One of the greatest truths easily overlooked in modern Christianity is that Christ conquered the devil and all his forces at Calvary. This fact is often expressed and assumed that one doubts how this flies so noticeably under many Christians’ radar. One might consider me presumptuous to say this; however, if victory was indeed gained on behalf of believers at the cross, why isn’t that victory seen in the lives of professed believers today? Why is it common among ‘the Way’ professors to be satisfied by defeat, weakness, and failure when the Scriptures declare us “more than conquerors through him that loved us?”
I think the fault lies likely because we don’t understand that Christ defeated Satan and his hold on us, and we now have the task of defeating ourselves, which Christ will not do without our cooperation. This “defeating of ourselves” is what the Scripture calls “crucifying the flesh” or “mortifying the deeds of the body.” It is, perhaps, one of the most essential doctrines of the New Testament because it prescribes self-evaluation and continual surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul frequently encourages the church to become ‘living sacrifices’ or, more modernly, the walking dead. As believers, we become empowered by the Holy Spirit to lead a life of Christ-likeness whereby we learn the enemy left unconquered is ourselves. But this fact shouldn’t leave us distraught or agitated; we now have the brilliant privilege to continue the victory gained at the cross by achieving mastery over ourselves. Jesus said clearly, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” As we die daily in submission to Christ, we take the victory Christ achieved and advance it to every area of our life with the Holy Spirit’s aid.
The conquest doesn’t end there. Unfortunately, the enemy of our soul is relentless and bothersome, and therefore it is necessary to remind him of Christ’s dominion. Evoking Christ’s authority should be an easy feat because Christ has already conquered him; we’re simply reminding him of his place. Try as he may to pit you against yourself, pretend to have more dominance than he has, we can live victoriously, applying and reapplying Christ’s victory in our lives. It’s amazing how Christ gained victory without our help, yet we cannot obtain victory without His. Moreover, because Christ has conquered, I can conquer too.