Living the victorious Christian life?

May 24, 2017 by Michael F. Bird 0 Comments

A central tenet in New Testament proclamation is that Jesus Christ has won a victory for his people, the famous Christus Victor theme of the atonement, where sin, death, and the devil have been defeated. You find this view beautifully enunciated by Paul in Col 2:13-14:

13 When you were dead because of the things you had done wrong and because your body wasn’t circumcised, God made you alive with Christ and forgave all the things you had done wrong. 14 He destroyed the record of the debt we owed, with its requirements that worked against us. He canceled it by nailing it to the cross.
However, I’ve been wondering of late, how does this express itself in practice? What does it mean to live a victorious Christian life? Does it mean having sin conquered, success in your ministries, a fruitful spiritual life, healthy relationships, onward and upward all the time?

What is it? What does victory look like when worked out in the daily exercise of ministry or even in the ordinary plane of human existence? In my mind, it is none of those.

If we think the cross is the means and model of victory, then, victory looks like defeat, it feels like despair, and it smells like death. I think this is precisely what Paul meant when he recounted the various trials he had faced in his apostolic career:

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