Many striking metaphors are used in the New Testament to describe the Christian life. Jesus compared it to carrying a cross (Matthew 16:24). The book of Hebrews describes it as a race which must be run with patience/perseverance (12:1). Peter compared it to the process of growth and development by which an infant becomes an adult (1 Peter 2:2).
One of the most vivid metaphors associated with the Christian faith, however, is the New Testament picture of Christianity as a battle which must be fought and won. Paul commanded Timothy to “fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12) and he reminds us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). This is the great Armageddon described in the book of Revelation 16:16.
Fortunately, this is a battle whose outcome has already been assured. “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us“ (Romans 8:37). In Christ is the assurance of:
1. VICTORY IN LIFE. For the Christian, successful living is not a matter of wealth accumulated, or status attained, or personal triumph recorded. Rather it is the result of having “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). As Soldiers of Christ, we have been equipped with weapons “. . . that have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). On the daily battle ground of temptation, Satan can be routed and put to flight with the sword of the Spirit “which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).
2. VICTORY IN DEATH. Jesus promised that even the gates of Hades (i.e. hell) will not overcome the church (Matthew 16:18). By His resurrection Jesus crushed the head of Satan and broke the power of death. So complete and irrevocable was His defeat of death that the Bible says He “has destroyed death and has brought light and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10). The reality of Christ’s resurrection assures His followers that for them too, death will one day “be swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54).
3. VICTORY IN ETERNITY. Victory in Christ extends beyond the grave to ultimate triumph in eternity. The Bible says: “When He ascended on high, He led captives in His train, and gave gifts to men” (Ephesians 4:8). One of the gifts which the triumphant Jesus offers His faithful followers is Eternal Life (Romans 6:23). In eternity, the legions of Christ will stack their armor and receive the crown of final victory from their Commander (2 Timothy 4:8).
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57) — Bobby Dockery (Fayetteville, Arkansas)