Summary: When you were born again, you were born to win. And God’s plan for you is perpetual victory.
I want to talk to you today about victory. The title of the message: “The Sweet Smell of Victory.” Let me give you some good news—some good news: When you were born again, you were born to win. And, God’s plan for you is perpetual victory.
Look in chapter 2, verse 14—here are the words of the Apostle Paul: “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour”—that means the perfume—“of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour…”—a sweet smell—“For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:14–16). God’s plan for you is victory—perpetual victory—always and in every place.
“Now,” you say, “Pastor Rogers, aren’t you stretching it a little bit? Nobody can have victory always and in every place.” Well, I guess Paul just made a mistake, then. No, friend, if you’re not having victory, it is not because Paul made a mistake; it is because you are not appropriating the victory that is yours in the Lord Jesus Christ. And, how my soul burns today to lay that upon your heart! The Bible admits the possibility of defeat for the child of God, but never the necessity of it. Did that sink in? The Bible admits the possibility of defeat for the child of God, but never the necessity of it.
Now, look at this verse: “Thanks be unto God, which causes us always to triumph in Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 2:14). Look at the word triumph, and let me tell you about the word triumph. If you were to go to Rome—to the Roman forum—there, you would see an arch called the Arch of Triumph. And, that’s what Paul is writing about—the same thing that that arch was built for.
The Romans had a custom that, when a Roman general would go away to a war and he would win the victory for war, they would celebrate in the streets of Rome. And, here’s how they would celebrate: Sometimes they would build a monument like the Arch of Triumph, which actually celebrates Titus’ victory over Jerusalem—the emperor, or the general, Titus, who conquered and subjugated Jerusalem. They built this magnificent arch. You can see it today; it has a picture of the Roman soldiers carrying away the Menorah out of the temple of God. Go today, and you can see that. And, a herald would come, and he would tell the people, “Rome has won.” He was called a herald. They didn’t have CNN; they didn’t have Dan Rather. Well, that was a blessing. They did not have so many things that we have today—telephones and fax machines. There needed to be a runner, a herald, with the good news. How beautiful were his feet, because he would come, and he would give the good news, “Rome has won!”