Ever hear a preacher refer to the secret of the victorious Christian life?
Over the years I have attended many Bible conferences and heard many people preach about the secret of the victorious Christian life. Like countless others I listened, hoping for some mystical truth to be revealed that would turn me into a super-Christian—faster than a speeding dart, stronger than the powers of darkness, and able to overcome sin with a single bound.
Years passed before I finally discovered the secret. The secret is…there is no secret!
Victory in the Christian life is no secret at all, yet many believe living as a victorious Christian is something mysterious or for the elite few. Because of this they chase after every Christian fad, conference, and book promising them victory and are disappointed again and again.
Paul clearly spells out victory in Christ. All we need to do is understand it, claim it, and apply it.
In Romans 6:1-10, and 8:10-11 Paul explains this not-so-secret truth in terms of union with Christ: I am in Christ, and He is in me.
The following Bible story illustrates this truth so well. Because of David’s great love for Saul’s son Jonathan, David made a vow that he would show kindness to Saul’s family forever. After Saul and Jonathan died David asked, “Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Samuel 9:1 NASB). David learned of Jonathan’s crippled son Mephibosheth. From that day forward Mephibosheth fellowshipped with David and ate at his table. Blessing came to Mephibosheth because of the covenant David made with Jonathan.
In the same way what happened to Jesus extends to all believers. We are baptized by the Holy Spirit, which means we are united with Christ. Therefore Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, His victory over sin, over Satan, and over death all become ours too. God puts the Spirit of Jesus in us to empower us to live in this new life and so His life becomes ours too. This is the bedrock truth on which the normal Christian life—the life of victory—is built. I am in Christ and He is in me.
Romans 6:11 says, “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” We all must now consider (or reckon) it true of us personally. It’s like saying, “Do the math!” Put yourself in the equation now.
Suppose I wrote you a cheque for $10,000. You could say you are richer because there’s a cheque made out in your name. But until you cash that cheque and claim the money, you are no better off.
This is a pivotal point. It isn’t enough just to know and understand the theology. The cheque called “I am in Christ and He is in me” must be cashed to experience the riches of it. You cash that cheque by realizing YOUR name is written there. The riches are for you personally.
Taking the cheque analogy one step further, once you cash the cheque and claim the money, you can apply it to purchases. In the same way, once we understand and claim the truth, we can apply it to our daily lives. “Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness” (Romans 6:13 NIV).
Because I am in Christ and He is in me I have a new position in God’s kingdom and a new Master, Jesus Christ. I don’t have to obey the old master, sin, or the adversary Satan. I am free to know, live for, and obey Christ. So every moment of every day I am to live surrendered to God to be His instrument for His kingdom and glory.
I said there was no secret to the victorious Christian life. It is the clear truth of my union with Christ: I am in Christ and He is in me. And while there is no secret to that there does remain one unknown. It is this—we do not know what God will do in us or how He will work through us when we understand, claim, and apply this to our lives.