Thoughts on the Way Home

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Victory in the Christian Life

We must militate against the idea that continual defeat and unbelief is normal Christianity. Walking in victory with a clean conscience is the birthright of every single Christian. A defiled conscience a sign that something is wrong[1]. Notice the sweeping statements made by Paul concerning his own life:

Paul, looking intently at the Council, said, "Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day" (Acts 23:1).

For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted (1 Cor 4:4).

The latter half of the last reference guards us against Perfectionism. Christian perfectionism, simply stated, means a person can obtain total sinlessness in this life. But are we really in danger of Perfectionism? As Ravenhill once said, it's like setting guards around a cemetery in fear of a violent uprising among the occupants. Guards are necessary, but only where danger exists. A "Beware of Sharks" sign is utterly unnecessary here in Missouri.

Along these lines, we should tell inquiring Christians when we are walking in victory. We have a tendency to think this is arrogance. But nothing is further from the truth. I can't tell you the help I received the other night simply by hearing my friend tell me his conscience is clear and he isn't defeated. However, we cannot move toward this until we rediscover the truth of normal Christianity - believing God and a life characterized by victory over sin.


[1] Notice I didn't say a defiled conscience is a sign a person is in sin. Sometimes the problem is simply a matter of need for further instruction in the truth.