Secrets of Successful Christian Living

In this short study, we are intending to discuss 5 secrets of a successful Christian life.
In another video, available in our video channel,, I have discussed in detail, why should we live a successful Christian life.
It is a two part video. I request you all to watch that video also along with this.

I believe that it is very important to live a successful Christian life.
When I say success, I mean success in the spiritual realm as well as in the physical realm.
I do not support a dichotomy between spiritual life and secular life.
For a true Christian believer who is born again by faith in Jesus Christ, there is no dichotomy between spiritual life and secular life.
Everything is spiritual for him, because he is seated in the right hand side of our Lord.
So a successful Christian life is a successful Kingdom living.
A successful Kingdom living is necessary for the “the increase of His government”. (Isaiah 9:7)
We cannot lead a successful Christian life without knowing and believing certain secrets of it.
There are some secrets or mystery to the success of earthly kingdoms.
The Kingdom of God also has certain secrets to its success.
We may not able to list all the secrets of the Kingdom of God, because the Kingdom itself is a mystery.
We have some important information about the Kingdom of God and so we have important information about a successful Kingdom living also.
Let us discuss some of them one by one.

Who we are?

Before we start our successful life, let us have a clear understanding about who we are.
We are human beings, with a lot of abilities and limitations.
We can run fast but cannot fly like a bird.
We can swim and dive like fishes but cannot live an ordinary life under the water.
Our body is suited for cooked foods and everything eaten by animals and birds are not healthy for us.
We have our abilities, talents, intellectual capacity and many more, but at the same time we have a lot of limitations.
We cannot do all what our imagination wishes.

Spiritually we have a disappointing limitation in our earthly life.
We are totally depraved human beings. This is the spiritual condition of man.
“Total depravity” is a doctrine formed by John Calvin.
Calvin’s five doctrines are known by the acronym TULIP.
We may agree or disagree with whatever Calvin says, but the truth stands with “total depravity” of man.
“Total depravity” is the result of the sin committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
There they were under the command and rule of God.
God forbidden them from eating the fruits of a particular fruit.
But they were seduced by satan to eat the fruit.
Thus they disobeyed God and moved away from His Lordship.
They obeyed satan and automatically moved to the lordship of satan.
Whom we obey, he is our master, whom we worship, and he is our god.
Here humans accepted the commands and advise from satan and thus accepted him as their master.
As a result, sin, curse, disease, immorality, idol worship etc. came into the life of humans.
But God loved humans so much that He intervened into the situation and promised a deliverance from the bondage to satan by a sacrifice arranged by Him in future.
And there in the Garden, God arranged a model sacrifice.

Thus, as a result of the fall of man, every part of humans, his mind, will, emotions and flesh are corrupted by sin.
Sin affects all areas of our being including who we are and what we do. 
Sin is not our works, but our condition; not what we do, but who we are.
We are sinful in condition and hence we do sins in our life.
Whatever we do is sin because we are sinners by nature.
Jesus says in Matthew 7:17 & 18 that "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.” (NKJV)
The tree decides the fruit.
Sin has penetrated into the very core of our being so that “we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6 - NKJV)

The total depravity of man is seen throughout the Bible.
Jeremiah 17:9 says: “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked”.
The Bible teaches us that man is born dead in transgression and sin (Psalm 51:5)

The Apostle Paul summarizes the total depravity of man in Romans 3.
He says that man is under the control of sin or is controlled by his sin nature.
He confesses his depraved condition in Romans 7:15 “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” (NKJV)

So sin had two important effects on humans: humans went under the lordship of satan and became totally depraved so that humans cannot find a solution to the problem.
Satan is an enemy to God and humans. That is why he seduced humans into sin and rebellion.
Satan hates the Kingdom of God and hence he hates humans living a successful Kingdom life.
So satan uses all kinds of weapons to fight against, “the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:5 - NKJV)
And the sad thing is that we cannot successfully fight against satan in flesh and blood.
Accepting Jesus as our Lord and savior is a sure way to change the lordship of satan to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
But still, since sin is a human condition, the tree is bad, we cannot fight and defeat satan with our physical strength.
Our salvation is not yet complete, we are saved by faith in Christ, the process of salvation continues and will be saved perfectly in the eternity.

So in our depraved present condition, satan is no match for us.
He is powerful above our flesh and blood because he has defeated us once.
So far our flesh have not conquered him.
Conquering satan is the key to success.
If we do not conquer our enemy, they will conquer us. There can be only one victor, the other is always a victim.
No friendship with satan is possible, no compromise with satan is possible.
He is the enemy of God and His creations.
Satan comes not in peace, but "to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (John 10:10 - NKJV)

Thus, we understand that we are totally depraved because of our sin nature.
We have a powerful enemy fighting against our successful Christian life.
We cannot defeat the enemy with the strength of our flesh and blood.

A self-awareness about our human condition is the first secret for a successful Christian life.
An awareness that our flesh and blood cannot defeat our enemy will motivate us to seek a victorious savior for our deliverance.

What Christ did for us?

As I mentioned above, God is a loving, gracious God, that he intervened into our life even after we changed the loyalty from Him to satan.
God loved humans so much that He was ready to go an extra mile to give us a second chance.
God wanted humans to realize their mistake, repent and confess the mistake before God to reconcile with Him, reject and renounce sin forever and to enter into a new blood covenant with Him.
Adam and Eve realized their mistake as soon as they fell from the grace of God because of sin.
They realized the changes in their flesh and blood and ran away from the presence of God.
God was so loving that He called them from their hiding place and permitted them to stand before him letting them to confess their sin.
They confessed that “The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (Genesis 3:13 - NKJV)
They confessed their failure to guard the garden and failure to defeat satan.
They confessed their act of sin and the effect of it, total depravity. They stood helpless before God.

God could not leave them there under satan.
He decided to give man a second chance to reconcile into the Lordship of God.
God arranged a blood sacrifice for their sins, and with blood stained skin of the sacrificed animal He made tunics for them.
Adam and Eve covered their nakedness with the blood of the sacrificial animal and thus they stood righteous before God.
But God reminded them that this is not a permanent solution to the problem of sin.
Because sin is a condition and humans have to be redeemed from the slavery of satan.
There in the Garden of Eden, God declared His plan for the redemption of humans and the restoration of the Kingdom of God.

Genesis 3: 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." (NKJV)

What God said is that, the sacrifice of the animal in the Garden of Eden is only a shadow of a great sacrifice that will be arranged by God.
God shall provide the sacrificial lamb and that will be the seed of the woman.
There will be enmity between the seed of the woman and the serpent causing a fight between them for power and authority.
The seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpent through his self-sacrifice.
The seed of the woman will shed his blood to cover all the sins of humans.

The seed is Jesus Christ. He is the animal provided by God for a perfect sacrifice.
Jesus Christ is “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”. (John 1:29 - NKJV)
The purpose of the first arrival of Jesus Christ on this earth is to fulfil the promise of God proclaimed in the Garden of Eden.
The promise included, a sacrifice for the remission of sin, the defeat of satan, redemption of humanity from the slavery of satan and restoration of the Kingdom.
The sacrifice for sin is one among many other purposes of the coming of Jesus.
The restoration of the relationship between humans and God started with the sacrifice of Jesus, but that was not the end.
The sacrifice on the cross has deeper implications on human life.

The promise of God in the Garden told that satan will be defeated and during the processes the sacrificial lamb of God will be bruised.
We see in this physical world the sacrificial lamb bruised on the cross and shedding His blood for the atonement of human sins.
In the spiritual realm, another important event took place.
Apostle Paul understood the mystery behind the death on the cross and he has explained it for us.

Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.  (NKJV)

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV)

Paul equates the war between Jesus and satan to wars between Roman Empire and her enemies.
Satan and his forces are the enemy principalities and powers. Jesus has defeated them and triumphed over them.
A Roman triumph is a victory festival conducted after a decisive victory over enemies of another country.
Satan is the king of another country, not at all a part of the Kingdom of God.
He is defeated, disarmed and the defeated enemy is now a public show for all to see and understand that the enemy is defeated.
Thus Jesus is leading us through a victorious life.

Let us note 7 important points of victory from these verses:

1.      Satan was the king of a foreign nation outside the Kingdom of God
2.      Jesus has defeated satan.
3.      Like a Roman soldier who will disarm the defeated enemy, Jesus also has disarmed the enemy.
Now satan has no weapon to fight against us.
Jesus has taken away all powers from satan.
So satan is a powerless being now, he has no power over the Kingdom of God.
4.      Still satan may roam about seeking an opportunity to devour true Christians.
We should not be deceived once again by his pretense.
So Jesus has hanged him on the cross for all the humans in the world to see and understand that satan is defeated for all and forever.
5.      The war was against a foreign enemy and the victory was so decisive.
So a great triumphal festival is arranged by Jesus on the cross itself.
Thus Jesus has turned the cross to a triumphal festival.
6.      Now Jesus is leading us in this triumphal festival celebrating the victory over satan.
7.      Participation in this triumphal festival is effecting the victory in our life.

This is what Jesus has done for us on the cross.
This victory over satan is achieved by Jesus in addition to the sacrifice atoning our sins and its after effects.
Jesus has reconciled us to God by His blood sacrifice and has defeated satan forever.
The gospel is an invitation to the Kingdom of God, which is victorious and restored for humans.
The only condition to inherit the victory and the Kingdom is to “Repent, and believe in the gospel”. (Mark 1:15)

Now it is possible for us to lead a successful Christian life, accepting by faith the atonement and the victory of Jesus on the cross.
The faith in this truth is the second secret for a successful Christian life.

How should we live in Christ?

The answer to the question, how should we live in Christ is that, we should live a victorious life in Christ.
We are the triumphant party no longer in fear of the enemy.

The enemy captured by the victorious Roman military general was not killed at once.
He will be exhibited through the main streets of Roman, naked, disarmed and chained.
He will be kept alive till the victory festival ends.
The triumphal festival may last for one day to one week and rarely even beyond that.
That means, the enemy is defeated, the kingdom of the enemy is totally destroyed and the death of the enemy is sure.
But there is a period of time for the triumphal celebrations.
There is a time gap between the victory and the final destruction of the enemy.

During this time, for all those who has faith on the victory of Jesus and for those who are really celebrating the victory, the enemy is disarmed and powerless.
But the presence of the enemy is frightening for those who are only watching without joining it.
The enemy may roar like a lion and frighten the weak.
Even among the festival crowd, there may some weak in faith, afraid of the enemy.
Those who are frightened by the roar of the defeated enemy will run away missing the joy of the victory.
So it is very important to be in the triumphal celebration of Christ, believing in His victory.

The faith in the victory of Christ over the enemy is a must for a successful Christian life.
There are always shouts of victory in the houses of the righteous.
The frightening roar of a defeated enemy cannot be heard among the shouts of victory.
But if you are not aware of the triumph of Christ over the enemy happened on the cross, you live in ignorance about the defeat of the enemy.
If you are not aware of the victory of Christ over all evil principalities and powers, you still live in fear of the enemy.
You cannot join the triumphal festival of Christ; you are always hearing the roaring sound of the enemy.
You live in fear and fear is the opposite of faith.

Let us read an exhortation from Apostle Paul:

2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  (NKJV)

Paul is telling us that God always, every day, every moment, wherever we are, is leading us in triumph in Christ.
And so we should spread the fragrance of the victory wherever we are.
We should live a successful life everywhere and always.
This is the third secret to a successful Christian life.

How to deal with satan?

We have already discussed three secrets to success.
They are, who we are, what Jesus did for us and how we should live in Christ.
We were learning that we are totally depraved by a sinful condition and so we cannot defeat our enemy.
Jesus Christ defeated and disarmed the enemy and He has started the triumphal celebration.
We should join this triumphal celebration by faith in the victory of Jesus over the enemy.
Now the fourth question is: how should we deal with satan?

As I told you already, our enemy is a real fighter. He fights to the last moment.
He knows that he is defeated by a powerful Kingdom, he is disarmed and doomed for eternal punishment.
He is well aware that there is no way of escape for him.
Still he wants to destroy the fragrance of the triumph.
So he roars as load as he can to frighten the celebrating crowd.
He roars like a lion to make his presence known.
He roars to tell us that he is still alive.

But a good believer in Christ who knows the above three things that we have already discussed, knows that, though the enemy roars, he is defeated, disarmed, powerless and destined to death.
Everybody who has a faith in the victory of their Lord Jesus Christ knows that the enemy can do no harm to them.
So even if the enemy roar like a lion, true believers will focus their eyes on Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith” who “has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

So do not be afraid of the roar of the enemy. He is powerless.
None can celebrate victory with fear about the defeated enemy.
Fear destroys the fragrance of success.

Apostle James gives us a good advice to deal with satan:

James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (NKJV)

This verse brings to our mind the fall of Adam and Eve.
The devil in a serpent came to Eve and started a conversation.
She did not resist the conversation; she continued to talk to the devil.
The devil asked her questions about the relationship with God.
She could resist these questions by asserting the Lordship of God over their life.
She could affirm that they will obey only what their Lord commands, even if it makes no sense to them.
But since Eve permitted the conversation, satan continued to speak about the benefits of the forbidden fruit.
Eve did not resist the temptation of eating the fruit and she fell into the deception.

Resistance is tiresome until the devil leaves you.
But James says that resisting is a successful way to defeat satan.
Resistance has a power to chase away satan.
But, resistance should be there in the first attempt of satan to deceive you.
If you give a moment to listen to satan, he will steal a treasure from you.
If you give an inch to satan he will take a mile from your life.
So resistance should be used as a weapon against the enemy at the first attempt from him to deceive you.

The devil cannot and never tell any truth. He is all falsehood and the father of lies.
His powerful method is deception. He uses deception everywhere, in education, social relations, religion, politics and everywhere.
So standing in truth is our shield against him; truth is a powerful weapon of Christians against satan.

Unfortunately, we see a good number of Christians professing that they follow a balanced position.
That means, they are not with the truth and they claim that they are no with falsehood.
But there is no way between truth and falsehood; there is no way between the narrow way and the broad way.
If we are not with the truth, we are with the false.

Resistance is a defense mechanism and defense is always tiresome in war.
Resistance cannot stop the war for ever, only offence can defeat the enemy.
Resistance is not for defeating the enemy, it is for protecting ourselves.
So offence is a better strategy in war, it can defeat and destroy the enemy forever.
So Apostle Paul presents a better advice. Paul advises us to fight against the enemy.

Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (NKJV)

Do not wait for the enemy to come into your territory.
Attack and chase away all potential enemies even before he even start planning to attack you.
This is offensive mechanism. It saves time, energy, health and wealth.
Be always in an offensive mood, attacking the enemy every moment.

Jesus was always in an offensive position.
Study carefully the temptation scene in the desert.
Jesus never tried to compromise with the devil, He never tried to explain the situation to the devil.
Jesus never showed any interest in a conversation with the devil.
He attacked the devil whenever he approached him.
Jesus cast out devils to demonstrate the power and authority of the Kingdom of God over satan.
And He has commanded us to the same thing.

So far we have learned few things about how to deal with the enemy.
Fear destroys the fragrance of success. So do not be afraid of the defeated enemy, even if he roars like a lion.
Resistance has a power to chase away satan. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Still it is better to be offensive. Fight against the enemy even before he plans to attack you.
These are the fourth secret of a successful Christian life.

Our weapon for the fight

In the epistle to Ephesians 6, Apostle Paul speaks about “the whole armor of God” that a believer should wear.
We should wear these armors to withstand in the evil days.
Paul recommends, truth to gird the waist, breastplate of righteousness, the preparation of the gospel of peace for the feet, the shield of faith, helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.
All the armors, except one, are to defense the attacks of the enemy.
The only weapon to attack the enemy directly is the “sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.”
The sword is the word of God that we declare against the enemy at every tough situation.

Remember once again how Jesus defeated satan in the desert.
Jesus spoke the word of God against every temptation of satan.
The word of God is sword, and the devil cannot overcome it.
In the Garden of Eden, the first thing satan did was to create a doubt in the heart of Eve about the word of God.
The devil asked Eve: "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" (Genesis 3: 1 - NKJV)
Then he distorted and destroyed the word of God.
“Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:4,5 - NKJV)
Adam and Eve did not stand firm on the word of God, they fell from the Word and fell into the trap of the devil.

Apostle Paul in Hebrews 4:12 says: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.
The word of God that comes from our mouth is not a series of sound, but a sharp sword.
God exercised His authority and power to create the whole universe by His word.
Bible says, “Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3 - NKJV)
Jesus spoke the Word of God against satan and the devil left Him.
Jesus cast out demons, raised the dead and healed many sick people by His word.
Apostles performed miracles by speaking with the power and authority of God.
Apostles preached the word of God and thousands accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.
We are born again and became inheritors of the Kingdom of God by confessing our faith in Jesus.
It is word that works everywhere.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. (NKJV)

So speak against the devil, speak to your tough situations, speak to your weak health and speak to your increasing debts.
Everything caused by the devil will breakdown and disappear at your word backed God.


Let me conclude this short study.
We have discussed five secrets to a successful Christian life.
A self-awareness is where we start the successful journey.
It is an awareness about our depraved condition due to sin.
We have an enemy who does not want us to lead a successful life.
We cannot fight against him in our flesh and blood. So we need another mighty warrior.
Jesus came to us as a lamb, good shepherd and a mighty warrior.
Jesus defeated satan, disarmed him and made him powerless.
With our spiritual eyes, we can see the devil hanging on the cross doomed for the last death.
So do not be afraid of the devil, resist his temptations and fight against his schemes.
Our weapon is the word of God. Every word that comes out from us with the authority of God is a sword that chases away the devil.

Believe in the victory of Jesus on the cross and live a successful life.
May God bless you. Amen!

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