Key Words: Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ
In II Corinthians 2 Paul deals with two subjects. First of all, he deals with having a compassionate heart in verses 1 through 11. It’s very obvious from these verses that the church not only did not have a heart of compassion, but they were hard-hearted and unforgiving toward a fellow member of the congregation. So Paul warns them if they fail to forgive, Satan could take advantage of the situation (verse 11).
In the remaining verses of II Corinthians 2, verses 12 through 17, Paul deals with being triumphant in Christ (verse 14). The picture from verse 14 is that of a Roman victor: the special tribute that Rome gave to their victorious generals. Let me explain.
If a commander-in-chief was a complete victor over the enemy on foreign soil, and if he killed at least 5,000 enemy soldiers and gained new territory for the Emperor, then that commander-in-chief was entitled to a Roman Triumph. The processional would include the commander riding in a golden chariot, surrounded by his officers. The parade would also include a display of the spoils of battle, as well as the captive enemy soldiers. The Roman priests would also be in the parade, carrying burning incense to pay tribute to the victorious army.
The procession would follow a special route through the city and would end at the Circus Maximus where the helpless captives would entertain the people by fighting wild beasts. It was a very special day in Rome when the citizens were treated to a full-scale “Roman Triumph.”
How does this piece of history apply to the burdened believer today? Jesus Christ, our great commander-in-chief, came to foreign soil (this earth) and completely defeated the enemy (Satan). Instead of killing 5,000 persons, He gave life to more than 5,000 persons – to 3,000 plus at Pentecost and to another 2,000 plus shortly after Pentecost (Acts 2:41; 4:4). Jesus Christ claimed the spoils of battle – lost souls who had been in bondage to sin and Satan (Luke 11:14-22; Colossians 2:15; Ephesians 4:8). What a splendid victory!
The victorious general’s sons would walk behind their father’s chariot, sharing in his victory; and that is where believers are today – following in Christ’s triumph. We do not fight for victory; we fight from victory. Neither in Asia nor in Corinth did the situation look like victory to Paul, but he believed God – and God turned defeat into victory.
So it can be in your life as well – you, through Christ, can be triumphant.
What to do:
✞ Remember, we do not fight for victory; we fight from victory. As the hymnwriter said, “From victory unto victory His army shall He lead.”
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