The Jews once doubted Jesus’ identity. They marveled at His wisdom and how He taught with authority. The people of Nazareth knew Jesus as the son of Mary and Joseph the carpenter. They were familiar with His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas together with His sisters.
In their eyes, a local man who grew up in their town was incapable of doing the mighty works and teaching with authority in the manner Jesus did. They were offended by Him and due to their unbelief, Jesus did not do many miracles there.
During His ministry, Jesus asked His disciples who people said He was. They answered that some thought He was prophet Elijah or Moses while others thought He was John the Baptist risen from the dead (for King Herod had beheaded him). He turned the question to them and a courageous Simon Peter said that He was Christ, Son of the living God.
Peter had a different perspective of the identity of Jesus. He did not recognize Him by his earthly origin but by His heavenly authority. Jesus had access in Peter’s life to minister to him as the Son of God. He promised to change his career from a fisherman to become a fisher of men if he followed Him.
Jesus promised to build His church on Simon Cephas (translated to mean rock) upon which the gates of hades shall not prevail. This was because of his divine understanding of the identity of Jesus not as the Son of a carpenter but as the Messiah.
Winning Your Battles
An in-depth understanding of Jesus like Peter’s gives Him prominence in your life. He takes charge of your battles and the more fellowship you create with Him, the more concerned he becomes with your affairs.
Count yourself victorious in any battle that involves Christ. Jesus promises to carry our burdens when we cast them to Him. He takes care of the struggles we have unsuccessfully tried to overcome. Most importantly, we win the spiritual battle against Satan when we accept Jesus in our lives.
The Messiah reconciles us with God. He is the bridge that reconnects us with God after the fall of the first man. The bible writes that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
The greatest blow on humanity was its alienation from God. The devil had a chance to dominate the lives of people because God had distanced Himself from the sinful race. After the death of Jesus, He descended to Hades and took the keys of life from Satan. He also preached to the souls there and resurrected together with those who accepted Him.
This is the first battle that Jesus helps us win when we get saved. Salvation is not the final destination of a believer. There are challenges that new converts face when they get born again.
The Journey of Salvation
It is a fallacy that salvation is a journey of roses. It has its upheavals and struggles but our love for Christ is not easily put off.
The first battle of a believer is to overcome discouragement. The Holy Spirit makes us bold in Christ. He teaches us the ways of God and guides us through persecution. Jesus warned His disciples of the persecution they will face in His name. He encouraged them not to worry about what they will answer to the authorities they are presented to because the Holy Spirit will teach them what to say.
We win the battle of rejection and persecution in Christ through the help of the Holy Spirit. He is the ultimate teacher and helper sent to aid us to navigate the world.
King David writes in Psalms that the afflictions of the righteous are many but the Lord delivers him from all of them. The righteous fight many battles but God guarantees victory in all of them.
Fight the Good Fight
In his letter to the church in Ephesians, Apostle Paul exhorts them to wear the full armor of God that they can withstand all the wiles of the devil.
It consists of:
1. Belt of truth
On the battlefield, Christians should gird their loins with the belt of truth. It is a powerful weapon in a highly polarized world that the devil thrives.
In His teachings, Jesus taught that when we know the truth it shall set us free. Ultimate freedom lies in the truth. Pursue it like treasure and it shall keep you safe on the battlefield.
2. Breastplate of righteousness
We should have the breastplate of righteousness as we go to battle against the enemy. Righteousness is a mark of Godliness. A breastplate is worn on the chest and is visible to everybody.
Our righteousness should be known by all nations. Jesus taught that unless our righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, we shall not see the Kingdom of God. The good fight of faith is won in righteousness.
3. Ready feet for the gospel of peace
We are commanded to preach the gospel to all nations. The gospel of peace discriminates against nobody. The spiritual realm operates on a different wavelength from the physical one. The primary goal in Christianity is to win more souls to Christ.
The bible writes that there is Joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. We take a cue from this and get ready for evangelism missions. Christians win the battle against Satan for more souls by preaching the gospel.
4. Shield of faith
Faith is the singular requirement to please God. We win the battle against unbelief by having unwavering faith in God.
Faith plays the role of a shield. It protects one from external attacks and hands you a lifeline by escaping unhurt.
5. Helmet of salvation
A helmet is worn on the head to protect it from injury because it is an important body part. Similarly, Salvation is integral in Christianity.
It protects us from getting hurt in the battle against the devil. We emerge safe and victorious after confronting the enemy.
6. Sword of the spirit
We need to be armed with a sword to attack the enemy of lawlessness and evil. The word of God is the sword of the spirit that helps us attack the enemy.
Jesus used the word of God to overcome the devil when He was tempted in the wilderness. It secured his victory because he could counter the devil’s accusation.
In conclusion, we can win the battle in Christ when we abide by His word. Victory is the portion for those who believe.