Day 20 Devotional Before United Prayer: (about 1:30min reading)
Complete Victory Through Christ’s Righteousness
In Romans 7, Paul described the struggle every Christian has with temptation and sin in his life. Even though the power of the sinful nature was broken at the cross for the believer in Jesus Christ (Romans 6:6), that fact alone does not give victory over sin. The Bible is clear and untold defeats in every Christian’s life confirm that we do not have the ability to overcome temptation and sin no matter how much effort we exert. Even if we ask God to add His power to our effort, we still fail.
- T. Jones clearly described the impossibility of the Christian living an obedient life by putting forth effort to do so:
Everybody has experienced it,—longing to do the good that he would, yet doing only the evil that he hated; having ever a will to do better, but how to perform it, finding not; delighting in the law of God after the inward man, yet finding in his members another law, warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law of sin which is in his members; and at last crying out. “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Lessons on Faith, 36-37)
Until the Christian comes to understand and experience what it means to let Christ give him or her victory, he or she will not experience the consistently obedient life he desires. In this chapter, I will present how to let Christ live out His victorious life in you. When you come to understand and experience this truth, your Christian life will never again be the same. Instead of a life of sporadic obedience and broken promises to God, you will in time experience a life of victory through Christ over every temptation and sin Satan sends your way.
Personal Reading for Discussion:
Just Like Jesus
We are fast approaching the second coming of Christ. The Christians who are living when Jesus returns will have gained the victory over every temptation and sin in their lives. John indicated this when he wrote:
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him: for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:4)
The Greek word translated “like” in this verse means just like Christ in character, nature, authority, etc. Christ was victorious over all temptation and sin, so those who are ready to meet Him when He returns will also be victorious over sin. In addition, the fact that they are living without Christ as their mediator indicates the level of victory they will have attained in Christ.
- T. Jones presented this concept when he wrote of the completion of the mystery of God. He quoted Revelation 10:7, which states that in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, the mystery of God will be finished. Then he wrote:
But what is the mystery of God? “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” “God . . . manifest in the flesh.” Then in these days that mystery is to be finished in one hundred and forty-four thousand people. God’s work in human flesh. God being manifested in human flesh, in you and me, is to be finished. His work upon you and me is to be finished. We are to be perfected in Jesus Christ. By the Spirit we are to come unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Lessons on Faith, 150)
Note again, this happens only by the Holy Spirit because it is through the baptism of the Holy Spirit that Christ lives in His people, and they grow into the fullness of Christ.
Day 20 Prayer Focus: Pray for
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Revival for yourself and the church
- God to lead the church to understand and experience complete victory over temptation through faith in Christ’s righteous obedience in your life
- Those on your prayer list
Day 20 Going Deeper Discussion Questions: (based on pages 66 to 69 of “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith [pages 86 to 89 of the PDF version])
- Why is the sanctification aspect of Christ’s work within us called the “how” of righteousness by Faith? (Page 86 PDF)
- Even while believing in Christ’s victory on the cross (Rom 6:6), why are our resolution and determined efforts to stop sinning not enough to guarantee victory? (Page 86 PDF)
- What will it take to give you the victory in moving from a life of sporadic obedience and broken promises to God? (Page 87 PDF)
- How is the understanding of righteousness by Faith (See 1 Cor. 10:13) linked to the “way of escape?” (Page 87 PDF)
- Read 1 Cor. 10:13 again. “. . . but God is faithful” how do these words offer you “the way to escape” temptation and sin, which is the lot of humans? (Page 87 PDF)
- At the appearance of Jesus at the second coming, what does it mean to be “Just like Jesus” (1 John 3:4)? (Page 88 PDF)
- List some of the characteristics that we will have that are “Just like Jesus.” (Page 88 PDF)
- What is the Mystery of God, the hope of glory (See Revelation 10:7)? (Page 88 PDF)
- What is our role in revealing this “Mystery?” (Page 88 PDF)
- How do you live out this Mystery? In other words. How are we perfected? (Page 89 PDF)
Day 20 Heart preparation/challenge:
Throughout the day ask God to remind you what He is speaking to you in today’s reading and going deeper discussions and to help you to apply them in your life.
Read “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith pages 69 to 72 (pages 89 to 92 of the PDF file) in preparation for Day 21.
Prayerfully answer Day 21 discussion questions in preparation to share on Day 21 Going Deeper segment of united prayer.