II. Corinthians 2::14,17
The apostle states “Thanks be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ” (v.14). The life that has always been led on in triumph should indeed be a thankful one.
There are so many seeming failures in one’s experience. What are the secrets of a victorious life ?
First, a Life in Christ. “It is God that cause us to triumph in him.” There is no possibility of living the victorious life in God’s sight with out his power working in our life in order to do his will in our life.
As the apostle put it like this, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal. 2:20). “
We know that we dwell in Him,because He hath given us of His Spirit according to (I.Jh. 4:13). here is only one Spirit that dwells in the Church: each believer receives a measure of that Spirit, (Heb. 11:17), “There is one body and one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.” (Eph.4:4,6). Love is God’s first-fruit of his Spirit, (Gal.5:22).
If we continue to be faithful to Christ and that he has authorizes our actings as ministers and Saint, well do we know that God hath bestowed on us the gifts of his Spirit, and he still continueth in and with us, “because he hath given us of his Spirit.”( Ac.11:15 tell us “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Read (Ac.2:1,4).
The near inward union between God and us, is best to be discerned by the operations of his Spirit, which is the Spirit of all love and goodness, (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
“Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” (Eph.3:9).
Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit ( who by his powerful energies proves whose Spirit he is).
Second, a Life that Reveals the Wisdom of God, “He maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us” (v.14).
The guiding principle in the Christian life is the truth revealed in His Word (II.Cor. 4:2).
The Lord’s eye is ever on the heart and conscience of man.
Let us remember when we are preaching we are in the presence of God, he hears every word we speak and takes note of it.
Many people do not see the beauty and glory of the gospel. This is not the fault of the gospel. It is not the fault of the sun where men shut their eyes and will not see it. It is not the fault of a running stream, or a bubbling fountain, if men will not drink of it, but rather choose to die of thirst.
The gospel does not hide or conceal its own glory any more than the sun does.
It is in itself a clear and full revelation of God and his grace; and that glory is adapted to shed light. “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (Jh.1:5).
Those led by the Spirit of God will surely be witnesses to something higher and nobler than the wisdom of this world, which is foolishness with God.
Third, a Life that has a Sweet Savour of Christ unto God, “For we are unto God asweet savour of Christ” (v.15). “Christ gave Himself for us an offering to God for a sweet smelling savour” (Eph. 5:2).
The apostle states: We are a sweet savour to God if we have fulfilled his will in faithfully proclaiming the Gospel, and fighting against sin.
God has determined that those who believe shall be saved, and those who believe not shall perish.
Let me say that we are equally acceptable to God though we unsuccessfully preach the Gospel to some who stubbornly reject it, and so perish, as we are in preaching to others who believe, and are saved.
Many may hear the Gospel through us and choose not to accept it, which, removes the responsibility of their loss from God, and puts it upon themselves.
The Gospel is “the savour of life or of death” to all that hear it. Those who are careful to improve by it, God will bless with further improvements; those who are not He will leave them in his just judgment to grow worse and worse:
Those who have been partakers of that offering are to be partakers also of the same sweet savour unto God. The Lord could say: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” for the Lord knew that all His interests committed to Jesus would be safe and successful. Let us so seek to please God.
Fourth, a Life that Affects both Saved and Unsaved, “A savour of Christ in them that are saved and in them that perish” (v. 15). The influence of one Christian’s life can be made a confirmation to another who loves the same Lord.
The “savour of Christ,” like the fragrance of the rose, can be easily detected by those who are saved, but to those who are perishing it smells condemnation, so they don’t like it
As the bee brings home honey to the owner, but stings others, so it is with the word of God..(v.16).
If the preaching of the Gospel is to shape the destiny of men, who is sufficient to occupy the office of an apostle? “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; (II.Cor.3:5).
Fifthly, a life true to the Word of God.“We are not as many which corrupt the Word of God ”(v.17). Those who walk in craftiness are sure to handle the Word of God deceitfully (chap. 4:2).
Let us speak as ministers of sincerity, as of God, and in the sight of God speak we in Christ; that is, we act as men of sincerity in what we do, as men taught of God and sent by God, as men act by the power and guided by the Spirit of Christ, and all this is in the sight of God; we speak as from God, of God, in obedience to his command, and with an eye on his glory
Let us be ministers that speaks with an upright heart, than he that speaks with an eloquent tongue.
Let us act and speak from Bible truths, for holy ends, as in the presence of the all-seeing God, and with a fixed eye at the glory of God in what we preach,
If the heart is not true to God, the life will not be true to His Word. It is easy to corrupt God’s message by mingling it with Christ- dishonouring philosophies and the traditions of men. Note what Satan said to Eve, “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die” (Gen.3:4).
There can be no spiritual victory for those who have gone out of the way, “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain,” ( Jude 1:11).
Sixtly, A Life Lived in the Presence of God, “In the sight of God speak we in Christ” (v.17). Abiding in Jesus and practicing the presence of God in the daily life is the evidence of the power of God in our life.
This is the victory that overcometh the world, our faith. Faith in Him who is greater than all that can be against us, “ By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,” (Heb11:17).
Abraham did, in effect, offer up Isaac; he built an altar, bound his son, laid him upon the altar, had ready the incense, took the knife, and would immediately have slain him had he not been prevented by the same authority by which the sacrifice was enjoined.