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Author: Ron Graham


Victory and Defeat
—the enemy, battle, and prize

Just as an army at war wants victory, not defeat, so do Christians. They are the army of Christ. Joined by angels, they fight for victory over the devil and his army. Every victorious soldier in this spiritual war wins a crown which is eternal life.

1 The Christian’s Enemy

1 Peter 5:8-9.

"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world" (1Peter 5:8-9 ESV) .

What do we gather from this? Well, we must watch for the devil, and we must watch for the Lord.

On one hand, we must watch that we "do not give the devil an opportunity" (Ephesians 4:27).

On the other hand, we must watch that we are ready for our Master’s return (Luke 12:37 again).

Of Sober Mind

This is a serious business requiring a sober mind to keep our enemy Satan at bay and ourselves obedient to our Master.

Yet that does not mean we cannot be happy. In the previous chapter Peter joins to the spiritual and physical pains of Christian battle a reason for joy : "Rejoice to the extent that you share in Christ’s sufferings" (1Peter 4:13).

2 The Christian’s Battle

Ephesians 6:11-12

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:11-12 BSB) .

Paul tells us assuredly that there is a spiritual battle going on, and it is even more serious than a physical battle or war with rifles, missiles, and deadly rays.

Paul does not mean that martyrs shed no blood. He means that the battle Christians fight is against wicked spiritual forces who invade this world from another realm.

Christians (before they became Christians) "followed the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2). But now they follow Christ. They fight with Christ to repel the devil; and Christ is invincible.

"You must not fear them, for the LORD your God Himselff fights for you" (Deuteronomy 3:22).

Two Lions

The battle is between two lions: the lion who seeks someone to devour (1Peter 5:8-9), and the lion of Judah (Jesus the Son of David) who is triumphant (Revelation 5:5). Which lion is your champion ? On whose side do you stand?

3 The Christian’s Prize

2Timothy 4:7-8

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing." (2Timothy 4:7-8 ESV) .

The encouraging thing about the battle is that victory for Christ is assured. With the victory comes a prize, and not for some only, but for all our Lord’s soldiers —each receives the prize which is eternal life.

The other encouragment is that distribution of the prize is absolutely fair to everyone. Notice in the above scripture that Jesus is called the Righteous Judge. He doesn't play favourites. He will help you to obey his orders and he will certainly reward you with unlimited grace.


Webservant Ron Graham

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