Experiencing Spiritual Victory

“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:9&11

Many Christians struggle with spiritual defeat or recurring sins because they haven't learned to apply biblical principles to specific situations. Perhaps they don't know God's will because they haven't matured in the Word. Or maybe they know what He expects of them but disregard His counsel. In either case, the result is the same.

Jesus Himself repelled Satan's attacks by quoting specific portions of Scripture that applied to specific temptations (Matt. 4:1-11). He knew the Word, believed it, and refused to compromise its principles. In so doing He set a pattern for us to follow.

Using metaphorical language, the apostle John emphasized the priority of the Word when he described three levels of spiritual maturity: children, young men, and fathers. In 1 John 2:13 he says, "I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father." Spiritual children aren't yet mature in their faith, but they know who their Heavenly Father is. They know they belong to God.

John continues: "I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one."(v. 14). Spiritual young men are healthy, vibrant, and aggressive because the Word abides in them—it has found a home in their hearts. They're victorious over the evil one because their doctrine is sound and they've cultivated spiritual wisdom and discernment (Phil. 1:9). They recognize Satan's lies and reject them.

1 John 2:14 says, "I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning" Spiritual fathers have a deep, mature relationship with God that comes from prolonged time in prayer and the Word.

Which of those terms best describes you: spiritual child, young man, or father? What specific things can you do today to move toward a more mature and victorious Christian life?

John McArthur

 

 

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