Athletes have long-been aspiring for victory. Years of training, self-discipline, perseverance, patience, and determination are all in preparation for the goal. Whether competing as a team player or individually, the hope is to reach that defining moment when victory is claimed.
WHAT IS TRUE VICTORY?
Astylos of Croton, an Olympic champion in ancient Greece, donned the prestigious olive wreath six times, claiming highest victory in three Olympiads. A record-breaking runner, Astylos’ claim to fame was winning an event in which the athletes ran with a full armored suit.
Though Astylos gained fame and notoriety and was among those reaching the pinnacle of successful athleticism, he died a defeated and lonely man. It was discovered by his compatriots, that he had received a bribe to participate under the banner of Syracuse. To dishonor his name, the people of Croton demolished his statue and converted his home into a prison. His family disowned him.
The victory of Astylos was temporary. “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” (1 Corinthians 9:25) True and lasting victory is not found in trophies, medals, and the praise of men. The victor standing in the winner’s circle today will be replaced by another tomorrow. Age, injury, and fading popularity prevent victory from being permanent.
True victory is not found in position, but in a person, Jesus Christ. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) Friend, if you want true victory, it has already been won for you.
- Without Jesus Christ, we are all losers. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Because we are sinners, we are all under the condemnation of sin. Defeat is certain.
- The condemnation of our sin will send us to an eternal death in hell. “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23) “Wherefore as by one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12) If we have broken even one of God’s Ten Commandments, we will stand condemned before God. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10)
- God loved us so much that He gave his only perfect and sinless son to suffer in our place. He became our substitute. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin…” (2 Corinthians 5:21) “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Romans 5:8-9)
- Our victory was won when Jesus Christ triumphed over the grave and hell. “O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?..But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:55, 57) “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)
- Christ’s victory is ours for the claiming. The prize is eternal life with Him in heaven. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12) “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
- Friend, do not be satisfied with temporary victory. The accolades of men, material gain, and financial success will never give true peace and satisfaction. True victory has already been won for you! If you believe that Jesus Christ was crucified, buried and that He rose again for you and if you trust in Him as your only Saviour, you will receive the forgiveness of all your sin and the gift of eternal life. Step up and claim it. Call on the Lord Jesus Christ today!