Victory

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Have you ever been a part of winning a championship? Most of us who have played or coaches for any extended period of time have found ourselves on a winning team at some point, whether it was little league, high school, college, professionally, coaching, or taking the crown at the wiffle-ball all-nighter. To win a championship takes work, but in the moment of victory, all other things fade away, the grind of the season, the sweat, pain, aches, and bruises seem to dissipate. Now that I am out of the coaching/playing world, I am around victory (baseball victory that is) on a much less frequent level. In fact it has been three years since I was a part of a championship run (coaching at Denver Christian High School), however this past week we had our FCA Team Camp here in the Dominican Republic. Where we had teams from Santo Domingo, San Pedro, La Romana, and Sosua playing to win a tournament championship. After the championship game, when Santo Domingo won it all, I was on the field with the team, talking with coaches, and watching the players interact as Isaiah ran the bases 57 times, and I started thinking about the idea of victory. This morning I revisited that idea in my devotional time as I was reading in 1 Corinthians. First Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now Paul is writing to an extremely screwed up church, a community that is trying to move towards Christ with the lingering effects of paganism, idol worship, prostitution, sexual debauchery, injustices and more hanging around in the lives of some of the members of this community. Throughout the letter Paul has strong words for many of the things that are happening inside of the church. But towards the end of the letter Paul leaves this screwed up community with these words, “But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” What victory did the Corinthian church win in Christ? A victory far beyond any victory we can comprehend on a baseball field. A victory that took the disgustingness of their sin and made it white as snow (Isaiah 1:18), a victory that made beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3), a victory that says the same power that rose Jesus from the dead lives in them (Romans 8:11), a victory that conquered death (Revelation 1:18). The power of Jesus work on the cross took their sin and faded into distant memory. This is the same victory that we have in Christ. Celebrate, rejoice, dogpile on the mound, because you have won the victory, death and sin have no power over you, Jesus won the victory for us! Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!