The Triumph
2 Corinthians 2:14
Now thanks be to God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the aroma of his knowledge by us in every place.…

The emotional and susceptible nature of the Apostle Paul was quick to recognize either opposition or success. And when it occurred to him, in the providence of God, to meet with instances in which his message was gratefully welcomed and he himself was cordially appreciated, his heart was filled with joy, and he was eager to utter forth gratitude and praise. When elated with prosperity in his evangelistic work, he felt that God was always making him to triumph. His spiritual successes were to him more glorious than the triumph which the victorious general enjoyed upon his return to Rome, when he ascended the Capitoline hill, with his fellow-warriors in the procession and his captives in his train. What an inspiration do these words of the apostle afford to those who are engaged in the service of the Saviour, and are experiencing the vicissitudes of earthly ministry!

I. IF THERE IS WARFARE, THERE WILL BE VICTORY. The Christian life is a warfare, involving effort, danger, and resistance. Much more manifestly does this figure apply to those who preach the gospel, especially as evangelists among the heathen, the degraded, the unbelieving. Such stand in need both of spiritual courage and el spiritual weapons. And in the stress of the conflict, in the noise and tumult of warfare, it is well for them to remember that the issue is not uncertain, that conquest is close at hand.

II. IF THERE ARE ENEMIES, THEY WILL BECOME EITHER CAPTIVES OR, BETTER STILL, ALLIES AND FELLOW SOLDIERS. When spiritual opponents are many and daring, and when their onset is sore and perhaps alarming, the heart of the soldier of Christ may sometimes sink within him. But he is required to estimate the fortunes of the war, not by human probabilities, but by Divine predictions. Of those who oppose themselves none shall prevail. Some shall be vanquished and put to shame. Others shall confess the justice and the grace of Christ, shall lay down the arms of rebellion, shall enlist in the spiritual host, shall take to them the armour of God.

III. IF THERE IS DISAPPOINTMENT, THERE WILL BE RECOMPENSE. Paul knew often enough what it is to be cast down. The higher the hope, the bitterer the sorrow when that hope is frustrated. It sometimes happens that, where the Christian warrior spends all his strength, and attacks the enemy with courage and perseverance, there he experiences the most humiliating rebuff. Then let him be assured that different experience is in store for him. Foes shall yield, whose stubbornness, it seemed to him, no power could subdue. Victory shall be to the faithful and to the brave.

IV. IF THERE BE A SHARING OF CHRIST'S CROSS, THERE SHALL BE ALSO A SHARING OF HIS THRONE. Our Lord, the Captain of our salvation, knew by experience the power of the enemy. And can it be expected that with us all will be prosperous? Shall we not be followers of him, and know the likeness of his death? Thus shall it be given to him that overcometh to sit down with him upon his throne. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

WEB: Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and reveals through us the sweet aroma of his knowledge in every place.

The Solemnity of the Ministry
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