Summary: God did not create man for defeat...sin brought that. But the Bible tells us how we may triumph over sin, self, and Satan through Jesus Christ.
TRIUMPH IN CHRIST
II Cor. 2:14
INTRO. Notice carefully, the first part of our text. The human race was never meant for defeat. God’s intention in creating man was that man should be master over all creation. (Gen. 1:26) -- "And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have DOMINION over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
His order to Adam was: (Gen. 1:28) -- "...Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it..." But Satan entered the scene and deceived mankind and introduced defeat in all of mankind’s efforts.
But God introduced Jesus (Gal. 4:4-5) -- "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." And remember our text? "God...always causes us to triumph in Christ" So everything is fine and we’ve got nothing to worry about...right?
Not exactly. There can be no winner without a fight. The fact that God always causes us to triumph should tell us that there is still a conflict raging. See vs. 17. Satan is still in the business of deceiving lost souls and condemning them.
(ill.) -- The story is told of a passenger train that was rushing into New York as another train was emerging. There was a head-on collision. Fifty people died. An engineer was pinned under some of the wreckage, near to death and with tears streaming down his cheeks. In his hand he held a yellow piece of paper. With his dying breath, he said, "Take this. This will show that someone gave me the wrong orders." How many are stumbling through this life in frustration and defeat because they have been misdirected by the philosophies of this world?
But if men will only follow God’s directions He will make us to triumph over our worst fears and enemies.
I. THROUGH CHRIST WE CAN KNOW TRIUMPH OVER SIN. (II Cor. 1:20-21)
A. Before we go any farther, I think it is important that we understand what sin is.
1. There are many answers, but I think the best one is: "The inability to please a holy and righteous God while in our natural state."
2. Rom. 3:23 and 5:12. We are all sinners. We may fool ourselves into believing we are not, but that does not change God’s knowledge of what we really are.
B. In the remainder of this sermon I will speak of our triumph over self, Satan, and the sentence of death. But before we can ever hope to triumph over self, Satan, or death we must first experience a triumph over sin..."For all have sinned."
1. Despite the most popular religious teachings of our day, man’s sin nature can not be conquered with good works or morality. (Gal. 2:16) -- "...a man is not justified by works... (and again)...for by works shall no flesh be justified."
2. Our morality and works, essentially, constitute anything we might do to try to win God’s goodness or favor. But since God is holy and we are sinful; what could we possibly do to earn His good favor?
C. Do you remember our text? "...thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ..." God Himself will save us from our sin and He will do it through His Son Jesus!
1. 1:20 says "For all the promises of God in Christ are YES!"
a. Does God love you? YES!
b. Will God save you? YES!
c. Will He take us to Heaven with Him? YES!
d. Will He secure us for all eternity? YES!
2. Notice 1:21 (Read)
3. Now, how does a sinner, lost and condemned get a righteous God to establish and anoint him in Christ?
a. How does a sinner get hold of God’s promises?
b. How does a sinner get God to say YES?
1. 1:24 (Read)
2. (Eph. 2:8-9) -- "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
3. (Gal. 3:6) -- "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."
4. It will work for you too.
II. THROUGH CHRIST WE CAN KNOW TRIUMPH OVER SELF. (II Cor. 1:22)
A. I wish Christians were perfect. But we are not. We often fail at the simplest tasks and how often is even the greatest resolve soon forgotten?
1. But we are good at making excuses! For missing S.S. or church or not praying or studying our Bible or giving as we ought. Oh, we know what we ought to do, we just don’t do it!