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Firm Foundations Three (6 of 11) In Christ, I Am Afflicted, Rewarded, And Victorious (by Mark Tolson)

In Christ, I Am Afflicted, Rewarded, And Victorious.

New Perspective: In Jesus Christ, you are given a new perspective from God. This means that you are learning that we aren’t living for this world but the world to come. In this world, you will be afflicted, but God is using it to make you more like Jesus. In the world to come, you will be rewarded for how you live for God today; therefore, you can make sacrifices because this world isn’t your home. As you are passing through this world, you are in a spiritual battle, but through Jesus you will have the victory, putting on the armor of God, having done all to stand firm. In Christ, you are afflicted, rewarded, and victorious for the glory of God.

In Christ, I Am Afflicted (Suffering For The Glory Of God)

  • As believers, living out our new life in Christ can result in suffering, persecution, and affliction. As sinful humans living in a sinful world, we all will experience some kind of affliction. This is a normal part of life. Sometimes we experience affliction because of the bad decisions we make, punishment for sin, someone takes advantage of us, or because of our associations; but as believers we will also experience persecution specifically for following Jesus and doing the will of God.
    Philippians 1:29–30; 2 Timothy 3:12
  • As believers, we must remember that God can use our affliction for His glory. In the midst of our affliction, we must remember that God is still good and sovereign. We won’t always know why God has allowed certain things to happen or take place, but we should continue to trust in Him knowing that He can work good out of it. Our response to these trials in our life is a testimony to the grace of God.
    Philippians 1:6; 12–14; Romans 8:28; Genesis 50:20
  • As believers, we identify with Jesus through affliction the same way He identified with us. He was sinless, yet He suffered the painful death of the cross so that we might be saved. In the midst of the affliction, He continued to obey God and do right without complaining and thus being a light to the world. He glorified God in His affliction and His affliction brought us eternal life. He was mistreated, but didn’t respond in sin. Therefore, when I choose to suffer like Jesus suffered, I become more like Him.
    Philippians 2:4–16; Hebrews 2:10

In Christ, I Am Rewarded (Rewards For The Glory Of God)

  • As believers, we will be rewarded for our good works. All of our works will be tried by fire and if our works survive the testing, then we will receive a reward. If a believer doesn’t have good works he will suffer loss, but he will still be saved. Remember, we are saved by faith and no matter what our works are we will not come into judgment, but will pass from death to life.
    1 Corinthians 3:13–15; John 5:24
  • As believers, knowing we will receive reward should motivate us to serve God. In everything, we should work wholeheartedly unto God and not man. We should have a heavenly focus, meaning we are working to lay up treasures in heaven and not treasures here on earth.
    Colossians 3:23–24; Matthew 6:19–21; Luke 6:35
  • As believers, we will be rewarded for the persecution we endure because of Jesus. We can be encouraged during times of affliction and persecution because we know that in the end we will receive a reward for it.
    Matthew 5:11–12; Hebrews 11:26
  • As believers, we don’t have to be in competition for these rewards because they are limitless. The Bible doesn’t say specifically what these rewards are going to be, but we know that it will be a just reward because it is the Lord who gives them to us. Therefore, we should encourage each other to love, do good works, and serve God.
    Revelation 22:12–13; Ephesians 6:8
  • As believers, Jesus is our ultimate reward. When He appears we will see Him as He is and we will be like Him. Our greatest reward is to come face to face with the one whom we serve: the Lord Christ.
    1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 John 3:2

In Christ, I Am Victorious (Victory For The Glory Of God)

  • As believers, we are fighting a spiritual battle. We are not at war with flesh and blood, but we are at war against the wicked spiritual beings in the spiritual realm. These are principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world. Satan is their leader and they represent the enemies of God. The kingdom of light is at war against the kingdom of darkness.
    Ephesians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 10:3–5
  • As believers, we are strengthened by God and supplied armor from Him for the battle. The devil attacks when he entices us to sin against God, believe false teachings and teachers, worship other gods or idols, interactions with demons, death, etc. The armor of God enables us to firmly stand against the attacks of the devil with truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, the word of God, and prayer.
    Ephesians 6:10-11; 13-20; 2 Corinthians 6:14–18; 1 John 4:1–6; James 4:7; John 8:44
  • As believers, we are on the winning side. King Jesus has defeated sin, death, and Satan. Jesus nailed all accusations against us to the cross and disarmed all the principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world. He triumphs over them and is seated at the right hand of God. Let us look to Jesus as we fight this battle knowing that in Him we have the victory.
    Colossians 2:13–15; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22; Philippians 2:9-11

Review Questions

  • As believers, what will we experience for following Christ?
  • What must we remember in the midst of our affliction?
  • What will believers be rewarded for?
  • What is the ultimate reward of a believer?
  • As believers, why are we victorious?
 

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