But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I think it fair to say that the overwhelming majority of people like to win. Whatever the situation or the competition may be, it is human nature to enjoy success. As a corollary, the higher the stakes are, the more serious we are about ensuring victory. And the harder fought the victory, the greater satisfaction we experience when it is won. It was legendary coach Vince Lombardi that famously said, “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” Argument can be reasonably made against the veracity of this statement, but it certainly does speak to a widely shared mindset—we like to win. The greater portion of our enjoyment of winning comes from our participation in the process, whether directly or indirectly. We feel joy because of our contribution to a successful effort. Yet the premier victory in our lives is one in which none of us participated at all—not in the least. In fact, not only did we not contribute to this great victory, we were actually central players in the problem that precipitated the struggle in the first place. In other words, it is because of us that the battle was fought and victory was won. We are simply blessed beneficiaries of this great triumph that someone else won on our behalf. It is this great victory for which Paul praises God in the statement above. It was because of our sin and our brokenness that God demonstrated his love for us in the sacrifice of his Son. It was God’s victory from first to last, and he has included us in it as a gracious act— his glorious gift of salvation. Praise be to God for this great victory!