The God Of Victory
2 Corinthians 2:14-17
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)
In Greek mythology, Nike was the goddess of victory. Nike fought on the side of the Olympian gods, gaining a victory over the mighty Titans. As a result, she became a symbol of winning. But Nike’s alleged powers were not just limited to warfare. She also became a favorite goddess of athletes who wanted to win in competitive sports. The Romans adopted her into their worship and gave her the Latin name Victoria.
In the Greco-Roman world where Paul taught, victory was highly valued. So when he expressed Christian truth, he used words his audience could understand. In his letters, he described Christ as the One who leads us in a military procession of triumph (2 Cor. 2:14-17) and compared the Christian life to someone training for the ancient Olympic games (1 Cor. 9:24-27).
Paul also used the word for victory in reference to our struggles with those who intentionally hurt us. “Overcome [be a victor over] evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). This may mean returning kindness for spite or respectfully setting limits on evil behavior. In either case, an attitude of love cannot be generated in our own strength. But in Christ, we have divine power that ancient pagans could only hope for. Jesus Christ is the genuine God of victory.
Dear Lord,I lay my burdens under your feet. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Through trials we learn to overcome, Through Christ our victories are won; Come lay your burdens at His feet And find this inner peace so sweet.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church