(The following is a booklet by Jessie Penn-Lewis, More Than Conquerors. The material in the addendum, “The Foundation of the Victorious Life,” was excerpted from a book by Jessie Penn-Lewis, The Cross: The Touchstone of Faith, pp. 18-19. Both were originally published by The Overcomer Literature Trust, Parkston, Poole, Dorset, England.)
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” (Romans 8. 37.)
Calvary means that Christ not only bore on that Tree your sins, but that He carried to the Tree the sinner—carried you there. When you come to the point of recognising that God does not patch up the old life, but calls upon you to reckon it crucified, and to take from Him a new one, you will find that the new life has in it all the characteristics which belong to it. The old Adam-life has its own characteristics, and the new Adam-life has its own characteristics.
It is necessary to repeat this message of the Cross again and again, for the truth only lays hold of us “line upon line” until at last it grips us and effectually works in us who believe.
Moreover, to that Cross of Calvary, Christ, as the Representative Man, not only carried the sinner, but on that Cross and through the death of the Cross He utterly conquered Satan (Colossians 2. 15). There is therefore no need on the part of a Christian for a trace of fear of Satan. Satan is an absolutely conquered foe to the soul who knows:
THE VICTORY OF CALVARY.
“Fear hath torment.” The finished work of Calvary ends the fear of death (Hebrews 2. 14, 5), and fear of the prince of death.
On the Cross Christ took away your sins, so that you might have the blotting out of them through His blood, when all the wicked spirits of Satan cannot bring them up to you, and throw them at you. God Himself has blotted them out saying, “I will remember them no more” (Hebrews 8. 12). That is salvation from the guilt and penalty of sin. But it is vitally important you understand that when God blots out sin, He blots out on the condition that you part with sin. God cannot blot out what you will not part with.
When you know that your sins are blotted out, and you are really begotten of God by the impartation of a new life, there are three aspects of the life of victory through the Cross that you need to understand.
1. VICTORY OVER SIN.
The sinner saved through the death of Christ has a right to break with sin. He can say, in the Name of the Conquering Jesus, “No sin has a right to master me”—e.g., you may say, as you stand on Romans 6. 6, “No doubtful habit has a right to me. I absolutely refuse, in the Name of the One Who died for me, to be in bondage to it.” As a redeemed soul you have a right to say this, because on the Cross the work has been done for you, and you are to lay hold of all that Christ has obtained for you and appropriate it (Romans 6. 13). Victory over sin in this way is not any glory to you, for it is not gained through your human will, nor your human power, but through the finished work of Christ on the Cross. He obtained the forgiveness of sins for you; He obtained the victory for you over sin and death.
The lonely Cross, think of it! See there the Lamb! As Moody said, “God conquered the lion of hell with a slain Lamb!” And there it was done. Oh that the Church of Christ would rise up in the Name of Jesus Christ her Redeemer, and refuse to be in bondage to sin, or to Satan. The Church should rise up in the name of Christ, declaring that all the works of the devil against her (1 John 3. 8) can be destroyed, because Christ was manifested to destroy them.
Let us get hold of the fact of the Calvary victory, and of the truth that Satan is a conquered foe. Christ conquered him at Calvary. When you stand on Romans 6, reckoning the old life crucified, your spirit becomes joined to Christ—”Joined to the Lord, one spirit!” You are not going out against a great and terrible spirit-foe alone. Your spirit “joined to the Lord” is “one spirit” with Him. Christ is the Conqueror, and you are joined in one Spirit with the Conqueror.
It is not that God gives you victory by yourself. He gives you victory by your being joined in spirit to the Victor. “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4. 4). Then are we going to cower and tremble before the enemy, when we are joined to the Conqueror, joined to the Victor—joined in one spirit? But you do not know that “joining” until you come to Calvary, and stand steadily on the fact of the old Adam-life crucified with Christ, because the “old life” gets in the way, and is liable to do some “fighting” which is of no avail against the foe, but rather gives him ground and power over you. Therefore, the old Adam-life must be reckoned crucified, because it is material for Satan, and if the old life is not kept in the position of death every moment, it is the material Satan puts his “fiery darts” in. Satan has full rights over all the old creation. He knows that part of the old life in you which is not “crucified,” and he directs all his fiery darts to that spot. These darts have a bit of fire from the pit (James 3. 6) at their tip, and when they get into you they burn and blaze, and make you “blaze.”
Whenever you see a “blaze” in a Christian you may know where it comes from. It is from the old life
“set on fire of hell.”
Child of God, do you “fire up,” and say things which you ought not to say? Do you flash out unkind things, “set on fire” by Satan? This is not the “fight” that wins, but the fight that fails every time. Do you see the importance of Romans 6? Suppose without standing on Romans 6 you set out to take the aggressive against Satan, how he would laugh! He would say, “Why the `stuff’ that belongs to me is there; they have so much of my `goods’.” You cannot bind the “strong man,” because his goods are in and about you. Therefore you must take your stand at Calvary, reckoning the old life crucified moment by moment, so that the fire from the pit may not fasten upon you, and set on fire the “wheel of nature”—that nature which already has the poison of the serpent in it through his victory over man in Eden.
There must be for this battle with the lion of hell the spirit of the Lamb—the Lion-Lamb—the very Spirit of Jesus. It must be, when the fiery darts come, that they find in you the Lamb-spirit, however much people may tread on you, ill-treat you and put upon you—there must not be any blaze in you, which you call “righteous indignation!” The Calvary deliverance is needed, and the Lamb-spirit of Calvary.