the cosmic battle for your soul at the cross.         Will you receive and share in the victory by unconditional surrender to Him that guarantees unconditional victory in Jesus?               Some years back as you traveled along I-10 in Louisiana there was a large billboard which would catch your eye. It stood high above the city just as you started up the Mississippi River bridge. On it was a picture of Jesus Christ hanging on the cross of Calvary, head bowed. The caption underneath said in bold letters, "IT’S YOUR MOVE!" What a powerful thought. God has already taken the initiative in salvation. Christ died for you. Now--it’s your move!

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