Characteristics of the Overcoming Life

Posted: September 3, 2012 in Abundant Life, Joy
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1. Life with Christ is an exchanged life, not a changed life.

Change is good, but with God, exchanging is better. We are new creations in Christ. The old man is crucified. The life lived in the flesh cannot please God. If we are Christ’s we must crucify the flesh with its affections and desires. We must learn to walk in the Spirit. This is the power of Paul’s life. Paul, though his outward man perished, his inward man was renewed day by day. This is how he could boast that

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

This was no boast, for it was reality from necessity. There was no way Paul could keep doing what he was doing without exchanging his life for the life of Jesus Christ.

Paul was an overcomer not because of his abilities or resolve, but through the exchange of his life for the life of Christ. Are you stuck in your walk with Jesus? Is your life more about defeats than victories? Then you must be honest with God and tell Him you cannot overcome. You must die to your self-effort, and exchange your life for the victorious life of Jesus Christ.

2. Life with Christ is a gift, not a reward.

 1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We never struggle to receive the new birth. We simply believe we have it when we repent and by faith trust in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. If our life with Christ begins with the acceptance of His free gift, why should our walk with Christ be any different? If life in Christ is living in the Spirit, what makes us think we can maintain our relationship through fleshly efforts? Our walk with Christ is not one of constantly reaching for the golden ring. Our walk with Christ is one of simply seeing the ring is already in our hands. We have the gift of victory already. To strive to win is an exercise in fleshly futility! This life is lived in the victory already secured! We walk by faith in Christ, not by sight!

Just as a sinner cannot save himself by his works, neither can you become a saint by your works! As Paul realized, all his works were as filthy rags! If you want victory in your life, open your eyes to the power of Christ which is at work in you by faith! The victory is yours by faith!

3. Life with Christ is obtained, not attained

Spiritual Overcomers realize victory is obtained, never sought after. As soon as you try to win, you have lost, for you are relying on your fleshly efforts.

Romans 5:17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

Reigning in this life can only be through faith in the finished work and victory of Jesus Christ. How can you be so conceited that it is up to you to obtain. When an Overcomer looks back upon his life, he realizes it was all through the grace of Christ. This is the revelation of 1 Corinthians 1:30. Everything we need to live this Christian life is provided to us IN CHRIST!

1 Corinthians 1:30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption…

We have already obtained victory, righteousness and sanctification IN CHRIST!

4. True Life with Christ is a Miracle

 Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

An Overcomer sees the power of God at work in his life. An overcomer realizes that this life is an ongoing miracle of God’s grace at work! His eyes have been opened to see “what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly place,” as Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:19-20.

God is actively at work in our lives, so that we might be trophies of His grace, and not our self-effort. Our effort must be submitted and join with His. Our eyes must be opened to the daily miracles He is working in our life. We can never overcome unless God performs a miracle!

Take your struggles with anger. No matter how many times you count to ten, the anger is still resident within you. It is suppressed; it is affecting your health. Only God can take that anger away. When you realize it is a miracle of God, and that He is able to overcome that sin, indeed, Christ has already overcome that sin; you can rest and rejoice in the miracle of God’s deliverance. Life with Christ is a miracle when our eyes are open to see it that way!

5. Life with Christ is expression and not suppression

Most Christians experience victory over sin by “suppression.” It is not a matter of deliverance, but of control. Our inward life is unaffected. We seem changed on the outside, but within there is a struggle. Suppressed living for a Christian results in “internal bleeding” which can go on for years, until something happens to reveal the seriousness of condition. This is not the life that Christ wants us to experience. Christ wants to express Himself through our life. Christ lives within us, and He wants to manifest His peace, love and joy in reality to those around us. There is no such thing as tight-lipped Christianity. Our lips are to be free to express, for Christ is expressing His life through us.

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

We are set free in Jesus Christ! “For freedom Christ has set us free!” Life with Christ is freedom and expression, not suppression. If you are fighting for control of your soul, then Christ does not reign over your soul.

Can you see this victory you have in Christ? Can you believe in His word? Becoming an overcomer is as definite as becoming a Christian. There is no maybe about it. When you pass from death to life, you know it. When you pass from defeat to trusting in the victory in Christ, you know it!

  1. Ray says:

    Great teaching Pastor! May we all desire to walk and not struggle upstream.

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