By A. A. Allen
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation, also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it,” I Cor. 10:13
“But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil,” II Thess. 3:3
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 24
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ livesh in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me,” Gal. 2:20
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified,” Isa. 61:1-3
Here is good news–the news that Jesus Christ came to bring to a darkened world! The same good news that he preached, and that he sent his disciples and apostles to preach, is the news that I bring to you tonight—the good news of the gospel! The good news is that Christ came to proclaim liberty to the captive and the opening of the prisons to them that are bound; the news that you can desert your ash heap of discouragement and find beauty—the beauty of holiness—as you look to the promises of God.
Quit mourning, my friend! Christ has promised you the oil of joy! This very moment, you can trade that horrible spirit of heaviness for the garments of praise! If you will accept the good news of the gospel that I bring to you now, all these things and more are yours.
This is the gospel of GOOD TIDINGS! The word Gospel means “good news.” But even good news, in order to bring blessing to your heart, must be accepted and believed. Believing what I give to you now, the glorious gospel of GOOD NEWS, will give you POWER OVER THE DEVIL! It will give you power over every temptation of this present world, and make you victorious over all the power of the enemy. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Certainly, this is contrary to many testimonies I have heard in Church.
Some people testify of what a hard job it is to serve the Lord, and of how filled with thorns is the pathway. They declare it is hard way, this serving the Lord. My friend, this is contrary to the teaching of God’s word. The scripture says that the way of the transgressor is hard! The yoke of the Lord Jesus Christ is easy! If it is your opinion that serving the Lord is a “hard old way,” what you need to do is take on you the yoke of Jesus. If your yoke is hard, possibly you are yoked to the wrong person–perhaps even Satan! For the yoke of Christ is easy. He has declared that it is so.
Are there burdens, serving the Lord? Certainly, but they are light, for Jesus said they were! Paul said,
“If God be for us, who can be against us?” Rom. 8:31
Of course, Satan will be against you. But the power with which Satan attacks you is in the minority compared to the power that God gives you to overcome the devil. The scriptures declare that Christ “came to destroy the works of the devil.” He defeated Satan at the cross of Calvary. My friends, no matter who you are, or where you are, you too can defeat the Devil, with Christ in you heart. My friend, if you want power over the devil, then put on Christ. You can put on Christ, if you will.
“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ,” Gal. 3:27
Let Christ abide within your heart. “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” And surely, with Conversion–with an old fashioned, born again experience–Christ is within us!
“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me,” Gal. 2:20
So, the Christ who won the victory at the cross of Calvary, over Satan and all the powers of hell and darkness, and even the grave, is in us and is still victorious over Satan and those powers of sin and darkness. If that Christ is IN YOU, you have his power. Jesus declared, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” Matt. 28:18. But that power was not limited to Christ alone, for he said to his followers,
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you,” Luke 10:19
So in Christ, and in the Christian experience, is power over the devil, victory over temptation, a victorious walk with Christ down the highway of righteousness that leads to eternal life in heaven!Don’t be discouraged, my friend, if you have tried and failed, and have found that you have many weaknesses. Remember, His strength is made perfect in weakness! It will never be your own power or your own strength that gives you the victory, but his strength perfected in you. But you must yield to the Lord, and believe God’s promises if this power is ever to become yours, and is to work and operate through you and in your life. In Christ, we are bigger and more powerful than sin and the devil.
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid,” Rom. 6:14,15
God has ordained that the Christian, with Christ in his life, shall have dominion over sin, which is dominion over the devil.
“How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he lives, he lives unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Rom. 6:2-11
Here in verse 11 is the secret of victorious Christian living. We are to RECKON OURSELVES TO BE DEAD UNTO SIN, BUT ALIVE UNTO GOD! Along with multitudes of other Christian people who are living a victorious life, I have found that we are dead to sin only as long as we reckon ourselves to be dead unto sin. We are alive unto God through Christ Jesus only as long as we reckon ourselves to be alive. The old man is the person who once sinned and yielded to every temptation. He is dead only as long as you reckon him dead. The moment you fail to reckon the old man dead, he is very much alive. Remember that you are only victorious over the devil and over sin, as long as you reckon yourself alive to God, and are yielding to the Lord, and believing and standing on his promises.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it,” I Cor. 10:13
Friend, when God has given such marvelous promises as these, there is no excuse for living in the beggarly elements of this world. There is no reason why a person cannot and should not be living a victorious Christian life. When God says he will, with every temptation, make a way of escape, he means exactly that.
With EVERY TEMPTATION he has made a way of escape if you desire to find it! Remember, God is faithful. He is faithful to provide in EVERY temptation a way of escape! No temptation that has taken you is any greater that the temptations suffered by other people. The scripture says they are “common to man.” Men before you have overcome! And men even after you will find the way of escape if they will stand upon the promises of God, and look for the way of escape! The Lord in this verse has promised. And “the promises of God are in him yea and in him amen, unto all that believe.”
So instead of sitting there with a long face, talking about the devil’s power, why not as the scripture says, “Count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations,” knowing that through Christ you are more than conqueror over every one of them? There is nothing to be downhearted about. There is nothing in the world to frown about. There is nothing to be heavyhearted about, when such marvelous promises of God are yours if you will only believe them and stand on them. But to claim these promises, you must do more than join a church, or be baptized in water, or have water sprinkled on your head, or be religious. You must be born again. That old heart of yours is exceedingly sinful above all things. Paul, in Romans 6, speaks of the old man, which was “conceived in sin and shaped in iniquity.” (Psalm 51:5) Man comes into this world with a heart that is exceedingly sinful.
“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies; these are the things that defile a man,” Matt. 15:19, 20
This is the reason a man must do more than sign a card, be baptized in water, or be “religious.” This is why he must be born again and have a change of heart. And this is the very thing that God has promised to do;
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them,” Ezekiel. 36:26, 27
Referring to this very thing, Jesus said,
“Except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I say unto thee, Ye must be born again,” John 3:5-7
The man who is born of the flesh comes into the world with the old Adamic nature – shaped in sin and conceived in iniquity – with a heart from which proceeds every evil work. But when a man is born again, he is born of the spirit, born from above. Immediately there is a change of heart. A new spirit is placed within him, which is the spirit of Christ. From that very moment, Christ is within that man. Christ is there in power and in glory. And without maintaining this experience, no man can have power over the devil!Hear me tonight, friends! You can be victorious over the devil, even as Christ was victorious over the devil.
“For even hereunto were ye called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps, who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judges righteously,” I Peter 2:21-23
Our example to follow is Christ, and when we take him as our example and stand upon his promises and appropriate them, immediately we become overcomers.
“For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” I John 5:4, 5
It is believing in our hearts our Lord and His wonderful promises that makes us greater than the devil.
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world,” I John 4:4
In this place, there are many who, because of a lack of knowing God’s word, live in continual sin. In fact, they say of themselves, “I sin every day, and repent every night.” It is wonderful that God has given us the precious promise,
“If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” I John 1:9
But there are many who misuse this blessed scripture. They would use it to defend their continual sinning. They feel that certainly their point is made as they go on to quote the next verse also.
“If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us,” I John 1:10
It is true no man can truthfully say, “I have not sinned.” I cannot say of myself that I have never sinned. According to the scripture,
“All we like sheep have gone astray,” Isa. 53:6
“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23
These scriptures describe the human race in its unregenerate state. They tell us why man needs to be born again, and to have a new heart. John did not give us the words of I John 1:9,10 to encourage us to continue in sin, for he himself goes on in the next verse to declare,“My little children, these things write I unto you, THAT YE SIN NOT.” Many people never quote this part of I John 2:1. They skip right over this and quote the remainder of the verse: “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Thank God we do have an advocate IF we sin! But the advocate was not provided because everybody has to sin all the time. The advocate was provided ONLY because there are some who do not know and claim the promises of God. The provision was made for those who, through lack of prayer and the reading of God’s word or because of careless, negligent, or perverted teachings, fail to realize the possibility of living a victorious life and are overtaken with a fault, and they stumble and fall. It is far better if one falls to rise again, and keep trying than to give up and stay down. But this provision for sin in the lives of Christians is not God’s best. It is merely his second best. God’s best is that we overcome the wicked one, leave sin alone, and as the first verse of I John 2 says, SIN NOT! So lift up your heads, my people, and rejoice. There is victory in Jesus. Persecutions will come. Surely you will suffer ridicule. But don’t forget,
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven,” Matt. 5:10-12
“Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in like manner did their fathers unto the prophets,” Luke 6:23
“Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Rom. 8:37-39
“The Lord is faithful who shall establish you and keep you from evil.” II Thessalonians. 3:3
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present your faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 1:24
Take your stand for God, my friend. Believe these promises today, and the power of God is yours. Indeed, power is yours over all the power of the enemy. YOU can tread upon scorpions and upon serpents, and YOU can shout the victory over all the power of the enemy. For Christ in YOU is greater than the devil that is in the world. It is yours tonight!
(Additional scriptures for your reference include: Luke 10:19, II Thessalonians. 3:3, Jude 1:24, Gal. 2:20 and Isa. 61:3)