Open as PDF
There is an experience of victory available to every Christian whereby he or she can praise God, saying with Paul, "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ" (2 Cor. 2:14). There is a personal experience available for you so that you can say with Paul, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20). There is an experience through which you can be holy in all you do (1 Peter 1:15). There is an experience whereby, having purified yourself by obeying the truth, you have sincere love for your brothers and love each other deeply, from the heart (1 Peter 1:22). There is an experience in which you can be clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49), be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18), live in the Spirit, and continually manifest the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).
It is the strategy of Satan to make you believe that the victorious, Spirit-filled, holy life that always overcomes was for Gods special saints of a previous age or generation. Perhaps he tells you it is only for a few spiritually gifted people but not for you. You know your weaknesses too well; you know your past failures too well. You are very conscious of defeats, and you are not really expecting a different spiritual experience in the near future.
Praise God, there is in Scripture the promise and picture of a life of spiritual victory and power. It is described in various biblical terms. It is the life of victory, the crucified life, the Spirit-filled life, the sanctified life, the holy life, the empowered life, the overcoming life. It is described as a life of spiritual freedom, spiritual rest, and perfect love. It is an experience of spiritual circumcision, of death to the carnal self, of resurrection power, of being baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire, of cleansing by the precious blood of Christ.
Great men of God have used various nonbiblical terms to describe this wonderful experience. It has been called the deeper life, the higher life, the victorious life, the life of absolute surrender, the quiet life, the life of Christian perfection, the life on the higher plane, the radiant life, the life of power. It matters little what you call it; what really matters is that you know it as a personal, present experience of your own....
The main proof of a Spirit-filled life is the presence of the Holy Spirit Himself in all His fullness within the heart of the believer, giving His constant rest, victory, love, and power. It is an invisible but wonderfully knowable experience in the believers inner nature that is soon manifest in his or her outer life.
The Spirit-filled person will have streams of living water flowing from within and blessing all around (John 7:38-39). The Spirit-filled person will have the love of God poured out in his heart by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5), and this love will manifest itself in the beautiful graces and the absence of carnal manifestations as shown in 1 Corinthians 13.
The proof of a life of victory is victoryconstant victory through Christ. The proof of sanctification is sanctified living. The proof of being baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire is the constant empowering for daily livingnot for spectacular miracles or occasional signs and wondersbut the power to live victoriously over defeats, to live humbly, lovingly, and radiantly in every situation in life.
Is this the experience you hunger for? Is not this the experience clearly portrayed in Scripture from many different angles? The Holy Spirit teaches us that no one Bible term or illustration is adequate to describe this glorious experience. By divine inspiration a full range of descriptive terms has been given to us. You will never rightly understand or explain this precious and most wonderfully real experience of Gods grace unless you take into account all that the Bible says, the entire Scripture.
Just as the new birth is described in many ways and by many terms in Scripture, so is the life of victory and holiness. Just as no human language is adequate to describe the wonders and joy of the forgiveness of sins, so no human language is adequate to describe the wonders and glory of the fullness of the Spiritthe sanctification the disciples still needed and for which Christ prayed in John 17. The promise is for you as much as for them (Acts 2:39). You can experience as complete a cleansing of heart and as radiant and powerful a daily spiritual living as they did. God is no respecter of persons or times. This is still the dispensation of the Holy Spirit.
The great need of the church today is for men and women, pastors and laymen, the youth and the aged, to be filled with the Spirit, to be clothed from on high with the power of the Holy Spirit, to live the life of daily, constant sanctified love, heart rest, and spiritual victory. The church can be set ablaze for God only when its members once more experience the reality of that for which Christ died and the Spirit was sent. "And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood" (Heb. 13:12).
When Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth," He prayed for you (John 17:17,20). "I am going to send you what my Father has promised" (Luke 24:49). "The promise is for you
for all whom the Lord our God will call" (Acts 2:39). "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 13:11).
The promise, said Peter, is for you. This experience is for you. Resurrection power and life are for you. The fullness of the Spirit is for you. The victorious life is for you. All of Gods provision and power are available for you. The Holy Spirit is here today for you. He is waiting to do within your heart and life all that you long for and all that you need.
First, you must know that your sins are all forgiven and that you are a child of God. Then you must make a total surrender of yourself to God as a living sacrifice, giving up your own will and accepting His will for all your days and all your ways, and you must trust Him with a childlike trust to fulfill His promise (see Acts 26:18).
The Scriptures description of this experience are not unattainable ideals. They are not there to make you hungry and leave you unsatisfied. Gods Word means what it says. This promise, this experience is for you. "Lord, may I experience all Your grace has provided for me!"
For You Today
You should be as triumphant over sin as Christ was over death. The Bible repeatedly associates Christs death and resurrection with what should be the normal Christian victory over spiritual death and the normal spiritual triumph in abundance of life. The Christian is to be a person crucified with Christ and raised with Christ in a new life of spiritual power and victory.
Paul realized that there was great danger that many Christians would not experience this fullness of resurrection power and would fail to realize the standard of Christian life to which God calls each of us. Therefore, he ceaselessly prayed for the Christians that the eyes of their heart would be enlightened so they would "know
his incomparably great power for [those] who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms" (Eph. 1:18-20; see also Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:1-10).
Do you understand Christs resurrection power as primarily a theory of what happened for you two thousand years ago? Is it only nominal in your life today? Or is it primarily a glorious reality in your everyday life? Are you only glorifying and praising God for what His resurrection power did for you at the resurrection of Christ, or are you daily rejoicing in the "incomparable" greatness of present resurrection power that gives you present triumph over the world, the flesh, and the Devil? Are you triumphing in a present-tense resurrection experience?
Satans great desire is to get Christians to put off to some future date the experience and life God wants us to enjoy today. Satan wants to make us content to be weak and powerless when Gods standard is for the power of the Holy Spirit to remain in us now. Satan wants us to excuse ourselves as being "weak human beings" when God wants us here and now to be children of God, purifying ourselves even as God Himself is pure (1 John 3:2-10). Satan wants us to be carnal Christians walking in the flesh instead of victorious believers walking in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16), carnally minded instead of spiritually minded, controlled by the flesh instead of controlled by the Spirit (Rom. 8:6-8).
God wants us to realize that He sent His Son to condemn all sinful defeats so that Gods righteousness will not merely be our theoretical goal but that it will be fulfilled in us as we walk in the Spirit (Rom. 8:3-5). It is the Spirits role to fulfill in us what Christ provided for us.
Paul testified that this resurrection power worked mightily in his own life (Eph. 3:20; Col. 1:29) and that he wanted his converts also to have their faith grounded in this mighty power of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:4-5). Quoting Isaiah 64:4, he pointed out a few verses later, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him, but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit" (vv. 9-10).
Satan tries to mislead people to think that this is a description of heaven. Paul says it is a description of what God wants to do for us here. But he adds that the natural man does not understand this (v. 14), and this was why the Corinthian Christians were failingthey were living carnal lives on the natural human plane (3:1-4).
Resurrection power is overcoming power available to every Christian every day of his life. Triumph should be the normal everyday experience of every Christian. Fellow believer, your eye has never seen and it has never begun to enter your mind what a wonderfully triumphant experience of Gods grace and power He wants you to enjoy daily.
Resurrection power for the Christian is not primarily spectacular power to do, it is Gods amazing power to enable you to be. God wants your life to be a demonstration of the very same power of the Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. He doesnt want your life to manifest spiritual defeat and to carry about the smell of death; He wants your life to manifest abundance of life, victory, and gloryto manifest the sweet fragrance and aroma of Christ wherever you go (2 Cor. 2:14-15). He wants your daily life to be a living demonstration of the worlds greatest miracleresurrection power.
Lord, help me live in resurrection power today!