JUST AROUND THE CORNER – IS VICTORY!
1 John 5:4-5
1. One day a big Hulk of a guy got onto a bus. Standing 6'8" tall and built like a wrestler, with arms hanging down to the ground, he glared at the driver and said, "Big John doesn’t pay!"
2. Naturally, the bus driver, being only 5'3" tall, thin, and basically meek, didn't argue with Big John.
3. This continued everyday throughout the spring. The bus driver started losing sleep.
4. He signed up for body-building courses, karate, judo, and other sparring sports. By the end of the summer, he had become quite strong, and what's more, he felt really good about himself.
5. So the next time that Big John got on the bus and said, "Big John doesn't pay!", the driver stood up and glared back at him and yelled, "And why not?"
6. With a shy look on his face, Big John replied, "Big John has a bus pass."
7. OFTEN WE LET OURSELVES BE BULLIED FOR NO REASON!
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”—1 John 5:4-5.
1. Some “just around the corner” is:
a. something out of sight;
b. something you haven’t gotten to yet;
c. it’s a change of direction, maybe a new direction for your life;
d. it’s a new hope, new dream, new purpose for your life.
2. Wouldn’t we all like to peer into the future? Wouldn’t it be awesome if you knew there was something wonderful in your future, so wonderful it would take your breath away, make you cry? So good it would alter your outlook from glum and hopeless to joyful and carefree?
3. Well, according to Scripture - FOR YOU – there is such a hope! The title of this morning’s message is “Just Around the Corner – Is Victory!”
I. MANY ARE AT THE POINT OF DESPAIR
A. LOOKING AT CIRCUMSTANCES
1. Many people have been at the point of despair. They can see little or no light. Events keep going the wrong way.
2. People in the Bible had this experience:
a. David said, “It’s been useless, all my watching…!” (NIV); “What a waste of time!” (CEB), 1 Sam. 25:21. David, though starting with high hopes, had found all his efforts as a waste of time and effort.
b. Joseph told the Cupbearer, “Remember me and show me kindness…get me out of this prison” Gen. 40:14. But Verse 23 tells us, “The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.” How devastating to Joseph!
3. Neither David nor Joseph knew that “right around the corner” they would be out of their troubles and seated on thrones!
4. So it is with us. We only see our troubles now. We only see our weakness, our mistakes and our faults. BUT IF YOU’RE IN CHRIST, ALL THAT HAS CHANGED!
5. You’re PREDESTINED TO GLORY! You have a future so bright, so awesome that your mind can’t even conceive it!
B. DESPAIR TURNED TO JOY: BIG JOHN
1. ‘Big John’ had been living on the streets of London for over ten years. Before that he’d spent nine years in prison. Most of his teeth were missing. He was addicted to methadone. His nickname on the streets of London was ‘Big John’ because he was a big guy who had once boxed for the Army.
2. ‘Big John’ walked into a mission for the homeless and was touched by the Christians who cared for him. He started attending services and encountered Jesus. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. He came off the drugs. God turned his life right around – from despair to joy.
3. He started telling his friends on the streets about Jesus. Each week he would turn up at church with more friends. His nickname, on the streets, changed from ‘Big John’ to ‘John the Baptist’!
4. A dentist in our congregation volunteered to replace all his missing teeth. He has been reconciled with his mother and his daughter and he now has a relationship with his grandchildren, whom he had never met before.
5. Following Jesus is life-changing. God is a God of new beginnings and transformation. He turns despair into joy (Psalm 30:11). https://www.bibleinoneyear.org/bioy/commentary/2100
II. YOU’RE A NEW CREATURE!
A. YOU ARE NOT AN ACCIDENT!
1. “I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born.” Isaiah 44:2a (CEV)
2. You are not an accident. Your birth was no mistake or mishap, and your life is no fluke of nature. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. He was not at all surprised by your birth. In fact, he expected it.
3. Long before you were conceived by your parents, you were conceived in the mind of God. He thought of you first. It is not fate, nor chance, nor luck, nor coincidence that you are breathing at this very moment. You are alive because God wanted to create you! [Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life, Day 2]. And God has a purpose for your life!
4. BUT BEING “IN CHRIST” IS EVEN MORE AMAZING!
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone” Eph. 1:11-12 MSG.
B. THE NEW IS NOT THE OLD REMADE
"Wherefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, the new have come" (2 Cor. 5:17). “He is a new creation.” This is a very sweeping statement.
1. A man in Christ is not the old man purified, nor the old man improved, nor the old man in a better humor, nor the old man with additions and subtractions, nor the old man dressed in new clothes.
2. You can’t change the old nature, it is unchangeably bad. The believer is a new creation: not the old material worked into an improved form, but completely a new creation.
3. The new creation is not a development, or an outgrowth, but a creation. The new man/ woman is completely new; nothing in us was made out of what was in us before.
4. The new birth is from above.
C. A HIGHER LIFE
1. You are a spirit-being, with a soul, living in a fleshly body. Before we’re saved, our spirit is dormant, “dead in sins and trespasses” Eph. 2:1. But when we believe on Jesus, His resurrection power electrifies our spirit to life, by coming into it. Paul said, “Even when we were dead in sins, has [He] quickened us together with Christ” Eph. 2:5.
2. This is a fulfillment of Jesus’ words, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” Jn. 11:25. We were dead spiritually.
3. Being thus quickened you become partakers of a new life. You’re not like Lazarus, who, when he was raised from the dead, had the same life restored to him. But you were “born from above” (John 3:3,7 literal Greek trans.), not from below.
4. Peter said we are “partakers of the divine nature” 2 Pet. 1:4. The very life of God has entered us and made part of God’s new creation (that will follow the fallen universe).
III. YOU DON’T KNOW WHO YOU ARE, IN CHRIST
A. ABILITIES, RESOURCES OF THE NEW MAN
1. The New Creature in Christ (born-again, Spirit-indwelt human spirit) has powers, abilities, and resources it never had before. We’re now called “Sons of God” because we have the nature of our Father. We have ‘standing’ before our Father (as a member of the family). We can exercise the abilities of our Father. “These things & greater things shall you do…”
2. ILLUS.: I like the story of the two men who made a bet. One, who had mastered the art of rigorous training, bet another man that he could take a flop-eared mule and make a racehorse out of him. The other man called his bet
3. So the rigorous trainer took his mule and:
a. Filed his teeth, polished his hooves. Next he,
b. The fed him finest food; housed in the finest stable,
c. Ran him around the track every day.
4. But when the day of the race came, and the Gun Sounded, all that the glorified animal did was lope off down the track, because he was a mule.
5. But when the gun sounded and the gate was opened for the racehorse, he was gone like the wind! Why? Because it's his nature.
6. For a mule to become a racehorse, he'd have to be born as one! BUT WE HAVE BEEN BORN OF GOD, A NEW NATURE!
7. Some women were talking about getting tired of the “OLD MAN” at home. If men would get saved & act saved, the wife might like the “NEW MAN” better! She might have a “keeper!”
B. COMPARISON OF THE 2 NATURES
NEW CREATURE FALLEN NATURE
New Divine Life Old Human Nature
Righteous (2 Cor. 5:21) Sinful
Has Faith (1 Cor. 2:14) Doubts (James 1:7)
Conquerors (Rom. 8:37) Defeated
Supernatural aid (Phip. 4:13) Natural Only
Complete in Christ (Col. 2:10) Fractured Image
No Condemnation (Rom. 8:1) Condemned
Peace (Rom. 5:1) Turmoil
Dead to Sin (1 Jn. 3:6,9) Alive to Sin
[WHICH NATURE ARE YOU LIVING IN?]
2 Cor. 5:21, God “made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
1 Cor. 2:14, “But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God.” James 1:7, “For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” [that doubts]
Rom. 8:37, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Phip. 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
Col. 2:10, “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”
Rom. 8:1, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Rom. 5:1, “…we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 John 3:9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning.”
2. Now you can be a New Creature in Christ but not be acting like it if you subject yourself to the laws of sin and control of this world because you don’t “reckon” the things God has said about you as true.
3. A man/woman who doesn’t KNOW their rights (like Miranda – silent, attorney) won’t insist on their rights. If you don’t know you have power over sin, that you can live with peace and victory, that you can freely come before the throne of grace without fear, that you have incredible resources and faith that can move mountains – you won’t attempt much and will fail in the little you attempt!
4. According to the Word of God, sin no longer has dominion over you (Rom. 6:14; “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.”)!
5. Believing is natural for the New Creature (born-again spirit), but not for the fallen man. The New Creature cannot doubt God, because it’s nature is derived from God and is consistent with God, who does all by faith.
6. John says that if we have the New Nature of Jesus in us, that in itself is enough to give us victory over the world! “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world” 1 John 5:4.
IV. CHRIST’S VICTORY IS OUR VICTORY
A. GOD MADE JESUS TO TRIUMPH OVER ALL POWERS
1. “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Col. 2:15.
2. “And [God] has put all things under his feet, and given him to be the head over all things to the church” Eph. 1:22.
3. Jesus represented us in His death; taking our sins, dying in our place, changing our destiny. But when He rose (as our representative), we were raised with Him! When He was glorified by the Father and before the holy Angels, we were included in that glorification! When He received His inheritance of all things from the Father, we also became heirs of God and joint-heirs with Him of all things! Listen to Paul;
4. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…. and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” Eph. 1:3-4; 2:6 NKJV. Historically, we have experienced all these things with Him.
5. If this is so, how can we go back and live for this old, fallen world that is perishing? Paul says in Romans 6:2, "By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”
6. HUMOR. 2 veterans were talking about the Korean War.
“What knife did you use over there?” enquired the first. “I didn’t have a knife,” said the 2nd. “I figured that if I needed to use a knife, I was too close to the enemy!”
B. WE ARE DESTINED TO VICTORY!
1. We have VICTORY OVER OUR PAST because Jesus atoned for our sins and the blood of Jesus has washed them away! We now have a clean slate before God, if you’ve confessed and repented of your sins.
2. We have VICTORY OVER THE PRESENT circumstances and temptations because we’re indwelt by the Spirit of God, and “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world!” 1 Jn. 4:4. Also 1 Cor. 10:13, “There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.” SIN IS LIMITED TO OUR POWER!
3. We have VICTORY OVER THE FUTURE because we are predestined to God’s blessing, favor, and rewards because we’re in His Son Jesus Christ!
1. On a wall on the main entrance to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a portrait with the following inscription:
2. “James Butler Bonham – no picture of him exists. This portrait is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle.
3. “It is placed here by the family that people may know the appearance of the man who died for freedom.”
4. No literal portrait of Jesus exists either, but He’s in you! So to show others what Jesus looks like by having them look at you! So let’s let Jesus be seen in our eyes, in our words, in actions, in our love!
B. THE CALL
1. Three keys to victory are to THINK VICTORIOUSLY (believe what God says about you), GET YOUR EYES OFF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, and to GET BUSY WORKING AND WITNESSING FOR JESUS!
2. Prayer to be filled with the Holy Spirit and rededicated to follow Jesus unswervingly.