Some children grow up hearing fairy tales and nursery rhymes. Some grow up with classical liturature. Some can recite Dr. Suess before they know how to read a single word.
While these are true for me, I also grew up with the Bible. I enjoyed hearing the accounts in scripture over and over again. I enjoyed listening to my dad’s sermon illustrations long before I understood the depth of his preaching. I grew up in church, singing songs before I could carry a tune and serving people before I knew what that meant. One of my dad’s favorites (which became one of mine since we sang it often) is Victory in Jesus.
In June of 2002, at my grandfather’s memorial service, I learned that my dad’s love for this song may have come from his dad, who was also a preacher. He had a favorite sermon that he took everywhere, “just in case” he was asked to preach, titled “Victory in Jesus.” I likely didn’t hear this sermon, but not long ago, the preacher at our current congregation preached a sermon with this title, using the lyrics from the hymn as an outline.
God made the plan for redemption before the foundation of the world. The cross was not a back up plan because of our sin. The cross was THE plan to reconcile us!
When we are confronted with our sin, our belief in Jesus leads us to remorse. Remorse is a deep sorrow that leads to repentance. In other words, sorrow for actions vs. sorry for getting caught. Repentance then leads us to obedience. When we are baptized into Christ, we are forgiven. When we come out of the water, we are a new creation. The angels rejoice! (Luke 15:7).
I don’t know the details of my Grandpa’s sermon, but I have the benefit of the lessons he taught my dad. I now strive to continue that legacy so my children also claim Victory in Jesus!