Now today, I believe we will be concluding the series we have been studying entitled “In the Mirror” where we have been looking into the mirror of God’s Word and seeing what we look like from God’s perspective—which is truly the only opinion that really matters. So, if our Father says that we are loved and chosen, then that’s what we are. It doesn’t matter what others say or what our own heart says. We are who He says that we are! Also, if the Bible says that we are holy and righteous, then that is what we are. It might not look like it every day, but we must believe what God says over what we see.
And as we’ve learned, another benefit of us beholding and believing who this spiritual mirror says that we are is that it will change the things we see in the natural. Our kickoff Scripture out of Second Corinthians 3:18 teaches us this when it says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Church, we must realize that who we are in the spirit is the “same image” as the Lord Jesus Christ. It is His righteousness that we have been made. It is the same love that His Father loved Him with that has been shed abroad in our heart. It is His anointing that we have been anointed with. And as we saw last week, it is the same blessing of Abraham that we have as well.
And like we learned last week from the truth that we are blessed in Christ Jesus, this is not something we need to wait to happen before we believe it. No, you and I are blessed because of what Jesus did for us, not because we necessarily see any evidence of it yet in our lives.
We saw from Ephesians 1:3 which says that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. It might feel some days that we are not blessed because a lot of things in this natural, physical world don’t indicate it, but we have to determine whether that is true or not. And I am here to tell you that the truth is that we have received the same blessing of Abraham. And we learned that this blessing of Abraham is not to be confused with Abraham’s blessings. There is a big difference between the blessing on his life and the blessings He possessed in his life. The blessings were the physical, tangible things he possessed, but the blessing was the intangible divine empowerment that enabled him to be blessed with tangible things.
So, it boils down to us believing that all of these spiritual blessings that we possess are already ours in Christ Jesus. Are we going to look in this mirror and believe that we are blessed, anointed, redeemed, delivered, healed, etc. even though when we look at our lives, we look as broke, busted, and disgusted as Joseph did in Genesis 39:1?
But, again, notice that this mirror called him a successful, prosperous, and blessed man before anyone saw the evidence of it (including himself). That is where we need to see ourselves—as blessed before we see any evidence of it. Amen?
Church, this mirror reveals to us that we have been blessed, and it is up to us to stand up in our situations and circumstances that might not reflect that we are blessed, and say, “I am a successful man! I am a blessed woman!” We say it because that is what we see in this mirror. Amen and amen!
Now this week, in the conclusion of these teachings, I had on my heart to wind up these teachings with the victory which is ours in Christ Jesus. So, as we have been learning— “I Am Loved, I Am Righteous, I Am Holy, I Am Blessed, I Am Anointed”—today, you and I will learn this about ourselves— “I Am A Winner.”
GOD BELIEVES IN WINNING
Did you know God is all about winning? He sure is! I know we live in a society today that wants to hand out trophies to everyone, but that is not the way things work in the kingdom of God.
You see, God is not into socialism and the mentality that revolves around it. Everyone is not going to receive the same slice of the pie. No, in His kingdom, there will be winners and there will be losers. There are those who get rewarded and those who won’t. Sure, Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, but there are those who will receive His sacrifice and those who won’t. On top of that, there are those who after receiving this salvation will be rewarded more than others who are saved just like they were.
Church, we see this throughout the Scriptures—that there are rewards awaiting us in heaven. There are things like robes, crowns, and other prizes promised to us for overcoming in this life. So, God evidently is in the rewarding business. Therefore, He desires for us to win in life and receive the reward for doing so! Amen?
The apostle Paul echoed these sentiments as he aspired to win His own race of faith. We see him speak of this in many of his epistles, but a really good description is found in First Corinthians chapter 9. Let’s look at it:
First Corinthians 9:24-27 – “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
So, what do we see in these verses? Evidently, as in a race, there are multiple competitors in the kingdom of God, but only certain ones will receive the prize. And Paul calls this prize not a perishable crown, but an imperishable crown. He also goes on to speak of how one can be disqualified in this race of faith, but that is obviously not God’s will. God’s will is that we win all the time and every time! And do you know why? It is because He Himself is a Winner! Let’s look at some truths in this mirror that reflect this to us …
GOD IS A WINNER
Now we know that God only has one rival, and that is obviously Satan. Yes, the devil is the only one dumb enough to try and take God on. Well, let’s look how well that went for him …
Most of us are aware of that event that transpired before the foundation of this world, when Satan, being an angel in heaven named Lucifer, rebelled against God because his heart was lifted up in pride to be like Him. The Scriptures teach us that he was able to deceive a third of the angels in heaven to war against the Lord of hosts.
And can you imagine how that went down? Jesus told us in Luke chapter 10 exactly what happened: He told His disciples that after that old dragon did his best to overthrow God with a third of the angels of heaven, He said that He saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven (Luke 10:18).
So, this shows us that if we were to have ordered this so-called “War in the Heavenlies” on pay per view, then we wouldn’t have gotten our money’s worth. LOL! It was no match, whatsoever! Just like when He was being accused of casting out demons by Beelzebub, Jesus said that He was casting them out by the “finger of God” (Luke 11:20).
So here is what I imagine happened. Lucifer and all his angels ganged up, roaring as they came against the Most High God and the Lord just simply “flicked” him with his finger and the devil fell like lightning from heaven!
So don’t be deceived, brethren! This wasn’t like the main event at Wrestlemania, where you get a good back and forth 30-minute match! No, if you would have paid to see this, the only thing you would have been impressed by was the knock-out ability of our God! Hallelujah!
And what we need to understand about what Jesus was saying here is that it was being said in response to His disciple’s excitement over the demons obeying them when they took authority over them. So, what Jesus was doing here was explaining to them that the demons obeying us is not really that big of a deal. Jesus told us right here what happened when He said that He was there to witness Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Now as we know, when it comes to lightning, if you blink, you’ll miss it.
So, again, I believe that Jesus was attempting to communicate to His disciples that what they had experienced was not as spectacular and miraculous as they thought. Why? Because He saw Satan lose His place of authority when He was cast out of heaven some time before that. In other words, it was really no big deal that the demons were responding to His name—because their leader had already been cast out of heaven before by that same authority! Amen!
All of this to say that this original head to head matchup between Almighty God and the devil was no contest. In other words, it was severely one-sided.
CHRIST, THE CONQUEROR
But, of course, we know that the devil didn’t let that stop him. He still raged against God and decided to attack those created in God’s image and likeness. And by being successful at tempting man to sin against God, it opened God’s creation up to sin and the curse. But as we know, what the First Adam lost in the Fall, the Last Adam has regained through His Resurrection. Yes, through Jesus, God has notched another victory in the win column!
Which brings a good point: Like it was in the Fall of Adam or the crucifixion of Jesus, it might seem at times that the devil has gotten the lead in the game a time or two, but it’s not how you start that makes the difference; it’s how you finish the game. And God has never lost one game! He is the undefeated One! And the greatest victory was won on Calvary.
Let’s look at some verses which explain what Jesus did through His death, burial and resurrection:
First John 3:8 tells us one of Jesus’ purposes for coming to this world. John says, “… For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” The word used for “destroy” here literally means to “loose” or “untie.” This means that Jesus came to set us free from sin’s control and sin’s effects. That is why sin no longer has dominion over us (Romans 6:14). Yes, we have a new master and are no longer slaves to our former master!
In Hebrews 2:14 we are told how Jesus lived as a man and then died in the sins of mankind “… that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” The word “destroy” here means “to make of non-effect, to paralyze, or to render inoperative”. One translation said that Jesus made the devil an absolute “zero.” So, this verse is saying that Jesus “paralyzed” the devil through His triumph at the cross, and therefore, took away Satan’s power over our lives.
And Jesus didn’t just whoop the devil in a quiet, nice way. He literally rubbed his nose in it: We are told in Colossians 2:15 how Jesus “having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”
This verse describes what Jesus did when He was resurrected on the third day. When He was made alive after spending three days and three nights in the pit of hell, Jesus plundered the enemy’s camp—totally defeating him.
Now notice the first two words in this awesome verse— “Having disarmed.” Like it is with everything we’ve been learning in this series, this isn’t something Jesus is going to do. It is something He has already done— “Having disarmed!”
The word “disarmed” describes “stripping the garments and/or armor off.” This word was used to depict the stripping of the enemy’s weaponry and artillery and leaving him without any weapons with which to respond. One scholar even noted that this word describes “stripping to the point of complete nakedness.” The King James Version translates this word as “spoiled” which would describe Jesus as taking the possessions of the principalities and powers. This means that when Jesus was resurrected, He totally whipped and stripped the enemy and left them with nothing. He took all of their armor away from them!
This gives new meaning to the Old Testament verse that says, “No weapon formed against you will prosper,” doesn’t it? Under the New Covenant, Satan has been stripped of his weapons that he used to keep us in bondage before Jesus came. Now the only effective weapon that he can form against us is the illusion that he even has an effective weapon! In other words, his only effective weapon now is deception!
So, we can gather from these first two words “having disarmed” that Jesus has already (past tense) taken away the enemy’s weapons. So, how could he ever defeat us if he doesn’t even have any weapons left? The only way he can is if he can convince us that he’s got an effective weapon against us. The only way he can win is if he can get us to give up, thinking he’s won. His only effective weapon left is deception. It is like someone who robs a bank with his pointed finger in his pocket. If that robber convinces the bank employees that what he is pointing at them is a real gun then he can cause them to give him all the money but if they know that he does not really have a weapon then they will not give him squat!
Now the words “public spectacle” came from two different Greek words: The first is deigmatidzo and it means “to display, to exhibit; to expose to public disgrace.” This Greek word was used to denote “the display of captives, weaponry, and trophies that were seized during war on foreign soil.” In those times when the war was over and the battle was won, the victorious king would return home and “display” the treasures, trophies, weaponry, and even the captives that he had seized during his conquest.
So, what we see here is that after Jesus stripped the enemy of all their garments and weapons leaving them totally naked He exposed their pitiful condition for all the hosts of heaven to see. He forever has “exhibited them” and “put them to an open shame.” This is why God prophesied that there would come a time when we would look upon (i.e. gaze at and consider) Satan and say, “Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world a wilderness and destroyed its cities” (Isaiah 14:16). It’s going to be amazing to us when we will be able to see him for who he really is. We will be so awestruck that we will gaze upon him and ponder how in the world that he ever “shook kingdoms, destroyed cities, made the earth tremble, and made the world a wilderness.” It will be very amazing and also very disappointing to realize that it was all through DECEPTION—his only weapon!
So, what we are learning through all of this is that the devil has been whipped and stripped. Jesus took the teeth of the roaring lion. And the reason it is so important to understand this is because too many times we perceive the devil as this huge juggernaut. But he’s not! Greater is He who lives in us than he who lives in the world. Period!
Now another word that the apostle Paul included in Colossians 2:15 is the word parresia which describes “boldness, confidence, openness.” By adding this word, Paul was showing us that this grand celebration was no quiet affair! On the contrary, Jesus “boldly, confidently, and loudly” exposed His disarmed and defeated foe. He completely humiliated the enemy when He exhibited him as defeated for all the world to see. Jesus rubbed his nose in it in a not-so quiet way!
When was Paul referring to this “public spectacle” happening? The word “triumphing” is the Greek word triambeuo. It referred to a “Roman triumph” which was “a glorious triumphal parade”. This was the triumphal procession (or, parade) that the conquering leader would lead back into his kingdom after defeating his enemy.
So, what we can gather from these verses is that Jesus has already totally defeated Satan and his cohorts. It is a finished work! The devil is not going to get any more defeated than he already is! Therefore, we must always approach everything in life with this mindset—that the enemy has already been defeated and we already have the victory!
MORE THAN CONQUERORS
Which leads us to: Because our God is a Winner and because the devil has been defeated by Christ Jesus, we are now winners! Yes, He Himself is a Winner, and desires for His children to win as well. And the good news is that He has done everything that needed to be done to make us victorious and triumphant.
Let’s look at some verses that clearly declare this to us, the church …
First of all, in First Corinthians 15:57, the apostle Paul said, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So, our victorious God has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! In other words, because of the victory that Jesus won on Calvary, we have the victory over every trial and tribulation that comes our way! We are victorious in Christ!
In a similar Scripture (Second Corinthians 2:14), the apostle Paul said, “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.”
Now the word “triumph” here is the same word used for “triumphing” in Colossians 2:15 which again describes a victory parade for a conquering army and its leader. So, by saying that He is leading us in this victory parade, Paul is saying that we are the soldiers that accompany Jesus after He spoiled the principalities and powers and led them in this humiliating parade. In other words, we partake in His victory without ever having to fight the battle.
That’s why Paul said what he did in Romans 8:37— “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
What does this mean to be more than a conqueror? How can you be more than a conqueror? Let me give you a great example: There are many athletes who, week-in and week-out, train and practice to become the best at their respective sports. They work extremely hard to defeat each of their fellow competitors. But when these hardworking athletes are victorious, they are not true examples of someone who is "more than a conqueror." So, who is the one who is "more than a conqueror" in this situation? It is their spouse! Yes, their spouses are the ones that are more than conquerors because they never had to go through the countless hours of training and they never had to compete; yet they partake of the prize money from their spouse's victories. In other words, they get to spend the money their spouses worked so hard to earn. The successful athletes are conquerors, but their spouses are more than conquerors.
Here is how this applies to us: We, the bride of Christ, never had to step into the arena with the devil and earn our salvation. Our Divine Husband fought the battle for us, so that now, we can partake in the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness, and reign in life (Romans 5:17). Jesus died and rose again to purchase everything that we could never afford. He came to give us life and life more abundantly when we did not deserve it. Therefore, as the bride of Christ, we get to partake in the spoils left behind by our Glorified Husband's victory over death, hell, and the grave. Amen. We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Glory to Jesus!
So, based on Second Corinthians 2:14, what is our responsibility? If our Divine Husband won the victory for us, what do we have to do? Paul said to just be thankful. Just show gratitude and appreciation to the one who “graced” you with said victory! And then just let the fragrance of that victory be with you wherever you go. In other words, allow your life to reek of victory!
Church, do you know what stinks? Losing stinks. Anyone who tells you they enjoy losing is lying to you. Now you can still have your joy when you lose, but you are not going to be happy with losing. On the contrary, winning is a pleasant aroma, and a smell that should follow our lives as children of God.
So, it is clear that God has given us the victory and He always leads us in triumph! Victory is ours and we always win in Christ! That is who we are! Glory!
Therefore, you are not a loser. The world might have told you that you’re a loser, that you’re not cool and it doesn’t accept you, but the gospel is that you and I are truly winners! We are made acceptable in the Beloved! We are more than conquerors as His beloved! Therefore, it couldn’t get any better for us! This should keep a smile plastered across our faces—to where an attitude of gratitude is the fragrance we are putting off and we are rejoicing like any fanatic does out there when their team wins the championship! I’ll tell you—we’ve won the greatest championship there ever was! Therefore, we are more than winners! Now let’s go home and eat our chicken dinners!