Text: Romans 12:15-21
These verses show how the victorious Christian life is lived out. It is how God further participates in the world through his people. It is where natural responses meet the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit of God.
Victory is overcoming your nature by yielding to the Holy Spirit work (vs 14)
- It’s easy to be a blessing to people who are a blessing, but being a blessing when it’s hard to do really tests the metal
- He starts with the worst case scenario of persecution
- Paul had a hard time of it in Acts 23:2-3
- Jesus Christ did it
- Stephen did it
- Tyndale prayed for the king while being burned at the stake
Victory is overcoming envy and malice with multiplied joy, and divided sorrow (vs 15)
- Part of being a church family is strength in numbers
- Many hands make light work. Joys can be multiplied among many, sorrows can be divided among many
- Too often our envy and jealousy get in the way
- Missionaries struggling
- Weeping because sometimes there is nothing to say
Victory is overcoming fighting and strife with unity in Christ (vs 16)
- True friendship is not a monetary relationship
- Mind not high things like how big can we make our “campus”
- Not making regular visits to the highest tithing member
- Conditions come from your high view of yourself
Victory is overcoming retaliation with a good testimony (vs 17)
- Retaliation brings you down to a lower level in the eyes of onlookers
- Don’t do wrong because someone did you wrong.
Victory is overcoming contention with peace (vs 18)
- Whenever it is possible
- Christian troublemakers are in it for themselves. They are trying to make a name for them that God isn’t making for them.
- It isn’t always possible to live peaceably. The possibility with one is different than my possibility to live at peace with someone else. Someone may be mean and ornery so they won’t be satisfied without a fight. At that point, peace isn’t possible because they’ve determined it’s not.
- Your flesh has a breaking point, but with the Holy Spirit you can go beyond that
Victory is overcoming vengeance with trust (vs 19)
- sometimes people who avenge themselves or defend themselves look guilty when they aren’t
- Point is that it’s God’s job to avenge. It’s your job to trust him in that.
Victory is overcoming hostility with kindness (vs 20)
- Ever been around someone whose skin you just couldn’t get under when you wanted to
- It can have the effect of surprise when someone is doing something to get a rise out of you. I notice so much of what the devil does is done to get Christians to react.
Victory is overcoming evil with good (vs 21)
- Not being overcome means you have the upper hand, you have the victory.
- Your actions cannot be manipulated