Insights #6 Nov 10, 2012
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Insights #6 Nov 10, 2012

Fourth Quarter 2012 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
Victory Over Evil Forces
For the week of Nov. 10, 2012

Victory Over Evil Forces
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. Col. 2:13-15.
The reason the followers of Christ have victory over oppressive forces in this cosmic battle is because they comprehend and appreciate something of what was accomplished for them at the cross.
The victory described in Colossians 2:13-15 arises from God’s willingness and ability to forgive, out of the infinite resources of His grace, the condemnation which was against us. This preemptive forgiveness (charizomai in the Greek) undercuts the accusations of Satan that God is unwilling or unable to forgive. When Christ was nailed to the cross, He bore our condemnation as the representative of the entire race, and thus placed great power in the hands of every person to deal with the oppressive spiritual powers with which we battle every day.
It is important to remember that our redemption and our victory was planned ahead of time, even though the manifestation of that plan is in the here and now:
“… ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,  1 Peter 1:18-20.
God is the source of all power. The extent to which He can manifest that power for us, giving us victory over evil forces, is determined by our belief in how extensive that power is. How comprehensive was the victory at the cross?
While it is appropriate to read Romans 8:26-39 in the context of our response to what God has done for the saints who love God, it is also right to read it with an eye to the implications for all men:
  1.  How many has God called according to His purpose?  Titus 2:11
  2.  In Christ, how many are predestined to be saved?  2 Peter 3:9
  3.  How many have been justified unto life in Him?  Romans 5:18
Now, justification by grace; that is on God's part. Justification by His blood, that is on God's part and he has done that for every single human being on his part. He has done all for justification to every human being; his grace is free to every human being, and his blood is the channel through which it flows to every human being, and "we thus judge that if one died for all, then all died," so that is of God's grace. But while he has done all this for every human being, yet it avails only for those who personally apprehend it by their own faith, who lay hold of the justification provided. It is freely provided for every one, but by faith in him, the individual lays hold of that justification for himself. Then the provision which has been made freely for all avails for him as an individual and when, by faith, he has made a personal application to his own case of the justification which comes from God through the blood of Christ, then as a consequence, as the inevitable result, Christ's works appear in him. Therefore, for the person in Jesus Christ, it does not make any difference which method of justification is mentioned. If he is justified by grace, as of course he must be, all these other consequences follow. If he is justified by grace, then he is justified through the blood, by his own individual faith, and the works will appear; and you may touch this at any point. If he is really justified by works of faith, when you say he is justified by works, you imply all the rest before it. This ought to do away with our discussion as to whether we are justified by faith or by works, or whether it is by grace, or how it is. One who is truly justified personally, must be justified by every one of them. And when one who is truly justified, manifests one of the four, the other three are all implied. (WW Prescott, February 6, 1895 N/A, GCB 44.5)
  1. Was our corporate humanity glorified in Christ? Matthew 3:17
And the word that was spoken to Jesus at the Jordan, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," embraces humanity. God spoke to Jesus as our representative. With all our sins and weaknesses, we are not cast aside as worthless. "He hath made us accepted in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:6. The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge of the love of God for us. DA 113.
  1. For whom was the Son delivered up? Isaiah 53:5,6,11
  2. Who are freely given all things?  Ephesians 4:8, Hebrews 5:1, Romans 8:32
  3. Who in the world have the love of God inseparably bound to them? John 3:16
At the Saviour's baptism, Satan was among the witnesses. He saw the Father's glory overshadowing His Son. He heard the voice of Jehovah testifying to the divinity of Jesus. Ever since Adam's sin, the human race had been cut off from direct communion with God; the intercourse between heaven and earth had been through Christ; but now that Jesus had come "in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Romans 8:3), the Father Himself spoke. He had before communicated with humanity through Christ; now He communicated with humanity in Christ. Satan had hoped that God's abhorrence of evil would bring an eternal separation between heaven and earth. But now it was manifest that the connection between God and man had been restored.  DA 116.
What assurance this should give those who claim the blessings God has given!
The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul. Not one that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy's power. The Saviour is by the side of His tempted and tried ones. With Him there can be no such thing as failure, loss, impossibility, or defeat; we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. When temptations and trials come, do not wait to adjust all the difficulties, but look to Jesus, your helper.  DA 490-493. 
-Todd Guthrie