Sermon for the Watford church of Christ.

Psalm 129 – “What victory means to a Christian”

Question: Examples of personal victory?
Question: How does victory feel?

1. “The Victory of Survival”, vv1-2
Most nations look back to their victories – but Israel looks back at their survival!
Question: victorious survivors in life or Bible?
Sometimes survival is the victory for a Christian!

i. Surviving Great Oppression, 2 Cor 1:1-11
God’s people kicked around over the centuries.
We are not always strong, but we are hard to kill
Paul is a great example of this – 2 Cor 11:23-29

ii. Surviving and Still Standing – my mother
Key thing is to keep looking forward – Phil 3:12-14.
“patience has a positive tonic effect on others; because of the presence of the patient person, they revive and go on, as if he were the gyroscope of the ship providing a stable ground. But the patient person himself does not enjoy it.”
Patience a positive virus – catch it from one another

Point: Oppression is temporary
“What is victory for a Christian?”
Victory for a Christian means surviving – and learning, growing, maturing in the process.

2. “The Victory of Freedom”, vv3-4
God puts us right with him and ourselves
Freedom is victory – how do we handle it?

i. Freedom from Painful Ploughing, Gal 5:13-6:5
No longer need suffer the pain of sin
Nor cause others pain with our sin
Instead help others with their sins – Gal 6:1-5

iii. Freedom from the Cords
Our perseverance depends on God’s determined faithfulness to us
He did this with Jesus and the cross.

Point: Freedom is a gift from God
“What is victory for a Christian?”
Victory for a Christian means enjoying our freedom and using it to help others

His honesty admirable – not sure all the feelings are!
“The uppermost roof on the common dwelling places in Israel would have been constructed of beams laid across the walls intertwined with reeds and grasses. The whole roof would then be plastered with mud to fill in the gaps and make them somewhat watertight. Any lingering seeds in the grass or mud might briefly sprout but would quickly die for lack of roots.”
Real history! Where is imperial Egypt which enslaved Israel—or the Philistines, Assyrians or Babylonians?”
For a Christian – Rome, all the prominent atheists of history, the Bible sceptics, Communism, etc.
1 Cor 15:54-57
Satan has been defeated, and he is empty because Jesus’s grave is empty:
Therefore death has been emptied of its power
Therefore sin has been emptied of its power
Point: Satan is completely defeated
Satan utterly defeated – shamed, empty, lonely

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm

PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John