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A Country Called Heaven series
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Lesson 3: The Way of Victory
From the very moment you took the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you have been on the narrow road that leads to Heaven. Along the way, you and I will meet other Christians who are also on the road to Heaven. It is wonderful to be a Christian, but we must realize that the road to Heaven will not be easy. Why? Because we have many enemies.
The Bible tells us about three great enemies of the Christian—(1) "the world," (2) "the flesh," and (3) the devil.
What do these enemies do? They try to get us to sin. But God has made a way for us to have victory over them. In this lesson we are going to see how we can overcome these three enemies.
The Bible uses the word "world" in several different ways. Sometimes, it refers to this earth which God created. Sometimes it refers to the people in the world as in John 3:16 where the Bible says, "For God so loved the world…."
A third meaning is found in 1 John 2:15 where the Bible says, "Love not the world…." What is the meaning of "the world" here? It means the attractive things of the world which Satan uses to draw us away from God.
God wants me to love Him with all my heart. Satan does not want me to love God, so he uses the attractive things of the world to draw me away from loving God and wanting to do His will. What are some of the things Satan uses to draw me away from God? Satan may use T.V. or the movies, or a certain kind of music, or something else that I love.
Some of these things may not be sinful in themselves, but if they begin to take first place in my life, that is when they become sinful for me. If they cause me to spend less time in prayer and reading God's Word or keep me away from church on the Lord's Day, they are sinful for me. The Bible says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15).
The Bible says that Christ "gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world." God wants us to overcome the world and its sinful attractions.
How can I overcome "the world"?
I overcome the world by loving the Lord Jesus with all my heart. The world has many attractive things and sinful pleasures, but they do not really satisfy my heart. Only Christ can do this.
If Jesus Christ is your Savior, remember that He lives in you. He is always with you. Wherever you go, you take Him with you. Whatever you listen to, Jesus listens to it with you. If you really love Him, you will not want to do things that hurt His heart.
The second great enemy of the Christian is "the flesh." What is "the flesh"? The flesh is our sinful human nature. Another name for "the flesh" is SELF. It is what we are inside.
Before I was saved, I lived for myself. I did what I wanted to do. I lived to please myself. SELF was on the throne of my heart. Let us see what SELF is like.
SELF is very proud. In fact, SELF thinks that he is the most important person in the world. SELF wants everyone to look up to him.
SELF is completely selfish. He lives to please himself. SELF always wants to have his own way—he hates to have to obey somebody else.
SELF never likes to admit that he is wrong. He always tries to blame someone else.
SELF is easily offended or "hurt." SELF does not like to forgive others. SELF holds grudges.
SELF always wants to have its own way. SELF says, "I will do what I want to do, no matter what others say."
SELF hates God and will not obey Him. Self says, "I don't care what God says, I will do it my way!"
Where does this spirit of rebellion come from? It comes from Satan! Satan was the first one to rebel against God. The spirit of rebellion comes from him.
When I was saved, another Person came to live in my heart—the Lord Jesus Christ. I was so happy! But I soon discovered that I had a problem—SELF did not move out. Not only is SELF still there, but SELF wants to continue to rule in my heart.
If I allow SELF to continue to rule in my life, I will be an unhappy Christian. This is why so many of God's children are not really happy. They have allowed SELF to continue ruling in their lives.
What is the secret of victory over SELF? The secret is to make Christ the King of my life. I must take SELF off the throne and put Christ there. The Lord Jesus really has the right to be King in my life. Why? Because I belong to Him. The Bible says, "…you are not your own… for you are bought with a price…" (1 Corinthians 6:19,20).
What was the price the Lord Jesus paid for us? The price was His own blood. He gave His life to redeem us. To whom do we belong now? We belong to Christ. He has the right to be King in our heart. But even though Christ has the right to be our King, He waits for us to tell Him that we want Him to rule as King in our life.
When Christ is on the throne in our heart, we will have His love, His joy, and His peace in our heart. We will not commit the sins of SELF.
You must choose between SELF and Christ. You must decide who is going to be on the throne of your heart. If you choose to make Christ the King of your life, it means that you must obey Him.
You do want Christ to be your King, don't you? Will you stop right now and tell Him that you really want Him to be your King? Here is a prayer that you may pray:
"Lord Jesus, I thank You for loving me so much and for dying for me. I belong to You now and I want You to be on the throne in my heart and be King in my life. I want to obey You and do Your will."
Remember, if Christ is your King, you must live to please Him and not SELF.
The greatest enemy of the Christian is the devil. He is also called Satan. The Bible says that this world is under the control of Satan. He is called "the god [ruler] of this world"(2 Corinthians 4:4).
Satan's object is to destroy people, and he wants to destroy you. The Bible says of him, "…your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour [destroy]" (1 Peter 5:8).
Satan uses the attractive things of the world to deceive and destroy people. Young people are one of Satan's main targets. He deceives them into using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Satan uses filthy music, dirty TV shows, and sexy movies to put wrong thoughts into their minds and get them involved in sex. He loves to see children and teenagers rebelling against their parents.
How does Satan destroy people? He destroys them by deceiving them. Satan deceives people by causing them to believe a lie. Jesus said of Satan, "He was a murderer from the beginning… because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44b).
What is Satan's "Big Lie"? Satan's "Big Lie" is this: Sin will make you happy and there are no bad consequences. In movies and television, you see people doing all kinds of sinful things; yet they all seem to be happy, and no one suffers the consequences of his sins.
This is a lie! There are always bad consequences for sin. The Bible says, "Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7).
Satan is a terrible enemy! We cannot defeat him by ourselves. But the good news is that Christ has already defeated Satan for us. When Christ died on the cross, Satan thought that he had won a great victory, but he was never more mistaken! Christ rose from the grave as the mighty Victor over Satan and all the powers of darkness.
The Christian who is trusting and obeying the Lord Jesus does not have to be afraid of Satan. Christ, who lives in us, is greater and stronger than Satan, who is in the world. The Bible says, "…greater is He that is in you, than he [Satan] that is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
The secret of victory over Satan is obeying the Lord Jesus, and trusting Him to give us victory. A little girl had learned this secret. She said,
"When Satan knocks at the door of my heart to get me to do wrong things, I just say, 'Lord Jesus, will You please open the door?' When Satan sees the Lord Jesus, he bows low and says, 'I'm sorry, but I have come to the wrong place,' and he leaves."
What was this little girl's secret? It was this—she recognized that Christ was living in her heart and she trusted Him to give her victory over Satan's temptations. This is what we must do also.
Satan may tempt us, but he cannot make us sin. We can say "No!" to Satan. The Bible says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).
What if we sin?
What happens when we sin? Does God have a plan to take care of His saved children when they sin? Yes, He does. The Bible says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
What does this verse say? It says that, if we confess our sins to God, He will forgive us and cleanse us. What should we do when we sin? We should (1) confess that sin to God, and (2) believe that God has forgiven us.
To confess a sin means to call it by its right name and not make excuses. If we lied, we need to confess to God that we lied. If we got angry and lost our temper, we need to confess this to God. We should also make things right with other people. When we have done this, we should believe that God has forgiven us.
God wants us to have victory in our lives. The more we learn to trust and obey the Lord Jesus who lives in us, the more we will be able to say "No!" to the world, the flesh, and the devil.
God gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says, "Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57).
After we are saved, God wants us to win others to Christ.
The Bible says that "he that wins souls is wise" (Proverbs 11:30).
Would you like to know how to lead someone to Christ? Here is a reminder from Lesson 1 of the five essential steps. Start at the bottom and read them. You can lead others to Christ by showing and explaining these steps to them.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
This verse tells us that we have all sinned. Before a person can be saved he must realize that he is a sinner. The Bible says, "The wages of sin is death." This means separation from God, in hell, forever. How terrible! Because we are sinners and condemned to death, we need a Savior.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
This means that God loves us and that He gave His Son to us to be our Savior. Aren't you glad!
"…God commends [He shows] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
This verse tells us that Christ died for our sins. But Christ didn't stay dead. He rose from the grave. He is a living Savior!
"As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become sons of God…" (John 1:12).
To become a child of God, we must come as a sinner to the Lord Jesus and receive Him as our Savior. Ask your friend if he would like to receive Christ as his Savior. Here is a prayer he can pray to receive Christ:
"Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I thank You for loving me and for dying on the cross for my sins. Please come into my heart and forgive me of my sins. I take You as my Savior right now."
"He who believes on the Son has everlasting life…" (John 3:36).
When I believe that Jesus died for my sins and I receive Him as my Savior, I have everlasting life. I know this is true because God says so!
God said it!
I believe it!
That settles it!