Our Victory in Christ


Dr. John Hoole – September 1, 2019




The number of times the word ΅victory΅ occurs in the English Bible depends very much on the particular version one uses.  For example, “victory” occurs only eleven times in the King James Version.  But, in the Revised Standard Version, we find the word “victory” occurring 44 times.  This is because a variety of Greek and Hebrew words are used to communicate the concept of victory.


Let me ask you a rhetorical question: “What is your definition of Christian VICTORY?”  Some would claim “victory” is when our problems are solved.  Others would say victory is when there is freedom to preach the gospel.  Some Christians believe that when we receive what we prayed for, that is victory.


It is possible that these could be included in any victory wrought by God.  But, it is entirely possible for all those things to happen, but for us to still have very little victory in Christ at all.  Rather than getting what we asked God for, doesn’t VICTORY mean God getting His will done, and receiving the glory for it.  Anything less, I believe, is not complete victory.


Paul describes the possibilities in our victory in Christ in 1 Corinthians.


1 Corinthians 15:54-57 NKJV


54     So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." 

55     "O  Death, where is your sting?  O Hades, where is your victory?" 

56     The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.

57     But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Please note that, in this passage, the apostle Paul is describing OUR experience of victory.  And He is quite to the point.  First, he says WHO gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  He says it is GOD who gives us the victory.


Before addressing this passage further, let’s go back to the beginning.  Yes, let’s go back to the book of Genesis.  In chapter 1, verse 17, we find God creating man and woman on the sixth day of the creation week.  In chapter two, more detail is given, telling us He created Adam first, then Eve.  He placed them in a garden, called Eden, a paradise.


In Genesis 2:16-17, (NKJV) a warning is given to them by God.


16     And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;

17     but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."


If the warning is not heeded, it would result in death.  Ezekiel 18:20 reiterates this warning, when it says, “The soul that sins, it will die.”


In chapter 3, we read about the serpent and the temptation.  The result is that Adam and Eve do what God had forbidden – they sin.  This is referred to as the FALL of mankind.  It causes a disruption of communion with God.


The Curse


God lines up Satan, Eve and Adam, and God speaks forth what is called the Curse.  Part of the curse was that Women will now labor in pain when giving birth to a child.  He also stated that man would labor with difficulty – in the sweat his brow.  Thistles and thorns would  now impede what he would try to grow, and at death, they would return to the ground from which they were made.


But God does not leave it there.  He knows mankind will never be able to save themselves from their sins.  Something is required to restore the broken fellowship with God.


As we continue in Genesis, chapter 3, we find two very important statements by God.


         In Genesis 3:15:     We have the promise of redemption.


         In Genesis 3:21:     We have a picture, or illustration, of redemption.


Let me take verse 21 first.  Notice what it says in Genesis 3:21 (NKJV).


21     Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin and clothed them.


The promised redemption in verse 15, which we will get to in a moment, required the shedding of blood.  And with it, God clothed, or covered, our sins.  This covering is further described in the book of Psalms.


Psalms 32:1 NKJV


32     Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.


The promise of redemption is seen in what He said to the serpent, which we know is Satan.


Genesis 3:15 NKJV


15     And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel."


The NIV puts it this way.


Genesis 3:15 NIV


15     And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."


The future seed of the woman, Jesus Christ, would crush the head of the serpent – Satan.  This is the first promise of a coming Redeemer.  And this is the first promise of our future victory.


Again,  Genesis 3:15 is the promise of a coming Messiah Redeemer, and Genesis 3:21 is a picture of that redemption.  God was already guaranteeing victory through the acts of His Son.           He also tells us about the enemy in that he hates the seed of the woman.


You probably do not need to be reminded, but I will say it anyway:  Your have an enemyWhile he might not be visible through natural eyes, Satan, or the devil as he is known, is very real.  He is not an imaginary, mythical character, but a spirit being, whose number one goal is to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10).  The devil is at the root of everything evil, and he works in an attempt to cause destruction to believers and the work of Jesus Christ.


This does not, if you are a believer, mean that you need to be fearful because, while the devil is against you, God is for you!  He has provided everything you need to walk in victory over the devil and his works.


2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that,……


“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”


Earlier, when I asked, rhetorically, for a definition of “victory,” I saved this comment until now.  Know this: those who have victory are not those who have no struggles.  Rather, those who have victory are those who persist and keep moving forward.  Without struggle, there would be no need for the power to overcome them.  Also, know that no one walks in authority by following a formula.  It is, rather, a realization of who the enemy is, and it is about knowing who you are, and the victory you have been given in Christ.


Before continuing, I would like to make three simple statements about the victory of Jesus.


1.  First, in the Judean wilderness, Jesus defeated Satan on His own behalf.  He met Satan, resisted his temptations, and defeated him. 


2.  Second, on the cross, Jesus defeated Satan on our behalf, not for Himself, but for us.  He did not need the victory for Himself because He already had it.  Rather, He won the victory for us and defeated OUR enemy.     He disarmed our enemy, stripped him, and made a show of him openly on our behalf (Colossians 2:15).  This is when Jesus crushed the head of the serpent, that is, Satan.


3.  Third, it is now our responsibility to demonstrate and administer the victory of Jesus.


Today, I am not going to address point number one, above, except to say, Jesus defeated Satan and was without sin.  As said a  moment ago, Jesus won this victory for himself.  And this is what allowed Him to become the one who could purchase our victory.  For the next few minutes, I want to address victories #2 and #3.


Victory #2, the victory He won for us, is when He crushed the head of the serpent, the devil.  Satan’s power of death that comes through sin was demolished.  Christ, the seed of the woman, broke and confounded all the enemy’s schemes.


With regards to poisonous snakes, it is interesting to note that the serpent's poison is lodged in its head.  When it strikes, it unleashes its poison from its front teeth into its victim.   Jesus crushed the serpent's head - striking it in the very place where its destructive power was stored - rendering him (Satan) totally powerless to kill or overwhelm.


Because Jesus crushed the "head" of the serpent by dying on the Cross and shedding His precious blood you can enjoy victory over Satan in that area where he is presently attacking or harassing you.  Jesus "bruised" this serpent's head so that he would not be able to "lift " his "head" against you in that area "no more."


Now, for a few comments on victory #3 – that is, our responsibility to demonstrate and administer the victory of Jesus in our life.  Why do I know, without a doubt, that the crushing of the enemy’s head assures us of victory?  What makes me assured that we can administer the same victory over the enemy already won by Christ?  I want to take you to the last chapter in the book of Romans.  Before I read a verse in Romans 16, let me ask you a question.  Are you tired of the devil blocking your way and causing disruptions and problems in your life?  Would you like to raise your foot and slam it down on the head of Satan, like Christ has?  I certainly would like to do that.  Well, the apostle Paul encourages you to do exactly that.


Romans 16:20 NKJV


20     And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.


                   Satan’s head will be crushed under YOUR feet.


I find it interesting that up till now, in the book of Romans, Paul has never mentioned the devil, except possibly indirectly in Romans 8;38, where he said that neither “angels nor rulers” shall separate us from the love of God in Christ.  In view of how much he treats justification in chapters 3-5, and the Christian life in chapters 6-8, and the struggles and groans of Christian life in chapter 7, it is surprising that he waits until 7 verses before the end of the book to mention the devil.  How could Paul write fifteen chapters about salvation and Christian living and not mentioned the devil?  His silence until now does not mean that Satan is insignificant, or that he can be trifled with.


But now, finally, near the end, Paul does mention Satan.  And when Paul mentioned the devil, he has one thing to say about him.  Paul has one sentence to say about Satan in sixteen chapters.  And the mention is:  HE’S DOOMED!!  To use the words of Martin Luther, “His rage (Satan’s)we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure.”  God will crush him under your feet.


Some translation of Romans 16:20 use the word “bruise” instead of “crush.”  This should not be taken as some insignificant bruise.  The Greek word is SUNTRIBO, a word occurring seven times in the New TestamentThis is a word that significantly presents the notion of trampling the devil under your feet. The word was historically used to denote the act of smashing grapes into wine.  However, it was also used to refer to the act of snapping, breaking, and crushing bones.


Suntribo is used in Mark 5:4 where the Bible tells us about a demon-possessed man of the Gadarenes.  It says: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces.”  The phrase, “broken in pieces,” is this same word, suntribo.  Although bound in chains and fetters, the demonized man was sufficiently energized by the demon to be able to crush those chains and fetters.  When he was finished, the fetters fell to the ground in a heap, twisted and in pieces.  They were so broken they would never be used to hold anyone captive again.


And now the apostle uses this word in the crushing of Satan.  We no longer need to be held captive ever.


However, it is important to point out that this smashing and crushing of Satan must be done in cooperation with God.  Alone, you are no match for this archenemy.  It reads: “The God of peace shall crush Satan under your feet.”  In other words, this is a joint partnership between you and God.  By yourself, you could never keep Satan subdued.  But, with God as your Partner, the devil has no chance of ever slipping out from under you heels.  As I said earlier, this may be the only mention of the devil in the book of Romans, but it is direct to the point that our enemy is doomed.


For a moment, let’s step back and get the larger picture of Satan’s defeat.  We have already noted that Genesis 3:15 prophesied this defeat, telling us the seed of the woman, Christ, would crush the head of the serpent, Satan.  Jesus came to fulfill that promise.  1 John 3:8 says, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”


So, we can sum up the work of Christ as destroying Satan in three stages. 


1.  Satan has been decisively defeated in the death and resurrection of Christ.


2.  He is being defeated now by Christ through Christians who speak the word of God and put on the whole armor of God.


3.  He will finally be vanquished and thrown into the lake of fire never to deceive or torment the world again.


1.  Satan has been decisively defeated in the death and resurrection of Christ.


Paul puts it like this in Colossians 2.


Colossians 2:14-15 NIV


14     (Christ)…canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

15     And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.


By nailing our sins to the cross, Christ took all the damning weapons out of the devil’s hand.  Now he can rage against us, but cannot condemn.


2.  He is being defeated now by Christ through Christians who speak the word of God and put on the whole armor of God.


Ephesians 6:12-13 NKJV


12     For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

13     Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.


As Christians today, by faith, we embrace and apply the victory of Christ in our battles against the devil.  We do this mainly by believing and wielding the Word of God.


Revelation 12:11 NKJV


11     And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.


3.  He will finally be vanquished and thrown into the lake of fire never to deceive or torment the world again.


Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:25, says:


25     For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.


The defeat was decisive in the cross and resurrection, but the final blow will be delivered in the future when Christs puts all things manifestly under his feet.


There’s the link to Romans 16:20 – “under his feet” – only here it is under your feet.  And the reason it is your feet is that we are in Christ and his triumphs will be our triumphs.  This is as certain as the fact that Christ already came and died and rose again.  That’s why Ephesians 1:22 speaks of all things already under Christ’s feet.


Romans 16:20 is a warning for us not to give up, even though it seems as if evil has the upper hand and Satan is devouring the world.  In the meantime – till the final victory comes and Satan is vanquished - there will be grace for the long battle.  Verse 20bThe grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.  That grace arrives every day in just the right amount for the battles we face.  It is new every morning.


As we come to the close of our lesson today, let me highlight a number of other Bible verses that speak of the enemy being crushed under the feet of Christ, and thus, under our feet.


Hebrews 2:6-8 NKJV


6       But one testified in a certain place, saying: "What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him?

7       You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor,  And set him over the works of Your hands.

8       You have put all things in subjection under his feet."  For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.


 These verses in Hebrews is a quote from the Psalms.


Psalms 8:4-6 NKJV


4       What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?

5       For You have made him a little lower than the angels,  And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

6       You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,


Matthew 22:44 NIV


44     “The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." '  


Notice the same verse in the NKJV.


Matthew 22:44


44     'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool"'? 


This brings out another word – footstool – that essentially means the same thing, and is found in both the Old and New Testaments 16 times.  Yet another word that is similar is the word, “tread.”  The word, “tread” or “tread on” is found 22 times in the Bible.


I want to end our lesson with one more verse.  I love this verse.


2 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV


14.    Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.


Three things you can quickly see in this verse.


1.  The first is the phrase “Thanks be to God who always leads…”  If we don’t let Him lead, we will never have victory.


2. The second is the last half of the verse.  Christ wants us to be used by him to spread the pleasing aroma – the fragrance - of the knowledge of Him in every place - everywhere.


3.  The third is the phrase “triumph in Christ.”  The word, “triumph,” is related to the word, “victory,” but it is not the same.  Triumph is what you do after the victory.  It is the triumphant march denoting complete defeat of the enemy.


This is the only verse in the New Testament where you find the word “triumph.”  It is found 11 times in the Old Testament.


Most of you know Psalms 47:1 NKJV


1       Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph!


                            We are to rejoice in the victories won by the Lord of Hosts.


In heaven, we will all sing the songs of victory when Jesus put all things under His feet.  But we don’t have to wait until then to have victory.


1 Corinthians 15:57 NKJV


57     But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.