(December 12, 1990)
If you were an army general and won a major victory, how would you let the whole world know? A Roman conqueror of the first century paraded both captives and loot through his home town on the way to headquarters. Even the odor of conquest hung in the air; everyone knew about his achievement.
Sometimes people call Christians “losers.” When the Apostle Paul uses the picture of a Roman conqueror to describe us, it even sounds like he meant we are losers: “Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ, and through us, spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him” (2 Cor.2:14). He pictured the warrior = Christ, leading His captives = those who lost the battle.
As a matter of fact, at one time it seemed to me the battle was myself fighting against God. I resisted His claim to my soul. However, He didn’t give in and finally I did lose the fight to Christ, and became submissive to His Lordship over me. However, that didn’t make me a loser.
There was another war going on, one that I couldn’t see. It was Jesus nose to nose with the evil one. Along with everyone else, I was the spoils of war for which they fought. Certainly, Christ won when He died for our sins and rose from the dead. Out of the battle, souls were redeemed from the grasp of the enemy. Jesus took lives as a prize, lives that Satan would have twisted and perverted for his purposes, and claimed them as His own.
Every Christian belongs to the spoils of Christ’s victory but we are not mere trophies. One version translates part of that verse: “God causes me to triumph in Christ.” Because I am in Him, I also wound up as a winner with Him. Even more, because I am in Him, I’m guaranteed the same parade route and destination He has. His heaven is my home because it is His home. “Thanks be to God...” seems an understatement for this remarkable truth.
Another verse asks, If God is for me... who can be against me? It implies that since I am on the side that has already defeated every foe, who could possibly defeat me? Does that sound like a loser?
Any thought of somehow being deprived, or that being held captive means I will go without, is answered by: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with Him also freely give us all things?” Again, does that sound like a loser?
Any accusation, any false guilt is also taken care of... “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies.” No one can stand on the sidelines and condemn me. Jesus paid for my sin when He fought to win me, so, “Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yes and is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, and who also makes intercession for us.” He takes care of my sin; even it cannot defeat me.
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us... Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Nothing can! No one can take us out of the victory parade!
Everything the enemy now tries to do is like a taunting noise from the crowds, a jeering from the sidelines. I am in the procession and he has lost. His threats cannot get me back into the soiree. There is no chance of a rematch. When Jesus won, so did all who would yield to Him.
Today, whatever life dishes out, nothing can change the fact that I am in the procession. As Jesus and I go through the streets of life, some of them will be narrow; some will go through slum areas; some will have not applauding onlookers but jeering bystanders. Some will be uphill with rocks and jagged footing. Some will be paved with blood.
But the procession never changes. He leads it and will take the entire train of captives through life and eventually to His home -- where all of us “losers” will be with Him, forever.