Having proper values is not always easy. Most people live and die believing that wealth, fame, and popularity are keys to success. In contrast, our Lord rightly asked, “what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul, or what would a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37). A soul is the most precious thing in the world, and yet the world gives very little thought to what really counts. God’s word affirms, “He that wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).
In his famous poem Invictus, the infidel poet William Henley wrote: “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” And yet, like the Jews of old, those who live in sin would no doubt be surprised to find they are slaves to sin (cf. John 8:34-36)! The unrepentant sinner practices the greatest form of self-deception — he lives his life as a slave while telling himself that he is free.
Christians are people whose souls have been purchased at the infinite price of Jesus’ blood (1 Peter 1:15-19). A sinful world tries without success to imitate the peace, joy, and satisfaction that only comes from Christian living. Romans 8:37 boldly proclaims that we are, “more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” The apostle also wrote by inspiration, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). What have we conquered through Christ? Consider:
Victory over sin — “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Without Christ, unbelievers have no means of removing their sin. Apart from His blood, there is no sacrifice to save us (cf. Heb.10:26). Being a “good person” morally speaking wasn’t enough to save the rich young ruler (cf. Luke 18:18-23), nor was it enough to save Cornelius (cf. Acts 10:1-7). The souls of all who have sinned bear a permanent stain which can only be removed by Jesus’ sacrifice. In Him, we have the gift of eternal life and freedom from the wages of sin which once condemned us. “Thanks be to God which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Cor 15:57).
Victory over self — “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5-6). In a culture where self-actualization and self-realization are held up as noble pursuits, God’s word advises us to lose ourselves in Christ (cf. Gal 2:20). What really counts in life is not the victories we win over others, but the victories we allow God to win over ourselves. Humility, integrity, and righteous living characterize those who have truly decided to follow Jesus. “He must increase, and I must decrease” (John 3:30).
Victory over Satan — Since Genesis 3, Satan has been trying to frustrate God’s plan to save man. That old serpent’s head was crushed as Jesus lived a perfect life, died, and rose again from the grave (cf. Gen 3:15). When we are buried and raised with Christ in humble obedience to His will (cf. Rom 6:3-4), we too will have won the victory over Satan. Won’t you come to Christ today? The victory is His, and it can be yours too if you open your spiritual eyes and see what’s really valuable! — John Baker