The real power and wisdom are not found in principles for our victorious living but in the announcement of God’s victory in Christ. In fact, Christ does not just show us wisdom, he “has become our wisdom, righteousness, holiness and redemption” (v. 30). This is exactly the same situation in which we find ourselves to which God measures us.
Whether it is in our work, our home life, or our Christian walk, it’s easy to become overly interested in goals. We can become caught up in measuring success by cultural standards. We turn to gimmicks and fads to get “results” when living the Christian life seems difficult or when the gospel seems to fail us in the here and now. We easily forget how Christ measures success in this life.
C. S. Lewis reminded his friend Arthur Greeves, “It is not your business to succeed (no one can be sure of that), but to do right. When you have done so, the rest lies with God.” This is something we must constantly remind ourselves of, but there is more God’s Word tells us. It speaks of the real victory we can possess even now but it often doesn’t look like what we’d expect.
Victory in Weakness
The new life we have by the blood of Christ is ultimately how we must measure victory in this age. True success, as God measures things, is the only path to true joy, even if it leads to our death (Ps. 28:7). Our joy, our victory, and our success are not measured by the things that seem powerful or potent according to our culture’s standards. They are measured by the cross.
When speaking of the saints who died for their faith, the Book of Revelation makes this dramatic statement:
And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. (Rev. 12:11)
Victory, conquering this evil age, is seen in the death of the saints. Why is that? God’s grace seems like weakness and foolishness in this world, but in reality, the weakness of God is stronger than the strength of men (1 Cor. 1:25). Any success we have is only because of the work of Christ done on our behalf. The cross and resurrection of Jesus radically redefine power and victory for us. Joy in Christ by the power of his Spirit is the measure of success in this life.
Power in Jesus
Jesus did not defeat death by getting even. The God of the universe responded to our sin and death by humbling himself and coming in the likeness of a servant to serve mankind, offering his life as a sacrifice of obedience, atoning for our sins.
The Son of God removed his glorious crown and descended to undo death by his loving self-sacrifice (Phil. 2:5–11). His death opens the door to new beginnings, to forgiveness, and to freedom from our past actions and shame. Karma is broken. Grace is now the way of the universe. Weakness is resurrection-power. Satan’s power over us and in us is torn to pieces by this willing sacrifice of Christ. The sacrificial love of Jesus empowers us by becoming our wisdom, strength, and righteousness before God.