Taking our last breath in this life not in Christ and still in bondage to sin results in eternal separation from God–separated from His glory, and separated from His presence. What places a barrier between us and God are our transgressions against His word. The prophet Isaiah stated, “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you” (Isaiah 59:2). That’s how defiling sin is! Jehovah knew we would not master over our transgressions without His help, so He sent His only Son to be our atonement. Now it’s in Christ that we obtain victory; as the apostle Paul wrote, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Victory in Christ means being freed from sins’ chains. Romans 6 gives us the meaning of our baptism into the body of Christ. When we experience the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, we’ve crucified our old deeds and the lusts of our flesh. We become dead to sin. Christ has freed us from our slavery of sin and made us new creatures, living in the free gift of righteousness provided and given by God. Sin no longer has any reign in our mortal bodies, but it’s the power of Christ’s resurrection that sanctifies and makes us righteous before the eyes of God.
Since we’ve been freed from sins’ chains, this victory puts us back into fellowship with God. The barrier that was once between us and Him because of the defilement of sin has been taken down by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, having forgiven us of the wrong that we repented of. It is written, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself…and although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds…He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach” (2 Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 1:21,22). There is no more defilement on us that prevents God from looking at us. He no longer sees sin, but His Son’s precious, innocent blood that redeemed us. He sees us as new creatures.
Victory in Christ means not feeling the sting of death caused by sin when we die; as Paul wrote, “The sting of death is sin” (1 Corinthians 15:56a). Instead of feeling such, we obtain rest for our souls and will rise again in the likeness of Christ’s resurrection to live with Him, “for if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again” (Romans 6:8,9). We will spend eternity with our Lord when He returns to receive us (John 14:2,3).
While we still have breath in our lungs let us continue to live for Christ, so when it’s our time to enter into the Father’s rest we will say, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). Therefore, my fellow sisters in Christ, don’t lose heart and return back to your old ways and sin, but “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
by Danielle Smith
Danielle Smith is a 21-year-old student at Santa Monica College majoring in History. She posts monthly articles on her blog https://brooksofwater.wordpress.com/ encouraging the brotherhood and defending the Christian faith. She worships at Vermont Church of Christ in Los Angeles, California.