We sang some worship songs during our small group meeting last night. Among them was “In Christ Alone” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, and these two lines sparked a train of thought:
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
It’s easy to sing words like that, or to hear them in a sermon, but when I consider my life I know there are many times when I feel that sin’s curse has hardly lost its grip on me. I fail frequently.
Then I thought about football. Manchester United won the 2012-2013 English Premier League, and the final table showed a clear distance between them and their nearest rivals. But in the course of the season, United lost seven games and drew another ten.
None of their defeats prevented their ultimate triumph. I’m sure there were games – losses, draws and even some wins – when the team didn’t play to the standard you would expect of champions. But in the final analysis there was something about that team, in the gifts or perseverance of individual players, or in the way they worked together, that ensured that victory, and the trophy, would be theirs.
A huge difference between life and sport is that as soon as you join Christ’s ‘team’ your ultimate victory is assured through Him. So while I can continue to strive to be more Christ-like, and while I will always be disappointed when I lose a battle with temptation and sin, I can still sing those words in power because sin’s grip is light and Jesus’ strength is total.
When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” (Deuteronomy 20:2-4)
Now this I know:
The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. (Psalm 20:6-7)
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:56-57)